Saksun and Tjørnuvík are two picturesque villages in the north of Streymoy Island in the Faroe Islands. These remote settlements are connected by an old village path.
The Saksun to Tjørnuvík out-and-back hike is one of the most gratifying hikes in the Faroe Islands, because of the enchanting and at times eerie scenery.
The hike begins with elevated views of the Pollurin tidal lagoon, a circular body of water almost entirely enclosed by cliff walls.
It continues through high valleys, completely untouched save for the occasional cairn. The trail ends with a dramatic descent into Tjørnuvík, which is set in a circular valley at the head of a fjord, surrounded by mountain walls on three sides.
If you’re trying to decide between the Út á Lónna trail in Saksun and the Saksun-Tjørnuvík hiking trail, definitely choose the Saksun-Tjørnuvík hike. The Út á Lónna trail along the lagoon to the black beach is only a good option if you have limited time and zero desire to hike uphill. Both trails are plotted on the map below.
Those looking for a guided experience ought to check out this Hiking from Saksun to Tjørnuvík tour, starting in Saksun, or Tórshavn (add-on service).
Saksun to Tjørnuvík Hiking Trail
- Where: Streymoy Island
- Trailhead: Saksun / Car Park in Saksun | Google Maps
- Distance: 13 km out-and-back
- Time Needed: 5:30 – 6 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1044 meters
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Minimum Elevation: 25 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 568 meters
- Hiking Fee: None
- Where to Stay in Saksun: Cottage in Saksun (midrange) or Turf house in Saksun with panoramic view
- Where to Stay in Tjørnuvík: Luxurious & Unique Villa (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Tórshavn: Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands (midrange-luxury), Hotel Brandan (luxury), Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948 (luxury)
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Saksun to Tjørnuvík Hiking Map
When to Hike from Saksun to Tjørnuvík
We recommend hiking this route between June and September.
It’s not recommended to hike this trail during the hare hunting season from November 1st to December 31st.
Saksun’s rise to fame on Instagram has been somewhat disastrous for this small village of 11 people. Visitors have repeatedly trespassed private property much to the dismay of the residents.
When visiting Saksun, stay on marked paths only and do not fly drones.
In the Faroe Islands, all land is privately owned. But, the old village paths are publicly accessible. So, the hike from Saksun to Tjørnuvík is an official, publicly-accessible trail. There are no hiking fees.
Where to Start the Saksun-Tjørnuvík Day Hike
If you’re traveling with a car, you can start the hike in either Saksun or Tjørnuvík.
If you’re traveling with public transit, it’s only possible to start this hike in Tjørnuvík, as there are no transit connections to Saksun. There’s a limited bus service to Tjørnuvík. Check timetables at ssl.fo.
Saksun to Tjørnuvík Trail Description
Saksun Car Park to Cairn #1 (20-30 minutes)
From the Saksun car park, follow the road into the village. On your left, you’ll see Saksunar Kirkja, a white chapel with a turf roof. On your right, you’ll see the historic Dúvugarðar farmstead.
The trail to Tjørnuvík starts on the right side of the road, just beyond the bridge over Skipá river.
Just up the trail, there’s a large info board with a map, showcasing the various hiking routes starting in Saksun.
Ascend the obvious grassy path along the Skipá stream. The trail is initially easy-to-follow, because it’s enclosed by pasture fences on both sides.
Pass through the metal gate to the outfield and take note of the “Restricted Grazing Areas” sign, which informs hikers that leaving the marked path is prohibited by law.
Whilst enjoying the views of the lagoon, follow the trail markers (short wooden posts) uphill.
Your first goal is Cairn #1, planted on a crest. You can already see this large, pyramidal cairn from Saksun.
With eyes fixed on the cairn, follow the trail northwest for about 1 km to Cairn #1. There are a few stream crossings along the way.
Important: There is another trail that leads west to Gellingará, the river that tumbles over the cliffs into the lagoon. Pay close attention to the posts, so that you don’t hike all the way to the cascading river.
Cairn #1 to Tjørnuvíksskarð (40-50 minutes)
This section of the Saksun-Tjørnuvík trail is consistently marked with cairns. Each cairn is numbered with a small plaque. We noted 62 total.
The path leads north across a grassy, boggy valley, veined with a maze of rivulets.
Steadily, the trail climbs up the eastern side of the Frammi í Dal valley. When hiking in the direction of Tjørnuvík, the trail clings to the “right side.”
The barrel-shaped Eggjarmúli flanks the other side of the high valley. At the base of Eggjarmúli, the Gellingará River flows like a ribbon amidst a wholly green landscape.
Shortly before cresting the Tjørnuvíksskarð mountain pass, the trail steepens significantly. The terrain is notably rockier as well.
At the pass, views extend all the way to northern Eysturoy. You’ll be able to see Mount Eiðiskollur and the Risin and Kellingin (Giant and Witch) sea stacks.
According to Faroese legends, the Giant (Risin) and his wife, the Witch (Kellingin) were instructed to bring the Faroe Islands to Iceland. The plan was to tie all the islands together from Mount Eiðiskollur and then pull them to Iceland. They labored unsuccessfully throughout the night, unaware of the time passing. At the break of dawn, sunlight poured from the sky and turned the Giant and the Witch to stone, halting their efforts forever.
Tjørnuvíksskarð to Tjørnuvík (1:25 hours)
Tjørnuvíksskarð more or less marks the half-way point of this hike.
From the pass, the trail descends in the direction of Tjørnuvík.
You’ll drop into a high valley called Frammi á Oyruni, another green landscape of moss, grass, rock and water.
