That’s right, you don’t need to travel to Iceland or the Faroe Islands to see puffins. See this. 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. 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. 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 most influencing weather element is the wind. If you like them you should be able to find them easily in Iceland in summer. Win! 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. 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. Due to the harsh decrease in puffins' population, Ireland becomes one of the unique spots for watching them in the wild. * Ísafjarðardjúp, the Westfjords The island Vigur is the largest of three islands in the fjord, and a good place to see puffins. 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. One of the best adventures you could have in Northumberland is sailing over to the Farne Islands during puffin season. East Iceland Borgarfjörður Eystri. How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? It is the best place in Iceland to see the elusive and mighty Fin Whale, and the second-best place, after Breiðafjörður, to see Killer Whales. The world’s largest puffin colony is actually found in the Westman Islands where you can grab a ferry. The Atlantic Puffins that summer in Iceland nest within coastal cliffs across the country. Further along the South Coast from Dyrhólaey, between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón, you can find Ingólfshöfði Cape and Nature Reserve. 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. Now, it is a paradise of birds (with puffins and guillemots being the main residents) and seals. These islands have a fascinating history of runaway slaves, murders of vengeance, pirate attacks and, most recently, an eruption that threatened to engulf the main town. The ‘Capital of the North’, the cultural town of Akureyri, is just an hour and a half away. While puffins are out at sea, it’s difficult to spot them. 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. They are excellent swimmers using their wings to stroke underwater. 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. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Guillaume Baviere. Can you find puffins throughout the year? That is also the time when puffins have brightly colored beaks and are … 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. There are about 10 million adorable puffins in Iceland and they are often seen casually walking around when in season. 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. It is, for example, just an hour’s drive from Lake Mývatn, an area renowned for its diverse array of geological and geothermal wonders. Luckily, however, there are puffin colonies just a few hours away along the South Coast, the closest being at Dyrhólaey Rock Arch. 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. 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. By the end of July or occasionally the start of August the puffins will have left us again for another season. Best time of the day to spot them is in the morning (07:00-10:00) and in the evening (18:00-22:00). To find puffin tours in Iceland go here: Puffin & whale watching tours. 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. Two islands out in Faxafloí Bay, Akurey and Lundi, become the nesting grounds for thousands of these darling creatures every summer. They cannot be seen all year, however. This occurs throughout the summer; therefore, the puffin-watching season in Iceland lasts from June to September. 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. Photo from Puffin and Volcano Tour | Westman Islands. This makes puffins quite as awe-inspiring collectively as they are adorable individually. While cases like those mentioned above in downtown Reykjavík and the greenhouses in Selfoss are uncommon, finding a lost puffin in Vestmannaeyjar is a regular occurrence. Photo from Up Close 2 Hour Whale & Puffin Watching Boat Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik. 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. Here are the best places to see puffins in Iceland. 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. Iceland puffins . 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. Then it will be time for the Alderney Wildlife Trust ecologists to see how the population has fared in the 2020 puffin season. Just off the shore of East Iceland is another enormous puffin colony that can be reached by boat. 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. In most places, there will be markers showing you the closest you can get, so for the safety of everyone involved, follow their guidance. 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. If you’ve come to Iceland to see puffins, you’re in luck; 60% of the world’s Atlantic puffins live here. Read more: 5 Things you need to know about Puffins From Húsavík, you can book a tour on a RIB vessel to head out in hunt of diverse wildlife. This unusual bay in the west of Iceland is strewn with islands and skerries where are various species of birds like puffins. So I booked. You won't find it difficult to observe these birds if you visit their most favourite spots such as Great Saltee, the Cliffs of Moher, and Skellig Michael. 