The Faroe Islands is a hiker’s dream paradise given all of its majestic natural beauty that comprises of steep cliffs, grand mountains, and unspoilt terrains. (Villingardalsfjall)
Then again… it doesn’t even matter if you’re not into hikes because these islands have enough Instagram-worthy views to fill up your vacation desires and dreams (if not urge you to try at least a mild to moderate trail as a beginner). For one thing, I’m not a seasoned hiker myself, nor am I a ‘fit’ person; but with the glorious sceneries of the Faroes, I just knew that I had to try at least one hike — after all, most of the best places in these islands can be reached by taking on a hike.
And so, I ended up hiking the mountain of Villingardalsfjall, the 3rd largest in the entire Faroese archipelago, and well… it turned out to be one of the most difficult hikes that I have ever done!
Newsflash: I’m terribly afraid of heights and Villingardalsfjall is not only high but ridiculously steep. And yet, I still went (I have this half-bad-half-good habit of facing my fears); therefore, what followed afterwards were moments in the trail where my knees were shaking or where I felt like one step would instantly make me fall off. Truth be told, I almost gave up too! However, I am SO glad that I pushed on (and that my companion, Jonas, helped inspire me to push on) because this hike up Villingardalsfjall also turned out to be one of the most spectacular experiences that I have ever had!
Just look at the photos above and below… with superb views like these, I think you’d want to try out this hike as well!.
Hiking Villingardalsfjall in the Faroe Islands
From Start to Finish: My Hiking Experience
Viðareiði was a charming little town with only a few hundred people. They have one small grocery store, one restaurant (Matstova), and one hotel where you could eat as well (Hotel Norð).
TRIVIA: One of the Faroe Islands’ finest poets and scholars, Christian Matras (1900-1988), was born here in Viðareiði. He was particularly known for his naturalistic poetry.
Before looking for the starting point of our hike up Villingardalsfjall, Jonas and I first took our sweet time exploring — which didn’t take much time because of the size of the town.
Anyhow, you should definitely make sure that you go by the old Viðareiði Church because the area around here grants you majestic views of the surrounding fjall (mountains) and islands!
So the start of the trail is at a spot called Við Garð. Just head straight up to the end of the road (towards the direction of Villingardalsfjall) and you will see an outfield that looks like the below. Go straight down this path until you reach a gate.
You’ll know you’re on the right track once you start to see the blue plastic tubes sticking out of the ground, signifying the start of the hiking trail.
As we started our hike, I looked up at this Villingardalsfjall and foolishly assumed that I can actually climb it up without much difficulty — I was wrong of course, and I blame my warped sense of altitude and distance for that.
You see, at a normal hiking spree, 6 kilometers isn’t that tough on a newbie like me, but elevate that at a steep angle of a mountain that rises at almost 900 meters then naturally… it will turn out to be quite a task (and it was)!
Nevertheless, I made up my mind to carry on especially since on the way up, it gradually gave me better views of the neighbouring islands of Fugloy and Svínoy to the east — and then of course, the iconic Malinsfjall to the south that backdrops the settlement of Viðareiði!
Around the middle part of the hike, I even started to see some formation of stones and rocks which made for a great spot to take an epic shot of Viðareiði and the Malinsfjall mountain (as seen in the cover photo of this article).
It was magnificently surreal!
At this point, it helps to note that I felt like giving up — the mountain was starting to get very steep. I was exhausted. Plus, the rocks just seemed like a very good resting spot, haha.
However, when I saw how Jonas was more than willing to proceed and reach the top, I told myself that I should too! Besides… I already made it that far and it would be such a waste to give up halfway, right?
…It also helped motivate me to go on when we saw this young guy who was insanely more fit than us. I say this because even if he started at a later time than we did on this hike, he passed us by so swiftly that I couldn’t help but relate him to a goat… A compliment, because I badly wanted to be like him and the goats around us — they surely made climbing look so easy! (And maybe that’s why it frustrated me a bit, urging me to continue my hike. Nuh-uh, I ain’t gonna lose to a young one… though technically, I was already losing.)
