The Faroe Islands are full of amazing opportunities to hike. And hike from Saksun to Tjornuvík is perhaps one of the best ones you can take. It is also a hike that everyone is talking about when you go to the Faroe Islands. And to be honest, if you are planning on hiking, you definitely shouldn’t miss the hike from Saksun to Tjornuvík. It might be a little bit more difficult, but it is worth to see the wild rough nature by your own eyes.
Hike from Saksun to Tjornuvík
I went through the hike ones and I was fairly unprepared. I had no idea what do I need or how difficult it is going to be. And so here a little bit on what you need to know before you go. And more importantly what to expect. Hopefully, you might see that even though it is really a gorgeous place to hike, it is not for everyone. You can still visit those two villages without hiking the mountains between them. But you will see.
The difficulty of the hike
One of the most important factors to know when hiking. Well, the hike from Saksun to Tjornuvík is probably medium difficulty. What I mean is that it might be difficult to hike it in case you are just a beginner and don’t know a lot about what to bring or don’t have the physique for it. The main problem with the hike is the path. It is not always so clear on where do you need to go which might take you to some semi-dangerous situations. Take it from me, during this hike, I once fall into a river and almost fall from a little cliff (nothing high, but nothing too nice either). So once you start hiking, make sure you know where you are and where you need to go next. The best thing to do to avoid dangerous situations is to download offline maps of hiking paths like Maps.me that will directly show you where you are.
Another difficult thing here that you need to count on is the weather. The Faroe Islands are not the sunniest destination and the wind can be the real issue here especially when you are hiking the path down.
The main thing, that can be also the most difficult is to hike up to the mountain pass and then to hike down. The path is pretty steep on both ends in Saksun and in Tjornuvik. So it can be difficult for people with weaker knees.
At the same time, nature isn’t there to help you. Especially when you are hiking from Saksun, you will have to cross several springs some of them are bigger than others. The stones that you can walk on are quite slippery so make sure you won’t fall. Generally, it is much easier to just step into water but you should have good shoes for this.
Once you reach the mountain pass, going towards Tjornuvík is quite easy. There is a trail that suggests where to go. On the highest place of the pass, it is very windy and there is a lot of stones. Which is a little bit of an issue because it is the stones that mark the path to the next village. Make sure you choose the right way because it is easy to get lost here and one of the smaller rocky cliffs is nearby.
Going down to the Tjornuvík village is much easier and the path there is pretty clear so just make sure you close the doors to the sheep pasture and you shouldn’t be facing any issues.
What to pack?
Bottle of water – You will sweat and you will need to hydrate. So a bottle of water is necessary. But a sustainable tip here: If you bring a bottle with a filter, there is plenty of springs that are relatively clean to drink from them through the filter, so you don’t have to have a lot of water with you.
Warm clothes – Even if you come in summer, the temperatures will be still around 20 degrees and with the wild wind, you will need some more layers to keep you warm.
Windproof and rainproof jacket – At least the jacket. One of the most important things here. The wind will be annoying and it may be even rainy. So make sure you have something that can help you out with these natural elements.
Good shoes – Both waterproof and really good ones to walk in.
Snacks – To keep your energy high.
Otherwise, make sure you will pack lightly, it is a long way to go with 10 kilos on your back.
How long do you need to hike?
The hike is about 7 kilometers. How long do you need is basically on you, depending on how much experience you have and your physique. If you are really experienced, you might need only 2 hours. That is probably really fast. But generally, even a clumsy me managed to get to the other village in 3,5 hours. So it takes a relatively long time. But it is still not a full day hike, but the terrain makes it significantly more difficult.
When to go?
Summer. Don’t even think about any other time. This trail is probably the most easier to go in summer when the weather might be the nices for such a thing.
Other than that, you might encounter a wind storm, which is not nice especially in a place like this. Especially in the mountain pass where you cannot really hide anywhere.
Also, there might be more snow or mud. All in all this path is being maintained only by local sheep that are wildly running around it so if you go in any other time than in summer, the mud might be unbearable. And the hills that you need to go up and down with might be a little bit frozen, which might be especially a problem when you go from Saksun, where you need to step over a couple of springs. If they are frozen, crossing them might be kind of dangerous.
Saksun to Tjornuvík or the other way around?
One of the main questions that people are asking when preparing for this hike is whether it is better to go from Saksun to Tjornuvík or the other way around.
First of all, I would say that it very much depends on your budget. Some people would take a tour which would get them to Saksun and then pick them up in Tjornuvík. Those tours are usually quite expensive. But you will get help on where to go and it might make it much easier.
If you bring a car, it might be quite tricky. While Tjornuvík has public transport, Saksun village doesn’t and it might be better to go from Tjornuvík to Saksun. You would park a car in Tjornuvík, hike to Saksun and then hitchhike to the main road where you can catch a bus back to Tjornuvík.
You might also relate just on public transport and in that case, it might be the easiest to also just hike from Tjornuvík, because then catching a ride from Saksun is relatively easy.
However, if you are going after a difficulty level than it is better to start your hiking adventure in Saksun. You will get over the worst part with crossing springs first before you lose all of your energy and at the same time, the path seems a little bit more clear if you are going from Saksun. If you are planning to do it the other way, your legs might be too shaky when you will need to go down to the village.
About Saksun and Tjornuvík
Perhaps one of the most picturesque villages on the Faroe Islands. Saksun is a village in the northwest of the island called Streymoy and you can find here beautiful old buildings with mossy roofs. There is also an old church. Funny story about the church. It was actually made in Tjornuvík, but in the 19th-century people disassembled it and took it to Saksun. They actually used the very same hike I talked about.
Other than that, Saksun is one of the oldest villages in the Faroe Islands. Archeologists found here old Viking graves which suggest that people were living here from at least the 10th century or even earlier.
There used to be a harbor but some centuries ago a big storm took a lot of sand between these two mountains and created a little lagoon that people come to visit. Now only small boats can get here and only when the tide is high. To go directly to see the lagoon, you will need to pay a fee of 75 dkk. The fee is there mainly because of a local farmer who had a problem with people trying to go to his property without a permission. This way he is trying to limit the people from entering the place.
How to get to Saksun
The easiest way to get to Saksun is with a car for sure. There used to be a bus but due to the decreasing population, the line wasn’t really necessary.
But don’t get discouraged. If you have a low budget, you can always try to hitchhike. Hitchhiking is really popular on the Faroe Islands and safe too.
Another way is to hike there and back from Tjornuvík. But that is really for hardcore hikers.
Another really old village in the Faroe Islands. It is the northernmost village of Streymoy. Currently, there are 48 inhabitants. But the village has a rich history as well. The first people who came into this place were probably Celtic monks they did so in the 7th century.
But it seems that later on the Vikings prevailed in these waters. In 1956 a couple of boys from this village found really old Viking graves that go back to the 10th century.
Unlike other villages in the Faroe Islands, Tjornuvík has direct access to the open sea which made it very difficult for Viking ships to land on these waters. But from the tombs that were found, we can see that it was possible anyway.
Due to the high waves that come from the open sea, you can sometimes observe surfers enjoying the ride.
How to get to Tjornuvík
Getting to Tjornuvík is significantly easier than getting to Saksun. Public transport can still deliver you here. Even though it is not a direct ride. In Torshavn, you will need to jump to a bus that heads to Klaksvík. You need to get off at Oyrarbakki. There is going to be another bus that is actually waiting for the first one. And by this other bus, you will get directly to Tjornuvík. The hike starts just 20 meters from the bus stop.
You can also choose to take a car and have it even easier. But if you are on a low budget, then public transport will work too.
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