The hike to Drangarnir is another great and picturesque hike on the Faroe Islands and a definite favorite of mine. I would even go as far as saying that if I were to choose a single place to experience on the Faroes, that would be it. Just as the hike to Trælanípa, this route can be found on the island of Vágar. However, unlike the former, it is much longer and a lot more demanding.
Update 2020: I did the hike and wrote the article in 2017. Back then, it was still possible to do the hike to Drangarnir on your own. These days, you are only allowed to do it with an official guide. Most of the information in the article is still valid, so I left the rest of it unchanged, but just keep this in mind. If you are interested in booking a guide, a good place to start is at VisitVagar.
The hike to Drangarnir is not as famous as the one to Trælanípa. In fact, it only started gaining popularity during the recent year or two. For now, it is mainly known among those looking for less beaten paths, be that photographers, hikers, or travel bloggers. That’s why you probably won’t find a whole lot of information about it on the internet. At least I couldn’t, so I had to assume quite a few things during my preparation. Hopefully, this article would make things clearer for those who consider taking the hike to Drangarnir and are in a similar position.
The hike to Drangarnir starts in the town of Sørvágur. Sørvágur is where you find the ferry terminal connecting Vágar to the island of Mykines. In fact, if you arrive by car, consider parking on the ferry terminal parking lot. Alternatively, drive past it and keep going as far as you can. Eventually, you’ll eventually reach what looks like a large unpaved factory grounds at the end of the road. I’m not sure if that’s a good place to park when the factory is operating, but we visited on Saturday, and it was all but deserted. We just left the car there and had no issues.
To begin the hike to Drangarnir, proceed to the gate at the far end of the area. The gate apparently allows for easy access to the route but was closed when we were there. If that’s the case, follow the fence to the right until you find a good spot to climb over. It’s only hip-high, so you won’t need to do a whole lot of climbing. Check out my video about the island of Vágar to see exactly how it looks. As a heads up, you’ll have to go over a couple more similar fences during the trip. Luckily, they’re all very easy.
Once you reach the corner of the fence, there are two routes you can take. One follows the fence further up the slope until you find the path. The other continues forward towards the small wooden bridge and some old ruins and then follow the path from there. We tried both, taking the higher route on our way there and the lower one upon return. Personally, I would recommend just using the lower one. It’s a bit more rough and difficult but saves you a lot of hassle going up and then down again.
The hike goes along the shore of the Sørvágsfjørður fjord all the way to its westernmost tip. If you look at the map, the distance doesn’t seem all that long, perhaps 3-4 kilometers at most. However, what makes the hike to Drangarnir a little difficult is that it mostly follows raw terrain with barely any path to walk on. In fact, lots of times, there isn’t a path at all. You just have to make your own way stepping wherever makes the most sense.
That probably sounds more intimidating than it really is. In fact, I found the experience quite easy and enjoyable. Obviously, unless you are a very determined and experienced hiker, your speed is probably going to be slow. It took us about 3 hours to get there and another 3 hours to come back. We did not rush it and stopped a lot to take pictures and shoot video. Overall, it’s likely doable in 2 hours, but I’d definitely plan for longer. Throw in a couple of hours for exploring the end of the fjord and climbing the mountain (more on that below), and you’re looking to spend pretty much an entire day out there. That’s really the only thing that makes it so demanding – it is in my opinion quite easy, just very long. But frankly, anyone who is generally fit should be able to make it without any issues.
Be mindful of the little streams that you’ll encounter en route. Getting your feet wet is probably not a good idea. Having water-proof hiking boots will help, but isn’t really a necessity. Just watch your step, the water is easy to avoid. There are a couple of larger streams on the way. For those, just spend some time looking for the best spot to cross. We took this hike a couple of days after heavy rain and were still able to keep our feet dry. Granted, that was in August, so conditions may vary in other seasons.
If you follow the path, you will eventually reach the very end of the fjord with the rock of Drangarnir protruding from the water right in front of you. The view is truly magnificent. Drangarnir is so close that it feels as if you can just reach out and touch it with your hand. Just standing there and looking at it is a completely surreal experience. For me, that moment of true admiration makes all the effort of getting there absolutely worth it.
