Submitted by Robert B.
Dawn At Klaksvik
I went on a 7 day photo tour in the Faroes in July 2019. At this time of year sunrise is about 3am, and sunset 11pm, with a few hours of twilight between. This makes for a long, gorgeous golden hour.
Our tour spent 3 nights at a hotel near the airport on Vagar, then moved to a hotel in Klaksvik, to allow access to sights on different areas of the islands. A few of the popular tourist and photo sights are discussed.
Most land in the Faroes is privately owned, unlike the US or UK there is not universal public land access. At some sights the land owners are controlling access and charging fees. People complain about having to pay $25 to gain access, but its not much to donate to the locals, considering you spend thousands of dollars to fly here. Tourists need to remember to give back more than they take.
Traelanipa: The name of the iconic cliffs here translates as “thralls (slaves) leap”, as long ago disobedient slaves were thrown to their deaths off the cliff. There is a pay station and a bathroom by the parking area. There is an easy hike along Leitisvatn, the flying lake, to the spectacular view above the cliffs. Be careful near the edge of the cliffs, if you fall here you will die.
Sheep on the Edge at Traelanipa
Waterfalls at Goose Valley
Gasadalur: Goose Valley is also a short drive from the airport. Before a tunnel was built thru the mountains in 2004 access here was by boat or over the mountain path. In 2012 only 18 people lived here. The waterfalls here may be the most recognizable sight in the Faroes. There is a small parking area, and no fees (as of 2019). There is a treacherous stairway down to the water level, to the old boat landing. There are signs warning you to stay off the stairs. But of course some people did go down to take a few photos. I would stay off the stairs if they are wet. The handrail is loose, and not really attached to anything solid. The Faroes are only beginning to ramp up for tourists.
Sunset at Drangarnir
Drangarnir: This dramatic seastack arch is at the end of a 2-3 hour hike. Access here is also controlled, you must go with a local guide, and pay about $60. But locals are trying to prevent masses of tourists from ruining these places, as happened in Iceland. As you approach the end of the hike, the seastacks become more awe inspiring. We gradually worked our way down the slope, taking photos at several view points, ending at water level at sunset. Clouds form over the island of Mykines, and are lit by the setting sun as they stream across the sky towards us. After sunset, the sky became a deep orange color, which seemed to last
forever, as it never really got dark. We had left the car at 4pm, and got back to the parking area at 2am, exhausted but speechless.
Awe and Wonder
Klaksvik: The second largest town in the Faroes, with restaurants and hotels, only has a population of 5000. We stayed at the old Seaman's Home, now the Klaksvik Hotel, which had been recently renovated, and was clean and very pleasant. The main industry here is fishing, and there is a picturesque harbor front. I had as much fun taking pictures of the fishing boats as any dramatic landscapes. The ferry to the island of Kalsoy leaves from here, you will want to arrive early to get in line. Fishing Boats at Klaksvik
Kallur Lighthouse on Kalsoy: There is a one hour hike uphill from the parking area. There are bathrooms here and no fees. We used walking sticks and crampons due to loose mud on the hike. The Faroes are like fingers, separated by long narrow fjords, there are spectacular views on the hike up, and at the top. There is a view across the northern ends of several islands, to the sea stacks Kellingin and Risin, which are 10 miles away. View from the Northern Tip of Kalsoy
According to myth, these two rocks are trolls,
trying to pull the Faroes closer to Iceland.
Tjornuvik: A charming village on the northern end of Streymoy, with a convenient restaurant and free parking. There are nice photos from the beach, but the classic shot here is to walk on the trail overlooking the village, out towards the same sea stacks Kellingin and Risin. We ate lunch here after the hike, I had a nice fish stew. I stay away from the red hot dogs.
The Beach at Tjornuvik
View of Tjornuvik
Saksun: Another picturesque farm village on Streymoy. There is a parking area and bathrooms, and no fees. The small church here is popular to photograph, and we got out of the wind along the side of the church. The bathrooms have sod roofs and are also photogenic. Our guides warned us the farmer doesn't like tourists walking on his grass, and has a bad attitude, so stay off his side of the fence, its clearly marked. But his farm and White Church at Saksun
pastures make great photos. There is a great
waterfalls here, and a hike across to Tjornuvik.
Sunburst Over Drangarnir
Photo Guides: Mads Peter Iverson is a Danish photographer who has helped to popularize the Faroes. He has a map detailing many popular and lesser known photo spots on his website: https://www.mpiphoto.dk/
Nigel Danson is a British landscape photographer, and leads workshops in the Faroes, and Iceland, as well as England. https://www.nigeldanson.com/
Thomas Vikre is a local Faroese photo guide, who is a guide for Drangarnir. https://www.thomasvikre.com/
I hope to visit the Faroes again in 1-2 years. Next time I want to spend more time in the small villages, such as Eidi and Gjogv, and finally visit Torshavn.
We visited in summer, but the Faroes are spectacular in all seasons. But be prepared for rain and wind any time of year. Your gear becomes more important in colder weather, but remember, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.