If you are utilising a summer self-drive package that guides you around the entire ring-road of Iceland, the Westfjords and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, such as these, which go over ten, thirteen and fourteen days, this ferry trip is included in your itinerary and in the price. What about the other towns? Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year. * Ísafjarðardjúp, the Westfjords The island Vigur is the largest of three islands in the fjord, and a good place to see puffins. While great whales do not frequent its waters so reliably, the area is the best place in the country to find the elusive and magnificent orca. The most affordable and direct trip will take you out in a boat that has been visiting these islands for seventeen years; it is small enough to get close to the islands safely and quietly, yet still has a sheltered area in case it the weather becomes problematic. Puffins are sea-birds and use the waves for resting when not swimming. Can you find puffins throughout the year? It is, in my opinion, an extremely cute turf house, buil, Discover the waterfall Gljúfrabúi The great thing about travelling around Iceland are all the different and unique spots and areas you can discover when driving around. This occurs throughout the summer; therefore, the puffin-watching season in Iceland lasts from June to September. The fact that they nest in the same places they were born, and only nest when there are other puffins around, means that certain places in Iceland are undoubtedly the best in the world for this special kind of birdwatching. Seeing puffins in Iceland is a magical experience, especially for a bird lover. Puffins are just one of the dozens of species of birds that come here to nest; you will also find guillemots, northern gannets, auks and forty percent of the world’s razorbills. Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? How close will they let you get? Here are the best places to see puffins in Iceland. Tour guides Paulina Pierzak and Armann Ægisson, for example, found a puffling at midnight in downtown Reykjavík, likely confused by the lights, and as bewildered as to see them as they were it. The Atlantic puffin breeds in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and the Faroe Islands, and as far south as Maine in the west and parts of Great Britain in the east. Dyrhólaey is a great stop if you are heading to the sites of the south-east, such as Skaftafell Nature Reserve and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Iceland is home to more than 60% of the Earth's entire Atlantic puffin population, with anywhere from 8–10 million puffins inhabiting the island. How long is the period in which you can experience the midnight sun in Iceland? There are more than one puffin species but the one that breeds in Iceland is the so called Atlantic Puffin . Like at Látrabjarg, you can expect to see the puffins nesting with a number of other species, such as kittiwakes and guillemots; because Ingólfshöfði has a rich vegetation, however, you can also expect a wealth of seafowl that includes many of the country’s saltwater duck species. It is named after Ingólfur Arnarson, Iceland’s first settler to come here by choice, as it is where he first wintered before settling in Reykjavík. The colonies in themselves are also part of the appeal of these charming birds, as they can number in the tens of thousands. It is, for example, just an hour’s drive from Lake Mývatn, an area renowned for its diverse array of geological and geothermal wonders. They are not only good swimmers but can also flap their wings very fast up to 400 times pr minute and can reach speeds of 80 km an hour. When does the midnight sun take place in Iceland? If you wish to spend more of your time on land, however, you need not worry; there are colonies in the cliffs here too. Grimsey Island is easy to reach for any travellers to North Iceland; ferries run throughout the summer from Akureyri, and flights from its domestic airport go on throughout the year. I started looking for ways to see these puffins in Iceland and came across a whale watching tour combined with a visit to “Puffin Island”. Photo from Whale Watching on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The peninsula is also in a convenient location near other awe-inspiring sites of the North. Driving Route 1 South, you cannot miss this enormous landmark. Although your operator will do their best not to disturb any animals, you may see a puffin take off in flight from the ocean, which is quite an entertaining sight. source: Wikipedia. Althoug… As will be discussed below, once on Heimaey it is possible to take a boat tour, which will introduce you to islands teeming with puffin life. The final place in Iceland where you are guaranteed to see a great colony of Iceland’s favourite animal is on Grimsey Island, the only Icelandic territory north of the Arctic Circle. As discussed earlier, if you want to make the most of the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in the world, you can take boat tours from Heimaey in the Westman Islands to fully immerse yourself in an avian spectacle. If one takes off in a panic, all the others may follow suit; they tend to flock together and fly in a tight circle above where they are nesting, to