The Breathtaking Lake With An Unusual Optical Illusion That'll Make You Double Take

The Faroe Islands are a gorgeous place to visit. Set between Iceland and Norway, these islands in the North Atlantic Ocean are a self-governing archipelago that is actually part of the Kingdom of Denmark. They're made up of 18 islands connected by tunnels and bridges, and there is a lot of nature to explore. One of the islands, Vágar, has a lake on it, set between an arching cliff and a hill. This lake, called Sørvágsvatn by those in the northwest and Leitisvatn by those in the southeast (we're going with Sørvágsvatn here), has an incredible optical illusion if you stand in the right spot. It's also got a waterfall, some hiking, and views that are utterly breathtaking. 

Even better than getting to see this beautiful place is the fact that it's pretty easy to get to on the Faroe Islands, and that the spot to take the optical-illusion picture from is easy to reach as well. Let's take a look at Sørvágsvatn Lake, how to visit, and what you have to know to get around for the coolest social media pic ever. Plus, with Denmark getting a new ruler after the January 14, 2023, abdication of Queen Margrethe, the country will likely be in the news a lot. 

How to take an illusion picture of Sørvágsvatn Lake

So, what is this optical illusion all about? Sørvágsvatn Lake sits just shy of 100 feet above sea level. It's pretty close to the edge of a cliff above the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, some of its water runs off the edge of the rock, forming Bøsdalafossur Waterfall. This means that, from certain angles, it can appear that the lake is hovering right above the ocean on an overhang. This isn't true, of course, as the lake itself rests well back from the edge, other than the small stream that goes over the side. It just appears that way. Illusion or not, it's an incredible sight.

The illusion photo is best taken from the nearby cliff of Trælanípa, another spot on Vágar Island. That sounds like it might be an issue or that you'd need to get a drone shot, but you don't. Trælanípa Cliff is a mere 13-minute walk, just over half a mile, from Bøsdalafossur Waterfall. That's the perfect spot to take a photo like the one below. 

You're not just visiting this beautiful lake for its Instagrammable potential. This island and the Faroe Islands in general are great for birders. There are plenty of beautiful nature hikes and walks as well. Plus, the charming Miðvágur village is nearby. You can rent a kayak for the lake or even take a kayaking tour

Getting to Sørvágsvatn Lake

There are several ways to get to Sørvágsvatn Lake on Vágar Island. Back in WWII, this area was occupied by the British, who built an airfield here. This is now the airport you land at to get to the Faroe Islands. The Vágar Airport is a mere 15 minutes by car from the lake. If you're staying in the capital of Tórshavn, it's a 45-minute drive. Or, if you want to hike from the airport, it's an hour and a half. You can also hike from Miðvágur village, which should take you around an hour. 

The hike is pretty easy, though it's on an unpaved road. It will take you right to the waterfall, so you're in the perfect spot for that 13-minute walk to the illusion pic-taking cliff. If you're planning a trip, the best weather is going to be from June through September, with high temperatures averaging in the low 50s Fahrenheit and lows in the high 40s. Rain chances go up in September, so keep that in mind.