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Hiking Sørvágsvatn Lake, Faroe Islands


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Lacey Breen



Welcome to the breathtaking Sørvágsvatn Lake, a hidden gem nestled in the stunning landscapes of the Faroe Islands. This enchanting lake offers a hiking experience like no other, with its dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and captivating wildlife. Whether you are an avid hiker seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure or a nature enthusiast looking for a tranquil escape, Sørvágsvatn Lake has something to offer for everyone.


Located in the western part of Vágar Island, Sørvágsvatn Lake, also known as Leitisvatn Lake, is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. What makes this lake truly magical is its unique geological formation – it appears to defy gravity as it hovers above the ocean. The optical illusion created by the lake gives it a surreal and dreamlike quality that will leave you in awe.


The hike around Sørvágsvatn Lake is a delightful mix of adventure and serenity. As you traverse the rugged terrain, you will be treated to panoramic views of the majestic lake, the towering cliffs, and the endless expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The hike takes you through a variety of landscapes, from grassy slopes to rocky paths, providing a diverse and captivating experience.


One of the highlights of the hike is the stunning Bøsdalafossur waterfall. With its powerful rush of water cascading off the cliffs and into the ocean, it is a sight to behold. The sound of the waterfall combined with the dramatic backdrop creates a magical ambiance that will transport you to another world.


Whether you are an experienced hiker or a novice, Sørvágsvatn Lake offers trails of varying difficulty levels. From shorter, leisurely walks to more challenging treks, there is a trail suitable for every skill level. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure around Sørvágsvatn Lake!


Location of Sørvágsvatn Lake

Sørvágsvatn Lake is situated in the Faroe Islands, a group of autonomous islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, the lake is located on the island of Vágar, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and rugged landscapes.


The Faroe Islands themselves are a picturesque archipelago located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. They are an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, known for their untouched landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and vibrant wildlife.


To reach Sørvágsvatn Lake, you will need to travel to Vágar Island. In order to get to the Faroe Islands, you can fly into Vágar Airport, which is conveniently located on the island itself. There are regular flights available from several major European cities.


Once you arrive at Vágar Island, Sørvágsvatn Lake is easily accessible. It is situated on the western part of the island and can be reached by a short drive or bus ride from the airport or nearby villages. The lake is nestled within a pristine and untouched natural environment, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush green vegetation.


The picturesque village of Miðvágur is the gateway to Sørvágsvatn Lake, and it serves as a perfect base for exploring the area. From Miðvágur, you can embark on the hiking trail that encircles the lake, treating yourself to breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience.


The location of Sørvágsvatn Lake in the Faroe Islands makes it a hidden gem worth discovering. Away from the crowds and tourist hotspots, this tranquil oasis offers a chance to immerse yourself in nature and soak in the serene beauty of the surroundings.


With its remote location on Vágar Island, Sørvágsvatn Lake invites you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the tranquility of nature. So, pack your bags and set off on a journey to this mesmerizing destination in the heart of the Faroe Islands.


Hiking Trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake

The hiking trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake offer a wonderful opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes and discover the hidden treasures of the Faroe Islands. There are several trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels, allowing hikers of all abilities to experience the beauty of this enchanting area.


The most popular trail is the one that circumnavigates Sørvágsvatn Lake itself. This trail takes you on a mesmerizing journey around the entirety of the lake, offering stunning panoramic views of the shimmering water, the cliffs, and the vast expanse of the ocean. The trail is approximately 8 kilometers long and takes around 3-4 hours to complete, depending on your pace and the stops you make along the way.


Another notable trail is the one that leads to the mesmerizing Bøsdalafossur waterfall. This trail branches off from the main trail around Sørvágsvatn Lake and takes you towards the cliffs where the waterfall cascades into the ocean. It is a relatively short hike, but it rewards you with a spectacular view of the powerful waterfall and the surrounding landscape.


For those looking for a longer and more challenging hike, the trail leading to Geituskorardrangur is a great option. This trail takes you to the highest point of Vágar Island, offering breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding islands. The hike is more strenuous, but the rewards are well worth it for those seeking a more adventurous experience.


