Iceland Photo Tours FAQ

Do you have questions about our workshops and tours in Iceland? Are you looking for information about when to see the Northern Lights? Do you need details about staying connected, finances, insurance and transportation? We cover that and a whole lot more here on our FAQ page, so please check here first for answers to your important questions. If you can’t find the answer that you are looking for, then by all means, get in touch with us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do I need to be an expert photographer to join one of your tours?
No, we welcome all levels of photographers on our tours and normally our groups are mixed with people all levels.
Can I learn a few photo tips on a private day tour, rather than joining one of the longer workshops?
We have a number of private day tours and shorter 2-day or 3-day workshops, guided by our team of professional photographers. You will have the opportunity to learn just as much on these tours, or to tailor the tour to suit your educational needs. Please check our website Iceland Photo Tours for more details.
Can you tailor-make a tour, just for us?
Yes, we can! Please send an email to us at info@iceland-photo-tours.com with your needs and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do you use local photography tour guides?
Iceland Photo Tours is a team made up of award-winning local, native and international photography guides. Our guides are all highly qualified, speak excellent English and boast intimate knowledge of Iceland. Aside from our guides, we work hard to ensure that all of our partners are the best in the business. Our team is out in the field, continually monitoring and refining our adventures to ensure we offer the best that we can during your photography workshop. They possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, so you can be confident that you’re in safe hands.
When will I be able to see the Northern Lights?
If the sky is clear of clouds and there is aurora activity forecasted, then the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) can be seen in Iceland from late August until the beginning of April. Generally, you will have the chance to see them during any one of our autumn or winter photo tours.
When is the ice cave season?
Ice caves are accessible and safe from mid November until the end of March. Your best bet to see an ice cave is to join any one of our winter photo tours, we are using professional ice cave guides during our photo workshops.
Will I see any puffins?
Puffins nest in Iceland from the middle of May and fly away from the island in the end of August or beginning of September. You will be able to see them during our Midnight Sun photo tours.
When is the Midnight Sun?
The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the summer months, from around June to August. During this period, there is daylight even at midnight, with the sun being visible for almost 24 hours.
What is the temperature in winter?
Winters are not as cold in Iceland as people may think. The average low is approximately -2 degrees Celsius (28.4 Fahrenheit), whereas the average high is about 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 Fahrenheit). You’ll find the indoors to be quite toasty and warm though, as Iceland runs on inexpensive geothermal energy.
What is the temperature in summer?
The average low in summer is approximately 8 degrees Celsius (46.4 Fahrenheit), whereas the average high is about 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 Fahrenheit). Temperatures in summer can reach as well up to 20-25 degrees Celsius.
Can you help arrange my travel visas?
The requirements for international travel visas to Iceland vary widely, depending on your nationality. Please check the Directorate of Immigration to see if you need a visa to travel to Iceland. While we can’t help you to procure your visa, we can give you a letter of confirmation from our company as well as confirmations from the hotels that we use during the tour, in order to assist your application. If you do require a visa, then you may either arrange it yourself by contacting your nearest Icelandic Embassy or by using the services of a visa processing company. Please ensure that you complete and return your visa application in a timely manner so that you will have your documentation in time to travel. It’s best to get your visa sorted in advance because the processing time can be quite long.
What documents will I need to enter Iceland?
To enter Iceland, you will need to present a valid passport to passport control. Due to airline security measures, your passport name must match your airline ticket name, or you may be denied boarding. In addition, the expiration date on your passport must be at least six months after your return from your trip. If it is not, then you should renew your passport before travelling to Iceland.
Do your tours include international airfares?
Our guests arrive from all over the world to begin our tours, so it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices.
What is the baggage policy?
Each airline has its own baggage policy, which is subject to change; therefore, please contact your airline(s) directly to verify carry-on restrictions, prohibited items, number of bags permitted and weight allowances for your international departure and arrival flights. Should your luggage be damaged or lost, file a report with your airline before you leave the baggage claim area, and contact us or your hotel to advise them of your delay.
What do you suggest for carry-on luggage?
