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Capital Region of Iceland

Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Capital Region of Iceland Birdwatching

Reykjavik: Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat

1. Reykjavik: Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat

Hop aboard a RIB speedboat and head out for a thrilling adventure just off Reykjavik's coast. Marvel at the abundance of sea life Iceland has to offer, such as majestic whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Begin your tour from Reykjavík’s Old Harbor and cruise among the small islands in the Faxaflói Bay, as well as along the coast of Reykjavík. Admire fantastic views of the city and its landmarks like the Harpa concert hall as you search for wildlife in the water. During your tour, pass by Engey, the second-largest island of the Kollafjörður (Faxa Bay) fjord in western Iceland. Also cruise past Lundey, literally “Puffin Island” in Icelandic, a small uninhabited island off Reykjavík’s western coast. Enjoy the chance to see incredible animals in their natural habitat without being overcrowded onboard the boat. And if you don't get lucky with wildlife sightings on the day you go, you'll receive a complimentary ticket to try again another day.

Reykjavik: Puffin Watching Tour

2. Reykjavik: Puffin Watching Tour

Discover the puffins of Iceland on a wildlife watching tour by RIB Boat, These boats cover a larger area and get closer to the puffins than on a conventional vessel. Watch the birds as they nest, dive and fly, and learn about their characteristics as you cruise around the rocks and cliffs. Make your own way to Reykjavik Old Harbour in the early morning and meet the captain of your RIB. Listen to a short safety briefing, put on your provided coveralls, climb aboard, and take hold of the grab rail as your boat sets off. Take in the views of Faxaflói Bay as your RIB zips out over the ice-cold waters. As you cruise, watch for Iceland’s wildlife, including the many species of sea birds that frequent the bay and its islands in summer. As well as puffins, gannets, auks, fulmars, and Arctic terns all visit the local waters. Bump over the waves toward the rocky islands and sea cliffs, and sail up close to the rocks and inlets to view the puffins that nest here between May and August. As you watch the puffins, listen to interesting facts about the species from the expert guide and captain. Hear about their natural behaviors and diet, and snap photos of them nesting, diving, and flying as you sail around the little inlets.  After about an hour on the sea, arrive back at Reykjavik harbor where your puffin watching cruise ends.

Reykjavik: 1-Hour Puffin Watching Tour

3. Reykjavik: 1-Hour Puffin Watching Tour

The charismatic puffin has attracted local and tourist attention around Iceland for many years. It is their prismatic appearance and curious behavior that gives rise to this intrigue. Their most obvious characteristic during the breeding season is their brightly colored bill which, added to their striking piebald plumage, has given rise to nicknames such as “clown of the ocean” or “sea parrot.” Depending on tides and weather conditions, you will head to Akurey, Engey or Lundey on a 1.5-hour cruise. These islands are well known for their plentiful birdlife, and in addition to puffins you will have the opportunity to view other birds, such as eider ducks, arctic terns, guillemots, cormorants, fulmars, geese and oystercatchers. The islands' shores are rocky, but the captains know the best spots to get close to the puffins in their natural habitat. If the weather is right he might even turn off the engines so that you can listen to the birds' calls. Luckily the puffins usually stay put for a while, so they are easy to photograph. Although you get close to the islands, the puffins are comparatively small birds and the free use of binoculars on board comes in handy. You can also borrow a rain jacket to keep your dry, and sip authentic seaman's coffee to keep warm.

Reykjavik: Puffin Tour by RIB Speedboat

4. Reykjavik: Puffin Tour by RIB Speedboat

Enjoy the incredible opportunity to see puffin colonies while taking in the extraordinary backdrop of majestic Mount Esja and the city’s colorful skyline. Depending on the time of your visit, the mountains may be capped with ice and snow or colored bright purple with a blanket of summer lupin. At any time of the year, Reykjavík is always a stunning city to see from the water. During the summer months, these voyages will pass close to the famous puffin colonies of Faxaflói Bay. If that isn't enough, you'll get the opportunity to see whales in their natural habitat from a boat for small groups, so you won't have to worry about overcrowding or not getting the right spot to see these amazing creatures.

