Let’s Watch Puffins in Iceland!

by Mar 1, 2023

Home 9 Worth a Visit 9 Let’s Watch Puffins in Iceland!
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Bird lovers, I can read your mind!

Indisputable puffin-viewing supremacy belongs to Iceland! International researchers and bird enthusiasts travel to Iceland to explore this fascinating species.

Puffin watching has rapidly become one of Iceland’s tourists’ favourite summer pastimes because of how adorably charming and hilarious cute these birds are!

With their colourful bills, expressive watery eyes, and sloppy, wobbly stride, these adorable tiny birds are inherently endearing creatures, and it is pretty simple to associate them with human characteristics. Since they raise their offspring together and nest in lifelong pairs, they have strong social ties within the colony.

This blog will help you to understand where, how and when to visit Iceland to watch these cute birds while you respect and follow the rules!

Read more to find out!

Best time to visit Iceland for puffin watching

Best time to visit Iceland to watch puffin - Low Cost Vibes Blog

Even though they start to arrive around mid-April and the last few leave around mid-August, puffin season lasts from May to July. The best chance of seeing puffins while your trip is if you go to Iceland in the summer.

Puffins only visit the land to breed, lay their egg, hatch them, and raise their babies until they can fly. They usually perch on the ocean’s surface, and this scenario happens all through the summer. Thus Iceland’s puffin-watching season lasts until July.

Guidelines to watch puffins

Guidelines to watch puffins, Puffin watching in Iceland - Low Cost Vibes Blog

Although they have been hunted and had their eggs stolen in Iceland for millennia, puffins are frequently quite simple to view and approach when nesting. It is even possible to get within a metre of some locations, and this is a fantastic chance to get closer to nature, but you must treat the bird with respect!

Not only is it crucial to preserve the puffins you are viewing, but it is also morally right!

With regards to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), puffins are “Threatened“; as a result, you should safeguard them so that IUCN can aid their recovery efforts. Populations of puffins are declining throughout their range, including in Iceland.

In addition, disturbing one puffin can disturb the entire colony. When on land, puffins interact with one another to gauge the safety of their surroundings. They tend to group up and fly in a tight circle over where they nest to intimidate and protect each other. If one flees in a panic, the others may follow suit.

Please pay attention to the following instructions to make sure the experience is as enjoyable for you as it is for the bird on the cliffs

1. Always go gently, stealthily without a noise since it may scare them and make them fly away

2. Avoid walking up to the edge of cliffs while approaching them because puffins create caves in them, making it possible for you to step on a weak spot of ground and destroy their nest. Given that some of Iceland’s cliffs are hundreds of meters high, this also puts people in danger.

3. Keep a respectable distance when observing from a boat, especially if it has a noisy engine or smoke

4. A puffin should only be touched if it is probably lost and in dire need of help.

5. Avoid attempting to feed the puffins.

Places to watch Puffins from land

There are several locations in Iceland where you can regularly find puffin colonies all across the summer as they nest all along cliffs of the country’s rugged coastline. Many of these can be reached on foot by following a route; a boat journey is not required!

Below are some places that will allow you to watch these amazingly adorable cute birds!


1. Watch puffins in the Westman Islands

With almost 1.1 million birds, Iceland’s largest puffin colony is located in the Westman Islands, just 6.2 miles (10 km) off the country’s south coast. Every year, one-fifth of the puffin population on Earth makes its nest here.

Summertime travel to the Westman Islands is simple, thanks to domestic flights from Reykjavk Airport and frequently scheduled ships departing from the southern town of Orlakshofn. Private visits to the island may be reached by ship or plane!

2. Watch puffins in the Reykjavk

As an enormous colony of puffins has its perfect breeding ground on two small, deserted islands just a few minutes by boat from Reykjavk, you don’t even need to venture far from the city to see them. All sightings on Reykjavk Puffin-watching cruises that stop by these islands during the summer are guaranteed to witness these cute birds.

3. Watch puffins in the Dyrholaey

A black sandy beach encircles a large stone arch called Dyrholaey. It is adjacent to the Vk and Reynisfjara Beach communities in South Iceland. The cliffs of Dyrholaey are a well-liked location for puffin breeding in the summer. From a few meters away, it is simple to watch the birds here. But when you’re on Dyrholaey, the surrounding scenery can even make you forget about the birds you intended to see!

4. Watch puffins in Borgarfjorur

Every summer, 10,000 puffin couples decide to build their nests in Borgarfjorur with 20 additional bird species. To allow you to go up close to the puffins without taking the chance of slipping into a hole or down a cliff, shelter and hardwood platforms have been created. Because of this, this is most likely the most straightforward and safest location in Iceland to observe puffins.

5. Reserve the Natural Area of Ingolfshofdi

On the South Coast, a remote headland with a bird cliff and black dunes is located further east. This location could be better known among tourists for puffin watching because of its isolation. This reserve makes it an excellent spot for people who want to avoid the crowd while getting a close-up look at these gorgeous birds.

To sum up, Iceland is the world’s perfect centre for puffin watching. Any location in Iceland, with the apparent distinction of the Highlands, will make it simple to travel to and watch a puffin colony within a day. You won’t regret trying your hardest to see just one of them if you travel in the summer! Puffin Watching will be a fantastic, unforgettable memory down your memory lane!

Puffin watching has a distinguishable kind of magic!

Enjoy your holidays in this beautiful puffin-watching destination!

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