We advise that you pack the following items in your carry-on luggage: any medications in their original, labeled containers; eyeglasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution; important documents such as your travel insurance, medical records, allergy information and emergency contact information; camera gear, memory cards and batteries; as well as any valuables you may have.
What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?
We suggest that you bring one backpack containing your camera gear as carry-on during your flight, one checked bag for your clothing and other belongings, as well as a small satchel much like the size of the personal item allowed on international flights. You are responsible for carrying your bags on and off buses and other vehicles, as well as up and down stairs, so pack smart and light.
What should I pack for one of your photo tours?
The clothing that you will need depends greatly on the season in Iceland. We will send you a complete clothing and camera equipment list in our welcome kit that we send out to all tour participants upon booking a tour. Our general recommendation for dressing in Iceland is to wear layers and to stay away from heavy cotton clothing, which can trap sweat and contribute to body odour. Lighter alternatives like merino wool are warm, wrinkle-free and will serve you well whenever you decide to travel to Iceland.
Which airport should I fly into in Iceland?
You should fly into Keflavík International Airport.
Which airlines can you recommend?
We recommend flying Icelandair, Iceland’s premier airline. Operating locally, Icelandair flies to and from Iceland, as well as across the Atlantic. The airline offers safe, reliable and exceptional service.
How far in advance do I need to make my booking?
The sooner you are able to make your booking, the better. We have no way of knowing when other people will book, so by the time you decide to confirm your place, it may be that the tour is already filled up! Our advice is to book as soon as you’ve made the decision to travel – that way, your spot on the workshop will be secured.
How do I make my booking?
Use our Contact Form or send us an email to info@iceland-photo-tours.com with your name, contact details, and which tour you would like to book. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do I need to pay a deposit?
To confirm your place on one of our workshops, we will collect a deposit payment of 1000$ or $2000 depends on which tour you want to join.
How do I pay for the tour?
We will send you a secure payment link via your email for you to make the payment. You can also make bank wire transfer, if you prefer.
When is the final payment due?
The final payment is due 90 days prior to the starting date of your tour.
If I am travelling solo, will I need to pay for a single room?
There is an extra fee if you would like to have your own single room – this fee varies across tours, so please check the tour details carefully. Otherwise, we can pair you with another solo guest of the same gender to share a twin room at no extra cost.
If I am travelling with my partner or a friend, can we stay in the same room?
Yes, please let us know what your requirements are when you make your booking.
Can I bring a non-photographer partner or friend with me and is there a discount for non-photographers?
We always welcome non-photographers on our tours and we can offer them a discount of $300 USD.
Can I do just part of the tour?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to do sections of our tours. If you can’t manage a full workshop, then we can always offer you a private tour for as many days as you wish. Please ask us for a quote.
Is the tour conducted in English?
Yes, all of our photo guides speak English and every workshop is conducted in English.
If I need to cancel, do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes, we have a cancellation and refund policy. If you cancel prior to the commence of the workshop and the workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the workshop:

  • Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
  • 75 days or more: 75% refund
  • 60 days or more: 50% refund
  • Less than 60 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made. We strongly recommend that you obtain Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you will be cutting your trip short for any reason once you have already commenced, then you will lose part or the entire sum of the amount paid.

What is the maximum number of participants on a tour?
We allow for a maximum of 12 or 14 participants on each tour.
How many guides are there to the number of participants per tour?
For 9 participants and above, 2 professional photography guides will be assigned. If there are 8 participants or below, then there will be 1 professional photography guide assigned. Every tour is assigned a local driver/guide as well. Compared to other companies, Iceland Photo Tours will never cancel a tour if the group is not full or if other participants withdraw, so all departures in our Iceland tours are 100% guaranteed.
Can I extend my stay?
You’re welcome to extend your stay either before or after the tour. However, for all extended nights, we kindly ask you to book your accommodation yourself. If you would like to use the same hotel as during the tour, then please let us know and we will give you the name of the hotel.
If I want to extend my stay can I still use my Fly Bus voucher?
