Day 5 was a day with a mix of feelings; we woke up early morning when we were already quite tired from the road, but for a very exciting reason, whales watching. The rest of the day was a 500 km trip to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, where we planned to spend our next morning.
Day 5 itinerary:
- Free parking behind the church.
- WC and food were available.
One hour from our night accommodation, we had our whale-watching excursion booked. The whale watching was a last-minute decision when we already had our accommodation in Akureyri booked. That is why we didn’t sleep directly in the city the previous night. To reach Húsavík, we went one more time through the Vadlaheidargong Tunnel Toll.
After the lovely experience and before hitting the long route ahead, we had our packaged lunch at a table with a nice view behind the church.
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Where can you see whales in Iceland?
Most tours are offered in Húsavík, Akureyri, and Reykjavík. During our research before our trip, we read that Húsavík has the most excellent chance. Hence, we chose this localization for our tour. Still, many people have had good luck also in Reykjavik or Akureyri. Remember you need to be patient because it might take time to see one, or you can not spot one on all the tours. So, the best of lucks to you!
When can you see whales in Iceland?
The best months are between June and August, but in general between March and November.
Which kind of whales?
Humpback and minke are the most common seem in Iceland.
Which kind of tours are offered?
Traditional boats, kayaking, and speed boat tours.
Where can you book the tours?
You can head to the port depending on the city in which you decide to have the tour. You will find different whale watching companies with other packages to choose from. But since this is a top-rated attraction for tourists, we recommend doing your research in advance and book your favorite tour, so you don’t miss it due to already sold-out tours.
Viator offers a selection of tours, choose the one you like the most, book it and fit it into your schedule. Below this line are a few direct links to some companies:
Our whales watching experience with Gentle Giants Husavik
Our reservation was for 9:45, so we arrived like 45 minutes before. As indicated in our confirmation email, we had some time for parking, photos, and collecting our tickets at the ticket center 30 minutes before the tour. After collecting the key, we head down to the marine to start the boarding of the boat. During the boarding, we were offered some extra suits (in different sizes), which we didn’t plan to take at the beginning. Still, during the tour, we found that it keeps us warm and protected from the wind.
We chose the GG1 whale watching tour for 9441 ISK (63€/ $75, the price for August 2020, we used a discount code) for each one, a 3 hours traditional tour with an English speaker specialized guide, warm overalls, and raincoats if needed. Also, if not whales are seen (dolphins included) on tour, you are welcome to join free of charge another GG1 tour depending on availability.
The first hour of the tour passed without much activity, apart of a couple of dolphins.
But anyway the landscape and the ocean made us feel relaxing and enjoy.
During the last hour, we were lucky and spotted a few whales. The guide was also very nice to explain everything about the process and how they are not allowed to stay too long around the same whales, so they are not disturbed. So remember to keep yourself safe and good luck in your tour!
- Free parking.
- WC and food available.
To be honest, the city requires at least a full day to visit and relax in it from the road and is our recommendation if you have more time. But since we were shorted of time and chose to have a half-day at Snæfellsnes peninsula, we just did a quick stop for ice cream. But here are some helpful links about what can be done in Akureyri:
- Free parking.
- Not WC or food available.
- Time spent there: 30 minutes-1 hour.
Tired of a full day of driving, we reach the Snæfellsnes peninsula just in time to see the sunset on this beautiful beach, which is home to many seals and with a great view of Snæfellsjökull. The seals can seem very close to the shore, so please enjoy this magnificent moment to see them in their natural habitat without going too close and disturb them.
Accommodation: Traðir guesthouse
We got a perfect location for the night, less than 5 minutes from Ytri Tunga, and next to the see at Traðir guesthouse. During aurora season, it is a perfect spot to enjoy the magic.
- Free parking
- Free WiFi
- Shared bathroom and kitchen.
- Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, and Coffee shop/Café
- Our experience: We paid 94 euros for one night in a small room for four people. The bathroom and kitchen were shared with another room. Still, they also offer a kitchen and bathroom to a camping site that was possible to use too, bigger and more comfortable. Even though it was not the most modern room and was tiny, just the feeling of sleeping next to the sea adds excellent value to the place. The lounge area was very friendly and well equipped to have a perfect end of the day in a cozy room.