Reykjavik: Whale Watching Excursion & Whale Exhibition

5. Reykjavik: Whale Watching Excursion & Whale Exhibition

Enjoy a memorable whale watching tour and exhibition visit in Reykjavik. Whale watching is a unique experience and Iceland has in recent years become one of the best countries in the world for well-organized excursions.  All year round you’ll be able to see a variety of whales off the Reykjavik coast. Minke and humpback whales, dolphins, and harbor porpoises are among the species often spotted along the coast of Iceland.  Your 3-hour program begins in the Vesturbugt Harbor area, located in downtown Reykjavik. Your dedicated tour guides will provide you with the best whale watching experience possible. The summer is the peak season for spotting all sorts of wildlife.  Visit the Whales of Iceland exhibition, the largest of its kind in Europe. Nowhere else can you stand face-to-face with so many whale species, all of which have been found in Icelandic waters through the ages. Marvel at the 25-meter-long blue whale, the full-size sperm whale (like the one in Moby Dick), the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, and many others.  At the exhibition you can learn about the life and behavior of these giants of the sea as well as listen to their singing and look into their eyes. The experience, being surrounded by these giants of the sea, is a unique one that’s appealing to both adults and children.  The interactive stations are based on the latest scientific data. You can, for example, learn about the biology of the Minke whale and follow the migration routes of whales that have been tagged and monitored by satellite.  Whale watching is a natural activity that is subject to the weather. If the trip is canceled due to bad weather, the whale watching part of the ticket will be refunded. If there are no sightings during the trip, then you have the option to go again.

Reykjavík: RIB Speed-Boat Puffin Watching Tour

6. Reykjavík: RIB Speed-Boat Puffin Watching Tour

Experience the natural wonders of puffins out in the wild. Throughout this 1-hour tour, adorn yourself in a full body suit to keep you warm and dry, with goggles and scarfs also provided. From there you are taken out to the Bay of Reykjavik on a custom-built speed boat with suspension seats. Travel towards the puffin-populated islands, which are home to approximately 40,000 puffins. Iceland has the biggest puffin colony in the world, with approximately 60% of the world's puffins. This tour allows you to get up close and personal to these colonies, providing you with perfect photo opportunities. Aboard your speed boat you can get much closer to the islands than with bigger boats. This mobility helps in providing you with a more unique experience. At the conclusion of your hour out on the water, your boat returns you to your tour starting point.

From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Peninsula Day Trip by Super Jeep

7. From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Peninsula Day Trip by Super Jeep

Iceland’s volcanic landscapes take center stage on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the country’s southwestern tip. This full-day trip by Super Jeep from Reykjavik takes you into the peninsula to see multi-colored lava gorges, lakes, rock formations, wave-lashed cliffs, and more. Highlights include the Krisuvikurberg seabird cliffs, Seltún’s and Gunnuhver’s boiling pools and hissing vents, and the chance to cross between the continents. Following hotel pickup in Reykjavik, settle aboard your Super Jeep, a 4x4 specially built to tackle Iceland’s challenging terrain. Meet your group of no more than six, and then admire the views as you travel to the lava-scarred Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland’s southwestern tip. Listen as your guide talks about the peninsula’s geology, explaining how its rugged terrain is shaped by extreme underground volcanic activity. Learn how the cooled lava soil limits vegetation, creating lunar-like landscapes of sparse, moss-capped hills, and multi-hued rocks. Stop at Lake Kleifarvatn, Reykjanes’ largest lake, ringed by black beaches and volcanic hills. Learn how this eerie lake sits over an active volcanic fissure zone, and began to disappear into a fissure after an earthquake in 2000. Visit the Seltún geothermal area, and follow the boardwalks around boiling mud pools and hissing fumaroles. Then, view Lake Grænavatn, whose green waters are created by thermal algae and and sunlight-absorbing crystals. See the naturally perfect-shaped craters of Stóra and Litla Eldborg, and take in the Krisuvikurberg sea cliffs on the peninsula’s south coast. These towering cliffs attract nearly 60,000 pairs of nesting seabirds each summer, including gulls, guillemots, razorbills, and fulmars, as well as puffins between mid-March and late August. Other highlights include the Gunnuhver geothermal field, an atmospheric, steam-billowing swathe of mud pots, vents, and milky turquoise pools, and Sog, an area of multi-colored gorges. You’ll also see the stunning sea rock formations at Valahnukar, and visit Leifur Eiríksson Bridge, a man-made footbridge spanning a fissure between the Earth’s Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. If you wish, walk over the 59-foot (18-meter bridge), crossing between the two continents of Europe and North America in seconds. After a day of scenic wonders, finish with a hotel drop-off in Reykjavik.

