Eldey island near the Reykjanes Peninsula lighthouse

  • Eldey island

When you visit the Reykjanes Lighthouse, allow yourself enough time to roam the area. First of all, it will be worth your while to follow a trail to reach the spectacular shoreline along the cliffs. Opposite the lighthouse, you will most certainly want to embark on the easy climb to the top of Valahnjúkur cliff. When there you can lie down on the brink to enjoy the sight of the powerful Atlantic waves breaking on the sheer cliffs. It is a dizzying experience.

Eldey island the mighty rock in the Ocean

Ten miles off the coast you will find and see Eldey island rock, a small island, covering about three hectares and rising to a height of 77 meters. These sheer cliffs are home to a large number of birds.  Indeed, it is one of the largest northern gannet colonies in the world with around 16.000 pairs.

The disappearance of the great auk

The island formerly supported a large population of great auk after they moved there from Geirfuglasker following a volcanic eruption in 1830. When the colony was discovered in 1835, nearly fifty birds were counted. Museums, desiring the skins of the great auk for preservation and display, quickly began collecting birds from the colony. The last pair found incubating an egg, were killed there in July 1844.

 

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Below is the location of Eldey island on the map of Iceland