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Guðrunarløkur – Skarvanes

  • Most of the path between the place Guðrunarløkur and the village Skarvanes, we walk along the steep slope under the mountain Vestfelli. Here we are under the steepest place, called Undir Rókunum, with the rock wall Líðarrøkur above. Photo: Óli Gardshodn
  • High up in the mountain slope south of the place Guðrunarløkur, we see the stone collection Runtaurð, where the sheep thief Runtin lived. Photo: Óli Gardshodn
  • Below the valley Dúniadalur, we are at the highest point on the village path. Here are good views, e.g. the village Sandur and also the headland Salthøvdi, which we see on the left in the picture. Photo: Óli Gardshodn
  • North of the pond Dúniavatn it is incredibly beautiful and cozy. The view is good south along the plain Undir Hjøllum with the islands Lítla Dímun and Stóra Dímun in the background. Enjoy the moment before we walk the last slightly steep stretch down to the village Skarvanes. Photo: Óli Gardshodn
  • View down over the village Skarvanes. Photo: Óli Gardshodn
  • The waterfall above the village Skarvanes. Photo: Óli Gardshodn
  • The village Skarvanes. Photo: Óli Gardshodn

A peaceful and easy walk amongst wealthy women, sheep thieves and artists

The route begins by the sheepfold about 200 meters from the crossroads of Skálavik/Húsavík. This is where the small stream Guðrunarløkur runs. The name is associated with Guðrun Sjúrðardóttir, who was a very affluent woman living around the year 1400 and is thought to be the much talked-about Lady of Húsavík. 

Walk from the sheepfold up towards the southern rock ledges. It might be difficult to spot the cairns on the first leg of the journey, but they will become more visible as you approach the ledges. 

Under the rock ledge is Runtaurð (Runti’s scree). According to legend, Runti was a sheep thief who hid here. On Christmas day, he ventured out of his hiding place to grab a bite to eat, not expecting anyone to be out. But somebody noticed, and Runti was caught. 

The Lady of Húsavík

Húsavík is one of the oldest villages in the Faroe Islands. Around the year 1400, a Lady lived in Húsavík, and the traces of her time can still be seen, for example, in the oldest part of the churchyard and the paved courtyard between the houses in the village. 

The Lady of Húsavík owned a considerable amount of land and property in the Faroe Islands as well as major properties in Norway and the Shetland Islands. Archival research suggests that there were two wealthy women in Húsavík around this time, and sometimes they are mixed up. Legend has it that the Lady of Húsavík was tough – she practised witchcraft and mistreated her servants. 

Húsavík has a rather large beach and good bay. The area is also well suited for surfing. 

Along the route, you will arrive at Klovnasteinur – two stones that look like one stone cleaved in two. Old superstition says that if you walk between them, you will die before the end of the year. 

Peaceful lake

The land here is former peatland. Somewhat south of Líðarrøkur, you get a beautiful view of Dúniavatn with Stóra Dímun, Lítla Dímun and Suðuroy in the background. You can also see Skúvoy, Salthøvdi and the village of Sandur, which is thought to be one of the oldest villages in the Faroes. 

It is very peaceful here and a perfect place to rest while listening to the streams purling and the birds singing. When the sky is clear, you can see all the way to Mykines.

On the north side of Stóra Dímun is the sea stack, Øssursdrangur, named after Øssur Havgrímson, a chieftain from the Viking Age, who was killed by Sigmundur Brestisson in a power struggle. Øssur asked to be buried so that his head faced Grønuskor, south of the sea stack. 

Sigmundur Brestisson is believed to be buried on the island of Skúvoy. On Skúvoy, there is a beautiful route to Høvdan and Fagradal, the valley that sets the scene for the novel Rannvá by Dagmar Joensen-Næs.

When you arrive at the lake Dúniavatn, the downhill path will take you towards Skarvanes. You will reach Torvstíggj, where it can be difficult to spot the descending path. The path is just south of the southernmost peatshed ruin, near the rock face. At the fence, pass through the gate closest to the river, Matará, and follow the river down to the village. 

Díðrik and the pigeons 

Skarvanes was the birthplace of the Faroese art of painting. Díðrikur á Skarvanesi (1802-1865) is considered the first painter in the Faroe Islands. Born in Stóra Dímun, he later moved to Skarvanes. Díðrikur painted colourful images of birds such as pigeons. Only five of the paintings are preserved and can be viewed at the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands.

Skarvanes is known to be a good place for driftwood and corn. In the river, there is an old water mill that was used for corn. There is no church in Skarvanes, so locals would usually walk along the cairn path to Húsavík to attend church service, and later on to Dalur, too. In the old days, there was a chapel in Skarvanes.

If you feel like a longer walk, you can continue along the cairn path from Skarvanes to Dalur.

Guðrunarløkur - Skarvanes
Skarvanes - Guðrunarløkur

Guðrunarløkur - Skarvanes

The busroute 601 drives to Húsavík from the ferry terminal in Skopun.

Parking is availabe along the road to Húsavík, but is likely unavailable during days of sheep herding.

  • parkering-og-starting-point-husavik-gudrunarlokur-jpg

Skarvanes - Guðrunarløkur

There is no bus connection to Skarvanes.

Use the parking (marked by green on the images) and follow the path starting on the southern parth of the river (blue arrows on the images.) 

Guðrunarløkur - Skarvanes
Skarvanes - Guðrunarløkur

Guðrunarløkur - Skarvanes

Skarvanes - Guðrunarløkur

Facts

path icon
1h 0m

Duration

path icon
4 km

distance

hilltop peak icon
199 m

Peak

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138 m

Elevation


family icon The hike is suitable for children.
difficulty icon Easy - The hike is relatively short and mostly on level surface.
terrain icon Grass path with cairns, gravelly at times. Wet in places.
11°C
6 m/s
Weather forecast

Available guided tours