Lighthouses of the Faroes

The Faroes (or Faroe Islands, or Føroyar in the islands' Norse language) are an archipelago of 18 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean roughly equidistant from Norway, Scotland, and Iceland. Settled by the Norse in the 7th century, the Faroes have a population of about 49,000. Although they are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the islands are self-governing in practically all respects. In fact, the Faroes declined to join the European Union when Denmark did so.

During World War II, the islands were occupied by British troops to keep them out of German control. British engineers built the only airport in the archipelago, on the island of Vágar. Today the national airline Atlantic Airways offers regular flights to the islands from London, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and several other locations in northwestern Europe. Bridges and tunnels have been built connecting the major islands except Sandoy and Suðeroy, which are accessible by ferry.

The word for a lighthouse in Faroese is viti, the same word as in Icelandic. Like Icelandic, Faroese makes use of the old Norse letter "eth" (Ð and ð), which is pronounced with the softer form of the th sound.

Aids to navigation in the islands were maintained for many years by the Danish Maritime Safety Administration (Farvandsvæsenet, or FRV). In October 2011, the government placed maintenance of Danish aids to navigation under the Danish Maritime Authority (Søfartsstyrelsen).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume L of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 115.

General Sources
Dänische Leuchttürme/Feuerschiffe
Photos of Danish lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse; a section on the Faroes is near the bottom of the page.
Lighthouses of the Faroe Islands
A restricted photo group on Flickr.com with more than 300 photos of Faroese lighthouses.
Lighthouses in the Faroe Islands
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Faroes
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Dansk Fyrliste 2013
Official Danish light list (in .pdf format); the list includes lights of Greenland and Faroes.
Mykines Fyr
Mykines
Light, Mykines, August 2004
Flickr Creative Commons photo by MarcusJB
Fugloy Lighthouse
Bispen (Stapi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 3 s. 3.5 m (12 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery; the light is shown from a tripod atop the tower. Tower painted white with a red horizontal band. Huelse has a closeup photo, Gert Norðoy has a photo and a more distant view, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the area. Fugloy ("bird island") is at the northeastern end of the Faeroes. This lighthouse is perched on a ledge of a cliff roughly 425 m (1400 ft) high; it is accessed by a series of ladders bolted to the bare rock. Located near the eastern end of Fugloy. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FAR-004; DFL-6780; Admiralty L4440; NGA 17984.

Kalsoy Lighthouses
Kalsoy (Kalsø)
1893. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one red horizontal band. 1-story equipment building. Eileen Sandá has a photo, Huelse has a view from the sea, another view from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. Kalsoy is a rather rugged island lying to the northeast of Eysteroy. Located at the southern end of Kalsoy; the site does not appear to be readily accessible. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FAR-015; DFL-6740; Admiralty L4428; NGA 17972.
Kallur (Kadlur)
1927. Active; focal plane 240 m (787 ft); white light, 3 s on, 12 s off. 4.5 m (15 ft) square wood equipment room with a round lantern and 4th order (?) Fresnel lens. A photo is at right, Felix van de Gein has a good closeup photo, Huelse has a photo, Alessio Mesiano has a spectacular panoramic view, a scenic view and a 2011 photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Lighthouse painted white with one red horizontal band. Located high on a promontory northwest of Trøllanes, at the northwestern end of Kalsoy. Accessible by a challenging hike of about 1.6 km (1 mi) from Trøllanes. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-014; DFL-6790; Admiralty L4430; NGA 17976.

