Top Hikes of the Faroe Islands – Part I.

There are more than 300 mountains to be found on the Faroe Islands. My list has no chance to include all the touristic trails, which the islands have to offer, but I’ll try to guide you and introduce you to the most interesting ones.

The Faroe Islands are mostly rugged. The mountain ranges here show a trace of glacial activity. Peaks are ascending vigorously out of the ocean with pyramid looking tips on their tops. In the north of the country you will find the peaks and cliffs steeper and higher, while going south the hills become gentler and not so tall at all. The weather here is strongly affected by the Gulf Stream. Luckily so, harbours don’t freeze over, and the temperatures go from 3 degrees in winter to 11 degrees in summer. Many sources state that Faroe Islands’ years consist of more than 200 rainy days. However, both times we were here, it was mostly sunny. The second time we visited, we had an extra bonus of overlay of snow. No need to despair then, when reading about ‘Faroese rainy days‘. The thing is that the weather here is very changeable. We chose the strategy which worked very well in Iceland too. “Let’s wait and see what’s going to happen in a minute”. It is very common here that nice warm and sunny weather can turn into a snowstorm with zero visibility, only to go back to sunshine in no time. There was another strategy, which we went for, and found very helpful too: to move to a different island. There are significant differences in weather on each individual Faroese Island. It does really matter which one you choose.

The Faroe Islands are in the area of Atlantic Ocean with most storms. Meaning: a lot of clouds, strong wind, dampness and humidity. If you want to enjoy your hike, make sure to bring waterproof, windproof clothes and shoes. So leave your clothes for sightseeing in Barcelona and your trainers at home. It is difficult to explain how REALLY WET it gets here. Everywhere. Nowhere close to the wet terrain in Scotland, which we used to think unbeatable.

It gets less foggy and rainy here between May and August. That is the best time to come meet the Faroe Islands, all beautiful and green. The weather is relatively stable then too. Days are long and warm. But to be honest with you, I kind of liked, and gazed with amazement at the contrast of snowy peaks against the blue ocean.

After arriving at the airport, we picked up the car we had rented in advance of course. I admire those brave individuals, trying to do this at the spot after their arrival. A small car will cost you 80 euro per day. It is the easiest, and also the most comfortable option to move within the islands. That is also the reason why all my hike descriptions will be described from the perspective of all those who were touring by car too.

1. Klakkur (Borðoy)

A lot of bang for the buck. That is how we could describe briefly this hike which has plenty of gorgeous vistas to offer, and the terrain is undemanding really. On the Borðoy Island, you’ll find the Mount Klakkur, 413 m.a.s.l., towering over the second largest city of the Faroe Islands – Klaksvík. The city is definitely something special, to be visited and seen indeed. You can start your hike from two spots. First one leads directly from the city centre. A gravel path, which the locals also call Ástarbreytin (Love path), will take you to Hálsur. From then on, the terrain gets very muddy and wet, so choice of your shoes really matters. Touristic trail has no signs or marking, but seriously, you cannot get lost here. To get to the top you’ll walk about 9 kilometres, so to get there and back will take you 3hours tops.

If you want to save up some time for other activities and sights, you go by car directly to Hálsur. From there, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city underneath. From the parking area which is not too large, you will be on top of Klakkur and back in hour and a half. This hike is ok for young kids too, in case you’ve been wondering.

Klakkur
Klaksvík

2. Kallur Lighthouse (Kalsoy)

This is one of the most famous and popular hikes, and like the previous one, it also has its starting point in the City of Klaksvík. From the harbour in the city centre, you will take a ferry number 56, which will transport you for 160DKK (car plus one driver) to the Island of Kalsoy and back. The time schedule of ferries you will find on www.ssl.fo. When planning the trip, bear in your mind that the ferry does not operate too often though. There is no possibility to buy tickets in advance, so if you want to be sure to get on the ferry, come in time, or even better – a bit earlier for its departure. After 20 minutes, you arrive in the Kalsoy Island, with one and only road (plenty of tunnels though), ending in Trollanes village. Huh, village – meaning couple of houses surrounded by hills. This is the departure point for your hike towards the lighthouse. The parking area is situated right next to public toilets, which were built for the tourists and for their comfort’s sake. As you can see in the video attached, you need to walk past solitary buildings towards the gate, and then take the trail upwards. Don’t expect any marks, it is not signposted, but don’t worry, it is very clear which way you are meant to go. After an hour walk, you’ll get to the end of Kalsoy Island and to the Kallur Lighthouse itself. In our opinion, it is not a demanding hike at all, only be more careful, if the ground is wet and when it is windy. You should always be on the alert, when standing at the edge of cliffs here. Make time for Mikladalur village, which you should visit. At the seashore, you will see a sculpture of a “seal woman” called Kópakonan. It is inspired by a local legend, which says that there are creatures around here, who take of their seal skin once a year, to become humans.

