Sunday, 3 December 2017

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

The western fjord region is sometimes referred to as "Iceland's most famous forgotten area". It has an extraordinary expanse of nature that attracts many travellers. It is unspoiled and almost uninhabited and is a real spectacle. The cliffs and valleys are full of birds, and the deserted fjords offer pure moments of silence and tranquility, with the arctic fox running through the mountains and coves. The waterfalls are impressive and the water is transparent. The roads run long distances and the fjords are deep. Some places do not even have access roads.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

Látrabjarg is a cliff in Western Iceland, home to millions of seabirds, and is known to house the largest puffin colony in the world. Its cliffs, which are 14 kilometers long and reach a height of 440 meters, are a place of life for tens of thousands of birds. 40% of the world's population of small penguins nest there, and there are also many guillemots and gannets. For passionate ornithologists, or for those who love birds or nature, Látrabjarg is a special place.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

The road to get there is not always easy - it is quite gravelly and has many potholes - but the show is well worth the detour if you have enough time. Route 612 to the site is 36 kilometers long and takes you to the lighthouse of Bjargtangar, the most western point of Iceland. From there, a path follows along the cliff of Látrabjarg - you can go through it in its entirety (14 kilometers), or retrace your steps whenever you want. It is the perfect place for bird lovers and for photographers. During the summer it is possible to reach Látrabjarg by bus, starting from the main cities of the Westfjords.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

The road leading to Látrabjarg usually remains snow covered until later in the year, and is often cleared in May according to snow and climatic conditions. If you want to see the puffins, you can only admire them between mid-May and mid-August, when they are nesting in Iceland. Near the cliff, the Icelandic authorities have drawn white lines to indicate that it is dangerous to venture beyond; The rocks are fragile and can collapse under your weight.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

Good to know:

• There is no petrol station in the vicinity of Látrabjarg, think of refueling before going there.

• There are no amenities on site.

• There are few options for eating and sleeping in the area, apart from the Hotel Látrabjarg, the hotel / guesthouse Breiðavík and the summer cottages of Hænuvík. Brunnar camp site, two kilometers from the site, can be a good alternative, but there is no running water. The village of Patreksfjörður is probably the nearest place to eat and stay in the area.

Puffins in Látrabjarg, in the Westfjords of Iceland

• Be careful not to fall from the rocks when you look at the birds and the surrounding area and respect the white lines.

• Respect the place and its inhabitants - the birds.

Iceland24
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