An optical illusion may have turned of Sørvágsvatn into one of the Faroe Island’s most visited spots, but for many, the allure of a hidden beach and the inky expanse of windswept water make the far less known Fjallavatn even more enticing.
Near the airport, the turnoff to Vatnsoyrar peels away between golden fields cradled in a wide valley. Behind the village, continue along the narrow dirt track toward the small parking area. From here, set out on foot across the tussocky wilderness toward the jet-black shores of Fjallavatn and a handful of lakeside cottages that pepper the banks.
Sticking to the lower shore, you’ll encounter a number of bogs and rivers sure to muddy your boots, but that’s entirely part of the fun.
As the valley begins to open up, the still water transforms into the gurgling cascades of the Reipsá before disappearing in a thunderous roar and billow of misty spray as it falls toward the ocean.
Clambering toward the land’s edge, the jagged cliff line reveals itself all at once – a formidable wall of peaks and valleys. Peeking around the bend, the hidden beach awaits, battered by the tireless waves of the North Atlantic. Across the bay, a patchwork of neatly tended land and a smattering of houses mark the tiny abandoned village of Víkar.
The 13km return hike to Reipsáfossur is relatively flat but river crossings and uneven ground can make it somewhat difficult. For those seeking a greater adventure, a challenging path continues on up incredibly steep and slippery terrain to Gásadalur. For this hike, be sure to add an extra few hours for the hike and don’t forget to organise a way to return to your car.
Contact Visit Vágar for more information about Fjallavatn and other things to do and see on the island of Vágar.