Not only have I been lucky enough to visit the extraordinary country of Iceland, but this most recent trip was my third visit. The first time I went I was alone, and I fell absolutely in love the place. So when I returned a few years later with KC, I wanted to show him all the wonderful sights I loved so much on my first trip. Since we’d already ticked off a couple of the main ‘must-do’s’ in Iceland, like the Golden Circle Tour and visiting the Blue Lagoon, we wanted to make sure that this time round we had a go at some of the other special experiences Iceland has to offer.
The previous day’s horse riding experience was very high on the list, and so was another chance to get close to some of Iceland’s native wildlife with a whale watching tour.
I say ‘whale watching’ but we were all warned fairly early on that early February is not exactly prime whale-spotting season, but you never know! My boat-loving other half was just eager to go out for a ride, so the possibility of seeing some awesome sealife was just a bonus really!
And it really was a beautiful ride. Sat on boat waiting for it to set off, the rain was coming down and we did suspect that it might not go so well,... but as soon as we got going the sun came out and the trip was bright and beautiful!
Still incredibly cold, like, but bright and beautiful and cold.
The company we went with were Elding Whale Watching, but there’s a number of companies running similar tours. This was booked as part of the holiday package so I didn’t really look into the differences between them, but the Elding tour was grand. The boat was cosy with seats both inside and outside (for the super brave). There was a little cafe inside selling drinks and chocolate bars, and you could borrow blankets and waterproof overalls for warmth too.
The boat trips all come with a knowledgeable guide. Our on-board marine biologist had plenty to tell us about the kinds of creatures living in the seas around Iceland, as well as where and when to look if we hoped to see anything!
But did we see anything?
Yes! No whales, though we'd been told that wasn't overly likely anyway - but just as it was about time to start heading back to Reykjavik we spotted a little group of white-beaked dolphins!
Now, I'm afraid I didn't get any pictures - I'm sure the quick flashes of fin I saw wouldn't have made amazing photos, and I didn't want to miss anything myself by fiddling with a camera.
(And will shamefacedly admit that by this time the boat was starting to get the better of me and I was regretting my decision to reject the earlier offer of sea sickness tablets to all passengers!)
It might not have been the biggest of most impressive sighting of dolphins in these waters, but I was so utterly thrilled to catch a glimpse of these wonderful creatures, and it made all the feeling-like-I-might-die completely worth it!
Though with tours like this, there's no guarantee of seeing anything - nature can be fickle! - but I think it's absolutely worth the risk! Just wrap up warm, and say yes to the sea-sickness pills!