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Latrabjarg Cliffs

The main attractions next to the Breidavik Hotel is the famous Latrabjarg bird cliff which marks the western-most part of Europe. Video is below.

Latrabjarg hosts millions of birds and is vital for their survival as it hosts up to 40% of the world population for some species as the Razorbill. It is Europe’s largest bird cliff. Guillemots and other cliff birds number either in tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or in the millions.

Latrabjarg is famous for how close you can get to watch e.g. the puffins, very beautiful popular birds to watch. Iceland is the world center for the Atlantic Puffin population, where many millions breed. In early May most birds start to nest in Latrabjarg and the main breeding period is from May to July.

Traditionally, around May 20th, a few brave locals rappel down the dangerous cliff face, to pick a small fraction of the millions of newly laid and delicious all-natural seabird eggs.

A bit of history

In a stormy and cold weather just before Christmas in 1947 the British trawler Dhoon stranded under Latrabjarg 70m from the shore at “Geldingaskoradalur” where the cliff is 200 meters straight down do the sea. Rescue mission would seem impossible for anyone.

However 12 brave local farmers decided to rappel down the icy cliff down to “Flauganef” which stands out and is about 80 meters high. From Flauganef 4 men continued all the way down and managed to carry the heavy rescue gear about 1 Km over icy rocks in the ice cold and stormy weather.

There they managed to shoot a rescue line to the trawler and rescued on shore all surviving 12 crew members. All crew members, some of which hardly could move due to cooling of their body temperature where eventually rescued to safety by rope up the mostly vertical 200 meters high cliff. The rescue team was later specially honoured by the Queen of England for their outstanding and successful but highly risky rescue mission.