Hvalvík to Vestmanna
On this wonderful route from Hvalvík to Vestmanna, see breathtaking mountains and lakes while also getting an insight into the Faroese electric power development.
The tour begins at Myllá, which runs north of the Mission House in Hvalvík. Walk along the river, through a gate and through the old cattle path. There is a path along the river’s north side. About 200 metres from Hvalvíksgjógv is the first cairn. When you have passed Eggjarmúli, there is a fine view through Saksunardalur, the longest valley in the country. From here, follow the SEV electricity line all the way to Vestmanna. SEV is the national electric power company. The first mechanical digger purchased to the Faroe Islands came to Hvalvík. It was called the Hvalvíkskúgvin. On one occasion, the people from Vestmanna wanted to borrow it for some work and it was carried up over Hvalvíksskarð along this path.
Now, you arrive at a cairn, stacked on a large stone called Kellingarsteinur. At the next cairn, after Kellingarsteinur, the path divides. The path south goes to Kvívík and the path north goes to Vestmanna. Follow the latter.
On top of Hvalvíksskarð, you see over to Mýrarnar and one of the first dams built by SEV in the early 1960s. There is also a small private windmill park. To the south is the mountain range Egilsfjall, Goturshálsur, Sátan and Skælingsfjall and on Vágar, you can see Reynsatindur and Heldarstindur. Loysingafjall is just in front of you. There is an account of a girl in Vestmanna who disappeared from the town and could not be found. The next day, a shepherd found her high up on Loysingafjall. She said that a man in white clothes had led her by the hand and fed her. No one knew this man.
The cairns and SEV-line take you to the left side of Bjerndalsgjógv. Be careful when the path turns south, as it is steep downwards.
There are now two possible ways down to Vestmanna. The path divides by the dam at Fossá. You can follow the road and go down Á Fjørð or go over the first dam, follow the cairns to Vestmanna along Gjógvará and down along Miðalsbrekka.
Another story is about a young milkmaid who disappeared in the river at Gjógvará. She had tripped and fallen and was carried down the large waterfall. There was no thought of her coming out alive from the fall. When people at home heard the news, they immediately went out to search. But they found no body. The girl was not dead. Naked, in a bad state, she was lying in the cleft, clinging to a stone. She could hear people calling for her, but she did not dare to call out because she was afraid of Huldufólk (Hidden People) and trolls. Not until the day after, when the river had settled down, did she dare to approach the houses. It was a miracle that she survived the incident.
Before the Faroe Islands got its first subsea tunnel between Streymoy and Vágar in 2002, the ferry port of Vestmanna was the hub for traffic to and from the airport in Vágar.
Duration: Three and a half hours if you go down into Vestmanna from Á Fjørð, or four hours if you go down at Gjógvará
Distance: 10 km
Difficulty: Moderate. From Hvalvík it is a little difficult to walk up the mountain. Otherwise, the path is easy to walk along
Maximum height: 385 m
Children: Not suitable for children under about eight years. Be careful with children at Bjerndalsgjógv
Surface: Grass cairn path. In some places, stones and rocks
Maps: 310, 311 and 411