So I booked. Protecting the puffins you are watching is not only important because they are cute and it’s the decent thing to do. Puffins roost on the surface of the ocean and only come on land in order to breed, lay their eggs, incubate them, and raise their chicks until they fledge. But in the Westman Islands, residents’ relationship with these iconic birds is changing. If you are interested in a guided photo tour or want to participate in our upcoming workshop feel free to get more info by mail. Whale watching in Breiðafjorður is higher risk, higher reward kind of experience, as compared to Reykjavík or Húsavík. Read more: 5 Things you need to know about Puffins Best time of the day to spot them is in the morning (07:00-10:00) and in the evening (18:00-22:00). 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. With their orange legs, striped colorful beak, and black and white plumage, these small birds are adorably cute. 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. 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. Though it is available throughout the year, taking this tour between May and September almost guarantees that you will see several islands with thriving puffin colonies. When they are nesting, puffins are often very easy to see and approach; in spite of being hunted and having their eggs raided in Iceland for a millennium, they have very little fear of people, and it is easy to get within a metre of them in some places. Almost one million puffins live here during puffin season. 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. What makes them special is the penguin like colour with a very colourful beak. The Atlantic Puffin belongs to the Guillemot bird family. With caution, you can approach more closely, being sure to stay approximately a metre from the edge so that you don’t accidentally cave in a hidden puffin burrow. Puffins roost on the surface of the ocean and only come on land in order to breed, lay their eggs, incubate them, and raise their chicks until they fledge. 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. 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. 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. While the Látrabjarg birdwatching cliffs are well worth a visit, to reach them is a seven-hour drive from Reykjavík, making it quite a schlep for those staying in the capital. There are fewer other species of bird than at Látrabjarg (although eider ducks are also numerous), but the puffins still number in the thousands. With 8 to 10 million puffins inhabiting the island, Iceland is home for more than 60% of the world’s entire Atlantic puffin population. There are certain places along the coast where they nest in vast numbers, which you can rent a car to drive to and approach yourself, and boat tours from destinations all around the country that will take you to islands that they seasonally colonise. There are several advantages to taking a boat tour to see puffins, rather than just walking up to them on the shore. If you wish to spend more of your time on land, however, you need not worry; there are colonies in the cliffs here too. During that time they will create huge colonies on the land. In many of these, you can follow a trail to reach them, without having to book a boat tour. Papey is a low-lying island, just two kilometres squared, that since 1948 has been deserted of full-time residents. Unfortunately, there aren't any tours into Breiðafjörður focussed on locating and admiring its puffins. Seeing puffins in Iceland is a magical experience, especially for a bird lover. When does the midnight sun take place in Iceland? After all, they nest in lifelong pairs, nurture their chicks as a couple, and have clear social bonds within the colony. From Húsavík, you can book a tour on a RIB vessel to head out in hunt of diverse wildlife. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Guillaume Baviere. Up close, you will also see that it has unusual, hexagonal basalt columns, rare formations that can only be found in a few places around the world. If you wish to take a step further to protect the puffins while in Iceland, you could avoid purchasing their meat. The total population of puffins in Iceland is estimated to be between 8 and 10 million birds. 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. One bird gets more than a square kilometer for itself (0.4 mi²), so you’ll never see a group of puffins on the sea.. Ingólfshöfði has more appeal to it than just its nature. The Atlantic Puffins that summer in Iceland nest within coastal cliffs across the country. They cannot be seen all year, however. Coming to these cliffs just for the bird-watching is well worth the trip, but thankfully, many other wonders of the Westfjords are close by for when you’ve had your fill. Further along the South Coast from Dyrhólaey, between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón, you can find Ingólfshöfði Cape and Nature Reserve. * Ísafjarðardjúp, the Westfjords The island Vigur is the largest of three islands in the fjord, and a good place to see puffins. The winners, who claimed their third trophy of the season, were the Kópvogur Puffins. They are in bloom and visible almost wherever you drive aro... On my search for turf houses around Iceland, I visited Sænautasel hypothetical turf house on Jökuldalsheiði heath in the highland of Iceland. Here are the best places to see puffins in Iceland. If you want more information please feel free to send me a message. You will drive through the geothermal town of Hveragerði, where you can hike to and bathe in natural hot springs, and pass by two of the country’s favourite waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. This nook in the South Coast is often overlooked by travellers, so is the perfect place to come if you want to admire puffins without the crowds. Standing atop Dyrhólaey, however, means that the landscapes around you may even steal your attention from the birds you came to see. How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? Many trails will take you close to the cliff edge, where you can easily admire the many animals, be they nesting or swooping out to sea. It was, after all, home to Keiko, the long-suffering orca that played Free Willy, prior to his release back into the wild. 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. KOPAVOGUR PUFFINS MADE '' THE TREBLE '' The final tournament of the season was the Sixty Ball Shootout, a T10 event that placed maximum emphasis on fast-scoring, dynamic fielding and aggressive bowling. The world’s largest puffin colony is actually found in the Westman Islands where you can grab a ferry. 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. Many operators also run private tours to the island, of which there are options to get there by boat or by plane. 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. Win! The puffins are so numerous in the Westman Islands that there is a tradition in the town where the children help pufflings who have wandered away from the cliffs, confused by the lights of the town, make it to the ocean. Ever Heard About the Puffin Island of Grímsey? It sits right beside the town of Húsavík and Skjalfandi bay, the whale-watching epicentre of Iceland and arguably all of Europe. It is little wonder why so many coming to Iceland seek out the nation’s puffin population. See this. Puffins nest on clifftops in huge colonies, where they each dig a burrow to lay a single egg. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. Reaching Papey Island required you to take a boat trip from the sleepy village of Djúpivogur. They are excellent swimmers using their wings to stroke underwater. 15 Aug 2019. 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. It is, for example, just an hour’s drive from Lake Mývatn, an area renowned for its diverse array of geological and geothermal wonders. Curving out from a row of cliffs into the tumultuous ocean, Dyrhólaey is a fascinating example of Iceland’s dramatic landscapes, shaped over millennia by fire and water. 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. 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. 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. There is even a live bird video stream available from Borgarfjarðarhöfn. R... How expensive is Iceland? While puffins are out at sea, it’s difficult to spot them. While the former draws visitors throughout the year, and its other popular resident bird species, the rock ptarmigan, does not migrate, the area truly comes alive with the arrival of the puffins. With a body built for agile swimming, not for flying, they have to clumsily and energetically ‘sprint’ over the water, maniacally flapping their wings, to gain enough momentum to lift into the air. There are many museums and natural sites that you can spend hours exploring to learn about all of this colourful past. These tours do not necessarily market themselves as puffin-watching excursions, as puffins are just an expected part of the experience. 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. There are lots of spots where you can see puffins in Iceland during the summer. 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. Continue... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. Puffins, Auks, Gannets along with ... Another September breaks our heart when we see our dear puffins leaving Iceland. They return to land and form colonies for breeding and hatching their young. In clear weather to the north, you will be able to see Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers Katla volcano. Read more for the best spot to go for free to have an up-close experience of the puffins in east Iceland. After a night regaining strength in a cardboard box with some water and crackers, little Puffer was released back into the wild. Reaching Dyrhólaey from Reykjavík is a journey of fewer than three hours, but considering the number of features en route, will likely take much longer. There are 3 Puffin species in the world: The Tufted and Horned Puffins of the Pacific Ocean and our Atlantic Puffin. Avid birdwatchers seeking more than just puffins should head just a few minutes south-east of the peninsula to Víkingavatn, the Viking Lake. This part of your journey is mainly comprised of sightseeing landscapes, rather than specific features, so interrupting it with a boat trip to Papey can make for a great way to break up the day. Just off the shore of East Iceland is another enormous puffin colony that can be reached by boat. To conclude, Iceland is the puffin-watching capital of the world. They cannot be seen all year, however. There are many ways in which you can enjoy the puffins up close. Puffin viewing season in Iceland is from late April to mid August. Best time to see Puffins in Iceland. While certainly an impressive sight during winter, it is throughout the summer that these cliffs truly come alive. During the breeding season, this is as much as 8-10 million. Read ahead to learn all you need to know about safe travel in Iceland.... Guide to Iceland | The Story of the Leading Travel Agency of Iceland. 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. Will you need a rental car and how will time restraints shape the nature of your stay? Because of this skill Icelanders developed, an incredible rescue was possible when the British trawler Dhoon crashed at the bottom of Látrabjarg. 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. Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year. They spend most of their lives at sea. Due to the harsh decrease in puffins' population, Ireland becomes one of the unique spots for watching them in the wild. With millions of these sweet little birds fluttering around on the coast, finding them might seem easy. Pretty amazing and probably to attract potential mates. Most of these tours will make a stop at Flatey island, which is renowned for the sheer number of puffins that crowd it. The colonies in themselves are also part of the appeal of these charming birds, as they can number in the tens of thousands. During the nesting season, Borgarfjordur is home to about 10 000 pairs of puffins, which is quite an impressive number, which makes from the village one of the easiest spots to see puffins in Iceland. source: Wikipedia. