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Storhofdi Headland

Region: South Iceland
Coordinates: 63.4007465° N 20.2876282° W

Headland Storhofdi is the southernmost inhabited spot of the country. It is 122 metres high, mostly precipitous, and occupied by a myriad of sea birds during the breeding season. The first lighthouse was built there in 1906 and the same family has taken care of it since 1910. In February 1991, the greatest wind speed ever measured in Iceland, 119 knots, with waves up to 96 feet, was measured there.

The puffin population is estimated to be 700.000. The puffin burrows 1-2 metres into the soil and lays one egg each time. When the chicks leave their nests, quite a few of them head for the lights of the town. There the children collect them into carton boxes and release them from the shore at first daylight the next morning. When such puffin colonies are visited, people should keep away from the edge and be careful not to tread through into the burrows.

Many places near the Storhofdi promontory are interesting: Brimurd is open to the easterly and south-easterly winds and the breakers there get very large. Klaufin is much frequented by the Islanders on fine days and often called “Costa del Klauf” and Raeningjatangi, where the 300 Algerian buccaneers landed on their three ships on July 16 in 1627. They knew they would be shot at from the small fortress, Skansinn, entering the harbour and preferred this landing spot.

Storhofdi is on the Saga trail for South Iceland.

Photo Credit: Óskar Elías Sigurðsson

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