Nestled in a lush bowl on the western banks of Kunoy sits the tranquil village of the same name. The pretty tangle of tiny streets, whitewashed cottages and coloured roofs that spill toward the water’s edge is an essential stop in the Faroe’s northern isles. Across the bay, the furrows and folds of Kalsoy rear up from the ocean, chiselled and dusted in snow or vivid greens.
From the vibrant red church taking pride of place in the centre of town to the lush countryside that sprawls toward the mountains, Kunoy is a place best enjoyed on foot.
To better get a feel for this charming village, park your car before setting off. Weave through the twisting laneways to the dirt track that meanders up behind the village past golden fields and curious sheep into one of the island’s most surprising features, Viðarlundin í Kunoy, the forest of Kunoy.
If you’ve spent any time in the Faroe Islands, you may have noticed that the landscapes, while dramatic and lush, stand rather bare, but this forest exists as one of the islands’ few wooded areas. While the colder months leave the forest somewhat spartan, summer transforms the landscape into a lush knot of ash, birch and spruce. A well-laid path snakes beneath the dense foliage toward the enormous rock of Eggjarsteinur which doubles as a shaded picnic spot and a challenging climb. Beyond the leafy grove, the path leads onward through the golden tussocks, over an enchanting arched bridge and back down toward the main road.
For visitors seeking a challenge and even better views, Kunoy is home to some of the highest mountains in the Faroe Islands. One such hike is the trail through the gorge of Skarðsgjógv between razor-sharp peaks to the abandoned village of Skarð, an arduous trip that should only be attempted by experienced hikers accompanied by a guide.
Like many remote villages in the Faroes’ northern isles, Kunoy can be reached through a dark passageway carved through the mountain from Haraldssund.
Kunoy island is about a 10-minute drive from the city of Klaksvík on the island of Borðoy. It takes about 1½ hours to drive to Kunoy from Tórshavn, the capital.
Contact Visit Norðoy for more information about Kunoy.