Viewing animals in their natural environment is a great experience far beyond seeing animals in a zoo, especially if you can see them gathered in numbers.  Illugastaðir farm is a place where you can view seals and their natural environment, their quarrels and their love for each other.  A place where the animals are free to leave if they don't like to be looked at or even put on a show if they are interested in putting on a show. You can sit and watch their life in a place where nothing has changed in hundreds of years. This is precisely what you can do at the Illugastaðir seal colony.

Seals at Illugastadir farm in Iceland

A great place to take kids on a Iceland tour

When is the best time

If you don't intend to spend a lot of time at the seal colony, you might want to take the advice from the Seal Center at Hvammstangi town nearby.  It is recommended that you arrive at Illugastaðir two hours before low tide and you will have a good possibility of viewing seals in numbers until two hours after low tide.  During this time seals spend time chilling on the rocks, sleeping and relaxing. If you want to take photos near seals, you need to be careful and walk slowly and keep distance and use a telephoto lens. Most of the seals are quite social in their behavior but most of the time not eager to meet humans. But if they do, you are in luck and  “keep calm and still until the seals’ natural actions have taken it away from your vicinity,” as is stated in the Code of Conduct in the Advice For Sustainable Wildlife Tourism in Iceland.  At Illugastaðir you will find excellent facilities to see and view seals and can easily spend hours to enjoy this spectacular place of seeing animals in their natural homes.

A great place to view seals in their natural environment.

A great place to view seals in their natural environment

How to get to Illugastaðir Seal Colony

Illugastaðir is an old farm located approximately 30 kilometers from the Ring Road in the northwestern region in Iceland. So the tour from the main road is about sixty kilometers and you need to allow for one to one and a half hour for driving as most of the road is a gravel road. You take a turn north on the road Hvammstangavegur Nr. 72 and once to are passed the small town you continue on the road Nr. 711.  And on your way back you must stop at the Seal Center in Hvammstangi and also enjoy some of the nice cafés and restaurants the charming small town offers.  Hvammstangi also has one of the best camping areas in Iceland if you are traveling by car and camping, which is a great idea if you are traveling with kids during summer. 

Illugastaðir farm is a place where you can view seals and their natural environment

Although most visitors drive around Iceland going from one natural wonder to another, they are usually driving through quite a scenic landscape most of the time. 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 black sand or a picturesque countryside.  In the background, you 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.

Beautiful horses are almost part of the landscape

There are very few places on the planet where you can see, experience and visit as many natural wonders as in Iceland.  If you look at the ten natural wonders presented in this article is amazing that you can experience all of them on a small peaceful island up north in the Atlantic Ocean.  In some other places on planet earth, you might find similar places and same natural wonders, but the distance between them makes it impossible to visit unless you spend weeks or even months traveling.

Ten irresistible natural wonders that encourage you to visit Iceland