The Cliffs of Leitisvatn by sorstrommen

Photo shot standing on the cliff “Trælanípan” (slave promontory), where, as the story says, in the old days the slaves who couldn’t work were thrown off.

Today it is more peaceful on Trælanípan, it is possible to enjoy the exceptional view southwards across the sea, where the islands to the south are clearly visible. The birds build their nests on the cliff face, and when there are breakers it is fascinating to see the surf break along the cliff face.

Photo is showing the lake “Leitisvatn/Sørvágsvatn” which is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. It is situated on the island of Vágar between the municipalities of Sørvágs Kommuna and Vága kommuna. In size it is 3.4 km2, more than three times the size of the second largest lake Fjallavatn, located on the island of Vágar.

The name Leitisvatn means “The lake by Leiti (the name of the east side of the lake)” and Sørvágsvatn means “The lake by Sørvágur”.

Among the locals, there is a debate regarding the name of the lake. The inhabitants of Sørvágur take pride in naming the lake after their village. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Miðvágur and Sandavágur call it “Leitisvatn”, because the east side of the lake alongside the body of water is called Leiti.

Though the village of Miðvágur is situated closer to the lake than Sørvágur, there are indications of the lake being named for the latter because the faroese Landnám Sørvágur was settled before Miðvágur. Sørvágur; alongside Bøur and Sandavágur—is considered to be one of the three original Landnámsbygdum (original settlements) on Vágar. The three Landnámsbygdir divided the land on the island among them into three equal sizes of 60 marks. A division of the island into three equal portion will bring Sørvágsvatn firmly inside the boundaries of Sørvágur and therefore the lake has been named after this village.

The locals mostly refer to “Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn” simply by calling it “Vatnið” (the Lake). Among the inhabitants on the island everyone knows what “the Lake” is, and it is mostly when people from other parts of the Faroes refer to the lake—either by calling it Sørvágsvatn or Leitisvatn—that the debate will occur.

The lake is located very close to the ocean, but its surface is about 30 meters above the level of sea. It is surrounded by a higher cliff which prevents it from emptying into the ocean. The water exit is the waterfall Bøsdalafossur.

via 500px