Q: I am planning to visit Iceland from Denmark with the main intention of watching and photographing puffins. I plan to stay for three days. It will be great if you can let me know the following:
1. Where should I stay? Are the Westman Islands a good option? Where in the Westman Islands should I visit to watch puffins?
2. Is there any other place near Reykjavík where I can sit and watch puffins in peace? I am not interested in the short (1-2 hr) boat rides. Also it will be great if you could share a number where I can call and discuss for more information. Thanks a lot.
Debaditya Ghosh, Denmark
A: The Westman Islands would be a good place to observe puffins, and the only settlement is Vestmannaeyjabær on the island Heimaey. On vestmannaeyjar.is you can find information regarding accommodations there, and Westman Island Tours operates individualized hiking tours around the island, including trips to puffin colonies.
There are no major puffin colonies in or around the metropolitan area, except for on small islands off the coast, but those are only accessible by boat and for the most part it’s not possible to go ashore.
Otherwise the best places for puffin watching would be found in the west of Iceland and in the West Fjords. Both of their official travel guides are helpful in locating information regarding accommodations, tours and places of interest.