Tórshavn to Kirkjubøur
A nice trip along the old mountain path to the beautiful old village of Kirkjubøur
The route starts at the crossroads Landavegur – Velbastaðvegur. From there, follow a path down to Sandá and the farm where the path to Kirkjubøur begins. First, you go uphill. Once you have come up and turn around, you have a good view of Tórshavn and all of Nólsoy.
When you start to walk again, you go round Reynsmúli and then you arrive at Reynsmúlalág. Two small lakes are in front of you. You might see many Kittiwakes there in the summer. Follow the cairns and you will see a dais built of rocks. The dais has been used for open air public gatherings since the 1800s and is still in use today. Public gatherings have been held in this place with flags, speeches and patriotic songs composed for the occasion. It is easy to imagine how crowds of people have sat on the hill before the dais and listened to, amongst others, Jóannes Patursson (1866-1946), a pioneer in the Faroese national independence movement. These outdoor public gatherings are still held in the Faroe Islands, e.g. during the national holiday Ólavsøka on 28-29 July.
The path continues southwards. On the route, you have a great view of Sandoy, Hestur, Koltur and Vágar. Legend talks about Magnus, a young man from Koltur, who courted a girl from Hestur. The girl’s father was not to know about this, so they met in secret. Magnus swam from Koltur, when the tidal current flowed southwards, spent time with the girl, and when the tide turned, swam back to Koltur. The girl’s father discovered this. One day, as Magnus came ashore, the father stood before him with an axe and threatened to kill him. Magnus was forced to go back, and he was never heard of again. Undoubtedly, a current took him and carried him out to sea. The story goes that after this, the eddy, which is called Grísarnir, emerged inside Koltursund. This is said to have been an act of revenge. To this day, this same eddy still exists in Koltursund. As you approach Kirkjubøur, you will see a small islet, Kirkjubøhólmur, which used to be part of the mainland and part of the village. Out on the islet, you can still see old ruins of houses.
The path now goes gradually down to the village and ends at a cattle grid some 50 metres from the nearest houses. Kirkjubøur is a beautiful and charming village where most of the houses are built in the old style. Kirkjubøur has a wealth of attractions; for example, Kirkjubømúrurin, the ruins of an old cathedral, which is believed to have been built around 1300. There is also Stokkastovurnar, the old farmhouses from about 1350, which are built on the ruins of the old bishop’s seat. The church in Kirkjubøur is the oldest church in the Faroe Islands still in use. It was built in the 1200s.
Duration: Two hours
Distance: Seven km
Maximum height: 230 m
Children: Suitable for children
Surface: Grass and rocky cairn path
Maps: 408, 508 and 509