Hafnarhólmi islet is one of the best places in Iceland to watch puffins. Here, a signature attraction has been created to attract visitors, consisting of a pathway and a staircase from the harbour to the islet and a service building by the harbour.
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Hafnarhólmi was previously owned by a farmer who donated the land to Birdlife Iceland, Fuglavernd. Birdlife Iceland's intention is that nature conservation, ecosystem monitoring and field education about the dynamics of nature will be prominent in the long-term utilization of the area. The area lacked tourist attractions and amenities to serve visitors. Therefore, a service building and viewing platforms were constructed at the site. All construction has been carried out with the aim to protect nature and wildlife.
At the time, the former owner wanted to develop a bird watching facility in Borgarfjörður. On his initiative, infrastructure for bird protection and bird watching was installed at the islet. A staircase leads visitors from the harbour up to a wooden footbridge and viewing platforms. A small bird watching hut is located on top of the islet, where one can seek shelter and watch the birds. As the number of tourists increased, a design competition was held for the construction of a new service building. The competition was won by Architects Anderson & Sigurdsson.
Hafnarhólmi, East Borgarfjordur, East-Iceland
N65° 32' 31.471" W13° 45' 17.318"
Birdlife Iceland is currently preparing a protection plan for the Hafnarhólmur islet
46,810 visitors in 2019
977 guests, 27 July 2019
Birdlife Iceland owns 70 per cent of the land at Hafnarhólmi. The land belongs to the Municipality of Borgarfjörður Eystri, which owns the remaining 30 per cent.
Pathways and viewing platforms were initiated by Magnús Þorsteinsson. The design of the service building was in the hands of Anderson & Sigurdsson Architects.
2000 and 2020
2015: Design competition: ISK 3,000,000 2016: Local planning: ISK 13,000,000 2017: ISK 20,000,000 2018: Service building, facilities, viewing platform: ISK 76,800,000 Total of: ISK 112,800,000 from the Tourist Site Protection Fund