Iceland is a great place for wildlife watching and in Faxaflói bay and Eyjafjörður fjord you'll find a variety of seabirds and marine mammals that feed on the rich feeding grounds provided by ocean currents in the area that create excellent conditions. The long period of light during the summer even provides the right environment for plankton and krill, making it a diverse and abundant bay.
There are many places you can go whale watching in Iceland. You can take part in organised tours with a guide, or in some places you can even watch whales from the shore!
Elding has over 20+ years of experience of sea adventures in Iceland. Our main focus has been in Faxaflói bay as we set off from our base in Reykjavík as well as the fjord of Eyjafjörður where we have also been based from Akureyri in the last few years.
Reykjavík vs. Akureyri
The difference between the two whale watching areas we operate from is mainly the landscape and conditions at sea. Sighting success is quite similar in both places with humpback whales, dolphins and minke whales being the main attraction from Reykjavík, whereas humpback whale sightings are most common from Akureyri.
Akureyri: we operate in Iceland's longest fjord - being 60 km. deep, it is surrounded by hills and mountains on either side. In case of poor weather, we are so well protected and sheltered by land that we are not as affected by the weather as in some other places in Iceland. The landscape is also incredible year round, no matter the season.
Reykjavík: we operate i Iceland's largest bay - being 120 km. from one end to the other. These conditions bring in a lot of nourishments, not only for the people in the nearby areas but for the whales as well. Being such a large bay however, this can also make it difficult to operate tours when the weather conditions are not the greatest.
---- do keep in mind that Akureyri is about 5 hrs. drive from Reykjavík!
Our whale watching areas:
REYKJAVÍK: The four most common species we see here in Faxaflói bay are the minke whale, humpback wale, white-beaked dolphin and the harbour porpoise. These animals can be seen in our area all year round, although success rates can vary, depending on a few factors; such as weather and food availability at our shores.
Weather and hours of daylight:
Besides the fun of an Icelandic adventure out on the water, most people who come on a whale-watching tour have one obvious goal in mind: seeing a whale or a dolphin. Even our crew get excited about visiting the whales and dolphins in their natural habitat, trying to catch a glimpse of their unfamiliar world, and understanding their interactions with each other (and, if we are very lucky, even with us!) so we always hope to have special sightings.