Best time to travel to Norway

Atlantic Puffin in Norway

Cute Arctic Puffins distinguished by beautiful beaks nest in colonies along the Northern islands of Norway

Best time: late May–early August

Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffin

Norway is home to 30% of the world's Atlantic Puffin population. This is the smallest species of puffin and is also known as the Arctic Puffin. These cute birds are distinguished by bright-colored mosaic-like beaks. Puffins prefer to live on the sea and might be found ashore only during their breeding season. However, the baby puffins or pufflings are carefully hidden in the ground holes to protect them from predators, so it is practically impossible to observe the chicks.

The colonies of Atlantic Puffins nest mainly in the Northern Norway, in particular on Lovund Island, Western Spitsbergen, Anda Island, and also Runde Island. They begin arriving on the islands in March, but the peak season is in May. The breeding season comes to its end in August.

Lovund Island is close enough to large Norwegian cities and boasts one of the largest puffin colonies in the country, that exceeds 300,000 birds. This island located off the Helgeland coast has just 475 inhabitants and covers less than 5 (7.7 sq.mi). You can get there by boat from Nesna or a ferry from Stokkvågen. Visit the local Coastal Culture Centre to learn about wildlife, fisheries and people's life on the island.

Practical info

What is the recommended time to visit Norway for Atlantic Puffins?

Visiting Norway between late May to early August is highly recommended to observe Atlantic Puffins. During their breeding season from March to August, the birds come onshore when they are raising their chicks, residing primarily at sea for the rest of the year. While the best season to observe the birds is in May when they exhibit astounding displays, the period between May and August offers opportunities to observe the birds. Show more

Which location in Norway has the largest Atlantic Puffin colony?

Norway's Lovund Island boasts over 300,000 Atlantic Puffins, making it one of the largest colonies in the country. Located off Helgeland's coast, the island is easily accessible from large Norwegian cities. Although other areas like Western Spitsbergen, Anda Island, and Runde Island have notable Atlantic Puffin colonies, Lovund Island's is the largest and easily accessible. Show more

What are the available transport options for reaching Lovund Island?

To get to Lovund Island, you can take a boat to Nesna or a ferry to Stokkvågen. The non-stop flights from Oslo to Mo i Rana airport are an excellent opportunity for visitors to reach the terminal for the two-hour boat ride from Nesna. Meanwhile, the ferry's three-hour ride from Stokkvågen provides visitors with magnificent Helgeland coast scenery. In contrast, many neighboring ports offer Hurtigruten coastal voyages to Lovund Island. Show more

Is it possible to view baby puffins in Norway?

Although adult puffins can be spotted ashore during their breeding season, it's not possible to view baby puffins or pufflings. The chick's parents carefully hide them in underground burrows to protect them from predators. Norway may not be the optimal destination if you intend to observe baby puffins. Show more

What other activities and wildlife can be experienced on Lovund Island?

In addition to the puffin colony, Lovund Island provides an excellent opportunity to explore Norway's coastal culture and seafood. Coastal walks, fishing expeditions, and visits to art galleries like the Coastal Culture Centre are excellent ways to experience the island's rich culture. While on Lovund Island, visitors can also witness other diverse species like the white-tailed eagles, sea eagles, eiders, and razorbills living alongside the puffin colony. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin