Floating lake




April 2019 • Canon 80D camera

Another iconic, photogenic place in the Faroe Islands awaits us today. On the island of Vágar, close to the airport, you can witness Lake Sørvágsvatn, aka the ‘floating lake’. At a particular angle, there is an optical illusion appearing as if the lake is floating above the ocean. The lake is enormous and is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands.

From the car park near the town of Midvagur, you pay a hiking fee of DKK 200, before you can go through the gates to start your hike. You follow a pre-defined pathway that leads you to the viewpoint Trælanípa. It's a gentle hike with flat terrain and small moments of slight elevation. The pathway runs parallel to the lake and will take around 45 minutes one way.

Three quarters of the way you will come across the beginning of the cliff edges. You now get a sense of how high up you are as you have been walking along the lake with no idea that you are near the ocean. You then start a steep ascend up to the Trælanípa viewpoint...

Did you know...

The Faroese word Trælanípa means slave cliff. The name comes from the Vikings using the place to push disobedient slaves off the 142m (466ft) cliff into the ocean below.

At the top, you will see the famous view of the lake above and the ocean, giving the illusion of the lake floating. It's pretty spectacular and I was blown away by how big this place was. You have to get quite close to cliff edge to see the full perspective and take photos that will capture the lake and the cliff edge.

This area is very windy, so careful not to get too close to the edge as the winds are very strong. We had the viewpoint to ourselves to take photos and admire the scenery. The sun was slowing setting but we could not stay to see it set. Chris planned for us to watch sunset at the famous Múlafossur waterfall which was a short drive away.

Final thoughts

The hike is easy to walk to the viewpoint. I recommend you visit early in the morning or later afternoon to avoid the tourist crowd. We visited the lake in the late afternoon and had the place to ourselves. Do be careful not to get too close to the edge at Trælanípa as there are no barriers to stop you falling.

You will need your wide-angle lens if you want to get the full landscape of the lake floating above the ocean. Wear good boots as the trail can get muddy if it rained the night before or raining when you are there. The boots will also help in the steep ascend to the viewpoint.

Explore more of the Faroe Islands

View all articles for Faroe Islands

Related Articles

Back to full list of destinations