intimidate and protect from potential predation. While in September, there will certainly still be a few puffins at, say, Vestmannaeyjar, they are likely to have already left Grimsey by mid-August. Photo from Spectacular 2.5 Hour Big Whale Safari & Puffin Watching RIB Boat Tour with Transfer from Husavik. While admiring them, you can keep an eye out for the elusive ptarmigans, great cormorants, and black guillemots. The breeding season of puffins stars in early May. No matter where you are based in the country with the obvious exception of the Highlands, a puffin colony will be easy to reach and return from within a day. While it is not so easy to book a trip to see puffins specifically, there are tours that combine the experience with whale-watching; considering the number of Humpback Whales in these waters, and the areas’ tendency to invite even mightier creatures such as the Blue Whale, this is hardly a problem. Now, it is a paradise of birds (with puffins and guillemots being the main residents) and seals. You do not, therefore, want to be responsible for emptying the cliffs at a popular bird-watching destination just because you thought a puffin wanted to be stroked. In spite of this, however, you may have a bizarre stroke of luck and find a puffin or a puffling somewhere you would never think. Most of these tours will make a stop at Flatey island, which is renowned for the sheer number of puffins that crowd it. If taking a self-drive tour around the whole country, this town will be visited on the day in which you head from the Jökulsárlón/Höfn area to Egilsstaðir, the largest settlement of the east. Iceland is spectacular in so many ways and Icelandic nature is quite unique with its vast landscape, volcanic activity, geothermal areas, glacier lagoons and sceneries, black sand beaches and spect... People have been asking me where to find lupines in Iceland. Dyrhólaey is the closest to Reykjavik, only 2.5 hours’ drive. Rauðasandur is a nearby beach, renowned for its unusual pinkish sands, an anomaly in Iceland. With millions of these sweet little birds fluttering around on the coast, finding them might seem easy. You may see some individuals abseiling down the cliff-faces on ropes, foraging for eggs and feathers; there is a long tradition of this in Iceland, dating back centuries, which continues today under regulation. Dyrhólaey is a protected nature area in Iceland and access to the area is closed during a certain period of the puffin nesting season in order to help protect the puffins and other nesting birds from disturbances by both tourists and hunters. If you’ve come to Iceland to see puffins, you’re in luck; 60% of the world’s Atlantic puffins live here. If neither of these trips appeals to you or fit into your schedule, you also have a great chance of catching puffins simply by taking the Baldur ferry from Stykkishólmur to Bránslækur in the Westfjords, or visa versa. That’s right, you don’t need to travel to Iceland or the Faroe Islands to see puffins. 5 Day Self Drive South Coast Tour | The Golden Circle & Jökulsárlon Glacier Lagoon. Puffins are ‘Threatened’ according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); their populations are in decline across their range, including in Iceland, so ensuring that you do not hinder their protection will help in their recovery efforts. Avid birdwatchers seeking more than just puffins should head just a few minutes south-east of the peninsula to Víkingavatn, the Viking Lake. Those travelling around the country may have this in their plans anyway, as the ferry carries cars and is the quickest way to get between the two locations. The beak fades to gray during the winter but blooms into orange colour in the spring time. So I booked. Their favourite food is probably herring and sand eels. Best time of the day to spot them is in the morning (07:00-10:00) and in the evening (18:00-22:00). Standing atop Dyrhólaey, however, means that the landscapes around you may even steal your attention from the birds you came to see. With a large part of this population walking almost hand in wing with humans during the summer season, it is definitely something Icelanders are proud of. During that time they will create huge colonies on the land. A great advantage of birdwatching from Tjörnes is the fact that, when looking out to the ocean, you have a good chance of spotting whales and dolphins. After a night regaining strength in a cardboard box with some water and crackers, little Puffer was released back into the wild. Many of the little isles and rock crops you will pass (and, of course, linger at) will be packed with puffins, and throughout the tour, you will see many in the air and water. It is as easy to take a puffin watching boat tour from the northern towns of Akureyri and Húsavík as it is from Reykjavík; throughout the summer, multiple operators set out into Eyjafjörður and Skjálfandi respectively, and return with incredible success rates. Finally, it also provides a better chance to see more of the animals that many hope to catch in Iceland, such as Humpback Whales (which also migrate to Iceland for the summer) and White Beaked Dolphins. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Guillaume Baviere. If you like them you should be able to find them easily in Iceland in summer. The Atlantic Puffin is most commonly found on the Westman Islands, Iceland. