The sort of sight you can expect on any of the Iceland puffins tours in this list!

Iceland Puffins Tours – Epic Complete Guide 2023

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Iceland is the best place to see the beautiful puffin. We have found the best Iceland puffins tours right now and all the information you could ever need!

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Reykjavik Puffin Express

The best puffin tour in the whole of Iceland has to be the Big Whale & Puffin Tour in Husavik. However, getting to Husavik may not be that easy for the majority of travelers so I have chosen the Reykjavik Puffin Express tour as the best overall puffin tour in Iceland. Check it out here!

What you can expect to see on Iceland Puffins Tours

The Incredible Puffins Of Iceland

Iceland is thought to have up to 60% of the entire world’s puffin population inhabiting the island between the months of May and August. That’s an absolutely insane number and very good news for anyone wanting to see these beautiful birds.

We have found the best Iceland puffins tours and listed them, with information, below. Afterward, we have gone into detail about when, how, and what to take on your Iceland puffins tours. Let’s get started!

Read More: Hiring A 4×4 In Iceland – Complete Guide


The Best Iceland Puffins Tours

Big Whale & Puffin Tour

This is the highest rates puffin sighting tour in all of Iceland, and for good reason. Firstly you will visit Puffin Island to see many thousands of the colorful birds in their natural habitat and then spend the rest of the tour looking for the majestic Blue and Humpback whales.

In my opinion, this is truly one of the greatest experiences you can have in all of Iceland. This tour is in the northern town of Husavik so if you are not planning on going up north then the next recommended tour is in Reykjavik which may be a tad more convenient. Check out this double whammy right here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 8+
  • Need To Take: Warm Clothing
  • Start Time: Many Options
  • Tour Pace: Medium

Click here to check availability and prices.


Puffin Express From Reykjavik

This is convenience and puffins all rolled up into one extremely good/affordable Iceland puffins tour. You will jump onto a boat in downtown Reykjavik, take a 15-minute journey to one of the local islands, and then spend around 30-45 minutes encircling the island with puffins flying all around you.

During this incredible display, a tour guide will give a good presentation about the biology of the birds and the local area. It is recommended that you wear warm clothes so you can spend as much time on the outside of the boat as possible. This is where the magic is happening. Check out this Iceland puffins tour here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 1 Hour
  • Pickup Included: Additional Charge
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: warm Clothing
  • Start Time: Many Options
  • Tour Pace: Medium/Fast

Click here to check availability and prices.


Puffin & Volcano Tour In Vestmannaeyjar

This incredible puffin tour is situated on the famous Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) and has so much more included than just seeing the puffins. The island is home to 1/6th of the entire world’s puffin population which makes it the largest puffin colony on the planet.

This tour is the tour to take to have the most incredible puffin experience you can imagine. Not just that, you will be able to walk into a volcano crater, visit the first Viking colony on the island, watch a local display of traditional sports, and get really up close and personal with the puffins. It doesn’t get better than this. Book your Vestmannaeyjar puffin tour here!

Pro Tip

You will need to organise your own ferry across to Vestmannaeyjar in the morning before the tour starts. You do this by getting transport to Landeyjahöfn and getting the ferry across. See ferry times and prices here. I HIGHLY recommend hiring a 4×4 to drive down in the morning as local transport is not often and is much less conveniant. Learn how to hire a 4×4 in Iceland here.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 3+
  • Need To Take: Good Footwear
  • Start Time: 12 pm / 2:30 pm
  • Tour Pace: Medium

Click here to check availability and prices.

Read More: The Best Helicopter Tours In The Whole Of Iceland!


Reykjavik Half-Day Whales and Puffins Cruise Combo

Another one of the fantastic Iceland puffins tours that combine both puffins and whales into one incredible experience. This particular tour operates from Reykjavik so may be more convenient than the highly rated Husavik option above.

