Látrabjarg Cliff

Látrabjarg Cliff
 
Látrabjarg Cliff is a stunning promontory located at the westernmost tip of Iceland and is a home to a great number of seabird species, including the peculiar Puffins. The best time of the day to watch the birds is usually either early morning or late afternoon, as most of the seabirds spend the middle of the day out at sea searching and hunting for food. At Látrabjarg there is a lighthouse, located at Bjargtangar. It was built in 1948 to guide seamen safely around the dangerous coast of the Westfjords.

The Rescue

The ocean off Látrabjarg cliffs is a place where many Icelandic, as well as foreign fishing ships and their crews have perished due to the unforgiving and incredible forces of the ocean waves. In the winter of 1947, the British trawler Dhoon capsized at the rocky coast beneath the steep and sheer cliffs of Látrabjarg but a crew of 12 people were rescued by local farmers. Due to bad weather, rescue from the sea was not possible so the only way for the daring rescue was to scale down the 200 meter sea cliff in ropes.

Collecting Eggs

In the past, people used to scale down the cliff faces in ropes in order to collect eggs and sometimes to hunt birds as well and the farmers experience with this practice, surely enabled them to perform the dangerous rescue. This was not an easy task or safe but eggs and seabirds were in the past important food sources for the people living near the cliffs. Látrabjarg is the westernmost point of Iceland and the biggest bird cliff in all of Europe. The cliff is 450 meters high where it is tallest and about 14 kilometers long, providing birds with a safe home and an abundance of seafood from the nearby ocean.

Access - Caution

Látrabjarg is one of the most visited attractions in the Westfjords. Látrabjarg is a magnificent attraction, but we encourage travelers to be careful and to watch their every step, as the cliff edges can be unstable. The road 612 called Örlygshafnarvegur, leading from Hnjótur to Látrabjarg is a rough and narrow gravel road, often with deep holes, so you need to prepare for quite a long time for driving. For some stretches, the road sits on steep cliff walls on mountain faces with a sheer drop into the ocean, immediately by the side of the road. Travelers are urged to show extra caution while driving this road. Many guided tour packages as well as self drive tours we offer, include a visit to Látrabjarg Cliff and can be found at www.tour.is