When planning my previous blog post, about the capital of Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, I over did it, as usual. I wanted to put all our “urban adventures” in one blog post, but it turned out to be the size of an encyclopedia. In order not to discourage you, I split the text in half and today I invite you to read the guide to the second largest city in the country, Klaksvík. This is where we lived for 8 days, in the epic Airbnb, which I described in the first Faroese post. I recommend you take a look at it for all the information you will need to sucsesfully organize a holiday in the land of the sheep and magnificent landscapes.

In today’s post we will go for a chilled walk around the city, which at first glance seems uninteresting. We will go on a trip to the oldest local brewery, stroll around the harbour and feed the seagulls. I will also show you some charming houses, a forgotten cemetery, a church considered to be one of the architectural pearls of Faroe Islandds and a large fishing hook. We will go through a disco tunnel and eat lobster soup in the restaurant, that takes you back in time. And, to finish off, I’ll tell you the story of Daria, the first person we met in the Faroe Islands.



Going up north

Klaksvík is located in the north of the country, on the island of Borðoy. It used to be cut off from the rest of the country, but since the islands of Borðoy and the larger one called Eysturoy were connected by an undersea tunnel, you can get practically everywhere very quickly. Now you can drive to the capital in just over an hour. Thanks to the six kilometer long Norðoyatunnilin, it is not a bad idea to book yourself an accomodation in the city of Klaksvík. However, you must remember that each time you cross the tunnel you have to pay for it (it will be calculated as the cost of renting the car). It is worth planning a route in advance, if it turns out that you are not interested in the northern parts of the country, it is better to book your accommodation in the south, so as to avoid going through this tunnel. But there’s one more thing about the tunnel I’ve not told you yet. In addition to the fact that Norðoyatunnilin significantly speeds up traveling around Faroe Islands, it has another major advantage – there is a disco going on in the middle of it! There’s a colourful light installation in the tunnel created by Tróndur Patursson, whom I mentioned in the previous post. Be sure to add some disco bangers to your travel playlist and enjoy the ride 😉


Between a harbour and an avalanche

Ok, so you’ve reached the city, what now? First you’ll be greeted by the local fishing symbol – a large metal fishing hook, placed at the roundabout you go through when entering Klaksvík. This sets the nautical vibe. There are some industrial elements in the harbour (as it’s still the main source of income for people in the city), some nice colorful yachts, several food stands where you can buy fresh fish and a forever crowded stand from which ferries depart for Kalsoy (about which there will be a separate post, since it’s definitely worth visiting the tiny island).


Once you are done with walking along the shore, go to the tourist information for the map of the city and go on a trip. In front of the building you will also find a large map on which four old settlements are marked, that where combined in the 19th century and are now the city of Klaksvík. You can make a trip to the oldest houses and see where destructive avalanches went down twice in the 18th century. A monument is also dedicated to the victims of avalanches, which you will certainly pass by when wandering around the city “center”. It’s also worh just walking along cozy colourful wooden houses. The cabins are charming and small. Unlike most of the houses in Poland where people seem to believe you need a huge mansiondecorated with plaster lion figures to show your worth to the rest of the world. I definitely prefer the Scandinavian way of living.



If you’re anything like me, you like checking out cemeteries when visiting foreign countries. I am always fascinated by the differences between cemeteries and customs related to death in various cultures. In Klaksvík, the main cemetery is located on the outskirts of the city, so I didn’t get to go there, but when walking between the houses you can stumble upon a tiny abandoned cemetery from World War II.


A church or a granary?

A main tourist attraction in Klaksvik is the modern-looking church, which resembles a large granary. Reading about it at home, we found out that it was selected as one of the eight Faroese architectural gems in a plebiscite that was supposed to name seven local design wonders. No, I have not made a mistake in counting. They couldn’t decide on just seven. We even managed to visit some of them, but sadly not all. Returning to the church in Klaksvík, in addition to the building itself, we were first struck at what color is the perfectly trimmed grass surrounding the building. We were convinced that it was artificial, because from a distance it seemed too perfect and we were surre it was made out of plastic. But no. There are simply 1697 shades of green in this country. The church itself is worth seeing not only from the outside, but be sure to take a look inside. Since the Faroes are a very religious nation, I think you won’t have a problem with entering the church. We got inside without any problems in the middle of the week. The interior is contemporary, but warm. As befits Scandinavia, instead of gold and glamorous decorations they went for minimal aesthetic. On the other hand, in reference to the nautical vibe of teh city, they hung a wooden boat under the ceiling (I don’t have pictures, because I lacked a slightly wider lens).



