Next ]


Bjargtangar  (Látrabjarg)
Látrabjarg is a bird cliff in the West Fiords of Iceland. It is the largest seacliff in the country, 14 km long and 441 meters on its highest point. Látrabjarg is in everyday speech divided into four parts, Keflavíkurbjarg, Látrabjarg, Bćjarbjarg and Breiđavíkurbjarg. The name origins from Icelandic látur which means "the place where the seals stay with their pups".
The westernmost point of Látrabjarg is called Bjargtangar.


Bjargtangar lighthouse (Icelandic: Bjargtangaviti) is traditionally regarded to be located on the westernmost point of Iceland. In fact it is some 8-10 metres from the building to the edge of the cliff. This photo is from north towards south.


Photographed from southeast towards northwest. 


This is the supposed westernmost point of Europe, except "remote areas" (i.e. the Azores, which are furthermore westward).  I logged the position at the very edge of the cliff at the lighthouse with my GPS. This position is called "007".


According to the plaque the present lighthouse Bjargtangaviti was constructed in 1948. (First lighthouse was erected in 1913.) The position is 65° 30' 11"N 24° 31' 44" W. Its characteristics are 3 flashes in 15 seconds, light altitude is 60 m and the lighthouse itself is 6 m tall. There is also a radio beacon at the lighthouse.


The lighthouse used to house "Sliceland, the westest pizza in Europe" – an art exhibition on 17 May 2009. We visited Bjargartangar in July 2009 and meanwhile "the company" sign was broken...


Some 30-40 metres north of the lighthouse there is a point which clearly is stretching itself more westward. Photographed towards south.


The point is very steep and full of loose stones. In short a very dangerous place.


Same point towards north.


I logged the position of the point standing here. This point is called "008".


Same point from north.


We discovered that the point "008" is located about 2,5 m more westward than point 007 at the lighthouse.  (Additionally I found a third point further north, called "009", which is on the same longitude as 007). The positions registred with my Garmin eTrex GPS device (WGS 84) are:
007: 65° 30' 09,35" N  24° 31' 54,4" W
008: 65° 30' 10,71" N  24° 31' 54,6" W  (westernmost approachable point)
009: 65° 30' 11,81" N  24° 31' 54,4" W


There is a difference between the posistion on the lighthouse's plaque and my 007 position.  The explaination is that the plaque shows to another datum, which is called ED50 and commonly used after World War II.  We see here the deviation between WGS 84 and ED50 is making about 135 metres in 70°. (Distanse from cliff edge to lighthouse is about 9 m.)

This page was last time updated 21/03/10 .