Top choice in East Iceland

Iceland, Puffin in flight

Getty Images/RooM RF

Five kilometres past the wee church is the photogenic small-boat harbour and islet of Hafnarhólmi, home to a large puffin colony. A staircase and viewing platforms allow you to get close to these cute, clumsy creatures (and other seabirds). The puffins arrive by mid-April and are gone by early to mid-August, but other species (including kittiwakes, fulmars and common eiders) may linger longer.

In summer's peak, from the islet you can enjoy midnight sun viewings in the company of puffins and with an evocative soundtrack of bird calls. There's also a viewing hide built here (500kr), but we found better viewing spots outside – still, it may come in handy for photographers in bad weather.