Hickory Dickory Dock – mind-blowing walk on Látrabjarg cliffs

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. The ideal setting for a chilling crime. Látrabjarg cliffs – the westernmost point in Europe. Let's go for a walk! Westfjords, Iceland

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. An ideal setting for a chilling crime novel. Látrabjarg – the westernmost point in Europe.


Archduke

Insanely beautiful and awe-inspiring cliff called Látrabjarg is situated in the Westfjords, one of our favourite regions in Iceland. The cliff has gained an entire crowd of honourable titles – it is an archduke when it comes to respectability. Certainly, it is one of the most spectacular and most impressive cliffs not only in the whole country but also in the world. It stands proudly as the westernmost point of Europe, besides it is also the largest nesting place of birds on this continent. In the cliff of a length of approximately 14 km and up to 440 m high, in the summer time, you can find millions of bird nests. It is a real birdy nursery – imagine that crazy noise!

This spot is so special, especially because you can find there a significant part of certain bird species population (for example it is estimated that 40% of the world’s razorbills population comes here in the summer). There is a huge number of puffins – the symbols of Iceland, lots of guillemots, northern gannets and much, much more. Water rich in fish is all around, so always hungry bird colonies won’t starve. When you travel around the Westfjords, you simply can’t miss this fascinating place. Certainly, it is one of the top attractions in the area. Save some time to take a long, relaxing stroll and delight in this terrific area.

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. The ideal setting for a chilling crime. Látrabjarg cliffs – the westernmost point in Europe. Let's go for a walk! Westfjords, Iceland

Have a look at our original Icelandic fine art prints!

Murder by numbers

The trail leads along the cliff, just near the edge, so it will give you an appropriate dose of adrenaline. In this place, you can feel what the vast open space really is. We visited Látrabjarg at the end of September when it was void of loud-mouthed birdy presence. During the walk, the only sound we could hear was the wind, which was a little bit eerie, even when the sun was shining. With the mind’s eye, we could see scenes from crime novels, which we are so fond of. Certainly, it would be a perfect set for a crime movie. Simply imagine – a walk with an inappropriate, treacherous companion, one bad move and… poof! You are falling into the dreadful abyss. Our imagination went crazy, and we hit on some fresh ideas of many creepy stories.

The cliff immersed in complete silence was very appealing to us, but we’d love to get to know Látrabjarg’s other face – when it turns into a noisy bird hotel. The birds stay here only in the summer – from mid-May to mid-August, but not all tourists know about it. We met some Americans who walked on the cliff looking very annoyed because they couldn’t find puffins. They didn’t believe our words that puffins flew away a long time ago, so they were rolling on the cliff’s edge and peering into empty puffins’ dens. (Caution is recommended when looking for the puffins because the cliffs’ edges are very delicate and you can easily fall down. A few years ago a terrible accident happened. One tourist forgot about these recommendations, and after several risky moves he fell from the cliff into the abyss.) Disappointed Americans didn’t feel like continuing the walk, so we stayed alone.

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. The ideal setting for a chilling crime. Látrabjarg cliffs – the westernmost point in Europe. Let's go for a walk! Westfjords, Iceland

Suddenly, the weather began to change and how it usually happens in Iceland, sunshine transformed into a windy and rainy spectacle, even with the participation of hailstones. We spent a few cheerful hours on the cliff, arranging a photo shoot and also a picnic, so the bad weather attack didn’t spoil our good moods. When the rain changed into hail and when the wind began to blow so incredibly, that it contorted our bodies, we hastily decided to escape from the hills. Imagine our surprise, when we saw a figure looming in the distance. Someone was relentlessly marching toward the peak instead of running away from it in search of some shelter.

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. The ideal setting for a chilling crime. Látrabjarg cliffs – the westernmost point in Europe. Let's go for a walk! Westfjords, Iceland

Mysterious, hooded wanderer was approaching us, closer and closer. The whole scene began to evoke the crime stories, which we talked about earlier. In the end, when only a few meters were between us, a sturdy man in a black, wide raincoat still didn’t show even a piece of his face. When we were about to pass each other on the path, he suddenly raised his head and laid back the hood cape. Then we heard briskly said ‘Góðan daginn!’ (Hello!) and saw his nice and such a friendly face. A dark walker turned out to be Muggur, a farmer who lives nearby. The weather didn’t impress him at all, and he was sure that in twenty minutes the sun will appear again. In short, it wasn’t going to spoil his hiking plans.

Well, we can do nothing else, but learn from the Icelanders their optimism concerning bad weather. Remember about this, if you have a chance to go for a walk in Látrabjarg.

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. The ideal setting for a chilling crime. Látrabjarg cliffs – the westernmost point in Europe. Let's go for a walk! Westfjords, Iceland

Practical info:

  • A gravel road leads to Látrabjarg and its condition is, to put it mildly, not so good. But don’t worry, you can get there even is a small car. You don’t need a 4×4. Remember to fill the tank before starting your journey, because there is no gas station in the area. And forget about any shops.

