Iceland’s seacoasts, spectacular mountain scenery, fine birdwatching and wildlife viewing, friendly people and excellent food make for an ideal summer vacation. Its glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and clays, wild salmon rivers and waterfalls provide endless photographic opportunities. Close to the Arctic Circle but moderated by the Gulf Stream, Iceland’s early summer weather is mild and refreshing in almost continuous daylight. For those who love to explore nature with easy walking in breathtaking landscapes on land and sea, Iceland is a treasure.

Black sand beach in Vik
Black sand beach in Vik
The North Atlantic around Iceland is rich in cod and small fish such as sandeels attracting seabirds, seals and whales. On Snaefellsnes Peninsula, we board a fishing boat to sail to a small rocky island, home to nesting Atlantic Puffins, Northern Fulmars, kittiwakes and eider ducks. Seabirds swirl and dive into the sea and Parasitic Jaegers robbing fish from Arctic Terns is a frequent sight. Puffins guard the entrances of their nest burrows. Iceland’s 3,000,000 Atlantic Puffins outnumber the human population about 10 to one!

Top left: Parasitic Jaeger © Sherry Kirkvold
Top right: Northern Fulmar © Sherry Kirkvold
Bottom left: Black-legged Kittiwakes © Sherry Kirkvold
Bottom right: Atlantic Puffins © Jean Iron

Seeing and photographing European shorebirds on their breeding grounds is remarkably easy. Whimbrels, Eurasian Oystercatchers, Black-tailed Godwits, European Golden-Plovers and other shorebirds are tame, and are even present in small towns. A day trip by ferry to the Hrisey Island bird sanctuary gives us a good chance of seeing the cryptic Rock Ptarmigan amidst an abundance of native wildflowers. With a diversity of northern habitats, the beauty of Iceland’s flora is both showy and subtle.
Top left: Eurasian Whimbrels
Top right: Rock Ptarmigan © Sherry Kirkvold
Bottom left: Cuckoo Flower © Sherry Kirkvold
Bottom right: Black-tailed Godwit
Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

Our tour includes a visit to the Blue Lagoon for a warm swim if you wish, a farm to see Icelandic horses, the National Museum, and other cultural attractions, always within sight of the ocean or snow-capped mountains. A trip to Iceland is an invigorating adventure trip full of vivid memories and countless photographs.

Iceland: More than Fire and Ice
Led by Sherry Kirkvold  |  Learn more