Our little family likes to go on one day adventures when we have the time for it and the good thing about the Faroe Islands is that the possibilities are endless. There are countless of opportunities of sight-seeing that requires more or less effort and time which allows you to go whenever you feel like a little tour, perfect for our new family rhythm where things usually don’t go as plan.
One of my favourite place for this kind of excursion is “Oyggjavegurin” which roughly translated means “the island road”. This road is quite old and was the main road to Tórshavn before 1992, it goes from the north-west of Streymoy (the main island) near Kollafjørður to Tórshavn up by the mountains. Oyggjavegurin can be difficult to drive on, the wind can be strong and the road is often frozen so you must always be careful while driving here. But the effort is always rewarding, the road is very picturesque and offers many possibilities along the way. I am going to present to you some of the main attractions that you can find up there. I will start from the north side of the road to Tórshavn.
The first interesting place that I think of is called “Stórareyn”, litterally translated “the big stony soil”. It’s a natural stone formation located between two summits and over the little village of Skælingur. It takes less than two minutes after you start driving on Oyggjavegur to get there, after the first swing you just have to park your car on the side of the road and you can start walking straight up the mountain. We walked up with Tova in our baby carrier. The walk is quite easy and takes only around 15-20 minutes. This rocky plateau is amazingly beautiful and looks very surreal. It also gives you the opportunity to admire Vágar from a different point of view. As I have heard it’s also one of the few places in the Faroe islands were you kind find a special type of moss that is recognisable by its very flashy green/yellow color.
If you continue your journey along Oyggjavegur, you will find a little further on the road the way to get up to the highest summit accessible on this road. But just before you get there I recommend a stop on the side to take a look at the unique view on one of the two fjords of the main island. You are now looking upon Kollafjørður. Enjoy!
After this stop you will get to the beginning of a narrow road on the right side of the main road, here begins “Sornfelli”. Sornfelli is the thirtieth highest summit in the Faroes peaking at 749m. This road is actually accessible by car almost to the very top, I say almost because the very top is close to trespassing as it used to be a Danish military base and is nowadays no longer in function. Sornfelli is a nice place for amateur and professional photographers. The summit will allow you to take pictures in every direction, from there you can see over to Vágar, the north part of Streymoy, Kollafjørður, Kaldbaksbotnur, the south part of Streymoy and even the far away mountain tops of the neighbouring island Eysturoy (the east Island). I recommend you to come for sunsets from there, during the spring or beginning of the summer you will be able to witness the gold and pink skies surrounding this magnificient view... A truly breathtaking moment of peace and serenity.
After this delightful moment it’s time to keep our trip toward Tórshavn and head for the next spot. The next spot is nothing less than the Faroese jail called “ Mjørkadalur” litteraly “The foggy valley” which is located just at the bottom of Sornfelli. This is quite a special place to set a jail on, what a view you get from your prison cell. Mjørkadalur is located right above Kaldbaksbotnur, which is the second fjord of the main island. I think that everyone would agree that one or two nights in the jail wouldn’t feel like a punishment for most of us. You will probably notice that the jail has some traditional Faroese housing features especially the grass roof that makes the building almost invisible from the road. I would like to mention quickly that under you is a tunnel build to cross from one side of the mountain to the other and is now the road that most of the people take to go to Tórshavn for work and other things, this tunnel made the trip to Tórshavn faster and safer mostly during the winter period where Oyggjavegur was more difficult to drive on.
If you are ready we are going back on the road and will drive a bit further to a place called “Norðradalur”. Norðradalur is a small village (yes there are many small villages) on the bottom of the hill but in my opinion it is not even necessary to drive down the serpentine road, the view is already completly splendid from the top of the hill. Like many places in the Faroe Islands, Norðradalur gives you that strange feeling of littleness. Facing the island of Koltur the valley is slowly sliding down towards the sea. The valley is very representative of the Faroese landscape and always makes me feel like I am crushed between mountains and sea.
Time is always flying fast when you wonder around those spectacular landscapes but be reassured our trip on Oyggjavegur is close to its end. If you drive a little bit further you will start to notice the windmills overlooking Tórshavn, the first sign of civilisation after quite a large amount of untouched nature. If you keep driving you will end on the top of Tórshavn also an amazing view over the Faroese capital. You can admire Argir facing you, Hoyvik on your left, Tórshavn in front of you and Nólsoy laying in the sea. I could keep on writing about the capital for quite a while but it is surely better to do a dedicated article on the subject.
This is how our trip around Oyggjavegur is ending, a truly magical place which I hope you are now curious and impatient to discover or rediscover on your own. There is always more than what this article is talking about to see and do but I can not spoil it all for you. I would like to say that most of the trip was done with an one year old baby, and it was never an issue. Of course it’s always best to be prepared for the worst as the weather is changing fast and I encourage you to always ask for further information if you want to take some hikes out of the regular paths. Feel free to write for more information.