Kallur Lighthouse: Standing on the edge of the world
Another 3am wake up, and today, we’re hiking to Kallur Lighthouse.
It’s Winter in the Faroe Islands. The weather is wild. The only predictable thing about it is that it’s going to change. That, and it’s friggin’ cold every morning. And this morning, of course, was no exception.
This was our 4th day on the Faroe Islands, and we’ve experienced just how insanely wild this place is.
Driving up and down mountain passes covered by snow and ice with no barriers, meeting the local sheep who decide that the road is the most interesting place to be, all while getting belted by random periods of intense 80km/h winds mixed with rain, sleet, and snow.
Actually, it’s absolutely wonderful; an experience so unlike any other place I’ve travelled to on earth.
The middle of nowhere
Not like we weren’t already in the middle of nowhere being in the Faroe Islands – today’s adventure would see us venturing out to Kallur Lighthouse; a lighthouse sitting atop some of the wildest cliff formations on the planet, hidden in one of the most northerly points on all of the islands.
Having done our planning early, we knew we needed to catch a ferry over to Syðradalur on Kalsoy island from Klaksvik; just a tad over an hour’s drive from Tórshavn. Of course, that meant another early start to catch the first ferry, and hopefully some good light.
If you time it right, you can get to Klaksvik around sunrise, take a few photos, then catch the first car ferry over to Syðradalur at 6.40am in the Winter; which is exactly what we did.
The car ferry itself is an easy ride, taking about 20 minutes and costing about 200DKK. Leaving Klaksvik and sailing through the surrounding islands is an experience in and of itself; it’s absolutely gorgeous in the morning light.
Landing in Syðradalur, it’s just a short 20-30 minute drive to Kallur Lighthouse. By this point, having been here for 4 days already, we were greeted with a driving experience that was now fairly familiar: extremely scenic views, random goats that love the road, insane twists and turns up and down hills, and of course, driving through ominous looking one-way tunnels that bore through the mountains.
Arriving in Trøllanes, we parked at the car park next to the public toilet and ventured our way up to start the hike.
In our research for the hike to Kallur Lighthouse, we knew that this was actually a hike on a farmer’s private land, so we tried to be as respectful as we could. We also knew that it was a fairly easy hike until we realised that the snow made it so much harder.
Wading through an unknown path in the snow is definitely not an easy task, and it ended up taking us just over an hour one way. Plus, the snow-covered the apparently well-worn path, so we were just winging it the entire way, forging our path ahead with our best judgement.
After about an hour of fumbling around the snow, we eventually made it up to the precarious cliff edge where the Kallur Lighthouse stood proudly in the wild weather. And boy, was it amazing.
Amazing, breathtaking sights in absolutely every direction. Kallur Lighthouse is truly an amazing location.
However as a word of warning for anyone attempting to climb the cliffs, doing so with the extreme weather that the Faroe Islands is known for is definitely not advised. Especially in Winter when everything is snow-covered and you’re walking on less than a metre’s width worth of path with a sheer, slippery drop off the side of the cliff, the possibility of dying is very real. This is not a joke.
In fact, it was so dangerous, that we decided not to go down the path behind the Kallur Lighthouse; the classic vantage point that most people go down. It was just too steep, too narrow, too slippery and totally not worth the risk of death – and I’m a pretty adventurous person with a decent amount of athletic ability and not really that afraid of heights; but this… this was way too much.
After photographing multiple locations here for a couple of hours, we hiked back, and ran into a problem…
We had mistimed the ferry back, and the next ferry was at 3.50pm. Meaning we were stuck on the island for 4 hours with no alternate way out.
Normally, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. But with absolutely no food or shops on this island, and not much else to do, let’s just say that it was a pretty long 4-hour wait.
But it’s all good; mishaps are part of the adventure, right?
How to get to Kallur Lighthouse
You can’t drive directly there. You have to take the car ferry from Klaksvik to Syðradalur and drive the remaining distance from Syðradalur to Trøllanes.
Once at Trøllanes, park in the car park next to the public toilet, and walk up the road to the red gate. Remember to leave it closed behind you. Follow the right-hand side path around the mountain and eventually, you’ll get to a clearing where you can see the Kallur Lighthouse in the distance. There’s your target.
Note that the car ferry times change depending on whether you’re visiting during Winter or Summer, and it’s advised to get there at least 15 minutes early, as there’s very limited space on the boat both ways. Plan out your journey ahead of time, lest you get stuck on the island for several hours like we did.
The Kallur Lighthouse Hike
Duration: About 1 hour each way
Difficulty: Fairly easy. Not very technical, but at certain points, steep.
The hike itself is fairly easy in technical difficulty, but some sections are a little steep. You’ll also be walking amongst the goats, poop, and mud, so prepare for that.
Enter through the red gate (located here), leaving it closed behind you. Keep to the right of the mountain and walk your way around. Do not walk up towards the main mountain, there’s no point and you’ll just tire yourself out.
Also, it’s much harder during the winter, as the snow covers the track. Keep right and look out for any signs of flatter snow; these parts are evidence of where the actual track is.
It’s a fairly self-explanatory hike though and very easy to figure out once you’re there, but what I will say is that some of the cliff edges once you reach Kallur Lighthouse can be very narrow, and with the huge gusts of wind that the Faroe Islands is famous for, this area can be extremely dangerous, so be careful.
Other than that, the hike to Kallur Lighthouse is fairly easy and absolutely breathtaking. Enjoy it.