West Fjords

Date 25 June 2006

West Fjords

West Fjords
  • Day: Sunday, June 25
  • Weather: Grey, 8 °C
  • Distance in kilometers: 600 km

Just outside of Arnarstapì, we stopped at the rocks of Svalþúfa - Thúfubjarg. The view was magnificent, and the huge black rock standing tall in the water reminded us of Treasure Island. We observed lots of birds, including guillemots, small black penguins perched on the cliffs.

Taking the path that descended towards the famous boulders, we went to get a closer look. It was then that we came face to face with a family of Arctic foxes that had invested the volcanic stone cavities to create their burrows.

The little cubs were quite timid but also curious, eventually allowing us to photograph them. Afterward, we made another stop at Mount Helgafell. Legend has it that one had to climb this mountain facing straight ahead, without speaking or turning, and only turn east when you reach the ruins, which allows you to make three wishes.

Supposedly, if the ritual was properly performed, the wishes would come true... At this moment a little sheep, seemingly lost and in search of company, decided to tag along with us on our ascent to the ruins.


Latrabjarg puffin

After this stop we headed for the Westfjords in the direction of Patreksfjörður. The road was rough but the landscapes absolutely superb. It was a pity that the weather was gray because on a clear day the colors must be sublime. After settling into our Guesthouse and enjoying a satisfying meal, we decided to venture out for the evening to Latrabjarg - the westernmost point in Europe and also the site of the the highest cliffs in Europe.

These cliffs harbor a multitude of birds, especially puffins. The road leading to the Latrabjarg cliffs was beautiful but in very poor condition. Upon arriving at the renowned cliffs, a bitter icy wind (3°) picked up, making our climb to the summit challenging. However, the effort was rewarded as we discovered hundreds of puffins that were not shy at all.

On our way back towards Patreksförður, we made a stop at Rauðassandur, a beach of rather unusual orange sand. It was already midnight when we finally decided to head back to our Guesthouse. It had been a long day, and we had covered approximately 600 km from Arnarstapì.