Iceland’s Reindeer

I believe we may have found where Santa’s reindeer spend the summer months. Iceland’s Eastern Coast.

Today we went on a reindeer safari with Tinna Adventure in Breiddalsvik. We drove to the coastal village to meet owner Helga for a 4-hour trip filled with good humor and so many interesting sights.

First of all, we did see reindeer! Not native to the island (very little wildlife is), the animals were first introduced by Norwegians. It’s only been recently that herds have thrived and they now number somewhere between 5 – 7,000 in number.

Helga is local, having grown up in the area and returned after her advanced education. She showed us her part of the world with great pride and deep knowledge. She loaded us into her Super Jeep and off we went. Helga answered every one of the questions I’d been wondering about on this trip and shared great insider tips that will change the way we view the landscape from here on.

The reindeer are actually a light color, and if you aren’t tuned in, you might mistake them for a herd of sheep grazing in the hills. It’s the males that are visible this time of year since the females have given birth deep in the highlands.    

Reindeer coats are changing from their winter wear to summer.

Eastern Iceland is ruggedly beautiful and a more undiscovered place as far as tourism. We visited Djupivogur and saw an outdoor art installation of 34 giant stone bird eggs arranged around the harbor.  Known as the “Eggs of Merry Bay,” they represent each breed in the region.

Before heading back to base, we stopped at the beautiful Fossardalur falls for a snack of hot tea and tasty rolled pancakes (a local specialty, more like a crepe). These are the falls I would want in my neighborhood. And I’ll take the reindeer for neighbors any day.

This area of falls runs 20 kilometers long until this final cascade.

Of note: back in Breiddalsvik, Helga took us by the Factory Car Museum she and her husband co-own with three other couples. Cars are a passion with Helga’s family, and they repurposed the old fish factory into this museum. It’s a beautiful, fun collection and so surprising to find a rare and luxury European and American car museum here. Just proves you have to get out and meet people to find out what is really going on.

13 Comments on “Iceland’s Reindeer

  1. I didn’t know that reindeer were so white – disguise in the winter, perhaps, until they change into their brown summer coats. Now that you mention it, I don’t think I’ve seen many, if any, wildlife pictures from Iceland. Love that you got to visit with a local. We think that’s one of the best parts of traveling and learning about other places. Helga sounds like a true ambassador. We’re still enjoying your posts and are always looking forward to the next one!

  2. You have shown so many interesting things on your trip there! All the falls and I love the reindeer. It’s towns are colorful and unique. Such a blessing to get to see it thru your eyes. Thanks for your blogs!

  3. Beautiful, and I’m sure reindeer as neighbours wouldn’t be too much trouble ( probably no wild parties 😊)✨

  4. Absolutely gorgeous pictures of the wildlife. White Reindeer never imagined, until it’s real. Thanks for sharing!

  5. White reindeer! Who knew? Such interesting and personal observations and travel information. Love the bird egg art too. How wonderful to meet and learn from a knowledgeable local. You sure know how to travel and learn and have fun. Always look forward to your posts.
    Thank you again. Sue

  6. Baby Js should be there! They would love the reindeer!

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