I have written a couple of posts on my visit to Iceland. From locating and swimming the secret pool in the mountains to checking out glaciers lagoons, chasing waterfalls in Iceland. For those visiting the country checking out what Iceland tours are available is almost at the top of every traveler’s list.
An Iceland whale watching is somewhere at the top a list that no doubt includes Iceland guided tours tour Reykjavik or in and around the Golden Circle or the entire Ring Road. We pre-booked spots onIceland whale watching tour before we left London.
We were going to visit and explore Reykjavik for a few days before leaving to explore Iceland in a campervan. We rented an apartment right by the seafront in Laekir and a short walk to Harpa concert hall and the marina where the majority of Iceland whale watching tours leave from.
Iceland Whale Watching Tours
An Iceland whale watching tour has been on my bucket list for a long time but never wanted to see them in marine theme park or aquarium. For me, that is similar to going to see those chained tigers in so-called “Tiger sanctuary” in Thailand.
I wanted to see them in their element in their own environment. The whale watching tours in Iceland only started in the early 90s and popularity of the tours has since grown since movies like Free Willy hit our screens. You can see dolphins, a variety of whale species like Orcas, Blue Whale, Humpback, Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoise and off course, none are guaranteed on Iceland guided tours in Reykjavik or the North in Akureyri, you sail around in search and hope that the whales will come back your boat and flip their tales.
We sailed an sailed. We spotted many dolphins. They danced around and playfully swam around but I have seen enough dolphins on the edges of Africa, what wanted were whales! It was an Iceland whale watching tour after all. I was hoping for humpback whales if possible. We sailed for what seems like an hour also and just as I was thinking that we would be turning to head back without seeing the stars of the show I came to watch, there they were! Two small whales. I believe these were Harbour Porpoise whales.
They are a lot smaller than Blue or Humpback Whales which can be as big as 17-19 meters and 29-32 meters respectively, compared to 1.4-1.9 meters Harbour Porpoise whales grow to. We had a knowledgeable guide on the boat who may have mentioned the name of the whales but I have forgotten. Most of not all Iceland guided tours whether on a boat or otherwise are knowledgeable in the areas they are guiding.
Our guide was a Greek guy with a degree in marine biology and had fascinating knowledge on how whales migrate to how they find mates and which parts of the world they roam to how they follow water current to find food. I would highly recommend a whale watching tour in Iceland.
Iceland Whale Watching Price For Tours: Price ranges from £50+
Iceland Whale Watching Best Time Of Year
By far the best time of year for whale watching in Iceland is during the summer months, from April through September, when over 20 species of Cetacea—including the Orca, Minke, Humpback, and Blue Whale—can be seen in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans on either side of the island. But note that there are no guarantees to which whales you will see and whether you will see any at all.
When we struct luck halfway through our tour and spotted a whale of course all the other boats nearby head on the radio within minutes all where nearby with tourists who had been waiting in anticipation of when these beautiful creatures would be making an entrance. Arriving fashionably late was the Harbour Poisboise together with mother in toll.
They showed their tales for a few minutes before disappearing off into the distance. Having gotten to chat with one of the tour guides we learned a bit more about their migrating habits across the oceans in search of food and partners. They are interesting creatures and would highly recommend a tour if you are visiting Iceland. The whale watching tours in Iceland leave from Reykjavik and Akureyri.
What to pack For Whale Watching In Iceland
Wear layers! Even in the summer months when the sun is bright and out, it can still be cold and always remember that Icelandic weather is even more unpredictable than our weather in the UK. I bought a couple of thermals from John Lewis which worked as a treat as I could wear them under jumper dresses and still stay warm. Peared up with a wool jacket and little gloves when the wind caught a chill.
Where to stay in Reykjavik
We rented an apartment I prepare self-catering for the majority of my stays when I travel. You can either book one of many apartments in Reykjavik like we did but there are also centrally located hotels in Reykjavik like Radisson Blu and Hotel Borg which are both across from Harpa and the Marina.
For something a little more budget, there are also hostels in Reykjavik also within walking distance to the marina, Harpa and the town center like Loft HI Hostel and Downtown Hostel. Iceland is not a cheap country by a long shot, it also doesn’t help that its small so during busy seasons a lot of places sell out very quickly so you might also consider having a look at Airbnb rooms and apartments on offer (you will save $30/£15 with this like on Airbnb) for more options on where to stay check out some of my favourite booking site Booking.com, Agoda and Trivago.hotels, hostels, and apartments in Iceland.
So have you been on a whale watching in Iceland or any other place? What was your experience?
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