Yes, the Fly Bus ticket that we provide is 100% flexible and can be used on any day and at any time of the day.
How do I get to the start of the tour?
Tours always start in a specified hotel and we will let you know exactly when you need to be at that hotel.
What time can I check in at my arrival hotel?
Check-in times can vary from hotel to hotel. Generally, they are between noon and 2pm. There is usually no issue with checking in if you arrive early. If the hotel already has the room ready, then you will be able to check in prior to noon. If your room is not ready, then you will be able to store your luggage and head out to explore for a couple of hours, or relax in the hotel lounge for some breakfast and coffee or tea.
What if I will be arriving late to the hotel, who should I contact?
If you know in advance that you will be arriving late, please let us know. That way, we can help you to make alternative arrangements or leave instructions with the hotel reception for you so you will know where to meet your group that night or the following morning. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as your flight being delayed, please contact us directly by sending us an email at info@iceland-photo-tours.com.
What happens if something happens with my flights and I miss the tour departure?
Don’t stress. We can arrange for a private transfer or driver to pick you up from the airport and help you to meet up with the rest of the group. The minimum cost for this service is $500, though it can be more depending on how far you will need to travel.
How much free time is there on a tour?
We pack a lot into each day, to make sure that our participants will have the most memorable trip possible. That being said, if you want to skip a sunrise shoot or staying up in the night to shoot the aurora, then that’s your choice. Just make sure that you will be up and ready to meet us at times that we will be in transit. Please note that if you choose to opt out of any included activities, no reimbursement can be made by Iceland Photo Tours.
Will there be time to explore in Reykjavík, or should I allow extra time?
There is no real extra time set aside on our tours for you to explore Reykjavík. If you do arrive earlier in the day during the arrival day, then you will have a few hours to explore, since the first official meeting is early evening for a meet and greet before we head out for a delicious dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants. If you are keen on checking out Reykjavík, then we suggest that you book some extra days either before or after the tour so that you can explore and photograph more on your own.
Will there be any difficult, long hikes during the tour?
We normally drive pretty close to all of our shooting destinations, therefore you won’t need to do any extreme hikes. However, you will still need to be able to walk on uneven ground and maybe walk up and down some small hills to reach the best shooting spots.
Will the guide help us with our photography during the tour?
Yes, your guides are there to assist you with learning as much as you can about your camera gear and equipment, as well as how to take home some of the most amazing shots of your life. In-field and out, they will be providing you with as much education as you can handle!
Are post processing lessons included?
Yes, post processing lessons are included in all of our tours.
Will I be able to do any laundry?
Some hotels offer laundry service, but do not count on it since we will often be changing hotels during our tours and you need to stay at least 2-3 days in each hotel to be able to use their laundry service. If you will be staying longer before or after your tour, then there are laundromats in Reykjavík that you will be able to access.
What type of ground transportation is used?
We have our own fleet of specialised vehicles to get you around Iceland in style, including super 4x4 trucks and buses.
Are meals included?
We recommend checking the tour description, as meals vary between tours. Some tours offer full board, whilst others offer only half board.
I’m a vegetarian, is that a problem?
This is no problem at all. Just let us know in advance so we can inform our guides. That way, they can make sure that you are looked after in all of the local restaurants and hotels.
I have food allergies, what can you do?
We do everything in our power to make sure that you will be taken care of with no risk to your health.
Will I be able to charge my electrical appliances?
In most places, you’ll be able to recharge your appliances at the hotel. We recommend that you bring a travel adapter with you and if you have lots of batteries to charge, a travel sized power bar. To find out which plug adapter you will need in Iceland, take a look here.
Do I need to get travel and medical insurance?
We highly recommend that you take out Travel and Medical insurance for all Iceland Photo Tours trips. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas. When purchasing insurance, make sure that you check the terms of the policy carefully, particularly the limits of your cover, such as for replacement of photographic equipment in case of damage or loss. Please also familiarise yourself with the procedure for making claims, as most policies stipulate that claims must be made within a certain time after completion of your journey.
