Get ready for this – The Faroe Islands are set to feature on here a lot. This under-rated travel destination surprised me completely, to the point where I simply couldn’t believe I had never been before. I first heard of the Faroe Islands in 1990, when their national football team beat Austria 1-0 in a Euro 92 qualifier. At the time, my team, Northern Ireland were in the same group as the Faroes. Their goalkeeper, Jens Martin Knudsen wore a bobble hat and they even surprised my team by drawing 1-1 with us in Belfast in 1991. So finally in 2015 I made it here and I started off by exploring the village of Sørvágur, Vagar Island. Vagar Island also houses the country’s international airport.
When you are backpacking in the Faroe Islands, Sorvagur is a perfect village to start off in – the reason being – you can walk here from the airport! Yes, it’s only 20 minutes down the hill and here you are. There are a few guesthouses in this tiny village, but please choose Guesthouse Hugo if you come here. It’s a family run, cosy spot with Wi-Fi, breakfast and a superb café downstairs, you can read about my stay there.
Once you have checked into Guesthouse Hugo, get out and explore the village you are in. I ended up spending three nights here, which included day hikes to Gasadalur and all around Sorvagsvatn Lake and the villages of Vatnsoyrar and Midvagur. Sorvagur has a population of just over 1,000 people.
Here are my top things to see and do in Sorvagur itself.
1.Sorvagur Football Stadium
Football is the national sport in the Faroe Islands and each decent sized village has a team in the top division in the country. Sorvagur’s pitch is in the village centre and right by the waterside. It’s a plastic pitch and has a stand with green seats. The local club 07 Vestur play here and it is a combined team which also encompasses the village of Sandavagur.
2.Sorvagur Church and Graveyard
The main church sits close to the football stadium. It’s a black wooden building with a spire. The main religion here is Lutheranism and the country is almost exclusively Christian.
The school is a modern building and serves not just this village, but those living in Bour and Gasadalur.
The harbour at Sorvagur is pretty. Many fishermen come and go here and in the summer season you can get regular boats to the even more remote island of Mykines (which has a population of 12).
The streets of the village are idyllic and for the budding photographer they make for superb photo opportunities. Many of Sorvagur’s buildings have turfed rooves and are a mix of colours. Walk around and admire.
6.Sorvagur Petrol Station
The petrol station in the village doubles up as the town’s only “pub” as such as they sell cheap beer in here (10 DKK) and you can also buy hot food.
It’s just past the harbour and less than a 5 minute walk from Guesthouse Hugo. Plus, if you have hired a car this is the village’s only petrol station. It closes at 11 pm.
7.Retro café Fjørðoy and Guesthouse Hugo
As mentioned, aim to stay at Guesthouse Hugo. If you do, you should eat and drink in the downstairs retro café Fjørðoy voted one of the best in the Faroe Islands.
There are old relics here from back in the day including a 1970s Television and the food is excellent.
8.Enn Biligari: The Shop
Not every village in the Faroe Islands has a local shop, so make use of the one here in Sorvagur, especially if you are heading out to Bour and Gasadalur as this may be your last chance for miles to buy some food and drink.
For those wanting to see an actual bar and a hotel, then a short walk out of the village to the airport leads you to Hotel Vagar. It looks like a black hut in the middle of nowhere, but at least you can get a beer here late at night, before walking back down the hill.
I really enjoyed my time in the village of Sorvagur. It was a perfect base while hiking to Gasadalur and to Lake Sorvagsvatn and before heading to the capital Torshavn and the north eastern islands.
Here are some videos from my visit: