Not content with being one of the most spectacular natural wonders on earth, what with its glaciers, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs and lava fields, Iceland is also home to some of the best whale watching on earth, the only trick is knowing where to go – and when.
A good day of whale watching is one of the most memorable travel experiences you can have. Getting up close and personal with some of the largest creatures on earth, watching these gentle giants pitching and rolling in the waves beneath you and, if you’re lucky, breaching in spectacular style will stay with you for years to come.
But where is the best place to go whale watching in Iceland? With more than 20 species of whales living in the seas around Iceland it can be hard to figure out exactly the best place to go, which is why in this blog we’re going to outline the best spots on the island for whale watching, based on your needs.
Whale Watching with Ease – Reykjavik
Iceland’s location in the north Atlantic, along with its vast fjords filled with fish and plankton, means that the entire coastline can offer great opportunities to spot whales, even in the country’s capital.
The shallow, nutrient rich bay of Faxaflói provides a great location from which to search for minke and humpback whales, as well as porpoises, dolphins and sea birds. There are a wide variety of whale watching expeditions on offer that run from the Old Harbour in the city, and range from around 3 hours to full days out.
Whether you take a converted fishing vessel or opt for an exciting adventure on a RIB, you are almost certain to see whales (especially in the summer months), and even if you don’t, the majority of companies will give you a complimentary ticket to try again the next day.
If you want somewhere to go whale watching with ease in Iceland, it doesn’t get much better than Reykjavik.
The Whale Watching Capital of Iceland – Húsavík
Húsavík is a small, picturesque harbour town in a remote corner of north-east Iceland, with a population of just two and a half thousand right on the coastline of Skjálfandi Bay – one of the best places to see whales in the world.
A total of 24 different types of cetacean enter the bay, which gets its reputation as whale watching capital of Iceland thanks to the mineral rich waters that enter the bay via snowmelt and the rivers that bring nutrients from inland.
Whales are so common here in fact, especially between the months of May and September, that locals are entirely desensitised to the site of humpback whales coming to the surface every ten minutes or so.
If you want to see the spectacular site of countless whales breaching and cruising about in shallow waters from a variety of tours, and have your best chance of seeing the unforgettable site of a blue whale, Húsavík is the whale watching destination for you.