A Coast Guard helicopter. Photo by Páll Stefánsson
The tourists, a couple and two children, took photos of the animal and police were notified of the sighting. Police arrived on the scene shortly after and a search was conducted by helicopter, but the bear was not found, mbl.is reports.
Ruv.is later reported that the police in Blönduós found polar bear footprints and believe the bear is in Húnaflói Bay.
Four polar bears have come to land since 2008; two in 2008, one in 2010 and one last year. All were shot dead. In an interview with Stöð 2 last year, zoologist Ævar Petersen stressed that polar bears are protected and that therefore shooting them is considered a crime.
Click here to read about other instances of polar bears coming to shore in Iceland.