Exploring Iceland's Wildlife with a Rental Car

Puffins in Iceland at Reykjanes Peninsula.
Rent a car in Iceland and see puffins.

Want to explore a place filled with magical creatures from the sea to the sky? Iceland is such a place, where you can see puffins, whales, seals, arctic foxes, and even reindeers! 

With a rental car, you can go on an adventure to find these amazing animals all by yourself, moving at your own pace.


The Benefits of a Rental Car in Iceland

Having a rental car in Iceland is like holding a golden ticket to adventure. It lets you decide when and where you want to go. 

Want to stay a bit longer watching the playful seals? No problem. Missed the puffins in the morning? Just drive back at sunset. A rental car gives you the freedom to discover Iceland's hidden gems that buses and tours might miss.


Meet the Puffins

Puffins are like little clowns of the sea with their colorful beaks and funny walks. Iceland is home to many of these birds, especially in the summer. With a car, you can visit places like the Látrabjarg cliffs or the Tjörnes peninsula, where Atlantic puffins come to nest. 

Vestmannaeyjar, also known as the Westman Islands, located just off Iceland’s southern coast, is a prime spot for puffin watching. It's famous for the stunning Elephant Rock and is an excellent addition to any Icelandic travel plan, particularly for those eager to spot puffins.

Wherever you go to see puffins I suggest allowing yourself some leisure to catch the delightful moment when puffins take flight or land, which is always an entertaining spectacle.

Rental car in iceland at sea cliff shore.
Drive along Iceland's coastline to see seals, puffins or even whales.

Whale Watching Adventures

Whales are giants of the ocean and seeing them in Iceland can be the highlight of your trip. Places like Húsavík or Ólafsvík offer boat tours and having a rental car in Iceland means you can choose the best day and time for your adventure. 

Those with more limited time in Iceland can also catch whale watching tours in Reykjavik. Occasionally, you might even catch a glimpse of whales right from the shoreline! 

Humpback whales are known to visit Hafnarfjörður harbor. You may also see orcas, also called killer whales, enter fjords or harbors in Iceland. Imagine watching a whale breach while standing on a cliff, with no one rushing you to leave.


Seal Spotting by the Shore

Seals are often seen lounging on Iceland's beaches or playing in the water. With a rental car, you can drive to places like the Vatnsnes peninsula, where seals are common. It’s fun to watch them but remember to stay quiet and not get too close, so you don't scare them away.

If you're taking your rental car to Vatnsnes peninsula, I highly recommend taking time to see Hvítserkur Sea Stack. One of Iceland's most amazing natural wonders. 


Finding the Arctic Fox

The arctic fox is a small, fluffy animal that is very clever and hard to spot. They live in the more remote parts of Iceland, which are perfect to explore with a rental car. 

Going to places like Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the Westfjords, might give you a chance to see these beautiful creatures. Just remember, they are wild animals, so we need to respect their space.

White arctic fox in winter in Iceland.
White arctic fox in winter in Iceland.

Reindeer in the Wild

Reindeers are not just in fairy tales; they live in Iceland too! They roam freely in the Eastfjords, where you can spot them with a bit of luck and patience. 

Having a rental vehicle in Iceland lets you explore these areas at your leisure, giving you a better chance to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

Sport Fishing in Iceland

Fishing isn’t just about catching fish; it’s about connecting with nature, and Iceland is a dream come true for anglers. With a rental car, you can easily reach some of the best fishing spots for a chance to catch trout, arctic char, and even salmon. 

One of the most exciting places is Lake Thingvellir, where you can find the legendary ice age trout. These are not your ordinary fish; they’re giants that have been living in the cold waters of Iceland for thousands of years! 

Besides trout, the crystal-clear rivers and lakes are full of arctic char, a beautiful fish that’s as fun to catch as it is delicious to eat. And let’s not forget about salmon, the king of the river, making its way upstream in the summer. Having your own car means you can visit several fishing spots in one day or return to your favorite one whenever you like.

reindeer in east iceland.
See wild reindeer in the east of Iceland.


Domestic Animals of Iceland

While exploring Iceland, you’ll meet some of the island's most charming residents: the Icelandic horse and the free-roaming sheep. The Icelandic horse, small but mighty, is known for its friendly nature and unique gait. You’ll see these beautiful creatures grazing near the road or offering rides at local farms. They’re not shy, so you might even get a chance to pet them! 

Summer is also the time when Icelandic sheep wander freely in the mountains, living their best life. While driving, you’ll often see them by the road or even crossing it, so keep an eye out to make sure these fluffy adventurers can safely get to their destination. Remember, these animals are a big part of what makes Iceland so special, so we need to drive carefully to keep them safe.



Exploring Iceland with a rental car opens up a world of adventure and magical wildlife sightings. Whether it’s the playful puffin or the majestic reindeer, your journey will be filled with moments of wonder. 

So, rent a car, check the weather and set off on an adventure to meet Iceland’s amazing animals. Remember, these creatures are a precious part of our world, so let’s admire them from a distance and leave their homes just as we found them.

If you liked this article, feel free to explore our blog for more exciting information about Natural Wonders and Driving in Iceland.







Snorkeling in Silfra

Snorkeling in Silfra

Silfra fissure is not only Iceland's top dive sites, but one of the best dive sites in the world. We provide you with a wetsuit, but you´ll most certainly feel how cold the water in Silfra is. The crystal-clear waters and beautiful surroundings will surely make the snorkeling tour unforgettable.