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. While certainly an impressive sight during winter, it is throughout the summer that these cliffs truly come alive. When is the best season to see puffins in Iceland. They cannot be seen all year, however. Photo from Affordable 1 Hour Puffin Watching Boat Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik. Iceland is the only country in the world, where you can hunt Puffins. At fourteen kilometres long and over four hundred metres high, they are one of the most popular attractions in the Westfjords. To conclude, Iceland is the puffin-watching capital of the world. Puffins in Iceland Where to find puffins in Iceland. You don't need to go f, The best time to capture the sunset at Kirkjufell mountain would be from the beginning of july and until the end of august. If travelling in summer, then you should make every effort to get to at least one of them; you will not regret it. 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. Read on to discover our guide on spending and saving money in Icel... How safe is it to travel in Iceland? Book your complete trip with the best companies only. The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), also known as the common puffin, is a species of seabird in the auk family. After a night regaining strength in a cardboard box with some water and crackers, little Puffer was released back into the wild. Seeing these creatures is a blessing, no matter where you are in the world. This occurs throughout the summer; therefore, the puffin-watching season in Iceland lasts from June to September. 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. They spend most of their lives at sea. Puffins on Latrabjarg, Hornbjarg, Hornstrandir, Haelavikurbjarg, Breidafjord and … This is an incredible opportunity to connect with nature, but, of course, needs to be done so with respect to the animal. Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year. With 8 to 10 million puffins inhabiting the island, Iceland is home for more than 60% of the world’s entire Atlantic puffin population. Puffins are visible only during the mating season. Whale watching in Breiðafjorður is higher risk, higher reward kind of experience, as compared to Reykjavík or Húsavík. Puffins have traditionally been hunted for food in Iceland ― and still are. There are binoculars on board so that you can get a perfect view of the nesting puffins. There is even a live bird video stream available from Borgarfjarðarhöfn. There are fewer other species of bird than at Látrabjarg (although eider ducks are also numerous), but the puffins still number in the thousands. They return to land and form colonies for breeding and hatching their young. 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. As you can hear puffins are not only cute, but also quite smart. While admiring them, you can keep an eye out for the elusive ptarmigans, great cormorants, and black guillemots. Information on where the best place to see puffins plus tips and information about these beautiful birds, including when to … Photo from Scenic 1 Hour Small Island Boat Tour in Vestmannaeyjar with Transfer from Heimaey Harbor. Every summer in Borgarfjörður, about 10,000 puffin couples nest alongside about 20 other species of bird. Puffins are sociable when on land, and look to each other to determine the safety of their environment. Where is the best place to see puffins in Iceland? 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. It sits right beside the town of Húsavík and Skjalfandi bay, the whale-watching epicentre of Iceland and arguably all of Europe. Something to be aware of if planning a visit to Grimsey is that, because of how far north it is, the puffins tend to migrate a little earlier than in much of the rest of the country. See more ideas about Puffin, Iceland, Puffins bird. 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. 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. Because of this skill Icelanders developed, an incredible rescue was possible when the British trawler Dhoon crashed at the bottom of Látrabjarg. Are there any tours particularly tailored to puffin watching? They spread out widely across the Atlantic Ocean. 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. 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. This hidden gem of a destination is surrounded by mighty cliffs, and only accessible by crossing the dunes to its north-west; its sheltered, protected location makes it a thriving home for Iceland’s puffins and other birds. Puffins nest on clifftops in huge colonies, where they each dig a burrow to lay a single egg. Látrabjarg is renowned for its dramatic scale and unmatched bird-watching but is also a place of Icelandic culture, tradition and history. Dyrhólaey is the closest to Reykjavik, only 2.5 hours’ drive. The colonies in themselves are also part of the appeal of these charming birds, as they can number in the tens of thousands. Guidelines for Bird Watching in Iceland Unfortunately, there aren't any tours into Breiðafjörður focussed on locating and admiring its puffins. 