Sørvágur & Gásadalur Circular Trail
Faroe Islands - Vagur
- Location: Faroe Islands - Vagur
- Categories: Summer / Marine west coast / Tundra / Highland / Mountain / Foothill / Plain / Coastal / Islands / Marsh / Rural /
- Duration: 2 Days
- Distance: 16 miles
Walking the trail:
- Summary: A 2 day road and wilderness/wildcamping hiking adventure taking you through the finest scenery the Faroe Islands has to offer including Gasadalur waterfall and spectacular countryside that few have ever set eyes upon.
Type Faroe Islands into Google and you will see breath-taking photos of a mountain, village below and waterfall cascading into the sea. It sure is a scene from an adventurers dream.
Here’s a 2 day (or 1 day if you’re super fit!) 16 mile trail that will walk you past this very view, located in the idyllic village of Gasadalur.
When planning my trip to the Faroe Islands I read that the northern part of Vagur provided the best wilderness hiking experience in all the small islands. It was definitely an area I wanted to walk and seemed like the best way to experience a multi-day trail together with some wild camping. Well I didn’t want to drag my tent and camping gear over from the UK for nothing!! There are plenty of options of walking routes, some a lot further, walking by some really interesting old deserted settlements such as Slaettanes. However such routes require more complex start and finish logistics and having purchased the 7 day bus ticket, (well recommended) I wanted a trail that started and finished at the same point.
Located in Vagur and just a few miles away from the airport is the quiet town of Sorvagur. The town is easy to get to via bus (Bus 300 Sorvagur to Torshavn) and is the perfect starting/base point as there are plenty of B&Bs and a small supermarket to get supplies. This is essential with the walk taking 2 days and the wild camp involved, so make sure you bring a good mountain tent!
Day 1 of my hike started mid-morning on the most beautiful sunny day (albeit very windy), probably the finest day I had seen on my visit! The first 3 miles of the trail is along the main 45 road that leads to Boer and then Gasadalur. Most people would either drive or hitch hike this road but I found it to be a rather easy/enjoyable walk and the views, especially coming through Boer were great. The village was probably the most scenic one I had seen especially with the peak of Tindholmur stretched into the sky. I mean that island has got to be the most stunning bit of geology I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world.
Once through Boar you have 2 options, hitch hike through the tunnel (built in 2004) or take the old steep mountain path up Berinartindur (524m) that the village locals and postman used to take prior to the tunnel. Now I would have taken the mountain path but it was windy, seriously windy and I didn’t want to expose myself too badly! So I managed to hitch hike with a lovely French couple, and exchanged the obligatory holiday stories.
Gasadalur is a beautiful little village, I must have spent about 3 hours walking about and admiring the views. Obviously the waterfall is the main attraction here so get ready to pick a good photo spot away from the other tourists. It was really cool to see loads of Puffins flying and swimming around the waterfall which I wasn’t expecting! I also had a great view across the water towards Mykines which I had travelled to the previous day in complete mist, so it was nice to see it totally clear.
Once done with walking about I got talking to loads of people in the quaint little cafe. (Obviously drinking much coffee) Normally during my hikes I find myself in a bit of a rush to get places but the atmosphere was so good and evening light is so abundant that I felt no need leave in a hurry.
Once you leave Gasadalur its proper wilderness time! The route ascends slowly northwards through the mountain valley. There is no path, just uneven grassland and many cairns so navigating can be tricky! I use a GPX Garmin Fenix watch that I’ve used for years and is a trusted bit of kit, plus I carry a map and compass for backup.
The trail doesn’t take long to get that feeling of being completely isolated; I loved it, just me and the mountains. After a few hours climbing (fairly tough going) out of the valley you come onto a flattish expanse with absolutely breath taking views of North Vagur and Western Streymoy. It really was a sight and with near gale force winds it felt very intimidating being up there. A feeling of extreme vulnerability with so many cliff drops everywhere! I found a rock shelter and sat and watched the clouds and sunrays flow rapidly over the landscape. Luckily the shelter was settled enough to get a time-lapse of the cloud movement. From here you can also see the abandoned buildings of Vikar, far below sat in a plain of bright green grasses and flowing rivers, it looked really cool.
It was time to try and descend out of the wind and think about pitching up my tent, the day had been fairly long and I was getting tired. One option was to carry on eastwards but the wind was literally pushing me over all the time as my backpack was pretty large. I decided to descend back into the valley I had just come from. I found a decent little spot with great mountain views but it was still blowing a gale. It was quite nice to properly test my mountain tent out in such conditions, (having had minor testing in Scotland’s Isle of Skye and England’s Dartmoor National Park) I really thought it was going to get blown away but it held stable and strong. So I enjoyed my tent, cooked some noodles on the trusty burner and watched the evening clouds sprint across the mountains. Even at 11pm it’s ridiculously light (Early July time) and difficult to sleep, I like my darkness however the light does help fears of wild camping alone for sure.
Day 2 was a completely different affair. The wind had completely dropped and visibility was overcast and drizzling, Just no views at all to speak off! So just a long and fairly tough climb and walk descending down towards the lake Fjallavatn and then southwards down back into Sorvagur. Luckily there were 2 highlights to speak off. One stumbling across a large herd of awesome highland cattle (around 20ish) that were extremely friendly and inquisitive. (Knocking over my tripod when I tried to time-lapse them!) And second getting attacked by a Skua bird, although I had got quite used to this during my time on the Islands and used my tripod above my head to protect myself haha!
So I arrived back in Sorvagur a bit wet but well rewarded from the trail. I had a B&B booked for the night so was looking forward to a warm bed and shower.
To summarise this trail I would say it’s got a bit of everything. Easy roads, fantastic views, scenic villages, pure adrenaline wilderness and mountains! The best thing about these type of hikes is that the common tourist will never see what you see. You can’t drive a car to see the views of Vikar or Western Streymoy, this is the beauty of hiking, to see things that a small percentage of people will ever see. For me that’s what adventure is truly about.
If you have any questions about this hike then please feel free to message. GPX route available.