This Iceland whale watching tour package for 9 days is designed for whale enthusiasts interested to join a variety of whale watching tours in different areas of Iceland. You will also see some amazing natural sights Iceland is famous for, such as glaciers, beautiful beaches, waterfalls, endless lava fields and more.
If you are interested in receiving more information about this tour, please click on the “Request a quote” widget on the left side of the page. A quick form will open up where you will provide us with more information about your travel expectations. You will then be connected with your specialized travel agent who will assist you throughout the planning a provide a fully detailed quote.
Please note that this itinerary can be adjusted and customized to meet your travel needs and preferences. The package can also be offered as a privately guided tour if a self-drive option is not what you had in mind for your Iceland experience.
May - Sept
9 days / 8 nights
West and North Iceland
Welcome to your Iceland whale watching holiday. Once you have arrived and made it through customs at Keflavik International airport, you will be transferred to your accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.
We highly recommend starting your Iceland whale watching holiday by visiting the Whales of Iceland Museum (entrance included). There you will see life-size models of all 23 whale species that live in the Icelandic waters. In the evening, we recommend a cosy dinner in one of the city’s whale friendly restaurants to celebrate the start of your Iceland whale watching holiday. Overnight in Reykjavík.
Today, your Iceland whale watching adventure starts as you receive your rental car in the morning. Drive to the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the West of Iceland where you will join a whale watching tour from the town of Ólafsvík. Snaefellsnes is a very special place for whale watching. Nowhere else in Iceland is there a better chance to see orcas also called killer whales. Chances to see those black and white beauties are especially good in early summer but they are also regular visitors of this area later in summer. Another rare whale species that visit this area mainly in June are sperm whales. Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales and one of the deepest diving whales in general. Other whales regularly spotted in this area are minke whales, humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises.
After your whale watching tour, you will explore the natural highlights Snaefellsnes has to offer. Visit the small pebble stone beach Djupalonsandur, walk along the cliffs in the small fishing village Arnarstapi and stop by the picturesque old church in Budir. You should also have a look at the famous stratovolcano Snaefellsjökull with a glacier covering its summit. You stay for the night in this area.
Today you visit Vatnsnes Peninsula in the North of Iceland. This is an often overlooked corner of Iceland since it is a small detour from the main ring road. Vatnsnes peninsula is famous for its large colonies of seals, birds and beautiful landscapes. It has the most accessible seal sanctuary in Iceland and you have the chance to get very close to the animals. Especially on the eastern side of the peninsula, you will find several observations huts, where you can watch the seals without having to disturb the animals. It is also recommended to visit the small seal museum in Hvammstangi.
As you drive along the Vatnsnes peninsula also you will also witness the extraordinary rock formation of Hvitserkur. This is a 15 meter (49 ft) tall cliff jutting out straight from the sea. It has a unique shape and looks like an animal of some sort, an elephant or a rhino – or even a dinosaur drinking from the ocean. The legend goes that Hvitserkur is a petrified troll who forgot to retreat from the light and was turned to stone in the sunrise. You will stay for the night in this area.
Today you will explore the North of Iceland further and drive all around the Tröllaskagi peninsula. Once you reach the village of Hofsós, we recommend that you make a stop and dip into the beautiful geothermal infinity pool that offers great views out to the ocean. Further on you will reach the town of Siglufjörður. This charming town offers great harbour views and fantastic restaurants where you can enjoy a nice lunch.
In the afternoon, you will join a whale watching tour from Dalvík. The tour takes place on a traditional oak boat and in the past years, in 98% of all tours, whales or dolphins have been spotted. The most common whales seen in this area are humpback whales. They are the most acrobatic of all the great whales. If you are lucky, you might see them breaching or tail slapping. At the end of the tour, you can also try sea angling for approximately 15 minutes and the freshly caught fish will be barbecued for you at the harbour (tours without fishing are also available). You stay for the night in the area of Akureyri.