Keep following the cairns.
The dirt path hugs the “left side” of the valley.
From the 49th Cairn, the trail follows a stream. After tackling a rather steep passage, the trail eases and brings you to a natural “viewpoint” overlooking the village.
Following the posts, the trail continues downhill to Tjørnuvík. The path crosses a stream and wraps around fields, delivering you to the northern end of the village.
The end of the trail is marked by another hiking info board.
When we visited, there was a local selling coffee and pancakes in the village.
Tjørnuvík to Saksun (2:45 hours)
Return along the same route.
Where to Stay near Saksun
Saksun, Streymoy Island
Midrange | Cottage in Saksun is a 3-bedroom, fully-equipped cottage, suitable for 4 people, in Saksun. Guests enjoy the self-check-in and the idyllic setting.
Midrange | Turf house in Saksun with panoramic view is a 1-bedroom house with an additional sofa bed in Saksun.
Tjørnuvík, Streymoy Island
Luxury | Luxurious & Unique Villa is a contemporary, 3-bedroom house with 2 bathrooms and a fully-equipped kitchen.
Tórshavn, Streymoy Island
Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, is located on Streymoy Island. Not surprisingly, it’s also the largest and liveliest city in the Faroes, with the highest concentration of accommodations, restaurants, and bars.
Many travelers decide to base themselves in Tórshavn for the full duration of their trip and take day trips to Saksun and Tjørnuvík, Vágar Island (Múlafossur Waterfall and Trælanípa Cliff Trail to the Floating Lake), Eysturoy Island (Gjogv Village and Hvíthamar Viewpoint), and the Northern Isles.
From Tórshavn, you can also take ferries to Nólsoy Island, Sandoy Island, and Suðuroy Island.
TOP CHOICE – Midrange-Luxury | Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands is a fresh-faced hotel set in a quiet location, 1.6 km from the city center (20 minute walk, or 4 minutes drive). Stay here for the impeccably-designed rooms with comfortable beds, the on-site restaurant and bar, great breakfast buffet, and fitness center. Free on-site parking.
Luxury | Hotel Brandan is a 4-star hotel with quiet rooms, an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, a sauna, and on-site parking. Guests love the breakfast and the hotel bar, which serves local craft beers. The hotel is located 1.4 km from the city center (15 minute walk, or 3 minute drive).
Luxury | Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948 is a boutique hotel set on the seashore, walking distance to the city center (10 minutes). A fantastic breakfast is included. Free parking is available on-site. Guests can also enjoy the garden hot tub facing the sea.
Luxury | Traditional Faroese house in Tórshavns city center is a 4-bedroom turf-roofed house with stylish, renovated interiors, two bathrooms, and a well-equipped kitchen. Free on-site parking. 3 nights minimum stay.
Faroe Islands Travel Essentials
Faroe Islands Rental Car
The most practical way to travel between destinations in the Faroe Islands is with your own car. Plan your trip with our Faroe Islands road trip itinerary.
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in the Faroe Islands. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
You can also book a complete self drive vacation package, which includes accommodation, car rental, and various guided day tours:
- Epic 8 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of Faroe Islands
- Unforgettable 10 Day Self Drive Tour of Faroe Islands with Top Attractions
Adventurous Faroe Islands Tours
- Panoramic 6 Hour Tour to Mount Slættaratindur: hike to the summit of Mount Slættaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroes. This guided tour starts in Tórshavn.
- Wild 8 hour Hike to Cape Enniberg: hike to Mount Villingardalsfjall and onwards to Cape Enniberg (only possible with a guide), one of the highest promontories in the world, on Viðoy Island. This guided excursion starts in Tórshavn.
- Kayaking to Drangarnir: 2:30 hour kayak tour of the Drangarnir sea arch starting in the village of Bøur on Vágar Island.
- Exciting 2 Hour Combined Boat Tour and Hike to Drangarnir Sea Arch: 2 hour tour starting in Sørvágur harbor on Vágar Island.
- Hike from Mikladalur to Trøllanes: 8 hour guided hike on Kalsoy Island starting in Klaksvík, Borðoy Island.
Faroe Islands Guided Day Trips
Here are some popular guided day trips starting and ending in Tórshavn.
- The Northern Islands and Tjørnuvík: 9 hour guided tour of the Northern Isles.
- The Classic Mykines Tour: 6 hour guided tour of Mykines Island.
- Popular 7.5 Hour Vestmanna Bird Cliffs & Múlafossur Waterfall Tour: 7:30 hour guided tour including a boat tour of Vestmanna cliffs.
- Incredible 8 hour Guided Tour to Kalsoy & Kallur Lighthouse: 8 hour guided tour of Kallur Island.
Outdoor Photographer Gear
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More Faroe Islands Travel Guides
Read Best Hikes in the Faroe Islands for a summary of the top hiking trails across the archipelago. Our favorite Faroe Islands hiking trails (north to south):
- Villingardalsfjall Hike, Viðoy Island
- Árnafjørður – Toftaskarð – Katlarnir Circuit Trail, Borðoy Island
- Klakkur Hike, Borðoy Island
- Kallur Lighthouse Hike, Kalsoy Island
- Hvíthamar Viewpoint Hike, Eysturoy Island
- Saksun to Tjørnuvík Hike, Streymoy Island
- Múlafossur Waterfall and Gásadalur Hike, Vágar Island
- Lake Sørvágsvatn and Trælanípa Cliff Hike (Floating Lake Viewpoint), Vágar Island
- Ásmundarstakkur Hike, Suðuroy Island
- Hvannhagi and Lake Hvannavatn, Suðuroy Island