On this tour you will take two different boats, one to see the puffins and a separate one to see the whales off the south coast. Essentially this is the Reykjavik Express tour combined with whale watching in Reykjavik. You can even do the two boats on separate days (although doing them in one day is recommended). Check out this convenient combo right here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Warm Clothing
  • Start Time: Multiple
  • Tour Pace: Medium

Click here to check availability and prices.


Húsavík: Big Whales and Puffin Island Speedboat Tour

This is essentially the same exact tour as the highly recommended Big Whale and Puffin tour at the beginning of this list. However, it is very slightly cheaper and also has incredible reviews. You will be sped across to Puffin Island to see the puffins and then go off on a whale watching hunt to see those majestic creatures too.

If the other tour is fully booked then this is another fantastic option in Husavik. Check out the availability and book your tour here.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 8+
  • Need To Take: Warm Clothing
  • Start Time: 10 am/1 pm
  • Tour Pace: Fast

Click here to check availability and prices.


Reykjavik – Puffin Watching On A RIB

So, you want to see the puffins of Iceland and you’re staying in Reykjavik but you want to make the experience as epic as possible. that’s where this Iceland puffin tour comes in. It takes the traditional wooden boat of the Reykjavik puffin express tour and replaces it with a super fast RIB.

This means that you can get super close to the islands and the puffins whilst also gaining the adrenaline rush of being on a super fast RIB. This does mean that Under 10’s cannot participate but if that isn’t an option then this really upgrades the puffin watching experience. Check it out here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 1 Hour
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 10+
  • Need To Take: Suitable Clothing
  • Start Time: 9 am/1 pm
  • Tour Pace: Fast

Click here to check availability and prices.

Read More: Iceland In Summer – Everything You Need To Know


Private Westman Islands Tour

By now you’ll know that the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjabær) is the best place in the whole world to see puffins. This tour includes transport to and from Reykjavik and an experienced guide to walk you through the entire island. This, of course, includes a visit to the largest puffin colony in the world – Stórhöfði.

This is the priciest Iceland puffin tour on the list but also has to most included. So, check out the ultimate experience here.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 12 Hours
  • Pickup Included: Yes
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Suitable Clothing
  • Start Time: 8 am
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed

Click here to check availability and prices.


The Best Places To See Puffins In Iceland

Reykjavik

This is by far the most convenient way to see puffins in Iceland. Nearly every single one of you will be flying directly into Keflavik airport which is close to the capital of Reykjavik. Also, most of the Iceland puffins tours in Reykjavik start in the city, are around an hour long and get great views of the puffins. Reykjavik is the option if you want to spend the least money and still get a great experience.

Reykjavik is one of the best places to jump on an iceland puffins tours

Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)

This is the best place in the whole world to see puffins in the wild. It is home to the largest colony of puffins in the world and actually makes up 1/6th of the whole population in one place. It is a little harder to get to but is only a 2-hour drive from Reykjavik and one affordable ferry journey to the island. The island itself is also well worth a visit for other reasons, including two volcanoes, so it is well worth a visit for anyone traveling to Iceland.


Husavik

Husavikl is on the north coast of Iceland which means that many fewer tourists come up this way. However, it is one of the best places in the world to see whales (including humpbacks and blues) and they have many tours that combine both puffins and whales on the same day. If you are coming up to Husavik then you simply have to jump on one of their whale-watching tours and if you are interested in the puffins then why not combine?!


Others

There are many smaller puffin colonies throughout the entirety of Iceland. I believe the previous 3 locations are the best place for Iceland puffins tours but if you are looking for something else then check out this article for some of the more obscure places to see puffins.


The Atlantic Puffin

If you are here then you probably already know all about the Atlantic puffin that you so want to see. However here are a few facts about the incredible bird to get you ready for your puffin tour in Iceland.

