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Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes

Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes


Postby John Doh » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:39 pm

Date walked: 13/08/2017

Time taken: 4

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A trip to Mykines is one of the major tourist attractions to any visitor of the Faroe Islands. It is necessary to book the boat in advance because places are limited. It is also worth to bear in mind that the boat will only sail in comparably calm weather. For this reason, I had made two reservations in advance. One for Friday (which was cancelled due to bad weather) and one for Sunday, 13 August. You can cancel reservations at relatively short notice and that's what I would have done if we could have sailed on Friday. You will get a text message early in the morning if the trip is cancelled. We did not get a text on Sunday as it was a beautiful day and the sea had calmed down.

The boat departs at 10:20 a.m. from Sørvágur on the island of Vágar, the airport island which is linked to Streymoy by subsea tunnel. The boat was crowded with tourists from all nations. Even on a sunny day it is worth taking good clothes, including gloves and a knitted hat for the boat trip, at least if you plan to stay on the deck to take some pictures of the landscape, which I recommend as the boat closely sails by Tindhólmur and it's stacks and arches.

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You also get seaviews of Gásadalur (see this Thread for more pics of Gásadalur: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76461)

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Once off the shelter of Tindhólmur the sea gets rather rough even on a calm day and not all passengers were feeling good. However, it's only a short stretch of open water and soon enough the boat is in the shelter of Mykines. The port of Mykines is a rocky cliff inlet with a fulmar colony on it. There were a few people waiting for the boat. The straight stairs on the left which look like a ski jumping area is the goods lift. The way up is on the right.

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Looking back at the boat with the fulmar cliff in the background and my wife displaying proper boating attire including a lovely Fair Isle hat.

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Once you have climbed the stairs from the port you can either head straight into the village or take the path to the left leading up on the cliff and towards Mykineshólmur. That's what we did. Looking back down to the village from halfway up the cliffpath.

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Before reaching the clifftop, the first puffins appear in great numbers.

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I can say that I have seen many puffin colonies in my life, including those on St. Kilda, the Shiants, Fair Isle, Hermaness and Sumburgh. However, none of these sites comes close to Mykines because on Mykines you are virtually walking through their nesting grounds in the midst of their burrows.

Once on the clifftop, you can see straight ahead the lighthouse of Mykineshólmur. You also realise that the cliff is broken.

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This means that you have to climb down the cliff on some slippery steps hewn into the rock. There is a steel rope for safety but for people with impaired mobility, the path is not really recommended.

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Once you are almost down at the seashore, you can see the bridge linking Mykines to Mykineshólmur.

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We crossed it under the watchful eye of another puffin...

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On Mykineshólmur, there are not many puffins anymore and the going is uneventful but rather steep because you have to get up to the cliff top again where the lighthouse sits.

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Some locals were working on the old lighthouse keeper's house.

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At the lighthouse that we reached after approx. 2 hours, there were already many of our fellow boat-tourists enjoying the views and picknicking. One guy was even filming with a drone (I'd like to see these movies). This is the westernmost point in the Faroes. From here, you can see the gannetry on a seastack. Mykineshólmur is the only breeding place of the gannet in the Faroes.

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Looking back to the village.

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...and over to Tindhólmur:

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The place felt a bit crowded so we did not linger. After a short picknick, we returned the same way we had come from. This means back through the puffin burrows. Look at the sky full of puffins. They really fly closely by your head all the time, an awesome experience.

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Here is a short video which gives you an impression:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/V4th0U7mkYdcHTl52

The weather still improved. Looking towards the village:

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and back to the lighthouse. You can see the hordes of tourists along the way.

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I know you have seen quite a few puffins by now. But I couldn't help taking some more. I think this is interesting as you can see that the puffin has sort of an internal eyelid that closes the eye when it blinks:

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Back to normal:

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However, the supreme discipline of puffin photography is to catch a puffin with sandeels in its beak. I had never managed this feat so far but now was the time:

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OK - enough puffin photos (for now). Back down at the village, we still had enough time to have a look at this beautiful place, which is inhabited all year round by a handful of people. It's a nice place on a sunny day but it can be cut off from civilisation for days when the weather is too bad for the boat and the helicopter.

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There is a café on Mykines which sells tea, coffee, soup, cake and beer. We had a drink while waiting for the boat which was due to arrive around 5 p.m. Soon it was time to return to the landing point.

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Looking back to Mykineshólmur from above the landing place. You can clearly see the bridge, the gannet stack and the lighthouse.

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The boat arrived on time and everybody boarded it. Everybody? Not quite, one woman did not have a ticket and was not allowed to enter -> make sure you keep the ticket for the return trip or you will stay on the island... Once on board, a seal showed up to say goodbye.

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On the way back we saw a helicopter rescuing someone from the bridge. Perhaps someone slipped and broke an ankle and was unable to re-climb the steep way to the clifftop? We hope that it was nothing serious...

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A few more pics from the boat on the way back:

Gásadalur:

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Tindhólmur - there are two cabins on it:

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Finishing this report with the same picture as I started it with, but in the evening:

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Even if it is quite touristy, I absolutely recommend a trip to Mykineshólmur. It's an unforgettable experience to dwell amongst millions of puffins in a breathtaking setting.
Last edited by John Doh on Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes

Postby jacob » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:36 pm

Fantastic those rocks emerging from the sea. Let's not start the whaling discussion again, but these photos sure are appetizing.
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Re: Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes

Postby John Doh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:18 pm

jacob wrote:Fantastic those rocks emerging from the sea. Let's not start the whaling discussion again, but these photos sure are appetizing.


Thanks Jacob.
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Re: Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:45 pm

Uniquely stunning! The pics are really superb (especiallly the one of the Puffins with sand eels - how do they manage it!!!???). I really enjoyed this report, so thanks for posting.

[It was a bit stereotypical teutonic of the ferry folk to leave behind the woman who couldn't find her ticket... :shock: ]
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Re: Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes

Postby John Doh » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Uniquely stunning! The pics are really superb (especiallly the one of the Puffins with sand eels - how do they manage it!!!???). I really enjoyed this report, so thanks for posting.

[It was a bit stereotypical teutonic of the ferry folk to leave behind the woman who couldn't find her ticket... :shock: ]


Thanks. I don't really know the story with that woman but that boat was packed. Perhaps she had only booked one way and wanted to return by Heli but missed it or something like that. Anyway, there's a guesthouse on the island and there are worse places in the world to spend a night. http://mykines.info/indexgb.htm
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Re: Mykines - Mykineshólmur, Faroes

Postby John Doh » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:38 am

Just noticed the video link in the report didn't work. Fixed that in the report and post it here for ease of reference:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/V4th0U7mkYdcHTl52
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