Torshavn to Kirkjubour, Jun 12th

This was my very last hike in the Faroe Islands and one that I almost missed. That day I woke up to rain and wasn’t eager to go out and get drenched. After spending some time going over photos and reading about my lest leg of the trip, I finally decided to get dressed and at least head to downtown Torshavn and walk around. AS I did, I made a quick stop at the tourist office to see what they had and started talking to one of the guys there. I told him about the hikes that I had done, and he said I had covered pretty much everything I could in a week, but then he asked if I’d seen the Viking church. My eyes peeled as not only I hadn’t, but I didn’t know about it. Being a hike that starts from the edge of the city, he gave me directions and told me I should definitely go check it out. So, with this new info, I ran to my AirB&B, changed, grabbed my pack and drove to the trailhead. Lucky for me I still had hours left for the day and the rain had stopped so off I went.
At first, it was bit tricky to figure which way to go as the trail is the continuation of an old road. Once I figured that out and left the last farm house behind, I started a steady climb towards a ridge. The hike itself is very mellow. Behind you, Torshavn starts disappearing as you reach an almost flat area that the trail traverses. There are a couple of ponds and nice views towards the island of Sandoy.

About half way, I found a rock structure that looked like a throne and took a quick picture but the image of playing around and taking more picture stuck with me, so I made a mental note to stop on my way back and shoot away. More on this later. Once the trail got to the other side of the meadow, the sea below started appearing and far in the distance to my left was my destination. From my angle I was trying to identify the church but wasn’t lucky. I saw several older structures but none of them looked like what I’ve seen in the picture the guy from the tourist office showed me.

Eventually the trail took me to the farther house in Kirkjubour where I found an old boat. In the distance I could see some of the farm houses but still no church.

All the way to the coast I saw a promising structure but figured later it was an old barn as a tractor was driving to and from it moving hay

I walked thru the village and then, towards the other end, I noticed a black structure which ended up being a covered portion of the church. Before I got to it though, I noticed two or three old buildings with very bright colors and carvings which were made in the 1500.

The church itself stands in the middle of a small yard and only the walls are visible. This is not because the roof collapsed, it seems it was never built. It was quit interesting looking at the structure as well as some of the carved details on the walls and windows

Right across from the church, an old house is actually a small museum maintained by locals. The building itself dates from the 1500 and inside they have artifacts that have been kept since. It was an interesting visit with some interesting things to see

Once done checking all that out, I started my way back first saying bye to some very hairy cows.

As I mentioned above, I made a stop at the “throne” where I got my new remote, set the camera and took about 60 pictures. The result was this collage that I still use as my profile picture in social media. I had a lot of fun making this

Just as I was getting closed to the trailhead, I got my last good view of the city of Torshavn. The sun was going down and a gray cloud was hanging over it, but the view was fantastic. A good goodbye image to be kept from this amazing place

You can see the rest of the pictures here

Slaettaratindur, Jun 11th

Located in the northern side of the island of Eysturoy, Slaettaratindur is the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands. That was reason enough to put it in my to-do list for this trip. I can say I was not ready for the amazing views I would get from the top. The hike itself is pretty straight forward and not too long. It just goes up. From the start, just after going over the wood contraption that allows you to climb over the fence, you have wonderful views of the Eidisvatn lake.

As you gain elevation, you start realizing the lake is sitting on a plateau. At some point, a thin blue line appears between the edge of the lake and the mountains behind and soon you realize is the sea between the island of Eysturoy and Streymoy.

Then the trail makes a slight left turn and goes straight towards the ridge on the eastern side of mountain. The views are blocked by the ridge until you reach a rock outcrop, but at that point, the views open towards the north.

From that point, the trail kind of circles the top of the mountain until it reaches a point where you have a big step to get up to the very top. Unexpectedly though, it was a flat area and there was even a small rock shelter in the middle. The best part though, is that from that point on, wherever you look, the views are just incredible. According to the guide, you can see every island from the top of Slaettaratindur. I didn’t count them or tried to identify them, but it certainly seemed like you could see the entire country.

While there, the wind was blowing pretty hard so clouds where changing and moving rapidly. I got a couple of opportunities where the sun was able to peek thru the clouds and illuminate the side of the mountains.

After a while and before I started getting cold. I retraced my steps back to the car

You can see the rest of the pictures here

Kallurin, Jun 11th

Although most of the islands in the Faroe Islands can be reached by car, there are several that still don’t have car access other than a ferry. Originally, I wanted to avoid ferries but after the great experience in Norway and having a couple of destinations in one of the islands, I decided to add Kaslsoy to my itinerary. The Ferry there takes a bit over half an hour from the village of Klaksvik.

Once in Kalsoy, A single road traveling north-south goes by several villages. On the way to Kallurin, I made a stop at Mikladalur, an old whalers village, now mostly known for the seal woman statue. A short walk down step stairs from the center of the village takes you down to the old pier where the statue is, as if coming out of the sea and pealing her seal skin. You car read the legend here

From there I drove to Trollanes at the northern end of the island where I parked my car and started hiking. The path is gentle with ample views to the East. Little is visible from the trail of what you’ll get at the end. As you traverse the fields, there are several remains of old shelters now used by sheep to stay out of the wind.

