Ultra-Trail Faroe Islands™
The Ultra Trail Faroe Islands™ is a challenging mountain ultra-marathon both in distance and even more so in terrain. The route follows a variation of ancient trails, sheep paths and crosses boggy, uneven expanses of rough terrain which is quite often not runnable. The route takes in the most beautiful panoramic views of the island of Streymoy, whilst covering more than 4500m of ascent and through picturesque and secluded Faroese villages. Throughout the 60km ultra distance, you will summit, traverse, and descend across seven peaks that form one of the most rugged mountain regions.
The Ultra-Trail Faroe Islands course breaks down into these areas:
60% Cairn Trail. Uneven ground, can be boggy at times and not always runnable
25% Path/Sheep Path. Narrow soft paths across moorland
10% Off Piste. Uneven, technical, sometimes scramble sections
5% road/track. Gravel or tarmac road/track through villages
Starting in the picturesque village of Hosvík, part of the Sunda Kommuna municipality, you’ll start on an uphill struggle of uneven moorland, up between the craggy peaks of Bollufjall. Although this route follows an ancient trail which connects Hosvík and Leynar, the path is now non existent, making it a tough first ascent. You’ll then descend a steep gradient down to the lake, coming down to your first aid station above the black sand beach in Leynar.
The next village of Kvívík is one of the oldest settlements in the Faroe Islands and excavations have shown the remains of Viking houses. From here, you’ll follow the river Stora, up onto an ancient trail marked by stone cairns. These cairns guide the way in a long incline up to the Myranar reservoir. Another large expanse of uneven terrain, will take you onto a narrow sheep trail, and eventually a trail which is more runnable, which you’ll follow to the reservoirs above Vestmanna. From here, another short section of road (you’ll be grateful for!) will lead you to another ancient trail which is less runnable.
Following the stone cairns, once the only man-made object in the mountain, they guided people safely over the mountains. You’ll traverse under the summit of Orvisfelli, which rises at 783m, and continue up the valley along a narrow sheep trail, to the famous Mountain Hut. This mountain hut was originally built, and is still used, by the farmers during hunting season in the winter. From the mountain hut (your third aid station) you will take a steep 800m vertical ascent on grass and boggy terrain to a jagged exposed ridge-line with panoramic views of Streymoy.
After 4km of traversing, you will reach a very steep descent with views of dramatic cliff faces above Saksun, leading straight down onto the black sand beach which winds into the famous blue lagoon. Depending on the tide and when you reach this part, prepared to get wet feet! With waves crashing in from the Atlantic, and vertical cliff faces, you’ll follow the beach into the land, and up the road under the beautiful village of Saksun. You’ll traverse a steep and craggy 6km up to the Langafjall peak, before making your way along the stunning ridge-line with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the mountains and cliffs that surround them. From here, you’ll finally reach the Saksun to Tjörnuvík path, a popular tourist trail, which will guide you 7km into the village of Tjörnuvík, your finish line of the Ultra-Trail Faroe Islands.