• Einar Páll Svavarsson

Animals in Iceland


Sheep is the most common animal you see in Iceland
Sheep is the most common animal you see in Iceland

Most of the visitors driving around Iceland are going from one natural wonder to another. But on the way they are frequently driving through quite a scenic landscape. Even when driving from one beautiful waterfall to another visitors are often driving on the road with an extensive view over a vast area of fields, lava, black sand, or a picturesque countryside. In the background, they usually have mountains, a glacier or even a glacier tongue forcing its way to the ocean. You never drive for a long time through a forest with a limited view on both sides and nothing but trees mile after mile. Adding to the scenic view is often a long drive in fjords where you will find streams of water flowing down mountain slopes and lakes and rivers at the bottom of the fjords. It is an ideal place for those who love a widespread view with a lot of things to see while driving.


Birds, horses, sheep and other fascinating animals are part of the scenic drive in Iceland

Puffins are a popular attraction in Iceland during summer
Puffins are a popular attraction in Iceland during summer

In addition to the view, you will also see a lot of animals, both domestic animals, and wild animals. This is especially true for birds, and you will see many species of birds while on a road trip in Iceland. You will also see a lot of beautiful horses, cows, and sheep. One of the dangers on the road in Iceland, like the Ring Road, are people stopping their car to photograph animals. Sometimes people do not sense the danger this can create on a narrow road. But sometimes the fascination of the view and the beautiful animals is just so overwhelming that people find it necessary to stop on the spot and take a photo. The combination of animals in a magnificent landscape is simply so beautiful but remember that this can be very dangerous when on a narrow road.


Although Iceland has many species of animals, there are no dangerous animals

The Icelandic horse
The Icelandic horse

Almost on every road, you travel you will find and see animals. On the other hand, the higher the altitude, the fewer the animals. The wonderful fact though is that there are no dangerous animals in Iceland. There is no chance that you will be attacked by an animal wherever you are in Iceland. Wherever you are camping and wherever you are hiking. When driving in Iceland on vacation between natural wonders like waterfalls, basalt column cliffs, hot spring geothermal pools and glacier lagoons, you will most likely notice animals in the countryside. Especially if you are driving past farms and farmlands. You will see a lot of sheep and cows, not to mention all the birds, small birds and large birds like geese and Whooper swans. Friendly wonderful animals, and in Iceland you don't have to worry about dangerous wild animals since they are almost non-existing in Iceland.

Arctic fox in Iceland
Arctic fox in Iceland

The two species that could remotely be defined as intimidating for humans are the fox and the mink. These two species are mostly live in the highland and far from most inhabited areas. Those two are actually much more scared of humans than humans are scared of them and usually run away as fast as possible if the see us. Sometimes you well also see the Icelandic horse, a magnificent animal that can give a scenic drive a new dimension. Icelandic horses running together in a flock in the Icelandic landscape is one of the most stunning sights when driving in Iceland. Overall most of the animals in Iceland are a significant addition to the landscape. It really doesn't matter if it is a puffin on a cliff, a whopper swan on a lake, a duck on a river, geese flying in a canyon or a flock of horses running together on a hill, the animals will always spice up the landscape and the photographic opportunity.

Animals and birds often enhance nature in Iceland
Animals and birds often enhance nature in Iceland

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