Streymoy and Eysturoy are two of the largest islands of the entire Faroe archipelago and exploring them properly would take weeks, if not months. After all the other places we visited during our Faroe Islands trip, we just didn’t have enough time remaining to give them any sort of justice, especially with 2 straight days of miserable weather and non-stop rain that pretty much grounded us. So instead of trying to come up with a comprehensive guide to these islands, I will just list a few locations that in my opinion are definitely worth checking out, especially for photographers.
The place I really wanted to visit on Streymoy is the Fossa Waterfall, one of the highest on the Faroes and definitely one of the most impressive. The latter, however, comes with a bit of a catch. I’ve been to Fossa twice during my one week trip and can certainly say that the best time to see it is after a heavy rain. That’s where the two days of bad weather we got actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as all the rain water really gave strength to the waterfall that just wasn’t there when it was dry. Below are the pictures taken before and after the rain, so you can see the difference for yourself.
Getting to the waterfall is extremely easy. Just follow the road that leads north to the village of Tjørnuvík (another location well worth exploring) and eventually you’ll see it on your left hand side. There’s some room to park your car and there’s never too many people around. The waterfall is literally 2 minutes away from the road, but I still suggest having your hiking shoes on. The waterfall has two levels and if you want to see them both (as you should!), getting to the top one is going to require a bit of climbing.
There’s a poster next to the road that shows the way up, but the path is pretty much non-existent, so in the end we just found a place to the right of the waterfall where the rocks seemed less intimidating and climbed up on our own. If you’re in a decent shape, you’ll have no problem doing the same and I wholeheartedly recommend it, because I found the upper terrace to be even more impressive than the lower one.
After seeing the Fossa waterfall, I also recommend continuing your way north from there until you reach Tjørnuvík. It’s a tiny but charming village and although there’s not much to do around here, it’s a good place for sunset photography with a beautiful view of the fjord and two impressive rock pillars – Risin and Kellingin (the Giant and the Witch) – far in the distance. As with so many places on Faroe Islands, there is a legend about them – you can read it here if you’re interested. There is also a nice beach, probably one of the few on the Faroe Islands, for those brave enough to swim in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Another famous landscape photography location nearby is Saksun, known for its lovely fjord that you can walk on during the low tide. Unfortunately we didn’t get to fully appreciate it, as the only time we ever got to Saksun, it was windy and raining and the light was fading quickly. So the image I got from Saksun is quite unimpressive, and it’s definitely a place I want to visit again next time I’m on Faroes. Even from this unfortunate visit I can tell that the place has a lot of potential and is definitely worth checking out.
Mountain ridge on Eysturoy
One of the things we were planning to do on Eysturoy was climbing the highest mountain on all the Faroe Islands – Slættaratindur. Sadly, the weather had its say in those plans as well. As we arrived to where the hike up starts, all we could see in every direction was thick fog that just wasn’t going away. Climbing the mountain in these conditions made little sense, so we decided to explore another ridge nearby that just happened to be high enough to offer impressive views of the fjords, but at the same time low enough to not be completely covered by fog and clouds.
The ridge I refer to is located on the right side of the road leading from Funningur to Gjogv and to the best of my knowledge is not indicated on any map. To find it just follow the above mentioned road until you get to an S-curve. Keep going for another 100 meters or so and you will see a small pull-out area on the road. Leave your car here and just hike up the slope following the fence to your right until you reach the top. It’s not a very easy hike, but it’s very short (20-25 minutes should be enough to get you to the top) and the magnificent views of the fjord from above are well worth all the effort.
The village of Eiði is another location that is definitely worth checking out, especially after a heavy rain. There are a few interesting hikes around it, some of them offering a closer view of the two cliffs you see from Tjørnuvík, but the main attraction in my opinion is the waterfall on the coast. There is a short hike to get to it from the parking lot and a camping site on the northern side of the Niðara Vatn lake. Neither waterfall nor the trail are marked on the map, so you will just have to trust me that they’re there. The waterfall is absolutely fabulous after the rain but if I were to guess, this might not be the best location to visit when it’s dry.
These locations are obviously barely scratching the surface of what both Streymoy and Eysturoy have to offer, so definitely make sure you explore on your own. Meanwhile, if any of them seem interesting to you, please also check out this Youtube video of mine where I get into further detail about all of them. I think you will find it enjoyable.