Wildlife tours in the Nordic region – Encounter rare species in the wild
Take a glimpse of some wildlife tours that we offer in the Nordic region. Which one are you most interested in – polar bears, brown bears, whales or puffins?
Although zoos and wildlife sanctuaries give people opportunities to see wild species with relative ease, witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat, free from constraints, is a breath-taking experience. It reminds us of nature’s wonders and how small we are in the great scheme of things in a way that no zoo ever can.
The wildlife that inhabit our region are varied and accustomed to cold climates. Out of the countless species that you may encounter in the Nordics and the Arctic, there are four, in particular, that have wildlife tours dedicated to them within our itineraries: Polar bears, brown bears, whales, and puffins. See our recommendations in the examples below.
Polar bears in Svalbard, Norway
The polar bear, one of the world’s largest carnivores (reaching a height of up to 2.6 m and a weight of up to 800 kg), is the King of the Arctic. Although polar bears can be found in a number of areas in the Arctic north, drifting on dense sea ice, Norway's Svalbard Archipelago is a great destination for anyone wishing to see polar bears in the wild.
For example, our 9-day summer tour Svalbard Adventure is a small ship voyage with a small number of passengers, presenting a fantastic opportunity to explore Arctic wildlife from the safety of the ship. Also see our travel guide “Polar Bears in Norway” for more info!
Brown bears in Finland
Although Finland has around 2000 brown bears living within its borders, it is highly unlikely that visitors will accidentally run into one while in the country. However, it is possible to observe the national animal of Finland in its natural habitat as a part of an organised tour with an experienced guide.
For instance, our 8-day Log Cabins & Bears of Finland self-drive tour includes a 6-hour bear watching excursion near the Russian border in Finnish summertime.
Sitting in a safe, purpose-built log cabin with large windows allows you to watch these majestic animals up close while they play and eat nearby (attracted by carcasses that are laid out for them nearby). The light summer nights allow you to enjoy the scenery long into the evening.
Whales in Iceland
Few places in the world offer the kind of whale watching opportunities Iceland does. In fact, whale watching has become a quintessential Iceland experience along with hot springs and glaciers. The odds of seeing whales on a whale watching tour (with a silent electric engine) are excellent.
For example, our 10-day summer tour Iceland Circle self-drive farm stay includes a 3-hour whale watching tour in a traditional Icelandic sailboat with an expert guide on whales, birds and sailing at your disposal.
Puffins in the Faroe Islands
The Atlantic puffins, often called the Parrots of the Sea, are cherished by the Faroese people, and approximately 500,000 pairs of puffins return to the Faroe Islands to breed each summer (from mid-April to September). In fact, the small island of Mykines is the home to a puffin colony, however you need to take a ferry (or a helicopter) to get to its magnificent cliffs.
You can visit the puffin colony, for instance, as a part of our 4-day tour Highlights of the Faroe Islands.