Vágar (Danish: Vågø) is one of the 18 islands in the archipelago of
Faroe Islands and the most westerly of the large islands. With a
size of 178 square kilometres (69 square miles), it ranks number
Streymoy and Eysturoy.
Vágar region also comprises the
island of Mykines.
The Vagar island shape is very distinct, since it resembles a dog's
Sørvágsfjørður is the mouth and
Fjallavatn is the eye.
4.2 Important Bird Area
4.4 Major lakes
4.5 Major waterfalls
4.6 Islets and rocks in the sea
6 External links
Vágar is the first port of call for most foreigners travelling to the
Faroe Islands, as it is home to the islands’ only airport, Vágar
Airport. An airfield was built there during
World War II
World War II by the
British, who occupied the
Faroe Islands with the islanders' consent.
After the war it lay unused for about 20 years, but was then put back
into service and expanded/modernised as required. It handles about
290,000 passengers a year (2016). Such large numbers by Faroese
standards put a considerable strain on transport facilities, with the
result that a road tunnel (Vágatunnilin) measuring 5 km
(3 mi) in length and running under the sea now connects Vágar
with the two largest islands in the Faroes and thus the capital
The tourist attractions on
Vágar are excellent and perhaps the best
in the Faroe Islands. The country’s two largest
Fjallavatn - are to be found there, and the
tourist association organises excursions throughout the summer.
Sørvágur and the island of Mykines in the background.
Vágar has three large villages: Miðvágur,
Sørvágur and three small ones: Gásadalur,
Bøur and Vatnsoyrar.
Earlier there were two more villages: Slættanes, which was abandoned
in 1965 and Víkar, which was abandoned in 1910.
The largest is Miðvágur, which has 1,098 inhabitants (7-2017). It
is in the middle of the island and so has naturally become a centre,
with a police station, doctor’s surgery, co-op and vicarage. It is
also a historic village and was home to Beinta Broberg, a
clergyman’s wife who was dubbed “Wicked Beinta”. The story of
her life was told in the famous novel Barbara by Jørgen-Frantz
Jacobsen, which was filmed in 1997 by Niels Malmros. The farmhouse
Kálvalíð to the north is the oldest house in the village and
possibly in the
Faroe Islands too. It is now the village museum.
To the east of
Miðvágur lies Sandavágur, which has a population of
898 (7-2017). It too is a historic village. It was home to the law
speaker of the
Faroe Islands until 1816, when the office was abolished
and the islands became a Danish administrative district. The clergyman
V. U. Hammershaimb, who was born in
Sandavágur in 1819 and became the
father of the Faroese written language, was the son of the last law
Sandavágur stone with a runic inscription dating back to
around 1200 was found there in 1917 and can now be seen in the
The third large village is Sørvágur, which is on the western side of
the island near the airport and has 1,070 inhabitants (7-2017). During
World War II, when the airfield was being built in 1942-1944, 5,000
British soldiers lived in Sørvágur, but now few traces remain of
their camp to the south of the village. Tindhólmur,
the two “drangar” (freestanding cliffs) belong to the village. The
view out to them is among the most beautiful in the Faroe Islands.
Vágar has two other old villages: Bøur, which lies 4 kilometres (2
miles) west of
Sørvágur and has 69 inhabitants (7-2017), and
Gásadalur, which lies further west on Mykines Fjord and has just 13
inhabitants (7-2017). Many people have moved away from this village,
but it now has a road link in the form of a tunnel through the
mountain and it is hoped that the village will start to grow again.
A new village, Vatnsoyrar, which has 44 inhabitants (7-2017), appeared
Vágar in 1921. It was founded by three men, each of whom was given
a plot of land to farm and set up home there with his family. The
village is in the upland pastures belonging to
Miðvágur and so forms
Miðvágur District. When the British occupied the Faroe
Islands and built the airfield on Vágar,
Vatnsoyrar was their
headquarters. The local population was evacuated, but was able to
return home when the war ended.
At the northernmost point of the island, in the upland pastures
belonging to Sandavágur, lay the village of Slættanes, which was
founded in 1835. It grew for a time and at its largest was home to
around 70 people. It also had a school, which can be seen on a stamp.
The last residents left in 1964.
Another new village, Víkar, was founded in the upland pastures
Gásadalur on the north side of the island in 1833. The
area was good for farming, but the settlement was very isolated, and
getting to the next village was a difficult business. The last few
inhabitants moved away in 1910.
The Kvígandalsá River's beautiful little bridge forms part of a road
that was built to facilitate peat cutting.
Further along this road and then along the path through the valley
Fjallavatn lake. There are no modern conveniences.
Climate data for
Vágar Airport, Vágar, 84 m.a.s.l.
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Source: Danish Meteorological Institute
Important Bird Area
The north-west, west and south-west coasts of the island have been
identified as an
Important Bird Area
Important Bird Area by
BirdLife International because
of their significance as breeding sites for seabirds, especially
northern fulmars (100,000 pairs), European storm petrels (5000 pairs),
European shags (500 pairs), great skuas (20 pairs), black-legged
kittiwakes (8400 pairs), Atlantic puffins (40,000 pairs), common
guillemots (2700 individuals) and black guillemots (400 pairs).
There are 41 mountains on Vágar, the major ones are:
Islets and rocks in the sea
Tindhólmur and Gáshólmur
Drangarnir - Lítli Drangur, Stóri Drangur
^ a b Statistical Database
^ Visitvagar.fo, Slættanes
^ Visitvagar.fo, Víkar
^ "The Climate of The
Faroe Islands - with Climatological Standard
Normals, 1961-1990 Greenland" (PDF). Danish Meteorological Institute.
Retrieved August 19, 2015.
^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet:
Vágar. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-02-24.
^ US.fo, Fjøll
Stamps.fo (public domain by Postverk Føroya)
Personal website with 78 aerial photos of Vágar
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vágar.
Islands of the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands articles
Faroe Islands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark
Deputy Prime Minister
Coat of arms