Whale watching can be an immersive and unforgettable experience. In fact, the occasional whale can be spotted of the coasts of our own islands, but witnessing a pod on one of the many snow holidays available is a delight. Let’s consider three opportunities where you might have unforgettable fun while properly watching some of these truly astonishing creatures…
There is no escaping the fact that the north of Iceland is probably one of the most curious places on the planet. You can bathe in a naturally-heated lagoon or mud pool, spend time exploring the mind-blowing volcanic landscapes, experience the fascinating midnight sun in summer. The small town of Akureyi offers a more laid-back welcome than bustling Reykjavik, and flights, with just one quick connection, are now available from London. The nearby fishing port of Husavik offers an embarkation point for an expedition to observe minke one of the smaller of the species or humpback whales in Skjalfandi Bay.
At certain times, a trip to this location gives you the chance to watch as the humpbacks feed on enormous shoals of herring in the majestic scenery of colossal and majestic fjords. You will be stunned simply by the noise as a group exhale as they surround the shoal. That’s nothing compared to the unforgettable moment when hundreds of fish leap from the water, followed by their pursuers, in an astonishingly powerful feeding dance.
Suddenly, you are likely to see some orcas join the action, and then catch the diving swoop of white-tailed eagles enjoying the feast. This truly is life in the raw. Incidentally, while in the area, there can also be chances to enjoy both snowmobile safaris to catch the Northern Lights or experience the dashing thrill of a sled pulled by a team of eager huskies.
Greenland and Iceland
Often called “a trip to the very edge of the world”, it’s a chance to spend a few days in a world of daunting mountains and endlessly drifting icebergs. Just imagine yourself taking a summer evening stroll around two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle itself. You are in Illulissat, gently nestling at the foot of a brain-numbingly beautiful ice fjord, overlooking the sea. It’s a place to pause and carefully listen for that unmistakable sound that announces the presence of the king of the oceans. You may also spot white-beaked dolphins. You can combine this walk on the wild side with a few days in lively Reykjavik, an increasingly popular destination for summer or winter breaks.
Having a whale of a time
The poet John Masefield once wrote: “I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life, to the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife”. These whale watching trips are certainly not for those who want nothing more than burning heat and a “prove we’ve been away” tan. However, if you’d prefer experiences that are truly worth talking about, then there are whales to be seen.