Time for a beer!

If, just like us, you like to relax on vacation with a delicious local beer in hand, then I have great news for you! One of the tourist attractions in Klaksvík is the oldest Faroese brewery – Föroya Bjór (meaning Faroese beer). It was founded in 1888. There was also Restorffs Bryggjarí brewery founded in 1849, but it was closed more than 10 years ago, and so Föroya Bjór took over the baton of “great-grandfather of brewing” in the Faroes Islands. On Thursdays, the brewery is open to visitors, you can look at the production line and check whether a furious sheep pictured on the company’s logo is somehow involved in the brewing process 😉 We didn’t get to see the inside of the brewery because we were out of town at the time, but we were fully satisfied with visiting the shop located in the brewery. It is open every day (except Sundays) until 5pm. You can buy all the products that Föroya Bjór has on offer, including very cool sets of six most popular beers (perfect for a gift, you can also buy it at the airport) and my personal favorite – North Atlantic IPA.



The best local cafe

As in all my city guides, the time has come for the most important section, that is food! We start off with the amazing Fríða cafe, which we got to sooner than to our own home. It helped that both places are located on the same street;) We went inside, spent some time admiring the cozy interior, approached the counter, debated what to order and than we heard the question “what can I get you, girls?”. In Polish. It turned out that the first person we met in the whole country of Faroe Islands was Daria, a Polish girl who had lived in the Faroe Islands for years. The plot thickens. On the same day it turned out that her brother-in-law is the owner of our Airbnb and she’s also friends with Doris’ workmate. The world is small. And the Faroe Islands are even smaller. Be sure to drop by Fríða to talk to Daria, read a book, eat a delicious breakfast set with an endless refill of coffee, and buy coffee beans to take home with you.



The retro lobster experience

We usually cooked dinner at home, but on my birthday we went for some fancy food at Carthage Steak restaurant, located on the other side of the harbour. After entering it is immediately obvious that the place stopped in time around 1996. The “retro vibe” is created by: a dissatisfied businessman with a mobile phone headset, playlist that resembles the many “Best of Goa” albums that are out there, Burj Khalifa with cut off tip to fit on the shelf , glass-crystal chandeliers that are supposed to make the place more luxurious (and fail to do so), large-format photo reprint from Greece, higly photoshoped faroese landscape on the wall and ‘reusable disposable’ tablecloths. Generally, you have to see it to feel the atmosphere. I felt as if  I went through the tunnel from “Dark” TV show and moved twenty years back. We order lobster soup and fish with potatoes and vegetables for a main. I have to admit it wasn’t really what we expected for the price. The soup tasted like monosodium glutamate mixed with curry powder and served with a splash of cream that reminded us of divination classes from Harry Potter. The second dish was slightly better, simple but tasty.



Night time activities

In Klaksvík nightlife doesn’t really exist. In Faroes Islands the further north you go the more devoted followers of Lutheranism you’ll encounter. And in case of the Faroese this translates into alcoholic abstinence. Apparently, it is not appropriate to drink too much here, and if you do drink, it is better to hide the bottles from the assessing look of the neighbors, therefore locals often go to other cities when shopping for alcoholic beverages before parties and major events. We also tried to hide our beer bottles well, just in case, to not make a bad impression on the owners of Airbnb. However, if you dream about going out in the evening it’s best visiting the most popular bar called Roykstovan. You will recognize it easily, it’s a building with colourful faroese landscapes painted on the walls. On Fridays there is a pub quiz going on at 11 pm in which you can take part for free (I suspect, however, it is held in Faroese).



That’s it, folks! I really enjoyed oour adventures in Klaksvík. If possible, we will try to return to our Airbnb on the next trip to the Faroe Islands (and I hope it will take place sooner rather than later!). Days spent on the sun-heated balcony and an epic view of the sunset over the harbour will have special place in ou memories for a long time. Next time we will definitely go for a hike to the nearby hills, because this time we had too many other hike routes and in the evenings, when we got to Klaksvík, we just didn’t want to move our limbs.