Kalsoy (Danish: Kalsø) is an island in the north-east of the Faroe
Eysturoy and Kunoy. The name means man island, by
contrast with the parallel island to the east, Kunoy, the name of
which means woman island.
Svínoy is a comparatively isolated island, in that there
are no bridge, tunnel or causeway links to it.
1.1 Important Bird Area
5 External links
The western coast has dramatically steep cliffs for the full length of
the island, whereas idyllic valleys on the eastern slopes protect the
four tiny settlements, Húsar, Mikladalur,
Syðradalur and Trøllanes,
whose combined populations total less than 150. They are connected by
a partly-surfaced road which passes through four dark tunnels. The
island's thin shape and road-tunnels give it the nickname "the flute".
There is a lighthouse at Kallur, the northern tip of Kalsoy.
Important Bird Area
The northern and western coastline of the island has been identified
Important Bird Area
Important Bird Area by
BirdLife International because of its
significance as a breeding site for seabirds, especially Atlantic
puffins (40,000 pairs), European storm petrels (5000 pairs) and black
guillemots (200 pairs).
Kalsoy, western coast
The Kalsoyarfjørður with
Kalsoy (left) and
The island has 13 peaks, the two highest of which are Nestindar, (787
m) and Botnstindur (743 m).
There are ferry landings at Syðradalur, and one of the mail boats
(named Sam) makes regular trips from
Klaksvík to both settlements.
One can walk north all the way to the lighthouse at Kallur, but the
four unlit tunnels on the way make it advisable to carry a torch.
However, there is not enough traffic to pose problems with exhaust
gases. The northernmost tunnel through to
Trøllanes is narrow, cold,
damp and over 2 km long; it is rarely used by vehicles since the
Trøllanes is only 20. The alternative overland route
Trøllanes is a dangerous and precipitous path
which is best avoided.
There is also a bus service between
Húsar and Trøllanes.
Map of Kalsoy
Kalsoy has many legends, the best known of which is the legend of the
Selkie or Seal-Woman of Mikladalur.
A young farmer from the town of
Kalsoy island goes to
the beach to watch the selkies dance. He hides the skin of a beautiful
selkie maid, so she cannot go back to sea, and forces her to marry
him. He keeps her skin in a chest, and keeps the key with him both day
and night. One day when out fishing, he discovers that he has
forgotten to bring his key. When he returns home, the selkie wife has
escaped back to sea, leaving their children behind. Later, when the
farmer is out on a hunt, she kills both her selkie husband and two
selkie sons, and she promises to take revenge upon the men of
Mikladalur. Some shall be drowned, some shall fall from cliffs and
slopes, and this shall continue, until so many men have been lost that
they will be able to link arms around the whole island of Kalsoy,
there are still occasional deaths occurring in this way on the island.
This revenge has always been taken seriously, not only in
Faroe Islands generally. The descendants of the "Seal-woman"
are still known in the country by certain characteristics, especially
their short fingers.
^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet:
Kalsoy. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-02-23.
^ "The seal-woman of Mikladalur". Sjoferdir Skúvadal (www.puffin.fo).
Retrieved 6 November 2013.
Swaney, Deanna (June 1997) [February 1991]. Iceland, Greenland &
Faroe Islands (3rd ed.). Lonely Planet Publications.
"Norðoyggjar - The Northern Islands".
Faroe Islands Tourist Guide
2005. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-05-08. Retrieved
some material on this page was translated from the
Kalsoy article on
Kalsoy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kalsoy.
Personal website with 6 aerial photos of Kalsoy
Islands of the Faroe Islands