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Common, by Gsd97jks. East Iceland Borgarfjörður Eystri. It was, after all, home to Keiko, the long-suffering orca that played Free Willy, prior to his release back into the wild. It is little wonder why so many coming to Iceland seek out the nation’s puffin population. Iceland puffins . Breiðafjörður is the fjord that separates the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords. Puffin Birds in Iceland Iceland has the largest puffin population in the Atlantic and is rightfully considered the puffin capital of the world. The scenery can be quite amazing as the sun sets into the ocean. Furthermore, if you disturb one puffin, you may actually unsettle the whole colony. Discover all you need to know about Iceland’s most adorable animal. When is the Best Time to Visit Iceland to See Puffins? Due to the cautious nature of these birds when choosing a place to nest, however, you are unlikely to find any in a location that is not known for its puffins. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Milan Nykodym. Did you know that Atlantic puffins spend most of their lives at sea, but return to land to form breeding colonies during spring and summer? Which mountains are the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, where are they located and what kind of mountains can you find in Iceland? Iceland’s puffin season runs from early April through to September. Many operators also run private tours to the island, of which there are options to get there by boat or by plane. Are there any tours particularly tailored to puffin watching? Puffins spend most of the year out at sea bobbing around on the waves only returning to land during the summer months for the breeding season. Read more: 5 Things you need to know about Puffins This unusual bay in the west of Iceland is strewn with islands and skerries where are various species of birds like puffins. Puffins are visible only during the mating season. With anywhere from 8 to 10 million puffins inhabiting the island, puffins are definitely something Icelanders are proud of and that they care for and respect. There are literally millions and millions of individuals, which collectively turn Látrabjarg into a breathtaking natural wonder. It is the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean; two related species, the tufted puffin and the horned puffin, are found in the northeastern Pacific. Despite the declining population of Atlantic puffins in Iceland and around the world, you can still find over 5 million cuddling up on the country’s cliffs during the warmer seasons. There are lots of spots where you can see puffins in Iceland during the summer. They cannot be seen all year, however. The total population of puffins in Iceland is estimated to be between 8 and 10 million birds. Ingólfshöfði has more appeal to it than just its nature. Even if you overlook a puffin-watching segment and simply take a standard whale-watching tour, you are still more than likely to see puffins, bobbing like corks in the ocean or fluttering overhead. Almost one million puffins live here during puffin season. Puffins nest on clifftops in huge colonies, where they each dig a burrow to lay a single egg. They cannot be seen all year, however. The Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar, off the South Coast of Iceland, have the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in the world; thirty different species nest over the archipelago, but puffins are by far the most numerous. Ever Heard About the Puffin Island of Grímsey? Best time to see the puffin in Iceland. Puffin is a culinary speciality of the Faroe Islands, in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is also home to an old lighthouse and some long-since deserted fishing huts, which, as unhomely as they appear, once kept the few residents of the area from the brink of starvation. They really make your day and put a smile on your face. While Atlantic Puffins are found across Northern Europe from Iceland to Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia (and occasionally a tad further south), Ireland is certainly one of the easiest places to spot these adorably iconic birds. Are the Icelandic roads dangerous? If travelling in summer, then you should make every effort to get to at least one of them; you will not regret it. For example, you could take this adventure, which combines a cruise with a freshly caught seafood dinner served as sushi, blending Icelandic ingredients and ingenuity with Japanese style. Although they are hunted responsibly, and eating puffin is not considered taboo here, there is a strong push from many in Iceland to ban the practice at least until the population comes back into recovery. What is the condition of the Icelandic currency? Where is the Best Place to See Puffins from Land? Most people visiting come only for the novelty of having their passport stamped with the proof they entered a polar region, and are surprised to find the wealth of birdlife present. I really hope you will be able to see those marvellous birds while travelling. Best time to spot puffins is in end of April until early September. 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