Then, far in the distance, a tiny white spec appears. The lighthouse. As you get closer, the hill on the left starts getting steeper and suddenly it ends. On the other side, a sheer wall appears that drops down beyond what the ridge allows you to see.

Once you get to the lighthouse, you’re surrounded by cliffs. There are a couple of paths heading further out but if you are afraid of heights, this is where you stop. Views from the point are incredible though. To the left and almond behind you, the cliff of Mt Stapata drops to a small bay down below.

Far in the distance, you can also see the northern coast of the island of Eysturoy and, if you look closely, you can see Risin and Kellingin, the giant and the witch. Story goes that they tried to steal the island to Kalsoy to take it back to Iceland but where caught by the morning sun rays and turned into stone.

To the north, a short path to a promontory where you can get closer to the cliff and get better views of the birds that inhabit the rocks.

And to the east, another ridge with steep drops on both sides that gives you a great view of the lighthouse and Mt Stapata behind.

I spent a bit of time on both places taking pictures of birds and was lucky enough to see the only puffin I would see in my entire trip.

A bit later, a giant cloud rolled in and consumed the mountain marking my time to start heading back and passing by some curious sheep.

You can see the rest of the pictures here

Saksun to Lonna, Jun 10th

After having that glimpse of Saksun from the trail, I drove around and headed there to check it out. At the very least, I wanted to see that shallow lagoon that opens to the sea and maybe hike out to the Lonna Bay. When I got there, I parked at the end of the road and started hiking down with the lake in front of me

After passing a short canyon, where the road and a small creek is, you can see the little village of Saksun to the right on the other side of the lakelet up in a hill.

I passed a sign that said to be careful with the tide as you could get trapped on the other side. As I walked on sand, I could envision how that would happen. Even though the path was wide, it was very flat, and nothing could contain the water if it started coming up. A smaller section up ahead was a bit trickier as the water was closer to the rocks. Looking at distance, I figured I had enough tine to go out and come back before the water got too high

That path eventually took me all the way to the outer bay where I walked across the beach. It was kind of surreal to be walking on a beach this far north

I stayed thee for a bit and then retraced my steps back to the car. One section got a bit trickier and I had to scramble over slippery rocks, but it was no big deal. I managed to keep my shoes dry

You can see the rest of the pictures here

Tjornuvik to Saksun, Jun 10th

As with most routes in the Faroe Islands, this one connects the villages of Tjornuvik and Saksun. I wasn’t sure yet if I was going to hike all the way to Saksun and back or just go half way and then drive to Saksun to explore. So off I went to Tjornuvik which took a bit over an hour to find a beautiful little village hidden in a small valley looking out to sea. There are several old farm houses and little coffee shop and a place to stay. I walked and wandered around a bit before heading to the other end of the village where I found my way to the trail. 

At first, it starts going up following old rock walls around farm land with splendid views of the village. Contrary to what I had seen so far, there were a ton of yellow and some bright purple wild flowers all over and the ubiquitous grassing sheep. The trail does kind of a semicircle and get to the point that seems to be the official start of the hike where an iron gate marks the route to Saksun. The way the gate is marked is quite interesting. From one side you read Tjornuvik in reverse and then “til Saksun” (to Saksun). When you read it from the other side Tjornuvik is the right way…. Clever

From there, the path follows a small creek as it climbs towards a saddle. As I gained elevation I got closer and closer to the clouds. I lost the view of the village behind me as a huge valley appeared in front of me. The bottom of the valley was marked by a snaking creek. Far in the distance I could see the sea under the cloud cover.

From that point on, the trail traverses the slope of the valley gently loosing elevation until you get to the edge where it drops more steeply to Saksun. From the point you get the best views of the village and Pollurin, a shallow lake that opens to the sea. From above you can clearly see how far the tide can change the shape of the lake and the path that seems to go out to sea on the opposite side of the lake.

After taking some pictures and enjoying the view, I decided to retrace back to Tjornuvik, so I could drive to Saksun and explore a bit and maybe walk out to sea if the tide was not too high. On my way back though, I opted to go off-trail to get closer to a couple of waterfalls I could see in the distance. Getting there didn’t seem to be much of an issue and it wasn’t, so I was able to get some pictures of the waterfalls while I had a bite to eat.

On my way back to the trail things changed quickly. Seems; like the route I decided to take went thru nesting areas, so I got attacked by birds that chased me out of there. I had to run back and mostly retrace my steps to get back on the trail. Faroese birds are nasty. The rest of the hike back was really nice as I got to walk back down towards Tjornuvik enjoying the view at every step of the way.

Once I got back to Tjornuvik, I dropped my pack in the car and went down to the coast line to walk a bit and found a path heading around the bay to the left. I followed the path for a bit just to check it out until it disappeared in front of me. Leisurely a made my way back to the car and on to Saksun

You can see the rest of the pictures here