Dawn at Klaksvik

I went on a 7 day photo tour in July 2019, with photographers  Nigel Danson and Mads Peter Iverson as guides.  At this time of year sunrise is about 3am, and sunset 11pm, with a few hours of twilight between. This makes for long, gorgeous golden hour and blue hour.

Our tour stayed 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 entry and charging fees. People complain about having to pay $25 to gain access, but it's not much to donate to the locals, considering you spend thousands to fly here. Tourists need to remember to give back more than they take.

Our tour starts with three sights on Vagar which are a short drive from the airport, Traelanipa, Gasadalur, and Drangarnir.   We will then move to the more eastern islands,  and longer drives,  the villages of Saksun and Tjornuvik, the Kallur Lighthouse, and the town of Klaksvik with its picturesque harbor.


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, if you fall here, you will die. 


Sheep on the Edge at Traelanipa

Waterfalls at Goose Valley

Gasadalur


Goose Valley is a short drive from the airport. Before a tunnel was built thru the mountains in 2004,  access 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, and there are signs warning you not to attempt 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.


Village of Gasadalur


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. 

Thomas Vikre is a local Faroese guide approved by the landowner.

As you approach the end of the hike, the seastack become more awe inspiring.  We gradually worked our way down the slope, ending at water level at sunset.  Clouds form over the island of Mykines, and stream across the sky towards us. 

After sunset, the sky lit up 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. 


Sunset at Drangarnir

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, a restaurant, 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 more views at the top. Paths go out along steep ridge tops, but that's where the best photos are made.  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

Kallur Lighthouse

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, it is clearly marked. But his farm and pastures make great photos. There is a great waterfalls here, and a hike across the mountain to Tjornuvik.


White Church at Saksun

Iceland Photo Tours  runs several trips a year to the Faroes:

Mads Peter Iversen  is a Danish photographer who has helped to popularize the Faroes. He has a map detailing many popular and lesser known photo spots.

Nigel Danson  is a British landscape photographer, and leads workshops in the Faroes, and Iceland, as well as England.

Thomas Vikre is a Faroes based photographer and guide.  

Sunburst Over Drangarnir

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    Northern Mists Photography

    Robert Bergstrom
    Landscape and Travel Photographer

    Featuring Oregon Coast, Puget Sound, PNW, Faroe Islands, Sweden, Denmark.

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