“It must be nice to be young and fit,” I often whispered to Jonas whenever we see the guy ascending higher and higher at such a fast pace.
Around 100 vertical meters left to the top, the trail started to get rocky and we came to a small plateau that had pointed stones and several cairns (a human-made pile or stack of stones). We noticed that these cairns go to the left or northwest direction and we found out that those lead to the steep cliff of Enniberg (a fabulous view that we will see later on at the top).
The Faroese often refer to Enniberg, at 754 meters, as the highest promontory* in Europe (or the world) that faces the open sea.
*Promontory: a raised mass of land that projects into a lowland or a body of water.
You can follow these cairns BUT it is highly recommended to visit Enniberg together with local guides since the place is difficult to access and is also easy to get lost. And so, to reach the top of Villingardalsfjall, ignore these cairns and continue to follow the blue tubes.
After a few minutes, we saw a cairn with a rod that marks Torratindur, which is the top of Villingardalsfjall — and we also saw the amazing Goat Man sitting at one of the rocks, admiring the view. We waved hello at him.
We then learned that he was from Germany and that he was backpacking across the Scandinavian countries. He ended up on this island by riding a ferry and he was planning to proceed to Iceland after his stay in the Faroes. Hearing this, it’s clear that he is on an amazing adventure!
After a bit more chit-chat with him — that didn’t last too long — we had to say our goodbyes (he was up there for quite a while after all, us being slow pokes and all, lol).
NOTE: Also, we didn’t manage to ask, but we think that he actually went up this mountain with a female companion because they arrived together at the start of the trail. At the earlier part of the hike, we saw amazing Goat Man pacing himself so that he can wait for her — but then he eventually went ahead of her (and us).
We felt a bit bad for the gal because she seemingly had a tougher time climbing up (compared to us), given how she was making far too many frequent stops. To add, when we went down Villingardalsfjall later on, we didn’t see her anymore; she didn’t make it to the top either and she probably went together with Goat Man back down once he reached her. As I thought about that, I would have definitely ended up like her had I given up halfway — and such would have been such a shame because…
…the top of Villingardalsfjall was SPECTACULAR beyond words!
To the south, of course, is a higher view of Malinsfjall and the town of Viðareiði.
To the west, Kunoyarnakkur, the northernmost of the six mountains in Kunoy island that is taller than 800 metres; and then of course, Enniberg.
To the north, there’s a view over the beautiful Villingardalur cliffs.
It was all so breathtaking!
Without a doubt, Jonas and I took our time enjoying all these awesome views!
Of course, going back was more of a nerve-wracking experience…
Just imagine going down a steep rocky mountain wherein it almost feels like you can tumble down to the bottom at any second should you make a misstep! (Highly unlikely but hey, as someone who’s afraid of heights, I can easily imagine any illogical thing that can happen).
(R) View down // (L) View up
Aaahh… I can still vividly recall how it all looked (as if it’s still right in front me right now!). I can also remember how I acted: often bursting into laughing fits like a madman.
Fact: I tend to laugh a lot when I’m extremely nervous or under stress.
All in all though: I have NO regrets and I’m willing to do this all over again! (But I’m also fine with it being one of my epic once-in-a-lifetime experiences *wink*).
That being said, I absolutely recommend this hike as a definite must-do when you’re visiting the Faroe Islands. It’s truly a remarkable experience that you should NOT miss out on!
There’s a boundless array of activities and sceneries that you can do when you plan to visit Denmark’s Faroe Islands and for sure, climbing up the northern beauty that is that of Villingardalsfjall is an absolute must on your itinerary!
It will not only reward you with majestic unspoilts views but also memorable tales to tell when you come back home — much like how it was for me.
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Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel too (no matter the odds), and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, adventures, resources, tips, and MORE!
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@ChasingRonin LOL maybe not the kind I want ahahha
Sakura (cherry blossom) season is soon coming in Japan this 2019! Come check out this forecast to start planning yo… https://t.co/DgNWGyA4MZ