You can photograph it up from the hill or go down to the water level and take an image there. Personally, I found this lower perspective to be the most dramatic and intimidating with the rock dominating the shot. If that’s what you do, make sure to watch the waves. Being swept into the ocean here by a rogue wave is probably the last thing you’d want.
I would also strongly recommend climbing the mountain closest to Drangarnir. Google Maps don’t show it, but on Open Maps, it is labeled Kvívíksskoranøva. It is the third large mountain to your left if you count from the start of the hike. If you decide to do so (and I hope you do) I would actually suggest doing it before going to Drangarnir. The way to the top is pretty steep. It’s probably the hardest part of the entire hike, so doing it early on is probably better.
The views of the islands of Tindhólmur and Mykines behind it from the top are unbeatable. No words can possibly describe the feeling you get up there looking at the beauty right in front of you. If you brought lunch (and given the length of the hike you should have) this is the place to eat it. Just contemplate the views and enjoy the silence and solitude, being one and alone with nature and feeling as alive as you can ever be.
From there, it’s just a matter of managing your time and energy and coming back before it gets too dark. Some general words of advice – pack enough water and food and bring warm and waterproof clothes. The weather on the Faroe Islands changes rapidly and unpredictably. Getting soaked in the middle of a long hike is going to be a rather unpleasant experience. If you go alone, make sure you let someone know where you are. We only met a couple of other people during the entire trip, so if something happens to you, you’re pretty much on your own. And of course, be careful and take care of yourself. Goes for every outdoor venture really.
And, as I mentioned before, make sure to check my YouTube video for more details about the hike to Drangarnir. Have a look at my articles about the hike to Trælanípa and other places on Vágar that are worth visiting. Also, if you found this article helpful, do me a small favor and check out my gear list. I don’t put ads anywhere on this blog and the affiliate links you will find there is the best way to support me and keep me going at absolutely no cost to you. If you’re in the market for anything and use one of those links, I will be eternally grateful.
Great post! Very detailed and helpful.
I looked for information on Dranganir and couldn’t find much, so thank you for that!
BTW – I’m also a travel blogger… I was in the Faroe islands last year but want to go again 🙂
Thanks Eran! It’s definitely a place that makes you want to return!
Nowadays only allowed with a guide:
It’s a pity in my opinion. The price stated on the site is 550 DKK per person which is almost 74 EUR. For a lot of people this is too much to pay, especially if you’re a couple. All it really does in my opinion is try to capitalise on the beauty of the nature that should be freely available to all and benefits no one except the guides themselves. The hike is NOT maintained and is perfectly doable on your own, so I don’t consider the price fair in any way.
I have nothing against private land owners extracting a small fee to allow a pass through their territory, but most people do not need a local guide – hiring one should be completely optional. For comparison, the hike on Mykines costs only around 145 DKK and that money is used to actually keep the hike in order and operational.
Hello. Thank you for the excellent content! Your photos are spectacular! I am curious to know if you were to make this trip today with no other option but the guided hike, would you pay the 550DKK, or forgo doing the hike? Thank you.
Hi Suzanne. Generally speaking, yes, I would pay 550DKK to do the hike. I still believe it is a pity they do that, and the price is quite steep. But in the end, this isn’t too much for the experience that stays with you forever.
That said, for me personally much would depend on whether or not the tour happens at the time that is convenient to me as a photographer and whether or not I can choose where to go and take pictures (and for how long). In other words, I would be happy to pay the guide to be my companion as long as I maintain control over the details.
I’m probably a bit of a special case though in this regard.
Thank you for your quick reply. I understand completely. I would pay 550 DKK to go and not have a guide. haha! I do not like hiking with groups, because I always tend to end up at the back, and all I see are “boot heels.” I much prefer to hike solo so I can go at my own pace. But alas, it appears I must choose to go on their terms, or not go at all. A tough decision.
Thanks again for the valuable info and beautiful photos.
Unfortunately I choose not to go at all, €74 for a 5hr hike you can do yourself is a nothing short of a total rip off and profiteering at its best.