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Vestmanna bird cliffs - A view from our expert author


Vestmanna bird cliffs Faroe Islands by Shutterstock/ Eydfinnur© Eydfinnur, Shutterstock

One of the best excursions anywhere in the Faroes is a boat trip to the Vestmanna bird cliffs and grottoes.

One of the best excursions anywhere in the Faroes is a boat trip to the Vestmanna bird cliffs and grottoes. Known as the Vestmannabjørgini in Faroese, these soaring cliffs, roughly halfway between Vestmanna and Saksun to the north, provide safe nesting places during the summer months (roughly May until late August) for thousands upon thousands of seabirds, attracted by the vast shoals of fish that gather here in the plankton-rich waters of the North Atlantic. Rising up to 600m above the turquoise hues of the churning sea below, the cliffs are characterised by their numerous clefts and green blankets of luxuriant grass and mosses. The boats that sail out here give you an unparalleled view of the cliffs and the birds – notably puffins, razorbills and guillemots – as they weave in between the numerous sea stacks and in and out of narrow straits bound by sheer rock walls (look up and you may well see sheep grazing quite undisturbed on the clifftops) and dark echoing grottoes where the sound of the squawking birds and dripping water is amplified to unnerving proportions.

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