Driving along the Vatnsnes peninsula reveals the extraordinary rock formation of Hvitserkur which is a 15 meter (49 ft) tall cliff jutting out straight from the sea. It has a unique shape some say resembles a giant dinosaur or a cow enjoying a drink from the ocean. Sea erosion has carved out unique holes in the shape and often seals can be spotted enjoying the view.
Hvitserkur is a beautiful cliff where many types of seabirds, especially gulls and fulmars, have made their nests for centuries. Their guano deposit has made it’s mark on the cliff, painting it white in many places. Hence the cliff is named Hvitserkur.
What does Hvitserkur mean?
It translates as white shirt.
Due to the powerful and never ending onslaught of the tireless sea the base of the stack has been reinforced with cement, in order to protect and maintain it. The cliff is mostly basalt.
Hvitserkur and the troll
The legend goes that Hvitserkur is a petrified troll. The troll lived in Strandir, east to Hvitserkur, and wanted to tear down the bells at Thingeyrarkirkja church, since the bells bothered it. Fortunately the troll got caught by daylight and as we all know trolls turn into stone by when the sun hits the sky.
Birding at Hvitserkur
Hvitserkur is a great place for birding, since many species of seabirds nest in the rock formation. You can expect to see seagulls, fulmars, kittiwakes and even a few puffins.