Wildlife Holidays in Iceland

Tell me about Iceland …

Slightly smaller than England but larger than Scotland, Iceland’s population of 365,000. When you consider that two-thirds of them live in the south-western corner, you get some idea of the population density.

Iceland’s landscapes and nature are shaped by a combination of ice , volcanoes and isolation. In spring immense numbers of birds arrive to breed. They are transformed into their stunning breeding  plumage and can be remarkably confiding. During the short growing season from May to July the landscape is clothed in carpets of Arctic flowers. Other times of year provide opportunities to enjoy resident bird species and, with luck, witness the dance of northern lights across the night sky. Whale watching is possible at different locations in different seasons.   

 

Naturetrek Tours to Iceland

Naturetreks wildlife holidays to Iceland search for birds, whales and other mammals among the dramatic scenery in this wild and beautiful land. Theres also a chance to see the Northern Lights.

Whats special about the wildlife?

Iceland lies at an avian crossroads – the meeting place of Palearctic and Nearctic faunal regions.

Here we find the most westerly breeding grounds of both Wigeon and Pied Wagtail, and the most easterly breeding populations of Great Northern Diver, Harlequin Duck and Barrows Goldeneye.

The variety of the islands bird life may not be great, but many species are very much tamer here than elsewhere in Europe and the sheer quality of Icelands northern specialities has long attracted visiting ornithologists.

Mammals too, though few, include a wide variety of cetaceans – though not all are easy to see – together with the occasional Arctic Fox.

What might I see?

  • Waterfowl such as Harlequin Duck, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser & Barrows Goldeneye
  • Other special Arctic birds such as Gyr Falcon & Red-necked Phalarope
  • Cetaceans including Humpback and Minke Whales and Orcas
  • Geothermal landforms such as hot springs at Geysir and immense waterfalls such at Gullfoss and Dettifoss

Our Specialist Recommends

"For a spring tour then our 9-day holiday ‘Iceland’ is perfect, enjoy the dramatic, volcanic scenery as we search for breeding birds. Our ‘Iceland – Northern Lights & Winter Wildlife’ tour is a 5-day winter break to west Iceland to search for cetaceans and the Aurora Borealis."

Operations Manager - David Phillips

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