Orcas in Iceland – Where and When Can You see Killer Whales in Iceland
Iceland is one of the best places in Europe for whale watching. Therefore many travelers use the opportunity to go on a whale-watching trip during their holidays in Iceland. More than 20 different species live in the waters surrounding Iceland, 8 of which can frequently be seen on whale watching tours. Important to know is that the type of whale you most probably see on your whale watching tour depends on when and where in Iceland you are joining a whale watching trip. For many people, seeing orcas in the wild nature is a dream so this article provides you an overview of how to increase your chances of seeing orcas in Iceland.
Snaefellsnes, the Best Place to see Orcas in Iceland
In general, there is always a slight chance to see orcas on a whale watching tour in Iceland. From time to time tour operators from Husavik, Akureyri or Reykjavik happily share orca photos in their social media. However, chances to see orcas on these tours are very low and always a huge surprise. The only area in Iceland where orcas are regularly seen is Snaefellsnes in the West of Iceland. Láki Tours is the only tour operator in this area that offers whale watching tours from Grundarfjordur during winter and trips from Olafsvik in summer.
When is the Best Time to see Orcas in Iceland
As we are dealing with nature and wild animals, we cannot predict orca sightings for the future. We recommend to regularly check our Facebook page where we share more details and photos of the species we see on our tours. Since Láki Tours operates whale watching tours in Snaefellsnes already for many years so we also want to share with you our experiences from the last seasons.
Grundarfjordur, Snaefellsnes – Iceland Orca Watching in Winter
Between December and January, our whale watching tour is operated from Grundarfjordur. During this time, chances are good to see orcas if we have herring in the fjord. Not only the orcas are a great photo motif on our tours but also the magnificent view on Kirkjufell. Seeing the most famous mountain in Iceland from the ocean provides an unusual photography opportunity.
Olafsvik, Snaefellsnes – Iceland Orca Watching in Late Winter, Spring, and Summer
From mid-February, we operate our whale watching tours from Olafsvik. The most reliable time to see orcas is generally March, April, May, and June. But from time to time we also have orca sightings in July and August. During this time of the year, our whale watching tours start from Olafsvik. Apart from the whales, on clear days you can enjoy a nice view of the impressive Snaefellsnesjokull glacier from our boat.
Iceland Orca Watching with Láki Tours
We hope we were able to answer all your questions about seeing orcas in Iceland. By clicking the buttons below you can learn more about our whale watching tours from Grundarfjordur (winter) and Olafsvik (summer).
available between December and February
available between March and October
Gallery from our Orca Sightings in Snaefellsnes
Some Facts about Orcas
Orcas, also called killer whales, are the largest species of the dolphin family. They’re immediately recognizable by their distinctive black-and-white coloring. Killer whales weigh up to 6 tons and grow 7 to 9.7 meters (23 to 32 feet). They are known to be extremely social and live in family groups. Orcas make a wide variety of different communicative sounds and each pod has special noises that its members recognize even at a distance. They use echolocation for communication and hunting. Orcas are toothed whales and they are powerful predators and they hunt and kill even large adult whales. Orcas in Iceland are mainly known for feeding on herring.
Best Place to see Orcas in the Wild
While many travellers are aware that during winter Norway is a great area in Europe to watch orcas in the wild, Iceland is still a relatively unknown place. We hope with this article we inspire you to also have Iceland in mind for a wonderful orca whale watching holiday. The very good chances to see orcas regularly in Snaefellsnes makes Iceland definitely to one of the best places to see orcas in the wild.