Whilst out on our luxury tours you may be lucky enough to spot some of our gorgeous Icelandic Animals.
1. Arctic Foxes
The only native land mammal in Iceland has to top our list of Icelandic animals. It is unbelievably cute, and can be seen in a range of coat colours which can change throughout the year, but not as much as in other countries as it has almost no predators here. If we had polar bears here then it would be a big disadvantage to not turn pure white in the winter! As it is they are a range of jolly colours, bonus points to you if you spot all the variations during your stay.
When fresh snow is on the ground their footprints are easily identifiable. We don’t have any wild dogs here, in fact in Reykjavik dogs were banned until 1924! So if you think they are fox prints they probably are, but you can tell by seeing how far down the outer paw pads are. To learn more about them click here.
2. Humpback Whales.
Of course, our beloved humpbacks have to be in our list of Top 5 Icelandic Animals to look out for. But Iceland is the best place in Europe to see whales in the wild, and people travel from all over to see these gentle giants perform acrobatics in our clean, rich, and very cold waters! As well as humpbacks we also frequently see dolphins, minke whales, and occasionally even fin whales, blue whales, and orca amongst many others If you want to see them in Reykjavik then have a look at our luxury yacht tours.
3. Atlantic Puffins.
Atlantic puffins are often mistakingly thought to be our national bird because we love them so much! 60% of the world’s population come here to breed every summer on the rocky islands off our coast, safe from predators in their burrows. They are a joy to watch, year after year we never get tired of watching their antics. We do specific puffin watching tours but you can often see them on our Island Explorer and Whale Watching cruises too.
In Norse mythology, the great God Odin, had two ravens called Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory). They flew around the world, returning to Asgard to whisper news into his ear. We still value our Nordic heritage and so the stories of our ancestors.
Well over a thousand years ago, when Iceland was discovered it was by a man called Floki, he was sailing from the Faroe islands, and didn’t know which direction to continue in so after a while at sea he released one raven, and it flew back to the Faroe islands, later the second raven just flew up and returned to the boat, it couldn’t see land. But the third raven released flew ahead, showing Floki the way to land, the place that would end up being called Iceland. Henceforth he was called Raven-Floki.
Our national bird is the fierce gyrfalcon, they are hard to spot but so worth looking for. They are quite a large falcon, as well as very strong and can take down a goose! But often they will eat much smaller birds as well as rodents and very occasionally it will eat carrion. Learn more about them here.
What Icelandic animals are you looking forward to see in your time in Iceland?