VESTMANNA (Faroe Islands)
Surrounded by the mountains of Hægstafjall, Økslin, Loysingafjall, and Moskurfjall, Vestmanna sits quietly on the banks of Streymoy, on the North Atlantic Ocean. With 1,200 inhabitants, the colourful little village itself is lovely; a few shops and cafes selling locally made cakes and handicrafts, as well as the island’s native seafood soup dish. While those wishing to stretch their legs will enjoy the surrounding area for its stunning countryside, Vestmanna’s main attraction is beyond any doubt its bird cliffs.
Youi don’t have to be a birder to appreciate these magnificent cliffs, although if you are the cliffs are the stuff of dreams. At almost 700-metres high (and six kilometres long), the cliffs rise steeply out of the water and are covered with tens of thousands of seabirds, zooming through the air, swooping into the water and nesting in the crevices. The near vertical cliffs are home to numerous species including kittiwakes, Common Guillemots, Black Guillemots and the oh so charismatic Atlantic Puffin. Visually, they are stunning: waterfalls thunder into the sea, cliff tops cut jagged lines into horizon and the whole landscape seems straight out of Jurassic Park. Dressed in a cloak of mist and emerald green moss, to say that the feeling is otherworldly is an understatement.
To gage the true beauty of the region, one must take to the sea. The experience of sailing under the cacophonic cliffs, juxtaposed by the silence of calm caves is simply unforgettable.