One of the unique features of the hiking trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake is the opportunity to witness the stunning birdlife of the Faroe Islands. The cliffs and rocky outcroppings along the trails serve as nesting grounds for numerous bird species, including puffins, kittiwakes, and guillemots. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the chance to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.


No matter which hiking trail you choose, it is important to stay on designated paths and follow the signs. The trails are well-marked, ensuring that you can navigate the terrain safely and easily. Remember to pack comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water, and snacks to keep you energized during your hike.


Exploring the hiking trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake is a truly immersive experience. As you hike along the paths, you will be engulfed in the beauty of nature, surrounded by the tranquility of the lake and the awe-inspiring landscapes. So, lace up your boots and embark on an unforgettable adventure through the hiking trails of Sørvágsvatn Lake in the Faroe Islands.


Difficulty Level of the Hike

The difficulty level of the hike around Sørvágsvatn Lake varies depending on the trail you choose to embark on. The main trail that circles the lake itself is considered to be of moderate difficulty, suitable for hikers of all experience levels. The terrain is relatively flat and well-maintained, making it accessible to most people.


The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete, depending on your pace and the stops you make along the way. While the trail is not particularly challenging in terms of elevation gain, it does involve some uneven surfaces and rocky sections. It is important to have sturdy footwear and be mindful of your footing, especially in wet or slippery conditions.


If you decide to take the trail that leads to the Bøsdalafossur waterfall, be aware that this section involves a steeper descent towards the cliffs. This part of the hike requires a bit more caution, as you navigate the rocky terrain and make your way closer to the edge. It is recommended to wear proper hiking gear and exercise caution to ensure your safety.


For those seeking a more challenging and strenuous hike, the trail leading to Geituskorardrangur offers a tougher experience. This trail ascends to the highest point of Vágar Island, requiring more endurance and physical effort. The terrain is steep and uneven, and you may encounter sections with loose rocks and scree. It is essential to be well-prepared, physically fit, and have appropriate hiking gear if you choose to tackle this trail.


It is important to note that weather conditions can have a significant impact on the difficulty level of the hike. The Faroe Islands are known for their ever-changing weather patterns, and it is not uncommon to encounter strong winds, rain, or fog even during the summer months. It is advisable to check the weather forecast before your hike and be prepared for changing conditions.


Regardless of the trail you choose, it is always a good idea to hike with a companion and let someone know about your plans. This way, you can ensure your safety and have support in case of any unforeseen circumstances.


Remember, it is essential to know your own abilities and limitations when hiking. Take breaks, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. By being prepared and mindful of the difficulty level, you can have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience around Sørvágsvatn Lake.


Required Gear for Hiking Sørvágsvatn Lake

When setting out to hike Sørvágsvatn Lake, it is crucial to be prepared with the right gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. The ever-changing weather conditions in the Faroe Islands demand proper equipment to keep you comfortable and protected. Here is a list of essential gear you should consider bringing:


1. Hiking boots: Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support are a must. The trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake can be uneven and slippery, so proper footwear will provide stability and reduce the risk of injuries.


2. Layered clothing: The weather in the Faroe Islands is known to be unpredictable, so dressing in layers is essential. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating middle layer, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. This will allow you to adjust your clothing according to changing temperatures and weather conditions.


3. Rain gear: A good quality waterproof jacket and pants are vital to protect you from the frequent rain showers that can occur in the Faroe Islands. Make sure the rain gear is breathable to prevent discomfort from sweat accumulation.


4. Backpack: A comfortable backpack with a hip belt is essential for carrying your water, snacks, extra layers, and other essentials. Opt for one with sufficient capacity to accommodate all your gear without feeling too heavy on your back.


5. Hiking poles: Hiking poles can provide stability and support, particularly during challenging sections or when navigating uneven terrain. They can help reduce strain on your joints and provide balance, especially on steep ascents or descents.


6. Navigation tools: While the trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake are generally well-marked, having a map, compass, or GPS device can be helpful for orientation, especially if you plan on venturing off the main trail.