What should I look for in my travel and medical insurance?
Look for a policy that covers medical costs in case of hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation. If you are going on an adventure activity, such as glacier hiking or a helicopter ride, then make sure that your insurance covers you for this activity. We encourage you to take out travel insurance that covers the full value of your trip and personal effects in the case of trip cancellation, loss or theft of baggage, and emergency evacuation. Travel insurance helps to minimise the risk of monetary losses that you would incur in the event of certain circumstances, such as a delayed departure due to weather, airline strike or missed connections, inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury or unforeseen financial complications, or if you are required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.
How fit do I need to be to join a tour?
Our trips are designed to be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. However, some trips, like our camping workshops in the Highlands, visit remote areas with limited medical facilities and require a moderate amount of hiking, so you must be in good health. Factors such as long walks, icy roads, windchill and cold weather also add to the physical toll. Keep in mind that you will need to carry your own bags during the tour.
Do I need to take any medical supplies?
The pre-departure information kit that we will send you after you book a trip contains a suggested list of items to bring but it doesn’t cover medications. We recommend that you carry personal medical items for managing common minor ailments, such as colds, diarrhoea, blisters, headaches, heartburn, sore throats and so on. Travellers who take regular medication should bring an appropriate supply within carry-on luggage on the plane. Allergy and asthma sufferers should ensure that they have an adequate supply of their routine medicine as some areas during spring and summer have high levels of pollen.
Will refrigeration be available for medicines? eg. Insulin
Refrigeration will be available within each hotel for medicines. Outside of this, especially during our camping tours, you cannot rely on access to a refrigerator. Please be sure to advise us if you are travelling with medication that requires refrigeration.
Are there any age limits to who may participate in a tour?
On certain trips, we may require a doctor’s letter that certifies health and fitness of participants who are over 70 years old. We don’t recommend that minors between the age of 13 and 19 join our tours unless they are accompanied by a parent. Our tours are not suitable for children younger than the age of 13.
How safe are my belongings during the trip?
Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world. However, it is still necessary to take precautions while travelling. While we do everything we can to make sure your belongings are safe, theft can occur anywhere. This is why travel insurance is handy and a lockable bag or money belt will be useful too. Please leave your fancy jewellry, watches, designer clothes and bags at home during our trips. Never leave your camera gear unattended and don’t flash large amounts of cash when making purchases.
What is the emergency contact number in Iceland?
In case of an emergency, you can contact police, fire and ambulance by dialling 112. Iceland is also connected to 911, so ringing this number will still get you through to emergency services in Iceland.
What is the local currency?
In Iceland, we use the Icelandic króna. Current exchange rates are available through your bank and online at websites like XE
How much cash money do I need?
We don’t recommend bringing too much cash because you can use your card everywhere in Iceland. Remember that with Iceland Photo Tours, your transport, accommodation and entrance fees to major sites are paid for in advance, so you won’t need to factor these into your budget.
What is the best way to take money with me?
We recommend bringing along a combination of cash, an ATM card and a credit card on your trip, just in case one option fails. Remember to advise your bank that you will be using your cards overseas. There may be foreign transaction fees on certain cards. If you are planning on using an ATM in Reykjavík, then you should verify with your bank that your ATM card and PIN will work overseas.
Do I need to tip in Iceland?
Tipping in Iceland is optional, though it is certainly not required in places like restaurants.
Will there be Internet coverage in Iceland?
Yes, there is internet access in all of the hotels that we use during our tours. Some places that we visit will have Wi-Fi hotspots and other places will have no coverage at all. If you stumble into the latter, take the rare chance to just sit back and get to know your fellow photographers. In remote places, such as the Westfjords or the Highlands, you will not be able to communicate as readily. Your Iceland Photo Tours guide will usually let you know when you’ll be leaving connection with the rest of the world for a while, so you can send a quick email or two.
Where can I buy a SIM card in Iceland?
SIM cards are available for purchase at the airport when you arrive. You can also buy a SIM card at local stores in Reykjavík, such as “Siminn”, “Vodafone” or “Nova”.