6 Places to See the Puffin in Iceland

The puffin is endangered species in Iceland.
Two puffins watching the photographer in Latrabjarg westernmost cliff in Iceland.

Many travellers want to see the Icelandic puffin when traveling to Iceland in summer, so the question is: Where is it best to do that?

1 Reynisfjara black beach

In the grassy slopes facing the ocean, above the black beach, that’s where the puffin makes its burrows. You look up for the small chubby birds flying back and forth to the ocean to catch fancy food for the cute little pufflings.
The drive to the black beach takes only 2.5 hours without any stops from Reykjavik and can easily be done as part of the south coast tour with all the waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes.

2 Dyrholaey headland

The easiest way to see the puffins is to walk from the lower parking in Dyrholaey to some kind of a viewing platform with good view when and if the puffin fly by. The puffin have their borrows in the grassy slopes and they fly to the ocean and back bringing some food to the chicks.

3 Vestmannaeyjar islands

It is easy to do a day tour to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman islands in English), leaving Reykjavik early in the morning to catch the morning ferry. At arrival you need to drive out of town to the hills where you often can spot the puffins.

4 Latrabjarg bird cliff

The cliff Latrabjarg in northwestern Iceland has usually been crowded with puffins and you might be able to go really close to them, maybe as close as 2 meters away.

5 The Atlantic Ocean

You might spot some puffin if you stay on deck watching the ocean while sailing across the bay to Latrabjarg.Or you can join a puffin tour from Reykjavik’s old harbour. The tours start running on May 1st.

6 Reykjanes peninsula

There are several bird cliffs on the Reykjanes peninsula. You might see the puffin when if flies out to the sea or back to the burrow.


Keep in mind
Please remember to treat the puffins with uttermost respect. Please don’t go to close to them in their natural habitat, please don’t scream, jump or scare them away. Please don’t throw anything at them or try to take them into your arms. The best way to see the puffin is by going slowly, waiting and looking at them. They fly by if conditions are ok.

Please bring binoculars.

Nature is in control. There is never a guarantee that you will see puffin.