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Norðoyar

Travel Guide Europe Faroe Islands Norðoyar

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Introduction

Boat in Mikladalur, Kalsoy

Boat in Mikladalur, Kalsoy

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Norðoyar is the name for a group of six islands, those of the north-east Faroe Islands, that have long formed a single administrative region.

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Geography

Two islands, Svinoy and Fugloy are well out in the Atlantic Ocean and the ferry service is subject to weather and sea conditions.
The largest of the six, Borðoy is connected by undersea tunnel with Eysturoy, with Viðoy and Kugloy by causeways and with Kalsoy by ferry from Klaksvik. There are numerous other tunnels on Borðoy, Viðoy and Kalsoy.

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Cities

  • Klaksvík - Borðoy - the main fishing port of the Faroe Islands.
  • Hvannasund - Borðoy - ferry port for Svinoy and Fugloy Islands.
  • Viðareiði - Viðoy - as far from Torshavn as you can get without using a ferry - see under sights.
  • Syðradalur - Kalsoy - ferry to Klaksvik (above.)

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Sights and Activities

Svinoy and/or Fugloy trip

A remote island trip to the northernmost islands requires you to take a ferry from Hvannasund to Svinoy and onwards to Fugloy if you like. In both cases, you take the 8.45am boat (the Ratin, the old wooden mailboat Masin was replaced in 2010) that leaves Hvannasund and normally travels to the west of Svinoy first, or to Svinoy town in the east if the waterpassage is too rough (travel time is about 50 minutes to 1.45h depending on the route). You can then hike on one of the islands and take the afternoon boat back (outside summer season, call 2 hours ahead to let them know you want to take the boat), or take the helicopter back (only on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday year-round, adding a Monday trip in summer). The helicopter usually leaves around 13:00-14:00pm back to Klaksvik and takes around 15 minutes. Try to go to Fugloy for the most remote experience and arrive in either Kirkkja or Hattarvik, hike between the two towns and leave from the other village.

Viðareiði

Viðareiði has far more than its share of sights. It is situated below a mountain horseshoe that separates it from the tip of the island. It is easy to walk to either coast as the island is very narrow at this point. On the west coast, the view over the church to the northern headlands is terrific and the sea here can be very calm. Over to the east coast and what a difference! Here the Atlantic looks like - the Atlantic! Given reasonable weather Svinoy and Fugloy are visible. An interesting article in the church is a silver platter presented by the government of the United Kingdom in the 19th century to the residents of the village for their support to British sailors involved in a ship wreck nearby.

Kalsoy

By taking the Kalsoy ferry from Klaksvik you can visit the island with the highest density of tunnels: 4 on a 10-kilometre-long stretch of road. It is well worth taking this trip as a passenger, even if you return on the same boat although the island deserves half a day or so. The best activitiy on the island is the hike to the Kallur lighthouse in the north of Kalsoy, which takes about 1 hour from Trollanes, the northernmost settlement. The views towards the other islands, including Kunoy and Eysturoy are brilliant!

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Weather

Norðoyar isn't the first place that comes to mind for its nice weather. Actually, you should consider yourself very lucky if you don't have any rain, even if you just visit for a few days and in general the weather is even a bit colder and wetter than average on the Faroe Islands. Even the somewhat drier months of June to August still have 20 to 22 rainy days a month! From October to March it rains on all but a few days a month. Temperatures are never hot but it rarely gets really cold as well. Winter (December to March) night time temperatures average around 2 °C while average summer (July-August) temperatures hoover around a chilly 12 °C.

Hvannasund harbour, Vidoy

Hvannasund harbour, Vidoy

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

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Getting There

By Plane

There are some helicopter services from Torshavn and other places in the south, including the international airport. They go three times a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) with an additional service on Monday in summer (June to August). Atlantic Airways operates these helicopters.

By Car

From Eysturoy via the undersea tunnel. The tunnel costs 130 kroner return.

By Bus

From Eysturoy via the undersea tunnel. From Torshavn to Klaksvik is about 1.5 hours and costs 90 kroner.

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Getting Around

By Car

Distances are small but a car is great to explore the smaller communities on the outer islands and on a daytrip you can easily see Kunoy, Vidoy and Bordoy. Kalsoy can also be reached by taking the car ferry from Klaksvik.

By Boat

  • Hvannasund to Svinoy and Fugloy.
  • Klaksvik to Kalsoy.

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Sleep

For Klaksvík and the northern islands, try and contact the Central Tourism Office to check the options. They have a few options of B&B's in Klaksvík which are excellent value (€35-40 per person), and they also offer houses for rent on the more remote islands like Kalsoy, Svinoy and Fugloy to in summer reserve well ahead! These houses are especially good value if you are with more people.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 19:29 on Oct 8, 10 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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