Today you will visit Husavik, also known as Europe’s whale watching capital. There you will join a whale watching tour by RIB boat. On this tour, the focus is mostly on the bigger whales. The RIB boat allows you to get closer to the whales and wildlife than other boats can offer. Furthermore, it is possible to cover a larger area and you are able to go further out of the bay where the bigger whales are often to be found. The most common whales in this bay are humpback whales, white beaked dolphins and minke whales. If you are lucky, you might even get the chance to see blue and fin whales (the best chances are in June).
After the tour, we recommend visiting the Whale Museum in Husavík (optional) and in the afternoon you can explore the highlights around Ásbyrgi. Ásbyrgi is a huge canyon in the shape of a horse shoe where you can go on some very nice hikes. Along the way, we recommend a short stop at Tungulending Café. There you can enjoy the view over Skjálfandi Bay while drinking a nice cup of coffee. This place is also one of Iceland’s only fossil beaches. You stay for the night in the area.
In the morning it would be possible to join another whale watching tour from Husavík (optional) and the rest of the day is reserved to explore the wonderful natural attractions around Myvatn.
Myvatn is an active volcanic area and we highly recommend visiting the lava fields around Krafla volcano. The last time it erupted was back in 1984 and the huge lava fields with their interesting formations have their own special way of beauty. Another place, not to be missed, is the geothermal area of Námafjall. There, you will see many solfataras and boiling mud pots, surrounded by sulfur crystals of many different colours. Other interesting places around Myvatn are the Dimmuborgir Lava park and the pseudo craters in Skutustadir. You will stay for the night in the area of Myvatn / Akureyri.
Today you will drive back to Reykjavik and you will visit the natural highlights of West Iceland. Stop at Grábrók crater and go on an easy hike all the way to the top of the crater (approximately 20 minutes walk). The crater is the largest of three and was formed about 3400 years ago in a fissure eruption. From the top, you have an amazing view over the area and can also have a look at her two crater sisters.
We also recommend visiting the Reykholt area with its interesting waterfalls and more. There, you should definitely visit the Hraunfossar waterfalls. They are actually a series of small waterfalls coming out of a huge lava field. Close by you will then find another waterfall named Barnafoss. Barnafoss supposedly takes its name from two children who fell into the waterfall centuries ago (Icelandic folk mythology), and translates to “the waterfall of the children”.
You can also visit the hot spring Deildartunguhver, which has the highest flow of any hot spring in Europe. The water temperature is 97 degrees Celsius and the flow rate is over 180 litres per second. You can also stop at the historic site of Reykholt to visit Snorralaug pool, the home of Snorri Sturluson who is the author of many of the Icelandic sagas.
The schedule for today is very flexible and you can, for example, visit the Golden Circle with its three main highlights; Thingvellir National Park, Geysir spouting spring and Gullfoss waterfall.
It would also be possible to explore the volcanic active area of the Reykjanes peninsula. There, we recommend visiting the geothermal areas Krysuvik and Gunnuhver, the impressive cliffs at the end of the peninsula (from there, with some luck, you can also spot some whales) and the lighthouse in Gardur. It would be also possible to end your Iceland whale watching holiday with a relaxing soak in the famous Blue Lagoon.
Last but not least, you can simply enjoy a free day in Reykjavik and to visit e.g. the picturesque lighthouse Grotta, have a walk in the old harbour area or enjoy the view from Perlan combined with a visit of the glacier exhibition.
Drop off your car in the evening and enjoy your last dinner in one of the whale-friendly restaurants in Reykjavik.
All good adventures must come to an end, and so does this wonderful Iceland whale watching holiday. You will be transferred to Keflavik International Airport in good time for your departure. Thank you for travelling with Iceland Unlimited. We wish you a safe and enjoyable journey back home!
Budget accommodations include shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses, etc. In some cases, the rooms might be equipped with a TV and a washbasin. The in-room amenities are limited and basic but they all adhere to a high standard of cleanliness.
