Experience the beautiful mountain scenery in the north and enjoy one of the Faroe Islands’ most beautiful villages from above
The route starts at Við Garð (1) in the northern part of Viðareiði. Go up the road and out through the gate to the outfield. Almost all the way to the top, the route is marked with blue plastic tubes that stick out of the ground. The first leg is grassy, but gradually the route becomes rockier and cliffs appear. Be aware of loose stones, especially if you are in a group.
Viðareiði is an ancient settlement. Precisely when it was established is unknown, but it is believed to be from about 1350 to 1400. It may, however, be older. The church was established in 1892. Nearby is the Old Rectory in Ónagerði (2), which is said to be haunted. The priest, however, disagrees.
One famous resident was the fabled priests’ widow Beinta, who served as inspiration for the classic 1939 love-novel Barbara by Jørgen Frantz Jacobsen. It was made into a film in 1997 by the Danish film director Nils Malmros. Beinta was married three times, and all her husbands were priests. She was also called Illa Beinta (Evil Beinta) because it was thought that she murdered her first two husbands and made her third husband go mad.
One of the Faroe Islands’ finest poets and scholars, Christian Matras (1900-1988), was born in Viðareiði. He was particularly known for his naturalistic poetry. On the way up the mountain is a nice view towards the islands of Fugloy and Svínoy. On the opposite side of Viðareiði, the great Malinsfjall towers, and on the other side of the sound is the abandoned settlement of Múli. There is a legend about the farmer Guttormur í Múla, who was strong in wizardry. His magic was only used for good. Once, he was summoned by the priest at Ónagerði to oust a ghost, the priest’s dead wife that bothered the residents of the vicarage. As a thank you, the priest gave him his best cow and best sheep. Guttormur í Múla is buried in Viðareiði.
On one part of the route uphill is an old stone wall (3). The wall was erected to prevent the cattle from going to steep areas in the mountains.
When there are about 100 vertical metres left to the top, you will come to a small plateau with a cairn and some pointed rocks (4). One of the stones is called Kona Per (Per’s Wife). There is a story about a bachelor from Viðareiði who was teased about not having a wife, and the men teasing him proclaimed the rock to be his wife.
Here, the blue plastic tubes end and some cairns go to the left (to the northwest).
The cairns lead to the steep cliff Enniberg. It is often said among the Faroese that Enniberg, with its 754 metres, is the highest promontory in Europe (indeed, the world) facing the open sea. Whether this is true is not known with certainty, but it is fabulous, beautiful and steep at any rate. It is, however, highly recommended to visit Enniberg together with local guides, since the place is difficult to access and it is easy to get lost.
You should not follow the cairns. Instead, continue to climb in the same line as before. In some places there are small cairns, but after a few minutes you will see a cairn with a rod that marks Torratindur, which is at the top of Villingardalsfjall (5).
The view from the top is spectacular. In addition to Malinsfjall, you see further south than on any of the other beautiful mountains of Viðoy. To the west, you have the proud Kunoyarnakkur, the northernmost of the six mountains in Kunoy that is taller than 800 metres. Kunoyarnakkur is a popular destination for the adventurous, but it is recommended not to make the trip without a local guide.
From Villingardalsfjall you also have a view over the beautiful Villingardalur on the north side. Be careful, as it is very steep.
In old Faroese folklore, there is a story about Útiløgudreingirnar (The Wild Boys). These were two poor boys that lived as feral boys in the area around Villingardalsfjall. Their parents were dead and no one took care of them. Following a period in which they begged and stole, they suddenly disappeared. After a while, meat began to disappear from outhouses and many sheep were taken from the outfield. A few years later, people discovered two wild men with long hair, wild beards and leather clothing in the mountains. The two brothers had become adults. After much toil and trouble, the men from Viðareiði caught the two men, and promised that no harm would come to them.
Return to Viðareiði the same way you went up. When you come down to the place where the cairns lead out to Enniberg, you can take a small detour from the route down. Follow the cairns approximately 30- 50 metres (to the west). Here, you will find Steinur Leirvíksdrong, which is an approximately 1.30 m high rock. In 1802, there was a boy from Leirvík who lived in Viðareiði. He used to walk this route when he went to catch birds in the mountains. One day, he disappeared. He probably fell down the slope. On that same day, a large stone, which was not there before, appeared in this place. It is believed that the boy from Leirvík had erected the stone on the morning he disappeared.
Be careful on the way down as the rocky surface is slippery.
“Sail island out of the fog, now you are a ship with peaks as mast trees, You head out with mountains far out on a world journey.”
(1. verse of the poem “Viðoy” by Christian Matras. From the collection of poems “Faroese Poems 1900-1971” by Poul P. M. Pedersen)
Duration: About three to four hours
Distance: About six km
Difficulty: Moderate. The walk up is fairly difficult, and in the last part of the route there are many rocks and cliffs
Maximum height: 841 m
Children: Not suitable for small children under seven to eight years
Surface: First grass path. Then path with mainly stones and rocks
Special comments: If you are traveling in a group, please take great care in the upper part of the route, as there are many loose stones