Sorvagsvatn: The Incredible Optical Illusion Hike

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So you’ve stumbled across pictures of Sorvagsvatn on Instagram. The ever-popular optical illusion of a lake sitting atop of a cliff is one of the most unique places to visit in the Faroe Islands.

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Sorvagsvatn: how to get there, a hiking trail description, and if it’s worth the hefty price tag.

How To Get To Sorvagsvatn On The Faroe Islands

Before making your trip out to Sorvagsvatn and the famed Trælanípa viewpoint, be sure you know where to find the trailhead.

The Wrong Location

We made the mistake of typing into Google Maps: “Traelanipa” and “Sorvagsvatn”. This brought us to the completely wrong location, which added a lot of extra time to our outing. Below, you can see the location that Google Maps took us to. This is incorrect.

How to get to Sørvágsvatn

The Right Location

To save yourself time, use this link to get to the trailhead. Otherwise, you can also search for Traelanipan & Bosdalafossur in Google Maps. Use the map below for reference to where you should end up.

You’ll know you’ve reached the trailhead when you see a parking lot with a few small buildings, including an office where you pay the entrance fee and some bathrooms.

Some travelers say that the church in town is where you can find the trailhead. While it’s true that you can start the hike here, it’s a bit confusing to navigate the trail from this location. You’ll need to walk along the road from the church in order to find the actual trailhead. I recommend that you don’t park at the church and instead just park in the designated parking lot for Sørvágsvatn.

Cost For Sorvagsvatn

According to the trail attendant, it wasn’t until early 2019 when the landowners started charging hikers to trek out to Sorvagsvatn.

He told us the entrance fee went to trail maintenance, however, I’m not sure if that’s the entire truth. The trail itself wasn’t it top-notch condition, especially for what they are charging hikers.

So what does it cost to hike out to Sorvagsvatn? Each person must pay 200 DKK to enter, which equates to approximately $30 USD. As an avid hiker, I’ve never had to pay a trail fee over $8, so shelling out $30 was shocking.

Hiking to Traelanpia Viewpoint

Is It Worth The Money?

After we returned from our hike out to Sorvagsvatn, I was curious to find out what other travelers thought about the value of this attraction. Is it really worth the money?

I found mixed reviews; many tourists showed anger for having to pay so much money for a hike. Other travelers said it was well worth the $30.

For me, I found that the views on this hike were unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I was happy that we did it but still frustrated with the amount of money they charged. With that said, I would recommend it for other travelers looking for an incredible experience.

Note: Before traveling in the Faroe Islands, keep in mind that many of the popular attractions charge an entrance fee. We were unaware of this before our trip, so when we were asked to pay a fee for each hike we attempted, we were quite frustrated.

Sorvagsvatn Hike: Trail Description

Hiking Sorvagsvatn is achievable by people of all fitness levels. If you can walk three miles, you’ll be able to complete this hike. You’ll be hiking alongside the lake for the majority of the trek, which is relatively flat. It’ll take approximately 45 minutes one-way to reach the viewpoint.

Cliffs in the Faroe Islands
Best Things to do in the Faroe Islands

The only time you’ll experience any difficulty during this hike is at the end when you ascend toward Trælanípa viewpoint. The elevation gain here is a bit intense, so keep this in the back of your mind as you approach. Save some energy and water for this part of the trek.

Take your time on the way out to the viewpoint. In my opinion, the limestone cliffs jutting out of the turquoise waters rival the iconic Trælanípa optical illusion viewpoint.

Things to see at Sørvágsvatn

I recommend wearing proper footwear such as hiking or running shoes because although it’s an easy hike, it may be slippery in some areas due to moisture and rain. You’ll also want to pack a raincoat; the weather on the Faroe Islands is extremely unpredictable.

The Optical Illusion Viewpoint

Like most travelers, I’m sure you want to catch a glimpse of the famous Trælanípa optical illusion viewpoint at the top of Lake Sorvagsvatn.

To find the best location to snap that coveted picture, trek about halfway up the cliff. You’ll notice a well-trodden path that leads you near the edge. Take extreme caution when approaching this spot and while you are taking pictures. A fall from these cliffs would be deadly.

Sørvágsvatn Optical Illusion

Check out the photo above for a reference on where to find the exact optical illusion viewpoint location.

Insider tip: For an even better shot of the lake, I highly recommend taking your drone on this hike.

Other Places On Faroe Islands To Explore Near Sorvagsvatn

After your epic journey to Sorvagsvatn, you’ll want to continue to explore these unbelievable islands. Since Sorvagsvatn is located on the island of Vagar, here are a few other places to visit in the area.

Bøsdalafossur Waterfall

Along the same hike as Sorvagsvatn, you’ll find Bøsdalafossur Waterfall. This unique waterfall pours over the edge of the cliff into the ocean. If you plan on visiting Sorvagsvatn, Bøsdalafossur Waterfall is a must see, too.

Bøsdalafossur Waterfall

Múlafossur Waterfall

20 minutes down the road you’ll find Múlafossur Waterfall, another iconic landmark on the Faroe Islands. This waterfall is the epitome of the Faroe Islands: mountains, cliffs, a quaint village, and a waterfall plunging into the ocean.

Things to do near Vagar


Across the small bay from Múlafossur Waterfall is Drangarnir, two sea stacks that line the coast of Vagar. In order to get to Drangarnir, you’ll have to make the hike out, but these views are certainly worth the walk.

Drangarnir nearby Sørvágsvatn

Although it’s not as convenient, we also recommend visiting Saksun, a small village on the Faroe Islands.

Where To Stay Near Sorvagsvatn

The easiest place to stay on the Faroe Islands is in the small capital city, Tórshavn (pronounced Tor-shawn). Although there are many quality hotels to choose from in Tórshavn, we opted to stay in an Airbnb instead.

Budget tip: Having a full kitchen and being able to cook meals saved us a lot of money on the Faroe Islands. We highly recommend renting an Airbnb for your trip.

The Wrap-Up: Sorvagsvatn & Trælanípa Viewpoint

We hope these tips have helped you decide whether or not you should add Sorvagsvatn to your Faroe Islands itinerary. The thrill of seeing the optical illusion at the top of Trælanípa viewpoint was a highlight of our trip. We hope your experience hiking to Sorvagsvatn will be as enjoyable as ours was.

And don’t miss a hiking around Mons Klint on a day trip from Copenhagen.

Sørvágsvatn viewpoint

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