Breakfast is included.
Comfort accommodations offer access to private facilities (shower and toilet). This type of lodges belongs to the 3-star hotel category. Most of these properties have an in-house restaurant. This section offers an upgrade in comfort and service compared to the budget category. Breakfast is included.
Quality accommodations offer private rooms with en-suite shower/bath and toilet. These rooms are the best available accommodations in 4-star hotels or the highest quality lodges in each region. Luxury accommodations - the highest class of lodges, suites, and penthouses - are available upon request. Breakfast is included.
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Type: Intermediate Wagon
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Type: SUV Economy
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Type: SUV Full Size Intermediate
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Type: SUV Full Size
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Reykjavík is the capital and biggest city of Iceland with a population of approximately 124,000. It is the northernmost capital in the world. Despite its small size, you can find many attractions and museums, making Reykjavik a popular destination.
Reykjavík Old Harbour is fast becoming the new lively center of the city. There you will find museums such as Maritime Museum, the Northern Lights center and the Whales of Iceland exhibition. The harbour, which is quickly transforming into a modern city space, is also home to restaurants and cafes. A local favourite is ice cream shop Valdís, which makes fresh ice cream every morning and always offers new flavours.
Harpa is the famous concert hall and conference center located in Reykjavik. The building features a distinctive and original colored glass facade inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. Its unique architecture makes it one of Reykjavik most loved landmarks.
Hallgrímskirkja Church is most certainly Reykjavík´s best-known landmark. The white concrete Church whose image is printed in many postcards, dominates the city. As a matter of fact its tower can be seen from almost every corner of Reykjavík. Its distinctive and futuristic exterior made the Church one of the most visited spots in Reykjavík.
Kirkjufell is a stunning 463 m high mountain on the north coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland. It is located near Grundarfjörður village.
Ólafsvík is a small town in Iceland on the northern side of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Between the 17th and 18th Century the village was one of the larger trading ports in Iceland.
Búðakirkja Church is a famous black wooden Church built up in 1703. This fascinating building sits alone in the Búðahraun lava field.
Snæfellsjökull Glacier is a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano in western Iceland. The glacier-volcano is active and it is believed to be one of the seven energy centres of the earth.
Arnarstapi is a small fishing village at the foot of Stapafell mountain, between Hellnar village and Breiðavík farms, on the southern side of Snæfellsnes, Iceland. It is famous for its extraordinary columnar basalt and rock formations.
Hvítserkur is a 15 m high basalt stack on the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula, in northwest Iceland. The rock has two holes at the base, which give it the appearance of an animal of some sort who is drinking from the ocean.
Hofsós Swimming Pool is a lovely swimming pool in North Iceland with astonishing view of Skagafjörður.
Siglufjörður, a lovely village, located in North Iceland, is often known as the Herring town as the herring industry was blooming in Siglufjörður in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður opened in 1994 and is the largest maritime museum in Iceland. It covers the story of the „Herring Adventure“ which transformed the hamlet of Siglufjörður into a bustling town centered around the gold rush processing of herring.
Akureyri is the main town of northern Iceland. It is located at the base of Eyjafjörður Fjord and is the second largest urban area of Iceland. Akureyri is well known to be an important port and fishing center.
Húsavík is a characteristic town on the north coast of Iceland. Income is supported by tourism and fishing. Until recently, Húsavík was the export harbor for silica that was extracted from nearby lake Mývatn. The village is well-known for being a center of whale watching in Iceland.
Ásbyrgi canyon is located in the north of Iceland on the Diamond Circle Road. The crater has the shape of a horseshoe and measures 3.5 km in length and over 1 km wide.
Dettifoss is a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland. It is part of the Diamond Circle and it is the considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The water of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river descends from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier and falls for more than 44 metres, causing a massive, crashing spray. This the largest waterfall in Iceland in terms of volume discharge.
