Bakkagerdi, Iceland

Puffins at arm length distance and wonderful landscape at East Fjords

We wanted to see Puffins, the cute black and white seabirds which dive for their food supply and have a parrot color bill (therefore called “Papageientaucher” in German). You can find them on every postcard in an Islandic Souvenir Shop in Reykjavik. The question was, if it is possible to find them very close by on land (i.e. avoiding a shaky boat ride and a 500mm lens). Guidebooks recommended boat tours but why not just asking the locals?

In Höfn we found a very nice woman who told us, that in the northern part of the East Fjords, there is a “small town” called Bakkagerdi and in season there is a huge puffin colony for breeding close by. Season was on, so why not heading to the “small town” to check this out?

The route to that “small town” was via a pass with snow and ice. All felt a bit remote and extinct, but with some entertainment from time. For example a group of sheep using the street for a race, a fantastic view at the pass and insight that the expression “small town” is an exaggeration. Bakkagerdi has 300 (human) inhabitants, a church, a small kiosk and a camping ground. That’s basically it, but what’s most important for us: the sun was shining and the landscape was amazing *smiley cool* !

Internet research leaded to the opinion that it is best to check out the puffin colony either in the evening or in the morning. At the end of the road there is a little harbor with a cliff which is the home of the little fellows. So we hoped being lucky to find a few and went there. Well, we were lucky… not a few… A megacity with 20.000+ puffins!!

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