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Puffin Watching in Reykjavík

If you're looking for an activity that combines excitement, education and unparalleled scenery, then puffin watching tours in Reykjavík are the perfect option for you. These adorable little birds are synonymous with Iceland, and there's no better place to see them than in their natural habitat.

Puffins congregate in large numbers on the rocky cliffs around Reykjavík annually, during the spring and summer months. While over 30,000 birds travel to the area every year, they are notoriously shy and best spotted close-up with a pair of binoculars.

What are the best puffin watching tours in Reykjavík?

Puffin watching boat tour

Puffin watching trips are some of the most thrilling outdoor and adventure tours in Reykjavík for those who want to see these amazing birds in their natural habitat. Like most Reykjavik boat tours, they depart from the city harbor.  journey to the islands of Lundey and Akurey to see the birds that flock to the land.

As well as the puffins, who have been dubbed the “clowns of the sea,” you’ll also see plenty of other feathered friends roaming the sky. These include Arctic terns, northern fulmars and black guillemots.

There is a 100% guarantee of seeing puffins and you won't have to look far to spot them as there are many scattered about the islands.

Small-group puffin and bird-watching tour

Small-group puffin tours in Reykjavík include 12 or fewer participants which creates a more personal experience. There are lots of Reykjavik boat tours available, but these tour boats are designed in a way that allows you to approach the birds on Akurey and the surrounding isles without disturbing them.

This enables you to have a close encounter without alarming or distressing the puffins. As you travel to the puffin haven, you'll learn about the birds, as well as other types of wildlife you might see, such as gannets.

How much do puffin watching tours in Reykjavík cost?

Puffin watching tours in Reykjavík cost between US$50 and US$70. Small-group excursions also fall into this price range.

You can expect to pay between US$110 and US$160 for a tour that combines puffin watching with whale watching in Reykjavik.

What is included in a puffin watching tour in Reykjavík?

Reykjavík puffin watching trips usually include transportation on a rigid inflatable boat, binoculars and a knowledgeable guide to pilot you around. You'll be able to borrow raincoats on some tours and on others, you'll be able to receive photos taken by the crew.

Where do puffin watching tours in Reykjavík start?

As with most Reykjavik boat tours, you'll meet at the tour operator's office in the Old Harbor of Reykjavík before stepping onto your boat. Alternatively, you may begin in the heart of the city and travel to the harbor as a group.

How long do puffin watching tours in Reykjavík last?

Generally, puffin watching tours in Reykjavík last an hour. There are some longer tours available that combine bird-watching with whale watching. These excursions are approximately two hours in duration.

When is the best time for a puffin watching tour in Reykjavík?

The only time to participate in a puffin watching boat trip from Reykjavík is during the late spring and summer months. Between May and August, millions of puffins call the shores of Iceland home, before leaving for the rest of the year.

The technicolor-billed birds are most active in the early morning and early evening, making a sunset tour the perfect way to unwind and discover nature.

Book your excursion towards the end of your trip, once you have explored the city and are looking to branch out further afield.

Are there any combos available with puffin watching tours in Reykjavík?

Puffin cruise plus whale watching tour from Reykjavík

This excursion takes you on a whirlwind trip to see the magnificent creatures that dwell in the area surrounding Reykjavík.

You can choose to take each tour separately or on the same day, and you'll witness nesting puffins, as well as humpback whales and porpoises. There will be an expert guide on hand to inform you about the splendid creatures, as you witness them in their natural habitats.

What happens in case of bad weather?

Puffin watching tours in Reykjavík run in most conditions. However, if the weather is extremely poor, your tour may be canceled and you'll be offered a full refund. There is often the opportunity to reschedule your boat trip for another day.

Travel tips

  • Make sure you bring a camera to capture the amazing scene of thousands of puffins nesting happily on one small island.
  • Add whale watching to your puffin watching tour in Reykjavík for an unmissable excursion full of thrilling wildlife sightings.
  • While some tours provide you with raincoats during your boat trip, others don't. Make sure you bring warm, waterproof layers with you to protect yourself from ocean spray.