  • On Látrabjarg Peninsula, there are many hiking trails, so no matter if you have one or two hours, or even a whole day, there are plenty of options. You can even walk to the Red Sand Beach (Rauðisandur), but you’ll need a whole day for this hike.

  • 12 km from the cliffs there is a big hotel and a camping in Breiðavík, both set in a beautiful scenery. A few dozen kilometres further, close to Rauðisandur, there is a fantastic camping in Melanes, right next to the beach – definitely one of the best in Iceland. Apart from that there aren’t many more overnight options on the peninsula, but we’ve seen that they are building something.

Stunning, disturbing, romantic, but also dangerous. The ideal setting for a chilling crime. Látrabjarg cliffs – the westernmost point in Europe. Let's go for a walk! Westfjords, Iceland

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Comments (22)

Anpther deliightful post. Love the how the AGatha Chrste reference gels well with the place, tone, and the monochrome photographs.

I still dont know how to pronounce Látrabjarg but I am used to it now. (First time I encountered unpronounceable Icelandic names was when that volcano erupted)

Thank you so much! 🙂 Icelandic pronunciation is not so difficult. Even that crazy volcano name, Eyjafjallajökull 😀
Just have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etUABRbYakM

Your pictures just stunned me. That cliff is so terrifying (Actually I have fear of heights). I would love to conquer my fear and visit here

Your post is beautiful and rich of helpful information about this great coastal area!! Iceland is getting a real hot destination for everyone and I am looking at many posts about Iceland’s landscapes! This post is a proof about that, anyway I just want to make a note: I think all the pictures are more beautiful with colours than Black/white , what do you think?! thanks for sharing 😀

“Mind-Blowing” indeed! What an incredible view–I like your comparison to the setting of a crime novel. Very believable, I think. Iceland is on my list of countries I’d love to visit, but it’s so far away (I live in Malaysia) that I don’t think it’s very possible.

Thank you, Rachel 🙂 Definitely, you should visit Iceland one day!

I have this habit of first scrolling through the pictures and then reading the post, because pictures in travel posts are always a delight. In this post, I scrolled through the pictures multiple times before I read your post.
The pictures reminded me of Daphne De Maurier’s Rebecca, SO MUCH! And then I read your post and the association just got stronger. What a hauntingly beautiful place!

So nice to hear it, thank you 🙂 This place is the enormous inspiration!

Looks like such an eerie spot. It is scary actually 🙂 And at the same time, it looks strangely attractive. I suppose the stories make it so. Loved your experience.

This is definitely a scene out of a murder film! Those cliffs are amazing and so terrifying! Well worth the visit, but make sure to go with someone who wont push you off!!

What a dramatic landscape. Very impressive. I think it’d be great to experience when the birds are there and when they aren’t there. Camping would be a fun option too. This is the first post I’ve seen about this part of Iceland. Thanks for sharing!

I already knew that Iceland was incredible, but this west coast is breathtaking!! Yur pictures are stunning! It’s been a while since I want to visit this magic island! :)))) Thanks for sharing!! Esther

Adventurous place. All the pictures just stunned me. What an experience!

Seeing the pic I was thinking what if somebody falls off there and the next thing I am reading the same!!! Scary! I am not sure if I can go alone. Need a guide’s help for sure.
Glad the stranger turned out friendly! 🙂

I live in England, on the coast, in a place full with cliffs. Same as you, I don’t understand why tourists insist on getting to the edge for taking photos (or search for puffins, when they have been told they are not there). Otherwise though, I would love to visit when the puffins are there, I think they are the cutest birds ever. So fluffy that I wonder how they fly. 🙂

I love the black and white photography. It looks like such a stark and barren landscape! Very atmospheric!

I loved the way you have depicted those pictures in Black and white which goes well with your experience. Straight out of a novel. Loved reading the post!

The landscapes look very dramatically engaging and at the same time very elusive. The monochrome filters on the pictures makes it more fabulous .really enjoyed reading about this cliff affair .Thanks for sharing

I have been to Iceland’s airport like six times, but never gotten to leave it! I would love to explore these cliffs. Such a dramatic landscape!

Your monochromatic pictures add an influence to the atmosphere of crime stories you discussed about, that goes very well together. This world is full of mysterious landscapes and after reading your post I believe Iceland is one from the list.

Like they say, Travel turns one into a story teller. It gives us stories to tell which become beautiful posts like these 🙂 The monochrome photos, the narrative, it’s got a strange appeal to it. But then again, Iceland knows how to surprise!

Parampara-Parichay
India

I am an outdoors enthusiast and loved the blog. Brave of you to use black and white pictures. As a photographer I know its not easy to make that choice.

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