  • Puffin Population – Iceland is home to 60% of the world’s population of puffins
  • Where Do They Live – Most of the year they actually live out to sea floating on the waves. They only come into the land to mate.
  • Young – A puffin’s young is called a puffling, super cute!
  • Mating – Puffins are one of the few animals in the animal kingdom that mates for life!
  • Diving – They can dive up to 60m deep!
  • Age – They can live up to 38 years old but the average lifespan is in their 20s
There will be many more than just one of your Iceland puffins tours

When To Go On An Iceland Puffins Tour

May-August

You will not be able to book any Iceland puffins tours outside of the months of May-August. This is because the puffins are not there in any of the other months of the year. This means that you should plan your journey to Iceland around summer if you want any chance of seeing them.


Where To Stay For Your Iceland Puffins Tours

There are loads of incredibly unique places to stay in Iceland, however, below I have listed the best 3 accommodation options for Reyjkavik, Husavik, and Vestmannaeyjar. Below that, I have included a map that will show you all of the available accommodation options for your chosen dates!

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Reykjavik

Northern Comfort

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This extremely good set of apartments gives you basic (but quality) homely touches so you can save money on eating out. They are situated right in the heart of Reykjavik and are extremely well-priced for the location and service.

Husavik

Bjarnabúð

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This is a selection of 3 apartments of varying sizes right on the coast of Husavik town. I love having a kitchen when traveling abroad as it gives you more freedom and a homely touch. You cannot go wrong with Bjarnabúð.

Vestmannaeyjar

Glamping Pods

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We stayed in glamping pods recently on the mainland and instantly fell in love with this unique style of accommodation. These glamping pods on Vestmannaeyjar are no different and we highly recommend that you save some money and try it out as we think you’ll love it as much as we did.

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What To Take On Your Iceland Puffins Tours

You may think that you need binoculars to really get close to the puffins but all of the Iceland puffins tours in this list come with binoculars for each person on the tour. If you have your own then definitely take them though!

The following is a list of all the things I think everyone should be taking on Iceland puffins tours and also an essential list of items that all travelers should have in their bags.

If you are worried about getting cold feet (and you should be) then take a look at these brilliant thermal socks by Hot Feet. They should keep your feet warm in the cold conditions you will be facing, as long as you have decent footwear as well! You get 8 pairs which are also really good for the price. Take a look in more detail here.

If you get particularly cold then you are going to want to take a look at these fleece-lined full-body thermals. If you couple these with decent clothing over the top then the coldest of people should be warm in the coldest of places. Have a look at colours and sizes here.

This windproof/waterproof jacket is absolutely perfect for keeping the cold out and staying warm when you are visiting such cold places. If you only have a warm waterproof jacket I would seriously consider upgrading to windproof as it makes even more difference than the fleece lining in my opinion. See our recommendation here.

If you’re looking for a pair of warm gloves then check out these waterproof/windproof/thermal gloves. When you’re looking for decent gloves then fashion should not be your main priority. I don’t know about you but cold hands are the pinnacle of annoyance! These absolutely get the job done and you don’t have to take them off to use your phone which is a godsend. Take a more detailed look here.

If you’re planning on doing some serious hiking then we recommend you take a look at these Columbia walking boots. They come in loads of different colours and we think that they are really stylish. The most important thing however is that there are comfortable, waterproof and resilient which these are! There is nothing worse than sore feet preventing you from making the most out of your trip so don’t put it down to chance. Check them out in more detail here.

If you don’t have a camera then I HIGHLY recommend the Panasonic Lumix ZS70K. It is an affordable point-and-shoot camera that can be picked up and used by anyone of any ability. The camera captures gorgeous images and surprisingly excellent video whilst fitting in your pocket. The main difference between this and your phone’s camera is that it also has an incredible optical zoom so you won’t miss any of the shots you need to take. Check it out here.


Other Animals On Your Iceland Puffins Tours

Blue Whales

Blue whales can be seen if you take a combo whale and puffin tour from Husavik. This is the largest living creature on Earth and is a truly incredible thing to witness firsthand. We have been blue whale watching twice in our lives and thoroughly enjoyed both trips.

