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Whale Watching in Iceland: Know the Best Places to Go!

whale watching iceland

Iceland has slowly been growing in reputation as one of Europe’s leading destinations for whale watching. As good a reason to visit this bucolic destination as for the Northern Lights or its famous hot springs.

From catching a glimpse of the smaller Harbour Porpoise or White-Beaked Dolphin from the nearby shore to traversing the deep waters of the Atlantic for visions of the Blue Whale or Humpback.

Do you want to discover the best spots to whale watching in Iceland? Stay in MC Luxury Travel Group, we explain everything you need to know!

Whale Watching in Iceland: The Best Spots!

If you are wondering, “Is whale watching worth it in Iceland?” Then it can help to know that whale watching itself, is an experience many never forget, especially when experienced off the coast of Iceland, among the cool waters of the Arctic Sea.

Oftentimes this experience imbues the witness with a deep sense of connection and gratitude towards these mammoth mammals of the sea.

If you’re asking yourself what whales can you see in Iceland, you might now that for starters, there have been up to 24 different species of whales spotted in Icelandic waters. However, the most common whales seen are the Humpback, Minke, Blue, Harbour Porpoise, Orca, and White-beaked dolphin varieties.

As mentioned, the Humpback Whale is the most common in the region and the summer travelers are almost guaranteed to see one in action. The melting snow of the winter months brings with it more food and nutrients to the depths of the fjords, providing even the largest members of the seas marine life with abundance.

It is not entirely uncommon to see both Harbour Porpoises or White-Beaked dolphins on one of these guided adventures as well.

There is a list of some of the species you can expect to see in Iceland while a whale watching tour.

And right below you will find the best places to see them!

Northern Iceland

Whale watching in Northern Iceland territories often provide the most memorable experience. Simply because of the abundance of whale activity and the knowledge the guides have of their migratory patterns. It is not uncommon for almost every guided whale tour during the summer to have a 100% success rate with spotting humpback whales.

If its a rarer sighting you are hoping for, then Northern Iceland is still your best bet for seeing the majesty of the Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Beaked, Narwhal, or a Beluga. One of the only locations in the country that has laid witness to such a large variety of whales.

Remember, no matter which whale you have the pleasure of spotting, traveling to a destination that is heavily populated with them will only increase your chances.

Keep reading to discover more places on where to go whale watching in Iceland.

Húsavík: First-class Whale Watching

Iceland is often called the European capital of whale watching, as it’s the best place to appreciate these giant sea creatures.

This bustling fishing town nestled into the northeast territory of Iceland is your ideal place to spot a whale. Of the mainly five different species scene around the coast of the country, you are more than likely to spot the humpback whale here.

At least it is reported to be the most common type of whale scene in the region. Whale watching in Húsavík will offer the traveler a number of great opportunities to experience the real coastal culture of Iceland when you are finished your guided tour.

Reykjavík: The Capital of Iceland and Whale Watching

If you are looking to mix and match the pleasures of luxury travel with a convenient way to lay witness to some of the largest mammals in the sea, then look no further than whale watching in Reykjavik, capital of Iceland.

The bay of Faxaflói is a relatively shallow water location rich with nutrients for whale populations, especially the Minke.

However, don’t be surprised if you happen to spot a White-Beaked dolphin, a Harbour Porpoise, or a Humpback during your travels as well. You can increase your chances of seeing a whale if you plan to travel to Iceland during the warmer summer months.

The Westfjords

This idyllic location is fairly brand new to the world of whale-watching tourism. Started in June of 2017, it is still an undiscovered treasure for most travelers to Iceland.

Mainly due to the fact that the Westfjords are so remote and untouched.

Even if you aren’t keen on taking a whale watching tour and you find yourself driving along the Ring Road in Iceland, pullover and take a moment to see what you can spot from the land.

Who knows, maybe a Humpback will pop up to say hello.

Dalvik: A Unique Fishing Village Experience

Dalvik whale watching is one of a kind in Iceland.

