Látrabjarg: The Ultimate Bird Cliff
Bird cliffs are steep and shelved to provide nesting places for birds — and nowhere on earth is there one quite like Látrabjarg, Iceland. A rocky promontory jutting out from Iceland's west coast, it boasts a stunning beach and several fun activities for visitors. Here are seven notable facts.
- Látrabjarg boasts the largest seabird cliff in Europe.
The bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, Europe’s westernmost point, are about nine miles long and 1,446 feet high. The four cliffs — Keflavíkurbjarg, Látrabjarg, Bæjarbjarg, and Breiðavíkurbjarg — are totally vertical, allowing for a great view of the sea (just don’t get too close).
- The most common bird there is the puffin.
Atlantic puffins, with their distinctive black-and-white feathers and bright orange beaks, are all over the Látrabjarg bird cliffs. They can be found from May to August each year, perched in their little puffin holes. During summer, Iceland is home to about 10 million puffins.
- Visit the folk museum.
The Hnjótur Museum in Örlygshöfn tells you the history of everyday life in the southern Westfjords. The museum was started by Egill Ólafsson, who was a big collector of old trinkets. A visit will enlighten you on the lives of the ordinary people from this part of the world.
- There’s a beach.
Rauðasandur is Iceland’s most famous beach, and when you see it, you’ll understand why. Golden sand gives way to a bright blue ocean and towering black cliffs, providing an unforgettable experience. If you’re lucky, you might even see a few seals.
- There are some lovely restaurants nearby.
Feeling peckish? Grab some cauliflower soup and pistachio-crusted cod at a local restaurant while looking out over the water. Whatever your culinary preference, Látrabjarg is a great spot for foodies.
- The Dynjandi waterfall makes for a good day-trip.
If you can endure a two-hour drive, venture to the Dynjandi waterfall. There, take a fifteen-minute hike to the biggest part of the waterfall and enjoy the overpowering rush of the pounding water as it falls from high above. There are also smaller waterfalls down the river.
- Samuel Jonsson’s farm is full of original art.
After seeing the puffins and the waterfall, why not check out the "outsider" art on Samuel Jonsson’s farm? Jonsson was a prolific artist who died in 1969, and his eye-catching sculptures adorn the property. He also constructed a church and a gallery, which still stand.
The natural beauty of Látrabjarg’s bird cliff continues to be the region's main attraction, but, man-made or otherwise, all of the sights at Látrabjarg are truly otherworldly. Gaze at the cute puffins and powerful waterfall, enjoy the "outsider art" of Samuel Jonsson, and end your day with a delicious meal from one of the local eateries.
Explore the whole country of fire and ice and get your chance to experience the Látrabjarg bird cliff on one of our Iceland expedition cruises.