If you want to visit this beautiful place with professional guide, you can book your tour with local company directly here: Book Your Tour

Kalsoy ferry
Kallur Lighthouse

3. Trælanípan / Bøsdalafossur (Vágar)

Have you ever seen a picture from the Faroe Islands? It is highly probable, it was taken in this particular area. The photos of this epic place with a lake above the ocean look more like photoshopped, rather than real. The goal of this hike is to get to Trælanípa and the Bøsdalafossur Waterfall.  Trælanípa is a rock rising to the hight of 142 m.a.s.l.. It is said that slaves used to be thrown into the ocean from this rock. That is where its name: “The Rock of Slaves” comes from. It really has some beautiful vistas to offer: the lake and its surrounding islands Hestur, Koltur, Sandoy and Sudurov.

The Bøsdalafossur Waterfall is something special too. Its thundering sound of water falling right into the ocean gives everyone a strong motivation to undergo this undemanding, but a long hike. If the weather allows it, it is possible to ford the Bøsdalaá River and walk above the gorge. You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Geituskorardrangur cliffs. There are more possibilities how to get there. Either you can start in Miðvágur village, and take the route around the lake back. This hike is about 10km long, and it will take you approximately 3hours to walk. Or you can do, what we did, unaware of the first possibility, so we walked there and back round the lake of 3 names. This largest lake of the island – Vatnið, is by the locals also called Leitisvatn, or Sørvágsvatn. Depending on which part of the island they come from. We left our car on a lay-by at the bend of Vatnavegur road, right before you enter the village of Miðvágur.

If you want to visit this beautiful place with professional guide, you can book your tour with local company directly here: Book Your Tour

4. Villingardalsfjall (Viðoy)

There are a few hills in the Faroe Islands that are about 800m.a.s.l. We were hesitant between walking up the tallest Faroese peak – Slaettarantindur (880m.a.s.l.) and Villingardalsfjall (841m.a.s.l.) on the Island of Viðoy. The weather chose for us after all.  Villingardalsfjall is a majestic peak towering above the picturesque village of Viðareiði. From distance it is looking kind of scary and ready to make you change your plans in any minute. We left our car in the north part of the village, in an area which looked more like a private parking space attached to the adjacent houses, rather than a proper parking area. Touristic trail starts close to this place, and the first part of it is all grassy and relatively gentle. Only later, the real fun starts. The longer part of this hike, you will have to undergo in a stony steep terrain. Stones bouncing off your shoes might also cause a problem, especially when walking in a group of people. The footpath is signposted by blue plastic poles. These will lead you toward a spot below the peak (it took us 3 hours), where from you can go in more directions. Our travail brought well earned best views, we have ever seen.  It was totally worth the hard work, even though the muscle ache kept reminding us of it for the next couple of days. We consider this hike to be a tough one, and despite the fact it is only 6 kilometres long, we definitely do not advise to undergo it with your wee kids.

Viðareiði

5. Drangarnir (Vágar)

Goal of this hike is a rock formation called Drangarnir. It is a non official hike, which you can know about from many blogs of travellers like us. Thanks to those, its popularity has been increasing rapidly.  The point of departure is a factory situated in the village of Sørvágur, close to the Vágar airport. At the weekend you don‘t have to worry about leaving your car at the factory parking lot. There is no original waymarked footpath leading towards Drangarnir, or to Tindhólmur in its background. Tourists are usually confused which way to take, so we recommend going up the narrow path in the bottom part of the range, which will take you alongside Sørvágsfjørður fjord. In 3 hours you should find yourself at the headland, close to the famous rock. It is just an estimated time, because really, what matters, is your shape, weather, and the current terrain, which is often slushy and muddy. You get to cross couple of waterfalls, see some sheep pens, and then, at last, you reach a lighthouse called Múlin. From this spot, you can finally see your finish line, and you can reach Drangarnir in half an hour.

If you want to visit this beautiful place with professional guide, you can book your tour with local company directly here: Book Your Tour

Múlin Lighthouse

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