walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Koltur, Faroe Islands

Koltur, Faroe Islands


Postby John Doh » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:33 pm

Date walked: 14/08/2017

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

For Monday, 14 August, we had reserved a daytrip to Koltur by RIB. Koltur is only populated by one family which makes it the least populated island on the Faroes, ex aequo with Stora Dimun, and bar Litla Dimun (which is the only unpopulated island in the archipelago).

Koltur from Streymoy:

Image

We had been given a rendez-vous at 10 a.m. at Gamlaraett, the port were the ferry sails to the island of Hestur (one village) and Skopun on Sandoy.

Hestur:

Image

Image

However, at 9:30, we received an email telling us that the departure was moved to 11 a.m. and the place to close-by Velbastaður. This meant that we had some time to kill so we drove up to Kirkjubøur, where we intended to visit the famous half-finished cathedral. However, at 10:05 a.m., I realised that I had a missed call from the tour operator. I called him back and he asked me whether we were coming or not. Everybody was ready for take off at Gamlaraett... 5 minutes later we were back down at Gamlaraett. It appears that the email was a dud. We put on our waterproofs and life vests (supplied by the tour operator), and off we went with an Italian couple, two German guys and an Irishman.

Our destination, Koltur, from the boat:

Image

Instead of taking us to Koltur directly, our skipper took us to and into a seacave on the Streymoy shore and added to the ambiance by playing some nordic music on the boat stereo.

The cave which is actually a tunnel, you can see the light at the other end:

Image

Inside the cave:

Image

After this, the skipper put on "Sweet home Alabama" on the stereo at full power and hits the hammer - full speed over to Koltur in less than 15 minutes... Here we are in front of the Koltur cliffs.

Image

Instead of taking us to the pier, the skipper drives to the sandy beach below the old village and asks us if we want to enter the island "viking style". Obviously, everybody agrees and so he lands the boat on the beach and we climb down avoiding the swell.

The beach with the old village Heimi í Húsi. If you look close you can see two people walking in the village (on the right, next to the first house from the right)

Image

The skipper leaves us and tells us he will be back on 3:15 p.m. We take off the water proofs and climb up the beach to the village, where we meet the farmer and his wife. The farmer welcomes us and stays for a wee blether but they take the helicopter which arrives soon after.

Image

This means that our little group is now on its own on the island for a bit more than 4 hours. The group splits up. While the Italians and the Irish guy head up to the hill, the Germans chill on the beach. My wife and I give the village a closer look. It is a typical medieval Faroe settlement, restored and serving as a museum. Interesting.

Looking over to Hestur, with a few nice sea stacks:

Image

Image

Looking towards the hill. On the right, you see the new house where the farmer lives.

Image

The only local guy left on the island:

Image

In da house:

Image

Image

Image

Bed in a closet:

Image

So far so good but the weather was far too nice to stay inside so we headed out on the island. A picture of the village from just above. Lord of the Rings, someone?

Image

It was time to quit the village and to discover the rest of the island. On the way to the new house:

Image

The regular pier:

Image

The new house:

Image

Next to the new house on a peninsula there is another old settlement, Norðuri í Gerði. We tried to go there on our way back from the cliffs but were scared away by hundreds of aggressive arctic terns. Granted, they are less impressive than bonxies but they attack in great numbers. Makes you feel like in the movie, "the Birds"....

Image

I wanted to climb the hill, Kolturshamar (478 m). But the wife had other plans after the exhausting walk on Mykines the day before (see the report here: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76484). As a compromise, we decided to go up half the hill and to picknick and relax up there. So we crossed the islands high ground to the southern cliffs as the best way to climb the hill is to climb up the south cliff.

Here we are on the south cliff looking up the hill.

Image

On the way up - the cliffs in the background just behind the island are the cliffs we climbed a few days ago above Leitisvatn (see this report: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76461)

Image

Soon, we met the first puffins.

Image

And some strange rock formations.

Image

And a rope for climbing down the cliffs. To collect eggs?

Image

Image

Image

Image

At this point, the missus decided we had climbed enough for today so we sat down to have a bite and watch the views.

Looking back down to the old village:

Image

Image

Up the remaining part of the hill.

Image

And, most spectacularly, down over Steymoy (left), Hestur (middle) and Sandoy (right):

Image

Image

Image

This truly felt like paradise. The temperatures were agreeable (t-shirt weather) and the atmosphere was peaceful. The puffins were close by. I had taken tons of puffin pictures on Mykines so I did not even really feel like taking some more but when one puffin came really close I still snapped a few shots which turned out some of the best puffin pictures in my by now huge libary...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

After a lazy hour we decided to go back the same way to the new house. As easy as it may seem to cross the high ground of the island, we managed to struggle to find the right way but eventually came down on the second settlement, pictured below, where we got attacked by the arctic terns. As we were to learn later, they also attacked our fellow tourist friends that had climbed the hill on their way down.

The second settlement.

Image

Back at the new house, we discovered a sign indicating the two island hikes. I post them here for interested walkers.

Image

Image

Our fellow tourists, i.e. the Italian couple and the Irishman, demonstrated that it is feasible to climb the hill and get back down to the beach in time for the boat.

As we had some time to kill we went back to the old village (the one without the terns) and took some more pictures.

Settlement with beach. The most mediterranean scenery anywhere in the Faroes.

Image

The Italian guy mistook the sea for the Mediterranean and went for a wee swim. It was fabulous to hear his screams when the 9° C cold water hit his crown jewels. He was brave though, with a "Forza Italia" he immersed. No pictures of this, only of the beach:

Image

Soon after, the skipper was back and it was time to don the water proofs.

Image

As the guy chose to land at the beach instead of the pier once again, it was time to climb the boat with a courageous jump by avoiding the swell. Managed by all, some with more grace than the others.... no pictures, again.

The skipper brought us back to Gamlaraett quickly with a small detour to the Hestur cliffs and a few 360°-ies at full speed to amuse the audience. A great time was had in splendid weather!
Last edited by John Doh on Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
John Doh
 
Posts: 238
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:39
Joined: Aug 14, 2013
Location: Switzerland

Re: Koltur, Faroe Islands

Postby litljortindan » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:53 pm

Great stuff!
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1905
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:27   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Koltur, Faroe Islands

Postby John Doh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:11 pm

litljortindan wrote:Great stuff!


Thanks.
User avatar
John Doh
 
Posts: 238
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:39
Joined: Aug 14, 2013
Location: Switzerland

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests