Itinerary for 3 nights - Bird trail 1 Day 1 | Arrival and guided tour to Eider colony
Arrival to accommodation. In the evening you enjoy a guided tour on foot through the Eider colony at Farm Björg and view the birdlife by the sea cliffs. It is possible to get very close to the Eiders and experience how they benefit from the protection supplied by the farmer. You will also view the vivid birdlife by the sea cliffs and can expect to see up to 50-60 different species of e.g. seabirds, ducks and waders in the area.
The guided tour takes around 3 hours.
Day 2 | Mývatn – a paradise for birdwatchers, day tour by bus
| Photo: Jóhann Óli Hilmarssson|
This day tour offers birdwatching with a guide in the Lake Mývatn area. The tour starts from Sigurgeir´s Bird Museum. Lake Mývatn is a paradise for birdwatchers. This centre of duck-production in Europe is simply loaded with birds, including many Barrow’s Goldeneyes and Harlequin Ducks. A typical list of birds will include 50-60 species and most likely include Gyr Falcon. On arrival to the Mývatn area from Reykjadalur you will first visit Lake Másvatn, where there is a good chance to see Great Northern Divers. You then continue to the river Laxá which runs from Lake Mývatn. This uppermost part of the river is the prime habitat for Harlequin duck and Barrow´s Goldeneye in Iceland and may include Goosander.
The circle tour around Mývatn starts with a stop at Álftavogur to search the flocks of ducks for scarcer visitors. Near Skútustaðir are small lakes in extensive wetlands, which offer a chance to see many species of ducks, including Long-tailed Duck and the occasional Common Pochard. You continue around the lake and make a few stops to view birds as well as the picturesque scenery. The woodland park at Höfði is great for walking, with views towards unusual lava formations in the lake. Here are plenty of Common Redpoll, Redwing and Winter Wren, as well as ducks on the lake. From here to Reykjahlíð village, you will look for dabbling ducks including Gadwall and the scarce Northern Shoveler. There are often large flocks of Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup and Eurasian Wigeon at Neslandavík Bay. This is also a good area for Common Scoter and scarce vagrants such as American Wigeon, Common Pochard and Ring-necked Duck. Sigurgeir´s Bird Museum is conveniently located by the bay, in one of the best birdwatching spots by Lake Mývatn. The last main stop on the tour is called Álar, also rich in birdlife and likely to reveal scarcer species.
| Photo: Jóhann Óli Hilmarssson|
The tour takes around 8 hours, lunch pack included.Day 3 | Free morning, boat trip from Húsavík
The morning is free for you to spend at leisure. We suggest visiting the charming harbour town of Húsavík with its Whale Museum and Culture House which displays several interesting exhibitions (entrance fee not included). It is also worthwhile to visit Húsavík church.
In the afternoon you go on a boat trip from Húsavík harbour with whale-watching company Gentle Giants to Flatey Island. On the way to Flatey Island, one can experience the beautiful surroundings of Skjálfandi Bay and perhaps even spot some whales. Flatey Island was inhabited from the 11th century but has been deserted since 1967 and is a natural haven for birdlife. The island offers more than 30 different species of birds during the breeding season.
The boat tour takes 4-5 hours, including the excursion on Flatey Island. Day 4 | Mývatn - Sigurgeir‘s Bird Museum
In the morning you drive to Sigurgeir´s Bird Museum by Lake Mývatn. The area around Lake Mývatn probably has the highest number of duck species in the world. During your stay in the area, you will have an open pass to the museum, which exhibits around 180 bird species and offers three birdhides for birdwatching. Half a day‘s use of the birdhides and meal included. Please note that reservations are needed for the birdhides. Sigurgeir´s Bird Museum also has a restaurant offering traditional refreshments such as rye bread baked in a hot spring with smoked trout and flat bread with smoked lamb. At 14:00 birders meet at the museum to share the day‘s experiences.