7. Snacks and water: It’s essential to stay hydrated and energized during your hike. Carry enough water to keep yourself hydrated, and pack lightweight, nutrient-rich snacks to fuel your adventure.


8. First aid kit: Always carry a basic first aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, blister patches, and any personal medications you may need in case of injuries or emergencies.


9. Sun protection: Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can still be strong. Remember to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.


10. Camera and binoculars: Don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking views and wildlife encounters. Binoculars can also enhance your experience by allowing you to spot birds and other wildlife from a distance.


By having the right gear, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the hiking trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake and have a safe and enjoyable experience surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Faroe Islands.


Wildlife and Flora around Sørvágsvatn Lake

The area surrounding Sørvágsvatn Lake is teeming with diverse wildlife and flourishing flora, making it a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. As you explore the hiking trails and venture into the untouched landscapes, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter a range of unique species and witness the beauty of the local flora.


One of the most notable wildlife attractions in the area is the abundance of bird species. The cliffs and rocky outcroppings around Sørvágsvatn Lake serve as nesting sites for numerous seabirds. Puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots, and razorbills are just a few of the species you may spot during your hike. Their acrobatic flight patterns and distinctive calls add an extra layer of excitement to your journey.


Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic white-tailed eagle, the largest bird of prey in the Faroe Islands. Known for its impressive wingspan and powerful presence, spotting this magnificent creature soaring through the sky is a truly awe-inspiring experience.


As you explore the lush and diverse flora around Sørvágsvatn Lake, you’ll come across a variety of plant species. The Faroe Islands’ unique climate creates a conducive environment for mosses, lichens, and heather. The vibrant green mosses blanket the rocks and cliffs, creating a surreal and enchanting landscape.


During the summer months, the hillsides are adorned with colorful wildflowers, adding splashes of vibrancy to the surrounding scenery. Look out for the delicate purple saxifrage, the striking yellow butterwort, or the bright pink sea thrift. These endemic species contribute to the rich tapestry of flora that thrives in this rugged terrain.


While exploring the hiking trails, you may also encounter various mammals that call the area home. Although sightings are less common, it is not uncommon to spot curious seals basking on the shores of Sørvágsvatn Lake or swimming in the nearby ocean. Keep a respectful distance to avoid disturbing these fascinating creatures and enjoy observing their natural behavior.


Remember to practice responsible wildlife viewing by observing animals from a distance, refraining from feeding or touching them, and respecting their natural habitat. This will help preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystem and ensure the continued presence of these magnificent creatures.


The combination of diverse wildlife and flourishing flora around Sørvágsvatn Lake creates a truly immersive natural experience. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast, a botany lover, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, exploring the wildlife and flora in this stunning location will leave you with memories to cherish.


Safety Tips for Hiking Sørvágsvatn Lake

While hiking Sørvágsvatn Lake offers a breathtaking adventure, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure an enjoyable and incident-free experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind before embarking on your hike:


1. Plan and prepare: Familiarize yourself with the trail map, plan your route, and estimate the time needed to complete the hike. Check the weather forecast and be prepared for changing weather conditions as the Faroe Islands are known for their unpredictable weather patterns.


2. Inform someone: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans, including your intended route and estimated return time. This allows someone to raise an alarm in case of emergencies or if you fail to return on time.


3. Dress appropriately: Wear layered clothing, including a waterproof and windproof outer layer, to protect yourself from rain and changing temperatures. Choose sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support to navigate the uneven and rocky terrain.


4. Stay on marked trails: Stick to designated trails to minimize the impact on the delicate flora and wildlife habitats. Veering off the trails can also lead to getting lost or encountering dangerous areas.


5. Carry essential gear: Ensure you have a well-equipped backpack with the necessary gear, including a map, compass, or GPS device, extra clothing layers, sufficient water, snacks, a first aid kit, and emergency supplies like a flashlight and a whistle.