Eysteroy Lighthouses
* Leirvik (Lervik, Lervig)
1914. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); flash every 3 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 4 m (13 ft) round lantern mounted on a concrete pad. Lantern painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse has a photo, a 2008 closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff at the east edge of Leirvik, a town on the east shore of Eysteroy. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-018; DFL-6700; Admiralty L4415; NGA 17956.
Kallur Light
Kallur Light, Kalsoy, May 2010
Flickr photo copyright Ivan (m0rus); used by permission
Mjovanes (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); two flashes every 15 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 7.5 m (25 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass (?) tower with lantern, painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse has a photo, a view from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. In 2005, NGA described this light as a "wooden tripod with railings," so the present lighthouse is probably new. Located on a sharp promontory at the eastern tip of Eysteroy. Site status unknown. ARLHS FAR-019; DFL-6690; Admiralty L4410; NGA 17952.
* Toftir (Tofte)
1893. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, occulting once every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse's photo is also seen at right, but a cloud obscures Google's satellite view. Toftir is a fishing port near the southern end of Eysteroy, the second largest of the Faroes, which is separated from Stremoy by a narrow strait. The island is accessible by ferry from Tórshavn. Located on a promontory south of the entrance to Toftir harbor, about 5 km (3 mi) north of Tórshavn. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-030; DFL-6670; Admiralty L4406; NGA 17944.
* Strendur (Straender)
1909. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 5 m (17 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff above the harbor of Strendur, also on Eysteroy but facing Toftir across a 600 m (660 yd) wide fjord. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-028; DFL-6680; Admiralty L4408; NGA 17948.

Nólsoy Lighthouses
*
Nólsoy (Nolsø)
1893. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); one long (2.5 s) white flash every 20 s. 14 m (46 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery; 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white; lantern dome painted red. 1-story stone keeper's cottage. A photo is available, Nigil Homer has a good 2007 photo, Marcel Strasser has a 2008 photo, Huelse has a photo, Faroephoto has an aerial view, the lighthouse appears on a 1985 postage stamp, and Google has a satellite view. All the recent photos show the lantern topped by a Danish crown, but this feature is missing from the postage stamp image. It may be that the crown is a historically accurate finial, added during a recent restoration. This is the landfall light for Tórshavn, the capital and chief port of the Faroes. The lighthouse is sometimes called Borðan, which creates confusion with the next entry. Located on Øknastangi, the southeastern point of the island of Nólsoy, about 7 km (4.5 mi) east southeast of Tórshavn. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-023; DFL-6610; Admiralty L4388; NGA 17920.
Toftir Light
Toftir Light, Eysteroy
photo copyright Klaus Huelse; used by permission
* Borðan (Borin)
1900. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 1 s on, 1 s off. 5.5 m (18 ft) round metal lantern, painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse has a photo, and excellent closeup and a 2009 view from the sea are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the southernmost point of Nólsoy, about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of the Nólsoy lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-005; DFL-6615; Admiralty L4390; NGA 17924.

Streymoy Lighthouses
* Skansin (Skansen, Tórshavn)
1888. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, occulting once every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with one red horizontal band; the lantern dome is also painted red. A photo is at right, Arne List has a nice photo, Gert Norðoy has a closeup, D.A. Scott has a 2008 closeup, Huelse has a photo, Jan Egil Kristiansen has a photo of the lighthouse in action, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse stands on a corner of the Skansin fort, built in 1580 to protect the harbor of Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroes. Every ship arriving in the Faroes passes this light, making it the best known Faroese lighthouse. Located on a promontory on the east side of Tórshavn harbor, on the island of Streymoy. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-029; DFL-6630; Admiralty L4396; NGA 17932.
* Velbestaður (Velbestað)
1974. Active; focal plane not listed by NGA; two flashes every 10 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 4 m round (fiberglass?) lantern, painted red. Huelse has a photo, Marco Paoluzzo has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff southeast of Velbestaður and about 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Tórshavn. A coastal road passes close to the light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-033; DFL-6880; Admiralty L4450; NGA 18008.
Leynar (Lejnum)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (111 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, with two long (2 s) occultations every 12 s. 5 m (17 ft) round (fiberglass?) lantern, painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse has a photo, Emilio Manfrini has a nice view, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the southern entrance to the channel separating the west side of Stremoy from the neighboring island of Vágar. Located on a promontory about 1.5 km (1 mi) southeast of Leynar. There is a coastal road, but it is not clear if there is access to the light from the road. Site status unknown. ARLHS FAR-017; DFL-6875; Admiralty L4448; NGA 18004.