There are some iceland puffins tours that also see the majestic blue whale

Seals

We saw seals in Iceland when we visited diamond beach. They are super cute and if you manage to see one on one of your Iceland puffins tours then lucky you! They can be quite common but it’s always a bonus.


Humpback Whales

This is the same as the blue whales above, you will have to be in the north of Iceland to get on a combo puffin whale tour to see one. We swam with humpbacks in Australia and seeing them in the wild and up close makes you realize how massive these creatures are.


Guillemots

A very similar bird to the puffin in terms of how they live but not quite as cute so not quite as famous as the puffin. These are very common to see near the puffins as they have very similar lifestyles.

Its not just puffins on iceland puffins tours!

Other Things To Do In Iceland

The Blue Lagoon

The most famous landmark in all of Iceland has to be the Blue Lagoon and what better way to relax after your Iceland puffins tours than to soak in the mineral-rich waters of one of the best spa complexes in the world? Check out entry tickets and transport here!


Reykjavik Food Tour

We always recommend a food tour wherever we go as it is such a good way to experience a city and its food. You usually get some commentary on the city itself and get to taste the best food the city has to offer. Reykjavik is no different so check out our recommended food tour here!


Snowmobile Tour

This is the best thing we ever did in Iceland and you simply must do it. You get to ride a snowmobile over a glacier… Surely I don’t have to say much more? Check out the exact tour we went on here or check out our entire guide to snowmobiling in Iceland here!

This is not a stock photo, I got this when we went up onto the glacier.

Glacier Tour

We also went on a glacier tour in a converted super bus which was absolutely epic. I highly recommend this tour if you don’t think the snowmobile option is for you. It’s a similar price and you get to do it in extreme comfort. Check it out here! If you want to see some other options then check out our whole guide to Iceland glaciers here!

The BEST Iceland Glacier Tour! - Driving Up Into The Whiteness

Black Beaches

Iceland is famous for its incredible black beaches. They litter the south coast of Iceland in vast quantities! We have written a full guide to the beaches in Iceland so you can make sure that you visit the best ones on your trip.


Diamond Beach

If you don’t fancy going to any of the black beaches in Iceland above then make sure you go to Diamond beach. It is a completely unique incredible beach that has large chunks of shining ice littering the jet-black sand. This is the best beach I have ever been to in my life. Check out our full guide to Diamond Beach here!


The Golden Circle

Maybe the Blue Lagoon is the most famous landmark in Iceland for tourists but The Golden Circle is close behind. Comprising of Geysir, Thingvillir and, Gulfoss Waterfall, this is one of the best places to visit in the whole of Iceland. You can hire a 4×4 in Iceland and drive up yourself or jump on one of the many tours to the Golden Circle. Click here for our top recommendation. You can also see our full guide to Golden Circle tours here.


Snorkelling/Diving The Silfra Fissure

Whilst you are visiting Thingvillir, why not jump into the Silfra Fissure and dive/snorkel? Silfra Fissure has some of the clearest water in the entire world and it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Check out our recommended Silfra snorkeling tour here!



Frequently Asked Questions

Are Iceland Puffins Tours Worth It?

If you want to see puffins then of course they are worth it! If you aren’t really into puffins then these Iceland puffins tours also have options to see whales and other animals and some of them are in RIBs which adds a level of fun/adrenaline to the tour.

What Are The Best Iceland Puffins Tours?

How Much Are Iceland Puffins Tours?

They are around $50 – $150 depending on what else the tour offers. A private tour to the Westman Islands can go much higher to around $800 per person.

When Should I Go On Iceland Puffins Tours

The only time you can see puffins in Iceland is between May and August.

Where Should I Go On Iceland Puffins Tours?

The best three places to go on a puffin tour in Iceland are – Reykjavik – Husavik – Vestmannaeyjar


That’s our entire article about the best Iceland puffins tours! Let us know if you went on any of the tours we recommended and if there is anything we could do to improve our article.


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