Beinisvørð cliffs

From the craggy triangular peak, which can be see for miles around, the cliffs plummet vertically to the sea below.

Just before the tunnel at Lopra, take the right turn signed for Víkarbyrgi to reach one of the real highlights of Suðuroy: the breathtaking, 470m-high Beinisvørð cliffs, which are the Faroes’s second-highest vertical sea cliffs.

On their eastern, landward side, the cliffs are denoted by an unbelievably steep grassy slope that soars skywards to the tip of the craggy triangular peak that marks the very highest point of Beinisvørð. From here, the cliffs plummet on their seaward side vertically into the North Atlantic below and can be seen for miles around, totally dominating any view from Lopra and Sumba (and can even be seen from the Smyril ferry as she swings in towards Tvøroyri).

Beinisvørð cliffs, Faroe Islands by Erik Christensen, Wikimedia Commons
The Beinisvørð cliffs are the Faroe Islands’s second-highest vertical sea cliffs © Erik Christensen, Wikimedia Commons

Risking life and limb, generations of local men from Sumba have abseiled down the sheer cliff face in search of seabirds and their eggs, which once were an important source of food – tragically, many paid the ultimate price. Over the years, the dramatic nature of Beinisvørð has even inspired several poets, who have used the cliffs as a potent symbol of independence in their work; today they proudly feature on the Faroese 50kr banknote.

ou can get close to the cliffs on the old Lopra–Sumba road at a spot known as Hesturin (the location of a radio mast at a sharp bend in the road), from where, with care, it’s possible to walk to the cliff edge. From Beinisvørð the road then descends gradually towards the junction for Akraberg and Sumba itself.

On the western side of Sumba, there are good views of the verdant slopes of Beinisvørð from just before the tunnel entrance. Alternatively, you can view the cliffs from a distance at Eggjarnar, near Vágur.