The Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs

Home to millions of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and gannets, Látrabjarg is the westernmost point in Iceland and the largest bird cliff in Europe. Birds are lured here by the infinite rocky outcrops which, protected from the northern winds, are perfect for nesting. And humans come for the sheer spectacle of so many birds in one place.

We knew that we’d see puffins on our visit to Latrabjarg, but hadn’t expected to get so close to them. Despite being hunted in Iceland, the little guys are completely unafraid of people. They tend to nest toward the top of the cliffs, and after I had sat down to watch one do his thing, he waddled to within a couple feet of me, totally uninterested in my presence. Adorable as they are bobbling and skidding across the water, they’re even cuter up close.

A path extends for over a mile up and along the cliffs, bringing you to ever greater heights. But since the best view of the cliffs is close to the parking lot, a hike is strictly optional. It was fun just to sit on the grass and watch the birds through a pair of binoculars. I could spot hatchlings clinging for dear life onto their piece of cliff, puffins clumsily flying with fish in their beaks and thoughtless razorbills pooping on the heads of their downstairs neighbors.

An amazing and utterly unique place, Latrabjarg is a must-see during any trip to the Westfjords.

Location on our Iceland Map

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Not Hemingway's Spain

    Okay, be honest. Who does their make up? Who’s their stylist, because there’s no way they look like that naturally. The eyeliner job is fantastic!

  2. elpariente

    What a photos !!!!Vaya fotos !!!!

  3. didi

    are you sure, that this pictures are taken at begin of September?Usually the puffins leave the cliffs in middle of Augustit is a nice place for photography

    1. Juergen Horn

      You are right Didi. We took those pictures towards the end of July. It just took us a bit longer to publish this article.

  4. didi

    @Juergen: ok, thank you… I think, I did not understand your system with the travel book.. I thought, the date of each page of your travel book is the date, where you have taken this pictures

  5. Amy Andress

    Beautiful photos!! What lens did you use? 🙂 

  6. Amy

    We were there at the end of July and all of the puffins were gone. However we scored big in the Westmann Islands and watched them for quite some time.

  7. Rachel

    How hard is it to get to this place for a not great hiker?

    1. Mike

      It’s not hard at all… you can drive fairly close, and then it’s just a short walk up to the cliffs. It’s really beautiful, and I don’t think you’ll ever have a better chance to get close to puffins!

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