The best places to spot puffins in Iceland

Are you preparing for a trip to Iceland? Iceland is one of the most unique countries in the world where you can gaze at volcanoes, relax in hot springs, and explore the amazing Icelandic culture and historical sites. But many tourists don’t consider seeing puffins in Iceland.

Puffins are cute birds native to the Atlantic Ocean. They have penguin-like coloring during the mating season; however, in the winter months their coat turns grey. About 60% of all puffins nest in Iceland and lay their eggs during the spring. They don’t stay for long and leave their nesting area at the end of summer.

Sadly, the puffin population is declining. So, if you’re taking a trip to Iceland, make it a point to catch a glimpse of these unique birds. But where do you find them?

Westman Islands

One of the best spots to see the birds is in the Westman Islands or Vestmannaeyjar in Icelandic. This is an island group off of Iceland’s South Coast, consisting of 15 islands and 30 rocks or skerries. Westman Islands are host one of the largest puffin colony in the world.

Which island should you spot the most puffins? Many tourists recommend Heimaey, which is also the only populated island. The puffins enjoy nesting in the grassy areas off the cliffs near the coast.

You can choose to see puffins by land and by boat. Westman Islands offers both a boat tour and puffin viewing spots.