Our last helicopter trip to a remote island destination was Skúvoy, the fourth smallest island in the Faroe Islands. After visiting the two least populated islands, Koltur and Stóra Dímun, we were excited to finally visit an island with a population of more than 7 people. Skúvoy has a population of 52 people who all live in the only village on the island, which is also called Skúvoy. We had read online that it would be possible to camp there and use the public toilet and shower for free, so we were looking forward to getting freshened up.
We caught the helicopter from Stóra Dímun and just a few minutes later, we arrived in the tiny village on Skúvoy, where we were dropped off before the helicopter took off again.
For the first time in our careers as helicopter tourists, there wasn’t a single soul in sight when we landed, which left us in deep confusion. What were we supposed to do now?
The first thing we wanted to do was to find the camp site, but without anyone around it was hard to know where to go. We decided to take a walk through the village to find a tourist information center, a shop or just anything or anyone that could give us some information about where to camp. We found nothing. The town was as dead as could be. Even Koltur and Stóra Dímun had more life than Skúvoy. The village on Skúvoy is a peculiar place and was nothing like I had imagined. It reminded me of a place that people go to get old. Young families wouldn’t live there, and young single people most definitely wouldn’t – because there would be nothing there for them to do. On Skúvoy life is slow-paced, which makes it perfect for people who simply want peace and quiet. That was not exactly what we needed at that point though.
We were very surprised and even thought about changing our plans and catching the ferry to Sandoy, a bigger island with more inhabitants, an hour after we had arrived. But we wanted to stay in Skúvoy for a night, so we would have some time to explore the island, but it was proving difficult.
Thankfully, we got lucky and met a young couple and their child, who were out for a walk. The man was born on Skúvoy and was able to point us to a little shop, which looked like all the other houses in town. It had the sign “Handskin” on the front, but other than that there were no indications of it being a shop. We knocked on the door of the house and out came a friendly elderly man, who told us that the shop was closed. Apparently, the shop is only open every other day and we had hit a wrong one. But I think he could sense how desperate we were, so he kindly opened the shop for us for a few minutes, so we could stock up on supplies.
We asked the man at the shop if he knew anything about the camping situation on the island, and he pointed us in the direction of the heliport, where we had just come from. Near the heliport is a single farm with a lot of land where we would be able to camp.
We went to the farm and waved to the farmer through the window. He came out and pointed to the nearby river, where we could put up our tent and get fresh water. The water on the Faroe Islands is of world-class quality and it tastes delicious, so the setting was perfect! The farmer then called someone to unlock the public toilet and shower in the old school, so we could use that as well. Thank you nice Faroese people!! Our trip to Skúvoy was saved.
When we had set up our tent and had some lunch, it was finally time to explore Skúvoy! The farmer had told us about a hike to the peninsula Høvdin, which is a true bird paradise.
The trail to Høvdin is easy to find, as you simply walk through the town on the only existent road and then continue on until you come to a gate to the outfield and from then on there are red sticks that mark the trail all the way to Høvdin.
The walk to Høvdin was beautiful and it was nice to see some more of the island. I was really happy that we chose to stay, as the small hike was full of surprises. For the third time during our 18 days of travel in the Faroe Islands, we saw puffins!! And if you follow this blog, you’ll know how I feel about puffins. I LOVE them – almost as much as I love the Faroe Islands itself! Puffins are the cutest and most awkward little creatures and I could stay there and watch them wobble their way through life forever.
The walk to Høvdin was 6 km. and took about an hour each way. It was an easy trip, but since we had been wandering around the village with our enormous backpacks for longer than we should have, we were both exhausted when we got to Høvdin. Still, I couldn’t help myself – I just had to explore it. I was there now and I might never get there again. While Katrine sat by the edge of the cliff and watched the puffins, I climbed Høvdin at 134 m. and walked all the way out to the northernmost point on Skúvoy. I got right close to the puffins and saw some of the most impressive views of the dramatic cliffs of northern Skúvoy. It was definitely worth the effort to walk the extra mile or two.
When I got back to Katrine, we decided to walk back to the village as it was getting late. On the way, we saw something that I often see in Denmark, but I’ve never seen them in the Faroe Islands before – a hare! I got so excited and as always when I see a wild animal, I had to snap a picture.
The weather stayed dry for the entire evening and night, so we had a good night’s sleep after a few rounds of 500 and some well-deserved dinner.
Skúvoy was very different from what I had imagined. It seemed like an old-people island, a place that has been abandoned by time.
In two days and with three helicopter rides, we visited three more or less depopulated and remote islands on the Faroe Islands – all of which are not typical tourist destinations. They all had something special to offer and they’re all places that I would like to come back to someday.
On the morning of August 16th, we sailed from Skúvoy to Sandoy and hitchhiked around Sandoy for a bit, before it was time to head towards Tórshavn and our cozy little house on Hamarsgøta.
This is the last post from my trip to the Faroe Islands with Katrine in August, a trip that was full of hiking, camping, partying and generally a lot of fun times and happy memories. It has been one of the best trips that I’ve ever been on and I can’t wait for my next one with Katrine in December!