6. Be aware of wildlife: While the wildlife in the area can be fascinating to observe, maintain a respectful distance and avoid disturbing or feeding them. Keep in mind that some birds might become aggressive when defending their nests.


7. Be cautious near cliffs and steep areas: The trails around Sørvágsvatn Lake can have steep sections and cliffs. Exercise caution, especially in wet or windy conditions, and be mindful of your footing to prevent slips or falls.


8. Let nature’s sounds guide you: When hiking in foggy conditions, rely on the sounds around you, such as waterfalls or bird calls, to get your sense of direction. This can help you navigate safely even when visibility is low.


9. Stay hydrated and well-fueled: Carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike, especially during warmer weather or challenging sections. Pack lightweight, nutrient-rich snacks to keep your energy levels up.


10. Respect the environment: Leave no trace and respect the pristine nature of Sørvágsvatn Lake. Properly dispose of any trash and refrain from picking or damaging plants. Follow the “Leave No Trace” principles to help preserve the area’s natural beauty for future generations.


By following these safety tips, you can make the most of your hiking experience around Sørvágsvatn Lake while ensuring your personal well-being and respecting the fragile environment of the Faroe Islands.


Best Time to Hike Sørvágsvatn Lake

The best time to hike Sørvágsvatn Lake is during the summer months, from June to August. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions and longer daylight hours, allowing for a more enjoyable and safer hiking experience. The average temperatures during this time range from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F), creating a comfortable environment for outdoor activities.


In the summer, the landscapes around Sørvágsvatn Lake burst into vibrant colors. The hillsides are adorned with blooming wildflowers, and the lush greenery adds to the beauty of the surroundings. This time of the year also coincides with the breeding season for many bird species, providing a wonderful opportunity for birdwatching enthusiasts to witness unique behaviors and nesting activities.


Moreover, hiking during the summer allows for longer daylight hours, giving you more time to explore the trails and fully immerse yourself in the stunning views and natural wonders. The extended daylight also increases safety, as you have more visibility and time to complete your hike before darkness falls.


It’s worth noting that the weather in the Faroe Islands can still be unpredictable even during the summer months. Rain showers and fog are not uncommon, so it’s important to pack appropriate rain gear and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Checking the weather forecast before heading out and being flexible with your plans can help you make the most of your hiking adventure.


While summer is the ideal time to hike Sørvágsvatn Lake, it is important to consider various factors such as personal preferences, trail availability, and individual fitness levels. Late spring and early autumn can also offer pleasant conditions for hiking, with fewer crowds and a different atmosphere in the landscape.


Ultimately, the best time to hike Sørvágsvatn Lake depends on your own preferences and circumstances. Regardless of the season, always check local conditions, pack the appropriate gear, and be prepared for the unique experiences that each season brings in the stunning Faroe Islands.



Hiking Sørvágsvatn Lake in the Faroe Islands is an unforgettable experience that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, adventure, and tranquility. As you explore the hiking trails, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking landscapes, from the soaring cliffs to the shimmering lake waters. The diverse wildlife, vibrant flora, and stunning waterfalls add an extra layer of enchantment to this pristine destination.


Whether you choose to embark on the main trail encircling Sørvágsvatn Lake, venture towards the dramatic Bøsdalafossur waterfall, or conquer the challenging Geituskorardrangur trail, you’re guaranteed to be rewarded with awe-inspiring views and an immersive connection with nature.


To make the most of your hiking experience, it’s essential to be well-prepared and prioritize safety. Dress appropriately for the changing weather, carry essential gear, and follow safety guidelines to ensure a memorable and incident-free journey.


The best time to hike Sørvágsvatn Lake is during the summer months when the weather is most favorable and the landscapes come to life with vibrant colors. However, every season has its unique charm, and any time of the year can offer opportunities for exploration and discovery.


As you hike, be sure to take the time to appreciate the delicate flora, spot the diverse bird species, and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the natural wonders of Sørvágsvatn Lake.


Whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a peaceful escape, Sørvágsvatn Lake in the Faroe Islands offers an experience like no other. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the captivating landscapes of Sørvágsvatn Lake.