Spring in Iceland is when the country emerges from its winter hibernation, with life in all forms blooming. Spring is the season of new life, so why not see what wildlife Iceland has to offer? Read on to discover what wildlife you can see and where to see it here!
One of the main reasons why people come to visit Iceland is to see the charming little Puffin bird. Puffins move from the ocean further inland from mid-April to mid-August. It is fascinating to sit nearby and observe the small birds, of which are sometimes considered an icon of Iceland’s. There are a vast number of places you can get a glimpse of the puffin, but here are just a few which we think are the best:
- Westman Islands - The Westman Islands are a group of islands just off the south coast of Iceland. The islands are home to the largest colony of puffins in the entire world - which is a lot of puffins. To get an up-close observation of the bird, there are plenty of local boats which take you to the best spots to see them.
- Lundey Island - Translating to “Puffin island” in Icelandic, the small island of Lundey is located off the coast of Reykjavik. Again, there are plenty of puffin boat tours which will take you up to the island.
- Westfjords - Home to some of Iceland's most wild and rugged landscapes, the Westfjords is a great place to watch the puffin. In the western regions of the Westfjords, you will find the Latrabjarg cliffs, which are home to a very large colony of puffins.
In Iceland, spring means lambing season. If you intend on visiting Iceland in spring, you will see small lambs running about pretty much everywhere. The best way to enjoy the lambs is to stay on a sheep farm out in the Icelandic countryside. If you are planning on driving, always keep an eye out for them as they can often be spotted in the roads. Always drive slowly and cautiously when you come across sheep.
Spring presents the perfect opportunity to see the largest mammals in the world, whales. To see some whales you can take a drive up to the northern town of Akureyri, where there are plenty of whale watching tours available to the public. In the North, the most commonly sighted whales include the minke whale, harbour porpoises and humpback whales. It is also reported by tour guides that blue whales are spotted on around 1 in 10 trips, so keep your eyes peeled.
The Icelandic horse is a big part of Icelandic culture, and getting to see one is something many tourists look forward to. There are plenty of horse riding tours in and around Reykjavik, which are available all year round. Springtime is when the Icelandic horse starts to shed its thick woollen winter coat, subsequently making the horses undaunted by high winds, and capable of crossing rough terrains and rivers.