Vágur, Faroe Islands
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 06 Jul 2022

Vágur, Faroe Islands, 7/6/2022, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Arctic

The grey mist of early morning offered no hint of the breathtaking vistas of the day to come. From the sheltered harbour of Miđvágur, we set off to explore our third Faroese island by different routes: on foot, by local boat, or by bus. Fish farming is crucial for this economy, evidenced by the numerous circular salmon cages, each containing 70,000 fish. The Faroese are proud of the superior quality of their salmon, the majority of which is exported to the USA.

Nearby lies the village of Sandavágur with its pretty church. Eighty percent of the population belongs to the state Lutheran Church. This one dates from 1917 and has a beautifully painted interior with floral motifs, and it contains a rune stone from the Viking Age. Despite its dramatically steep hillsides, Vágur is also the unlikely home of the Faroe’s airport, started by the occupying British forces during the Second World War.

On the northern shore of Sørvággsfjordur nestles the picturesque village of Bøur, with its charming grass-roofed wooden houses and some 74 inhabitants. Pakkhúsiđ, an old, renovated shop dating from 1861, provided delicious coffee and cakes in a unique environment. We enjoyed unbelievable views of the uninhabited island of Tindholmúr and its high pinnacled ridge, ending in an overhanging sheer cliff. Farther out, the westernmost island of Mykines could be glimpsed in the distance. Beyond Bøur lies another village, Gásadalur. Gásadalur was only connected by road to the rest of the island in 2006, when a tunnel through the mountain was opened. It lies beneath the Faroes’ highest mountains and above the Múlafossur Waterfall, which drops more than 30 meters over the cliff into the sea below.

The hardy, multicolored Faroese sheep grazed everywhere, even on the steepest slopes and ledges. Many seabirds–from red-throated divers, arctic terns, guillemots, and puffins–were sitting on the water, flying in the air, or landing at their burrows on the sea cliff ledges. In the afternoon, it was time to say goodbye to the Faroes and head out to sea towards our next destination, Iceland. At sea, we enjoyed some lectures on Icelandic geology and Vikings!

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