Friday, 11 April 2014

Fugloy, a small and isolated island, one of the Faroes.

Fugloy is the 'last' of the Faroe, a tiny island of steep cliffs lost in the North Atlantic.
An almost perfect Ultima Thule...

Fugloy (Danish Fuglø) is the eastern-most island in the Faroe Islands. Being small, isolated and distant, it is has been losing population in recent years.

A heart-shaped island with a central hilltop and high cliffs in the north and east sides. No trees on the hillsides and plateaus - all the land is covered with grass.

Coordinates: 62°20′ N, 6°18′ W
Population: ~ 40
Area : 11 Km2

The name means bird island, and refers to the large number of birds that nest on the island's cliffs.

The ferry 'Ritan' approaching Fugloy with the Eystfelly cliffs in background.



Two villages - Kirkja and Hattarvík - make up Fugloy municipality. According to the legend, the island was settled in Viking times.

The road between Kirkja and Hattarvick

In the Hundabrævið, written around 1350, the two villages are already mentioned, as also in some legends about pirates, dated by historians around 1400.

Farming is still the main source of income. In Hattarvík there are five farms, at Kirkja there are two. The farms run a total of some 800 sheep, mostly for wool production.

Kirkja, on the south-coast

Some 30 houses and a church overlooking the sea on a green hillside make for a charming village.

'Kirkja' means church; in 1933 a new church was built in Kirkja.

Kirkja offers one of the most beautiful panoramas in the Faroes.

Replacing the old church, this new temple was built in 1933

The altarpiece was painted by Sámal Joensen-Mikenes, the most famous faroese artist.

Kirkja and Hattarvík are connected by ferry to Hvannasund, on the larger island of Viðoy, to the west.

Since the 90's, the island can also be reached by helicopter either from the national airport in Vágar, or from the national capital Tórshavn.

'Atlantic Airways' flies regularly to the port at Hattarvick

See a video from flight:

Hattarvík on the east-coast.

Coordinates:  62°19′ N, 6°16′ W
Population:   10-20

Hattarvik was founded in 900. Some old stone-houses are said to relate to "Flokksmenn", three strong men who wanted to seize the power of the Faroe Islands in the 15th century.

The unfriendly harbour's boat-house, on top a a steep stone slope

The church was built in 1899. A red-roofed church staring out across the Atlantic surf, it has a cosy unusual interior in blue and white.

Hattarvik is reachable by ferry from Hvannasund and also by a helicopter 3 times a week.

The ferry ' Ritan'

Both villages can accomodate visitors in small guest-houses.

Eystfelli cliffs

This vertical rock wall, 448m high, is located on the east coast.

Nearby there is also this unique lighthouse:

Fugloy Lighthouse

This incredible lighthouse at Bispen (Stapin, see map) painted white with a red horizontal band is perched on a ledge of a cliff roughly 425 m high; it is accessed only by a series of ladders bolted to the bare rock !