Scandinavia's Best Whale Watching Spots

Whale watching, Husavik, Iceland
Husavik, Iceland. Tim E White / Getty Images

In Scandinavia, whale watching is a popular activity, and many travelers choose to go whale watching in Norway or Iceland. Adventurous travelers can even sign up for special whale watching safaris offering to let you swim with the whales! Find out here when and where to go whale watching in the whales' natural habitats.

Whale Watching in Iceland

  • When: April - October
  • Where: All of Iceland's coasts
  • Whale Species: Minke whales, Humpback whales, Blue whales, Sperm whales, Orcas, Pilot Whales, and more

Many of Iceland's whale safaris start in the capital Reykjavik, but whale watching is done all over Iceland. Around one-quarter of the world's cetacean species have been recorded in Iceland's nutrient-rich waters. On your way out to sea, travelers should keep an eye out for white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises, along with rare Icelandic birds.

Whale watching in Iceland was established in 1995 and became one of the highlights for tourists visiting the country. The warm summer months are ideal for whale watching, especially June - August. The following whale watching tours are currently available and bookable online:

  • Gullfoss & Geysir Tour
  • Whale Watching & Blue Lagoon Tour
  • Whale Safari & Puffin Island Tour

Whale Watching in Norway

  • When: May - September
  • Where: Northern Norway (Nordland region, Lofoten Islands)
  • Whale Species: Orca whales, Minke whales, Sperm whales

In Northern Norway, Orcas are observed in Vestfjord, Tysfjord, and Ofotfjord in Nordland. Sperm whales can be watched in the Lofoten Islands. This is a chain of islands above the Arctic Circle, only an hour's boat trip away from where the continental shelf drops to 3,000 feet depths. Here, massive sperm whales can be found.

The Lofoten Islands have always been a popular hunting area for whaling in Norway. However, whale watching off northern Norway has now become so popular that Norwegian authorities have set up a dedicated whale route with ferries and boats between the Lofoten Islands.

What You Can Do Against Commercial Whaling

  1. Make whale watching a part of your visit so it becomes a stronger opponent to whaling that can't be ignored.
  2. Visit a local whale museum, learn more about these animals and by doing so, help support important educational facilities.
  3. Resist the curiosity of tasting whale meat. Unfortunately, each piece sold supports the whaling industry.
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