Vágar and Mykines Lighthouses
*
Múlin (Múlen)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); flash every 3 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 5 m (18 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one red horizontal band. A good photo is available, Jamen Percy has a 2010 photo, Katrin Svabo Bech has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the entrance to the Sørvágsfjørd, which leads to the fishing port of Sørvágur on the southwest coast of Vágar. Located on a bluff on the south side of the fjord about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Sørvágur. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-020; DFL-6900; Admiralty L4455; NGA 18012.
Skansin Light
Skansin Light, Tórshavn, July 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by WhatsAllThisThen
Slættanes
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); flash every 5 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) round lantern, painted red, on a concrete base. Jan Egil Christiansen has a 2011 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northern tip of Vágar. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-026; SFL-6850; Admiralty L4454; NGA 18024.
* Mykines (Myggenaes)
1909. Active; focal plane 125 m (410 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern roof painted red. 2nd order (?) Fresnel lens in use. Guy wires have been added to support the lighthouse against the constant winds. A photo is at the top of this page, Huelse has a closeup photo, Nigel Homer also has a great closeup, another photo is available, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Mykines is the westernmost of the Faroes. There is a very small village on the island, and boat transportation can be arranged from Sørvágur. Located on the heights above the westernmost tip of the island and the country, accessible by a short hike from the village of Mykines. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-021; DFL-6890; Admiralty L4460; NGA 18036.

Suðeroy Lighthouses
Stóra Dímun (Store Dimon) (2)
2000 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); white flash every 5 s. 5 m (17 ft) round lantern on a concrete foundation. Lantern painted white with one red horizontal band. Marita Gulklett has a closeup, Huelse also has a closeup, and another photo is available, but the island is only a blur in Google's satellite view. This light replaced a 2.5 m (8 ft) square tower. Eileen Sandá has a photo showing the spectacular clifftop location of this lighthouse. Located at the highest point of a small island about 8 km (5 mi) northeast of the northern point of Suðeroy. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-027; DFL-6580; Admiralty L4368; NGA 17908.
Hvalba (Kvalbø)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting once every 5 s. 4 m (13 ft) rectangular corrugated metal building; the lights are shown through a broad window. The building is painted white with one red horizontal band. Randi Hjelm Debes has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the head of a long fjord at Hvalba, near the northern tip of Suðeroy. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-016; DFL-6550; Admiralty L4361; NGA 17904.
* Galgitangi (Galgetange) Bagfyr (Range Rear)
1893. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 8 m (30 ft) round cylindrical (cast iron?) tower with lantern, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Eileen Sandá has a closeup photo, Huelse also has a photo, Jan Egil Kristiansen has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located 258 m (846 ft) west northwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-010; DFL-6535a; Admiralty L4358.1; NGA 17884.
* Galgitangi (Galgetange) Forfyr (Range Front)
1893. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 1 s on, 1 s off. 3 m (10 ft) rectangular corrugated metal building; the lights are shown through a broad window. The building is painted white with one red horizontal band. Huelse has a photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The range guides ships into the Trongisvágsfjødur, leading to the fishing port of Trongisvágur. Located on the south side of the fjord about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Trongisvágur. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-009; DFL-6535b; Admiralty L4358; NGA 17880.
* Porkerisnes (Porkere Næs)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); three flashes every 15 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 5.5 m (18 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass tower with lantern, painted white with one red horizontal band. Erik Christensen has a closeup photo, Huelse has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the north side of the Vágsfjord, which leads to the port of Vágur, about 1.5 km (1 mi) east of the village of Porkeri. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-024; DFL-6525; Admiralty L4354; NGA 17876.
* Akraberg
1909. Active; focal plane 94 m (308 ft); two long (2 s) flashes every 20 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical (cast iron?) tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern roof painted red. Guy wires have been added to support the lighthouse against the constant winds. Fog horn (one blast every 60 s). Eileen Sandá's 2009 photo at right shows the lighthouse freshly repainted, Huelse has a photo, and Jürg Schuricht has a closeup, and but clouds block Google's satellite view. Located at the southern tip of Suðeroy, the southernmost of the Faroes. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAR-001; DFL-6500; Admiralty L4342; NGA 17852.
Akraberg Light
Akraberg
Light, Suðeroy, July 2009
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Eileen Sandá

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Shetland Islands | West: East and South Iceland

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Posted October 24, 2006. Checked and revised June 13, 2014. Lighthouses: 21. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.