Whale Watching Tips for Iceland Adventures



A co-founder of Local Adventures and guide, Arnar has a degree in physical education and is certified glacier guide. Along with his education he has worked in tourism for 20 years.

Whale watching in Iceland

I would like to give you some tips, even if you are not traveling with us.

Partly because of my experience in Iceland, but also because I think you should think about who you book activities with.

In my opinion, one of the most important things is that it is better to support rather small and medium-sized businesses than those very large organizations. Where, by the way, most shares are often owned by American traders.

There are a lot of dollars in certain Icelandic companies.

Where and with whom?

If you go to Iceland and want to see whales, there are about 4 places you should know about.


The best known is Husavík in northern Iceland, a 45-minute drive from Myvatn. The nice village calls itself ‘the whale capital of Iceland’, but is that right? With a 98% certainty, you will see whales, so the chance is quite high! However, the bay is extremely open – a remedy against seasickness is offered as standard.

I have been on such a boat trip several times and have seen many, many sick people. Moreover, there are many large commercial companies, which means it is often busy with boats when something has been spotted.


Boats also go out to sea from the capital. I can make it short, I have never seen a whale up close on such a tour. The staff was pleasant, the boats were good but large and the refreshments excellent. But I don’t think it’s the best experience you can get.


If you visit the West Fjords you can book whale safaris from various places. The fjords are generally quieter and the chance you will see something is many times greater than in the capital. If you only visit the West Fjords, I would definitely book a tour here.


This is the fjord where Iceland’s second biggest city is located. There are several places you can go. The further north you go, the less far you need to sail to see whales.

These are usually located near the island of Hrísey.

My absolute recommendation is the family business at Hauganes.

Local people, formerly fishermen, from the village or surrounding area.

The bay is generally very quiet, a relief for people who suffer from seasickness.

Moreover, there is a nice restaurant in this village where you get a discount on food with your tour ticket, including delicious ‘fish & chips’.

They also plant a tree, just like us at Local Adventures, for every traveler who comes with them as environmental compensation.

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