What is there to experience on Vágar island? Which attractions are the most stunning on the island? And how can you explore all the sights that you truly want to see? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Vágar island.
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This is your ultimate guide to Vagar island. Everyone coming to the Faroe Islands by aeroplane will visit Vagar as there is only one airport in the Faroe Islands. What you should also know is that there are so many amazing attractions here that Vágar might be the most beloved island in the Faroe Islands.
Vágar island is the third largest island in the Faroe Islands. The island lies in the western part of the archipelago. Vágar island is home to 50 mountains which are all quite easy to climb. It takes 45 minutes to drive from the airport on Vágar island to the capital, Tórshavn.
There are six villages on the island: Sørvágur, Bøur, Gásadalur, Sandavágur, Miðvágur, and Vatnsoyrar. Gásadalur is the smallest settlement on the island with only 10 people living there. Miðvágur and Sørváur are the largest villages and they are similar in size with just over 1000 inhabitants in each village.
In an eastern direction lies the Vestmannasund strait, which separates Vágar island and Streymoy island. These two islands are connected by a 5 kilometres (3,1 miles) underwater tunnel. In the southern part lies the Vágafjørður fjord, which separates Koltur island and Vágar island. You will find the Mykinesfjørður fjord on the west side of the island, which separates Mykines island and Vágar Vágar. When in Bøur, you will see both Mykines island and the islet Tindhólmur and Gáshólmur in a westward direction.
Gáshólmur is steep on all sides. Heavy surf has broken into the wall and the islet looks like an abnormally large wooden block. The islet is not a good place for birds to nest, but there are a few, though. The islet is flat and sheep grass here as they do almost everywhere in the Faroe Islands.
The island is 15 kilometres long from the northernemost point Slættanestangi to the souternmost point which is the famous Trælanípa. The westernmost point is called Barðið, which is 22 kilometres from the most easternly point Búkonan.
The seaside is rugged and there is a large bay on the southeast side of the island, which divides further into two bays Miðvágur and Sandavágur. On the western side lies the deep fjord Sørvágsfjørður. You will find the valley Klovin in the middle of the island from Bøssdalafossur waterfall on the south coast and north to Víkar on the north coast. In this valley lies the largest and second larges lakes in the Faroe Islands: Leitisvatn, also known as Sørvágsvatn and Vatnið, and the lake Fjallavatn. There is also a large pond between these lakes named Tjørnin í Ennið.
The Vágar Islands landscape
The village Gásadalur surrounded by the tallest mountains on the island. Gásadalur is a 20 minutes drive from Vágar Airport.
The highest mountains are found in the northwestern part of the island near Gásadalur. The highest mountain Árnafjall elevates 722 metres and Eysturtindur rises 715 metres. In the southeastern part of the island Malinstindur peaks at 683 metres and Reynsatindur at 677 metres.
There are several skerries and large sea stacks along the shoreline. Just east of Sandavágur lies Trøllkonufingur which towers 313 metres out of the ocean. The Faroe Islanders have some old legends about this remarkable rock formation. Some years ago, mountaineers managed to climb all the way up to the top of Trøllkonufingur.
On the west side of the Sørvágsfjørður fjord lies two large islets, Gáshólmur, which is 65 metres, and Tindhólmur, which is 262 metres. Between Tindhólmur and Vágar lies the sea stacks Drangarnir; the larger one being the most famous due to its impressive mesmerising sea arch.
The outfields and steep cliffs have been the backbone of the people’s life here. Later, fishing became important for the villagers as well.
Vágar island is reasonably grassy terrain. In the deep valley Klovin, you will find good agricultural land both north of Lake Fjallavatn and between Fjallavatn and Lake Leitisvatn (Sørvágsvatn). Suðurtriðingur, which is the land by Vágar Airport, is also flat and beautiful. You will also find flat areas in Gásadalur, Víkar, Prestland, Kvígandalur, Tjørndalur, Slættanes, Oknadalur, Úti í Botn and in Syðraseyð.
When looking at the landscape, you will also notice that the island is quite round shaped and hence a great place for horseback riding. The mountains are most round shaped and soft in the outlying fields in Sandavágur towards the Vestmannasund strait.
The more spiky mountains are Krosstindur and Reynstindur in the eastern part of the island, and in the western part of the island, the mountains Árnafjall and Eysturtindur are peaky like most mountains in the Faroe Islands. This reveals that, in the far past, ice once covered the whole island.
Klovin, which stretches from Reipsáfossur waterfall to Bøsdalafossur waterfall, shows how the glaciers have moved in the past. The ice has pushed its way through the island to Oyrar and Miðvágur. Two smaller glaciers have most likely pushed the ground from Sandavágshálsur to Sandavágur and then one from where the airport on Vágar island is situated and down to Sørvágur.
The northern side of the island is heavily shaped by cliffs. This also goes for the western side and south side of Vágar island. You will see the cliffs in Sandavágur by Trøllkonufingur, in Miðvágur by Nípuberg, which Trælanípan is a part of, and in Sørvágur from Bøsdalafossur waterfall, and the entire southern side of the area called Sørvágsbjørgini.
There are further cliffs from Bíggjarskor near the village Bøur to Gásadalur, and from Gásadalur to Barðið and to Víkar. Then from Reipsáfossur waterfall and all along the east cost to the Slættanestangi spit. These vast nature reserves are filled with precipitous terrain and piles of largish stones. The steep hillsides are fat pasture for sheep. Nesting birds can be found here in countless numbers. There are signs now that the bird population is growing in these unbelievable surroundings.
There are lots of accommodation possibilities in Vágar islands. Many locals are renting their basement apartments to visitors. There is also a hotel just a two minutes walk from the airport as well as a youth hostel, cottages and a boutique hotel.
You can stay in all villages if you like as there are rental options in all settlements even in Gásadalur at Gásadalsgarður. Travellers can put up a tent at Giljanes Camping during the summer months.
What to do and see on Vágar island
It is easy to travel from Vágar island to other parts of the country, especially due to the airport as all flights to the Faroe Islands operate from Vágar Airport. There are connecting busses to most flight arrivals and departures and there are lots of taxi drivers waiting at the airport when travellers enter the arrival hall.
You can also reach most islands from Vágar by helicopter as the airport is the hub for the helicopter service in the Faroe Islands. All villages on the island are connected by roads.
You can go out dining in Gásadalur, Bøur, Sørvágur, at the airport, in Miðvágur and Sandavágur. The café Fiskastykkið in Sandavágur has been newly renovated. It used to be a store house when Faroe Islanders dried fish for export, now it has been transformed into a trendy café serving local produce. The fish courses here are phenomenal.
There are lots of opportunities for travellers to go on hiking tours and there are also tour operators arranging epic boat tours. Lake Leitisvatn can be explored in a kayak, which can be rented in the old stone houses with turf roof by the lake near the village Miðvágur.
These are the most popular attractions on Vágar Islands. They are mostly in the western part of the island where the landscape is more rough.
- Múlafossur Waterfall
- Turf houses in Bøur
- View towards Tindhólmur from Bøur
- Boat tour to Drangarnir
- Bøsdalafossur Waterfall
Vágar island is one of the most popular islands in the archipelago for good reason. Now, have you explore the island or are you planning to visit this truly unmatched island with many of the highlights in the Faroe Islands?