Hljóðaklettar(translates: sound rocks) or Echo Rocks like they are sometimes called are a collection of basalts columns. They are the remains of an ancient volcano's which have been eroded by the Jökulsá river. These unique formations, arches, and caves are one of a kind and it seems like they have formed in every direction. There are two marked paths in blue from the parking lot that is ideal for a short hike. They are an easy stroll, one will take about 30-40 minutes (1km) and the Circle path takes about 1, 15 -1,5 hours(3km). The paths that are marked in red are longer and a bit more difficult.
Jökulsárgljúfur canyon is the northernmost part of Vatnajökull National park. The canyon is a home to several waterfalls, such as Dettifoss, Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss. This area is a wonderful place with various hiking possibilities.
Dimmuborgir is a field of unusually shaped lava formations located east of Mývatn in Iceland. The area consists of caves and rock formations resembling an ancient collapsed fortress. The lava tubes were formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Þrengslaborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater row to the East. The legend wants Dimmuborgir to be connecting earth with the infernal regions.
Skútustaðir is a chain of volcanic pseudo craters in the Mývatn area. They were formed by gas explosions when boiling lava flowed over the cool, wet surfaces about 2,300 years ago.
Mývatn is a volcanic lake in northern Iceland. It is located in a geothermal area not far from Krafla volcano. The lake was formed by a volcanic eruption therefore the surrounding area is characterized by lava pillars and craters. The lake is also well known because of the rich waterbirds fauna that populates it.
Krafla is one of the largest calderas in Iceland, at a whopping 10 km in diameter, located in the Lake Mývatn area. One of the most stunning features of Krafla is the 300 m crater Víti that formed in an explosive eruption in 1724, that lasted 5 years. This extremely active volcano is a source of many legends and interesting history and is well worth the visit.
The high-temperature geothermal field Hverir at Námafjall is probably the closest earthlings can get to being on the planet Mars. This desolate area features steaming fumaroles, boiling mud pools with walking paths that reach all the way to the top of the nearby Námafjall where the view is nothing but spectacular.
Grábrók Crater is the larger of three craters in a volcanic fissure belonging to the volcanic system of Ljosufjoll. Grábrók is located in the fjord of Borgarfjörður in West Iceland.
Barnafossar, also known as Bjarnafoss, is a series of rapids coming from out of the surrounding lava plains. The name means "Children´s falls".
Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls coming from underneath Hallmundarhraun, a lava field formed by an eruption of the volcano situated under the glacier Langjökull. The waterfalls pour into the Hvítá river. Hraunfossar is located near Húsafell and Reykholt.
Deildartunguhver Hot Spring is the largest hot spring in Europe. It provides all hot water for the neighbouring villages.
The settlement center in Borgarnes tells the account of Iceland‘s famed Viking poet Egill Skallagrímsson as well as the story of the settlement of Iceland. This comprehensive exhibit tells the record of how Iceland was discovered, how the settlers traversed the Atlantic from Norway and Northern Ireland to establish a new commonwealth up to the institution of the general assembly of Alþingi in the mid 10th century.
Þingvellir National Park is the most important historic and geological sites in Iceland. The area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and today the entire area is a protected national treasure.
Geysir is the famous hot spring area located in the Haukadalur valley. The main attraction is known as Strokkur, which erupts energetically at regular intervals of 10 minutes or so its boiling waterjets can reach as high as 30 meters.
Seltún is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, a highly active geothermal area. Seltún consists of boiling mud pools and colourful mountains.
The Reykjanes peninsula is located on a drift zone, between two continents, the North American and Eurasian plate. It is a unique area where you can see different elements of the drift zone; very active geothermal energy, lava fields and other natural phenomenon. The Blue Lagoon and Keflavik international airport are also located in the area.
The Reykjavík Maritime Museum is located by the old harbour in Reykjavík, founded in 2004 and open daily from 10:00 – 17:00. One of their main exhibitions is the former coast guard vessel Óðinn, and is accessible for guided tours three time per day; 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00.