Bird cliffs of Alkefjellet

Svalbard’s most famous bird-watching site

Antarctic Peninsula

Region: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard

Alkefjellet, the mountain of the guillemots

This popular Arctic location, which translates literally to “mountain of the guillemots,” is the most famous cliff of the Svalbard archipelago and one of our prime Zodiac cruise sites. Facing the often ice-filled Hinlopen Strait, Alkefjellet is a major bird cliff that is home to around 60,000 pairs of breeding Brünnich’s guillemots as well as a smaller number of glaucous gulls and kittiwakes.

Other wonders of Alkefjellet

Even without the Brünnich’s guillemots, Alkefjellet is well worth the visit. The cliffs are high and sheer and in places around 100 meters (330 feet) tall, some of them free-standing towers and others part of the main body of rock. All are impressive example of doleritic intrusions from the Jurassic or late Cretaceous period. At certain times of year, meltwater from glaciers can create small waterfalls that spill down the rocks in long clear streams, and occasionally visitors can spot Arctic foxes hunting for fallen chicks among the greener terraces of the cliffs.

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