A gem of the Arctic Sea and a serene location for viewing the Humpback, Minke, and Blue Whales.

Dalvik is a quaint village resting in Northern Iceland otherwise known as the “valley bay” with a population of approximately 1,400 year-round residents.

Despite its relatively small size, it will leave you with an unforgettable impression of coastal Icelandic culture, a true fishing village to its core.

Akureyri: Year-Round Whale Watching

The largest town outside of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik and situated along the northeast coast of Iceland is the ecofriendly Akureyri. One of the only few year-round destinations for whale watching available in Iceland.

Many of the tours offered here will descend upon the sheltered fjord of Eyjafjordur. Offering a calm and scenic experience sheltered from the unusual harshness of other locations at sea.

You will have the chance to see a few species of whales here, but the Humpback is reported to be spotted the most while the Minke, dolphin, and Harbour Porpoise are spotted on occasion.

Blue Whale Watching in Iceland

Northern Iceland is one of the best locations in Europe to witness blue whales and their natural behaviors.

Especially during the summer months of July, August, and September. Well after the snow has melted from the cold months and has flooded the local fjords with nutrient-rich waters for the whales to indulge in.

There is no doubt that you will be awestruck if you are lucky enough to spot the acrobatics of a blue whale.

With a length of up to 33 meters and a weight of 173 tonnes, it is the largest mammal found in the Arctic Sea, and for that matter, much of the greater parts of the world’s oceans. With an estimate of around 10,000 to 25,000 of these marine mammals left in the world, it is considered an endangered species.

If you can imagine the surfacing of a large submarine, then you might be able to picture the initial surfacing of a blue whale.

No matter how much is written about this species, it will never match the experience of being up close and personal with one among the untamed wild of the Arctic Sea.

whale watching iceland march
WHEN TO SEE BLUE WHALESWHERE TO SEE BLUE WHALES
July, August and September Húsavík

And Orcas

If it’s serene and natural beauty that you seek then the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is your destination.

Not to mention the added abundance of marine life that exists within its surrounding waters. One of the most exciting and highly anticipated pieces of marine life you might see is the Orca, otherwise known as the “killer whale.”

A rare species of its kind, it is unlikely that you will see the Orca whale in any other part of Iceland due to their nomadic lifestyle, following the availability of food sources.

For an Orca whale watching in Iceland, the better months are from October through December, and March or late February as it often provide the best environments to spot this whales.

WHEN TO SEE ORCASWHERE TO SEE ORCAS
October, November, December, March and FebruarySnaefellsnes Peninsula
Ólafsvík

What is the best season for whale watching in Iceland?

If whale watching is an activity you can’t miss, which most everyone who has experienced one can agree, then you can rest assured that you can see whales in Iceland pretty much year-round.

However, the type of whale and the abundance of their populations will differ with each season. Whichever season you end up choosing for your whale watching Iceland holidays, the year-round whale watching Iceland season will not disappoint you.

So, what is the best time for whale watching in Iceland, really?

If one had to choose, and you wanted the life-changing experience of witnessing at least one of these majestic creatures, no matter the species, then best time of year to whale watching in Iceland is going to be in April or May. (Even whale watching Iceland in June, too!)

BEST MONTHSBEST PLACES
SpringAkureyri
SummerReykjavíc
Ólafsvík
Húsavík
Hauganes
Dalvik
The Westfjords

You already know that the northern part of the country is the best place for whale watching in Iceland. So, why not plan your luxury holiday around the early to late spring months to ensure you don’t miss this exuberant, life-enhancing opportunity.

If you are wondering which tour guides offer the best possible experience, you can start with Ambassador Whale Watching in Iceland.

They are one of the most sought-after guides in the business and have bookings that sell out well in advance of the scheduled calendar date.

If it’s a mixture of whale watching and northern lights holidays in Iceland that excites your imagination even more, than make sure to contact MC Luxury Travel Group to start planning your next luxury Icelandic vacation now.

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