Photography in Iceland

November 7 – 15, 2020
Price: from $4,686 – Single + $485

Tour Details


Travel with elite, professional Northern Lights specialist John Chumack.  Learn from the Master.  Benefit from his vast experience – 9 successful Northern Lights tours to Alaska. Iceland is a photographer’s dream – its spectacular nature is unique!

  • The Northern Lights
  • Icelandic Nature – Waterfalls – Hot Springs – Volcanos – Glaciers
  • Icelandic Horses
  • The Westman Islands
  • The City of Reykjavik 

John Chumack is respected for his profound dedication to excellence. He will accept the absolute maximum of 12 students on this tour, so each student can look to a meaningful participation in his workshops. There will be as many as 20 persons on the tour; John Chumack, Jan Mayer, 12 students and up to 5 spouses or persons who will not participate in the workshops.

The main theme of this tour project is photography and the Northern Lights in Iceland. The object is to learn photography of this phenomenon from an expert photographer at a location that is recognized worldwide for that very purpose. It is possible, under adverse weather conditions, that the Aurora Borealis will not appear. This is one good reason why this tour is complete with other exciting photographic subjects, to fill each day. This includes the magnificent Icelandic waterfalls, the photogenic horses and the many other attractions that make Iceland unique.



Join us on a photography tour to Iceland for the Northern Lights and other spectacular natural  phenomena in this beautiful country.  The tour is under leadership of world renowned astro-photographer John Chumack and expert tour manager Jan Mayer.  John has led many such tours before – to Alaska, where photo enthusiasts have learned from “the master” – in the field and at workshops.  A tour to Iceland is the natural next step in this quest for excellence.

Iceland is known as one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. Each year thousands travel to this popular destination to experience the northern lights. They also visit some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls, multitudes of bubbling hot springs and to enjoy views of volcanos and glaciers.   A visit in the lively and modern capital Reykjavik is particularly popular.

This tour spends 4 days in the Westman Islands, a little-known cluster of islands south of Iceland, the perfect place for spectacular photography –  awesome cliffs, volcanos, lava fields as  well as  the  Northern Lights.

John Chumack was mesmerized by the stars from childhood on. He built his own telescopes and was soon recognized for his quality level photography of galactic images. His work was sought by high level magazines such as National Geographic and Time. John’s work for NASA, exposure on TV programs, in countless science books and magazines, as well as his participation in fine art shows around the country has brought him fame and recognition. John has 9 successful tours to Alaska under his belt, teaching photography of the Northern Lights.

There will be 12 fortunate students, who will have John Chumack as their mentor during this tour to Iceland. In the peaceful and quiet Westman Islands, where the sky is clear and Aurora Borealis performs her lively and colorful dance, then John Chumack will be in his element – to make sure that you will capture it all, – the best pictures of your life.

tour manager


 Jan Mayer is a certified tour director from the International Tour Management Institute and is comfortable leading tours to any corner of planet earth.

He has taken groups to such sundry places as Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mainland Mexico and Baja California, France and Yellowstone Park, New England, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. among many other areas on the globe.

Jan loves the outdoors and activities such as camping, hiking and canoeing. Ecology and Conservation are his favorite subject matters.   

Rest assured Jan will handle your group professionally and with a good measure of enthusiasm and passion.



  • Tour members travel to one of the twenty U.S. ICELANDAIR gateways to Iceland and check in for their flight.
  • Late afternoon/evening departure for Iceland. All flights are non-stop.
  • You will be flying on a Boeing 757-200 aircraft
  • Flying time from the US to Iceland is between 6 and 7 hours depending on your dep airport.

It is an overnight flight. You will arrive in Iceland early the following morning.



  • Tour members arrive at Keflavík Airport in the early morning on several flights.
  • The group is met and assembled on arrival by local tour guide Birgir Blöndal.
  • Your “Monster” transportation – an all-terrain vehicle is ready at the curb.
  • Breakfast at Viking World Museum; the 1stchance to get acquainted and meet tour leaders John Chumack, Jan Mayer and Birgir.
  • Proceed to nearby famous Blue Lagoon for a 2-hour relaxing visit.
  • Lunch break
  • Drive east through Landeyjahöfn. Board ferry Herjólfur for the 30-minute crossing to the Westman Islands.
  • Check in at 3-star Hótel Vestmannaeyjar, the best hotel in town – for a 3-night stay.
  • Meet / Mix in the lounge. John Chumack lays out the plans for the days to come.
  • “Welcome to Iceland” dinner at Einsi Kaldi.



  • Morning excursion of Heimaey, the main island with local tour guide Sigurjón Aðalsteinsson and Pall Zophoniasson, a prior mayor of Vestmannaeyjar at the time of the Eldfell volcanic eruption in 1973, the two best authorities of Westman Island’s history, nature and attractions.
  • Visit Eldfell, the volcano that caused the destruction of much of the town in 1973, when Heimaey had to be evacuated and about 400 houses were buried in lava and ash. The island has been called “The Pompeii of the North” ever since.
  • Visit Eldheimar, the spectacular Volcano Museum. The displays are centered on an excavated home which was buried by ash during the eruption. The audio guides provide you with a true sense of the dramatic history of Heimaey.
  • Tour the world’s only Whale & Puffin Sanctuary. Enjoy a boat excursion across Klettsvík Bay and meet Beluga Whales “Little White” and “Little Grey”.
  • Dinner at Gott Restaurant. Enjoy the best of Icelandic lamb – a delicacy. Iceland claims to be the home of the world’s best lamb. This may be correct, consdiering the healthy diet of Icelandic sheep, who thrive on fresh green grass as they roam free in the highlands.
  • 1st day of photography with John Chumack
  • Scout for Northern Lights after dark. Sunset is about 4:50pm this time of year. This makes it convenient to photograph the Northern Lights in the late afternoon and evening.