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. The ability to see so many different types of birds in one spot is highly unusual. The scenery can be quite amazing as the sun sets into the ocean. Secondly, it allows you to watch puffins doing more than just guarding their burrows, such as bobbing in the water and diving for fish. Discover a wide range of Mountain Tours Why not join this Mo... What are the best options for your stopover in Iceland? Furthermore, if you disturb one puffin, you may actually unsettle the whole colony. Indeed, nearly 5,000 of these pufflings were picked up and put back on track by the local children last season. Pretty amazing and probably to attract potential mates. For your best chance at seeing puffins without getting on a boat, you are much better checking out one of the five places listed below. Even so, however, there are multiple boat trips you can take from the historic town of Stykkishólmur that will allow you to explore the fjord and see these birds both nesting and hunting in the waters. Photo from Whale Watching on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Spending a full day or two in the Westman Islands will provide you with more than just an excellent puffin watching experience. The birds are at sea for eight months a year but we would be there bang in the middle of puffin season in Iceland. Many operators also run private tours to the island, of which there are options to get there by boat or by plane. It is little wonder why so many coming to Iceland seek out the nation’s puffin population. The winners, who claimed their third trophy of the season, were the Kópvogur Puffins. After already getting a glimpse of these adorable orange-beaked birds along the cliffs at Dyrhólaey, I was even more thrilled about making the side trip to Borgarfjörður eystri to get a closer look (without the risk of tumbling over a cliffs edge!) 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. Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year. After all, they nest in lifelong pairs, nurture their chicks as a couple, and have clear social bonds within the colony. Puffin viewing season in Iceland is from late April to mid August. 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. 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. Puffin Birds in Iceland Iceland has the largest puffin population in the Atlantic and is rightfully considered the puffin capital of the world. Puffins are Iceland‘s most popular bird for a reason. 5 Day Self Drive South Coast Tour | The Golden Circle & Jökulsárlon Glacier Lagoon. 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. Taking a boat tour from Reykjavík’s Old Harbour to see an island full of puffins seems too convenient to be true, but from May to August, is more than a possibility. Breiðafjörður is another place where puffins can be found. Standing atop Dyrhólaey, however, means that the landscapes around you may even steal your attention from the birds you came to see. 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. 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. Althoug… On Heimaey, a centuries-long tradition of hunting puffins has shifted to a culture of conservation. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Common, by Gsd97jks. The Atlantic Puffin belongs to the Guillemot bird family. The breeding season of puffins stars in early May. How close will they let you get? If you like them you should be able to find them easily in Iceland in summer. Atlantic puffins breed in the islands in large numbers, notably on Mykines, and from July, after the breeding season, it is legal to catch them for food.. Puffins are also harvested and eaten in Iceland, especially in the Westmen Isles 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. It is also possible, however, to combine your puffin-watching trip with a whale-watch. During that time they will create huge colonies on the land. Their favourite food is probably herring and sand eels. Several bird-watching trails will take you to see the puffins; one leads to its outermost tip, called Voladalstorfa, while another runs along the cliffs by Skeiðsöxl. 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. If you wish to take a step further to protect the puffins while in Iceland, you could avoid purchasing their meat. Plenty of Puffins. To both the east and the west, you can see the South Coast stretching far in both directions; to the east, the views are particularly great, as they go across the notorious black-sand beach of Reynisfjara to the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. 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. From Akureyri, there is not quite the same centre of puffin life, but there are whale-watching tours that focus on finding seabirds too, such as this one, that will most likely result in you seeing many of these creatures in the seas and on the craggy coasts of Eyjafjorður. 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. Both of these will grant you fantastic views of the colony. The Atlantic Puffin is most commonly found on the Westman Islands, Iceland. This takes us all the way to July when the young puffins, of pufflings begin to fledge. With millions of these sweet little birds fluttering around on the coast, finding them might seem easy. There are lots of spots where you can see puffins in Iceland during the summer. It was, after all, home to Keiko, the long-suffering orca that played Free Willy, prior to his release back into the wild. Ingólfshöfði has more appeal to it than just its nature. 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. Also they are great divers and can dive up to 60 metres. 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. 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