Langanes is a large and long peninsula to the east of the Thistilfiord Bay. The undulating landscape, 200-400 m high, gradually narrows to a sharp point called Fontur. The highest mountain, Mt. Gunnolfsvikurfjall, dominates the landscape on the Gunnolf’s Cove. On top of Mt Heidarfjall the NATO forces built a radar station, and operated it between 1954 and 1968. Its ruins commemorate Iceland’s part in the history of the Cold War period. Another radar facility was built there and started operation in 1989. The coastline was dotted with fishing outfits in the past and the biggest concentration was Skalar, where a hamlet of 117 people developed. During the fishing season, some 60-70 open fishing boat were operated from there. The harbour there also became important for the rapidly growing trade, but because of the modernization of the fishing industry and difficult communications, all farms and fishing outfits were abandoned.
Two ocean currents, the Gulf Stream, and a mixture of a small branch of the Gulf Stream and the East Greenland Stream (Irminger Stream) meet off the east coast and create excellent conditions for all kinds of fish species and consequently very good fishing grounds. No one lives on Langanes any more. A 4wd track lies all the way to the utmost point of the peninsula. The weather conditions usually are windy and humid, but there are always fine days in-between.
Nature lovers often spend days on end at the densely populated bird cliffs watching gannets, puffins, guillemots, brunnich’s guillemots, black guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars etc. One of the best places for the observation of the gannets is Cliff Storikarl off the bird cliff Skoruvikurbjarg. Other bird species colonise different parts of the peninsula, such as the arctic terns near the farm Ytra-Lon.
Langanes in Icelandic
Picture: Farm Heidarhorn.