The Westman Islands are the best kept secret in Iceland, a real gem for tourists and photographers alike. Towering cliffs, spectacular volcanos and crashing ocean waves are all part and parcel of nature on the islands. – within easy reach.

You’ll appreciate staying 3 nights in the same place, avoiding packing and unpacking daily. The hotel is excellent, the meals superb and Heimaey will keep you busy beyond imagination.

Iceland offers an abundance of fresh seafood and the Westman Islands are known for their selection of excellent restaurants, which is amazing, considering its small (4500) population. Your’e sure to enjoy some of the best fish and lobster dishes of your life.

Einsi Kaldi, owner and master chef of the restaurant will prepare a feast that you may find somewhat unusual, fascinating, but indeed delicious.

  • Full day of photography
  • Drive to Lyngfell Horse Farm to photograph and pet the Icelandic horses. You can also take a short ride, if you like. The Icelandic Horses are loved and admired by all visitors to Iceland. The Icelandic breed is one of the purest in the world. It is known for its amazing strength, sure-footedness and stamina. It was first brought to Iceland by the vikings who settled the country in the years 874-930.
  • Scout for Northern Lights. If and when the Northern Lights appear we’ll jump into our faithful tour vehicle and head for the best vantage points on the island.
  • Dinner at Einsi Kaldi. You are in for a special treat – the best of Westman Island Cuisine.


    DAY 5


    • Leave Westman Islands by the morning ferry.
    • Visit two of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls; Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
    • Proceed to the wilds of Iceland in Þorsmörk, a valley hidden between three glaciers – an adventure expedition.
    • Check in at cozy Hótel Laekur.
    • Enjoy dinner – Icelandic arctic char.
    • Hit the Hot Pot or study the Northern Lights.

    DAY 6


    • Depart on an excursion to include some of the major natural attractions in Iceland.
    • Drive north to Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall that spans the Hvita River and sprays mist on those who come near to marvel at its beauty.
    • A short drive to the west takes us to the Geysir geothermal area, where a number of boiling, bubbling and spouting hot springs are seen in an eerie moonlike landscape.




    • Visit Geysir, which all geysers are named after. Though it rarely erupts, nearby Strokkur keeps the show alive, erupting every 4-8 minutes.
    • Drive on to Friðheimar Farm, an amazing greenhouse & horse-breeding complex. Gain an insight to the uses of geothermal heating in Iceland. Savor a unique food experience – a tomato soup and fresh baked bread, with tomatoes growing all around you.
    • After lunch, enjoy a horse show that provides an understanding of the remarkable Icelandic horse breed. The display is followed by a “Meeting with the Horses” in their stables. 
    • Return to Hótel Laekur. You can look forward to another delicious dinner.

      DAY 7


      • Drive to Reykjavík, the colorful and lively capital of Iceland (56 miles).
      • Enjoy a 2-hour City Tour of Reykjavík with a local tour guide. First visit Hallgrímskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland and a prominent landmark. It is Sunday morning and the Church will be filled with light and music. The church is of distinctive Icelandic design, dedicated to the most revered, sacred poet of Iceland, Hallgrímur Pétursson.

      A statue of Leif (Leifur) Eriksson is aligned directly in front of the church. It was a gift from the U.S. to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the foundation of the Icelandic parliament., a tacit acknowledgement that Leif beat Christopher Columbus to North America by almost 500 years

      You will enjoy the view of the city from the top of the water tanks that feed the city with hot water. You will drive by the University of Iceland, the Parliament, National Theater and Harpa, the new Concert Hall. Drive through residential areas and the harbor where older buildings have been retrofitted as boutiques and restaurants.

      • Check in at Hótel Plaza, located on Íngólfstorg, the main square in the heart of the “old city,” with restaurants, shopping and nightlife on your doorstep.
      • “Ode to Iceland” dinner is served at Matur & Drykkur Restaurant – the very best of Icelandic cuisine.

      DAY 8


      • Free day in Reykjavík
      • Lunch and dinner on your own
      • Suggested optional features:

      Morning: Visit the Whale Museum followed by a 5-hour Whale Watching Excursion. Cruise Faxaflói Bay on a comfortable boat. The most common species in the winter is the White-Beaked Dolphin, the Harbor Porpoise as well as Minke and Humpback Whale. The winter cruises also offer opportunities to see many seabirds that call Iceland home, such as guillemots, gannets, cormorants &  eider ducks. $192

      Lunch: Visit one of the downtown hot dog stands for eina með öllu (one with everything). You will be right back for more. The Icelandic hotdogs are delicious; contain a secret mix of pork, beef and lamb.

      Afternoon: A 3-hour excursion to Þingvellir, the national shrine of Iceland, – the site of the ancient Icelandic Parliament, and a meeting point of the continental plates, a geological phenomenon. Þing-vellir is a designated UNESCO Heritage Site. $65

      Evening: Enjoy a musical performance at Harpa, the new and magnificent culture center. Program information will be available in the summer of 2020.

      DAY 9

      Depart REYKJAVIK for home

      • Last day in Iceland, – free without a program.
      • Transfer to Keflavík
      • Departure by ICELANDAIR for the US.


      November 7 – 15, 2020
      Price: from $4,686 – Single + $485