From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Volcanic Hike & Blue Lagoon Option

8. From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Volcanic Hike & Blue Lagoon Option

After complimentary pickup in Reykjavik, take a scenic drive along the lava-shaped coast toward the first stop. Once there, follow the trail to the Geldingadalir Valley under the care of your experienced guide. Since it first exploded into life in March 2021, Iceland’s newest volcano has sent rivers of molten lava flowing across this rugged wilderness. Hundreds of thousands of people have come to see the youngest mountain in the world, and this is your opportunity to see the brand-new jet-black fields of lava for yourself. Be led by knowledgeable guides to the volcano site and be shown how this unstoppable force has dramatically changed the Icelandic landscape. Before your arrival, be the first to see Seltun, an almost lunar landscape of red rocks, orange sediments, hissing mud pots and hot springs; be dazzled by the multi-colored craters and steam vents. The Reykjanes peninsula features even more fascinating geological gems. Next, visit the Gunnuhver Hot Springs, a group of active mud pools and steam vents named after a local witch who in folklore met her doom here, so watch your step. After, take a short 5-minute drive to Valahnúkamöl, stunning bird cliffs and basalt columns rising from the sea. Spend some time here enjoying the views of the iconic sights, including Reykjanesviti Lighthouse, the oldest still-standing structure of its kind in Iceland. From there, move on to the Bridge Between Continents, a place where a small metal footbridge straddles the ever-widening gap between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, spanning the Mid-Atlantic Ridge just a few feet above the volcanic sands that stand between the diverging continents. As the final optional part of the tour, discover one of the most popular places in Iceland, the iconic Blue Lagoon where milky sea waters contrast with black lava fields. Here, soak all your cares away for 2 hours at the Blue Lagoon SPA. Enjoy a perfect way to relax and reflect on an unforgettable day spent on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Geopark Small-Group Tour

9. From Reykjavik: Reykjanes Geopark Small-Group Tour

Discover Iceland's "melting pot" where geothermal energy, seismic activity, and tectonic movements can all be found on this small-group half-day tour. After being picked up in downtown Reykjavík, travel by minibus to the peninsula. Before long, the beautiful Kleifarvatn and Graenavatn lakes will appear in front of you. Have your cameras ready to frame the unique beauty of these Icelandic scenes, both here and when you arrive at the Krysuvik geothermal area. Visit Reykjanesviti lighthouse where you can spot various bird species or simply enjoy the Atlantic ocean.  The tour is perfect if you want to experience the rugged beauty of Iceland before boarding your flight. The bus will be make an optional drop-off at Keflavik International Airport as well as the Blue Lagoon. Expect to return to Reykjavik by around 3:30 PM.

Reykjavík: Active Volcano Hike and Reykjanes Peninsula Tour

10. Reykjavík: Active Volcano Hike and Reykjanes Peninsula Tour

Embark for a once-in-life-time experience and hike up to Geldingadalir to see the hypnotic Fagradalsfjall volcano. Benefit from the comfort of pickup service and start the journey towards Geldingadalur valley. Along the way, marvel at the lunar landscapes and geological marvels of the Reykjanes peninsula. Then, begin your hike of 1-1.5 hours (one way) into the barren surrounding wilderness. Experience real adventure and get as close as it is safely possible to the edge of the ever-growing lava field. Gaze at the breathtaking fountains of fire and vivid orange rivers of lava. Your experienced guide will make your adventure safe, informative, and enjoyable, and will give you time to explore and see the volcano from different angles. Finally, continue the tour and explore the Reykjanes Peninsula with its valleys flows into the lava, its bare heights, its dark rocks and gaping craters.

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What people are saying about Capital Region of Iceland

This was a last minute decision to do a boat tour in Reykjavik, I booked all my tours in Iceland through Get Your Guide. The RIB boat was so much fun, not too choppy but still thrilling. Our guides on the boat we’re very knowledgeable and super friendly. We did this late in the afternoon and only 2 other people were on our boat. We saw a lot of puffins and did 2 different stops. I would highly recommend this especially if you are unsure about being on a RIB boat. The tour provider has coverall for everyone which really helps with blocking the wind.

We saw lots of puffins plus other birds including skuas stealing fish from the puffins mouth. Mike was very knowledgeable. We got close enough to shoot video and got great photos. Would love to stay longer!! The boat ride was fun. Not too fast.

Had a great trip with guide Gummi. Lots of really interesting information, and couldn't have been more helpful. Even found a good place for lunch when it turned out that everyone was vegetarian ! Well recommend him.

Loved it! The RIB boat was a supper fun ride, the guide gave us lots of interesting information (both about Puffins and about Iceland) and we saw thousands of Puffins!! I highly recommed this tour.!

Excellent activity. We saw several whales, a great emotional moment. The guides were perfect.