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Common, by Gsd97jks. This cluster of 15 islands south of Iceland is the ideal place to spot some cute puffins. This unusual bay in the west of Iceland is strewn with islands and skerries where are various species of birds like puffins. Also they are great divers and can dive up to 60 metres. How do you sleep during the... Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls, but which are the best ones? When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? It is possible to approach the arch both from the beach and from atop the cliffs, and both directions will reveal to you the vast puffin colony that nests here throughout summer. See more ideas about Puffin, Iceland, Puffins bird. One of the best adventures you could have in Northumberland is sailing over to the Farne Islands during puffin season. Have a look at our self drive tours with hotels and detailed itinerary, Book your complete trip with the best companies only, 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. It is said that a troll who lived in the cliffs was renowned for cutting their ropes, and though forced by a bishop into a cave without any birds nesting around it, is still alive and hidden within Látrabjarg. It has many little islands dotting it and fertile waters making it a perfect place for puffins to nest. 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. Vestmannaeyjar – Largest puffin colony in the world! This takes us all the way to July when the young puffins, of pufflings begin to fledge. Icelandic word for puffin is “lundi”. When is the Best Time to Visit Iceland to See Puffins? So it is a … And, if you want to go Puffin watching, a summer road trip in Iceland is a great opportunity to see them from a close distance. 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. Iceland is the only country in the world, where you can hunt Puffins. Whatever region you’re staying, if you’re close to the ocean, there’s always the chance of spotting Puffins going about their daily lives. Photo from Affordable 1 Hour Puffin Watching Boat Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik. 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. Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year. 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. There are about 10 million adorable puffins in Iceland and they are often seen casually walking around when in season. 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. 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. 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. The fact, however, that in Iceland you can get so close to them, that they nest in such numbers, and that they nesting grounds are in such beautiful locations, puffin-watching over here has a special kind of magic. Iceland has the perfect spots for puffin breeding grounds as they prefer to nest on rocky cliff sides along the ocean, something of which Iceland has plenty of. How much money will you need when travelling in Iceland? Iceland’s most influencing weather element is the wind. The breeding season of puffins stars in early May. You could also jump onto this whale-watching tour in the final months of its season (it runs from November until June) for the same results. 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. This occurs throughout the summer; therefore, the puffin-watching season in Iceland lasts from June to September. Breiðafjörður is the fjord that separates the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords. What sites are within close proximity to the airport? Althoug… If you like them you should be able to find them easily in Iceland in summer. Where is the Best Place to See Puffins by Boat? Photo from Spectacular 2.5 Hour Big Whale Safari & Puffin Watching RIB Boat Tour with Transfer from Husavik. 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. Iceland does not have a rainy season, but precipitation peaks in October to February, with the southern and western parts receiving the most rainfall. East Iceland Borgarfjörður Eystri. Information on where the best place to see puffins plus tips and information about these beautiful birds, including when to … Breiðafjörður is another place where puffins can be found. Those who are taking the ring-road of Iceland will no doubt pass through here, as it is the first major settlement of the East Fjords if approaching from the South Coast. Iceland Puffins, beyond being adorable, colorful, and fun to watch, are actually mysterious little creatures. Seeing these creatures is a blessing, no matter where you are in the world. This makes puffins quite as awe-inspiring collectively as they are adorable individually. Dyrhólaey is the closest to Reykjavik, only 2.5 hours’ drive. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Milan Nykodym. Firstly, it provides you with a great opportunity to get out on the water and admire sites such as the peninsulas around Faxafloi bay from a unique perspective. Two islands out in Faxafloí Bay, Akurey and Lundi, become the nesting grounds for thousands of these darling creatures every summer. The North, East and Interior experience colder winter temperatures but warmer summers, and noticeably less snow and rain. Iceland is the world's puffin capital for sure! Reaching the Westman Islands throughout summer is easy; there are domestic flights from Reykjavík airport, and regular ferries running from the southern town of Þorlákshöfn. The birds are at sea for eight months a year but we would be there bang in the middle of puffin season in Iceland. There are more than one puffin species but the one that breeds in Iceland is the so called Atlantic Puffin. By the end of July or occasionally the start of August the puffins will have left us again for another season. 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