Alone on a clifftop, Gásadalur Village almost disappeared as its population moved away.

Alone on a Clifftop, Gásadalur Village Almost Disappeared as Its Population Moved Away

Alone on a Clifftop, Gásadalur Village Almost Disappeared as Its Population Moved Away

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Sept. 2 2015 1:01 PM

The Isolated Beauty of Gásadalur Village

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The tiny Danish village of Gásadalur in the Faroe Islands sits at the edge of a tall cliff overlooking the sea. A ring of tall mountains cuts it off from the rest of its own island, and, for most of its existence, from the rest of the world at large.

Prior to 2004 there were only a couple of ways to get to Gásadalur Village. One option was to hike over the mountain terrain that surrounds the settlement, which rises over 2,000 feet high, and then trek for even more miles to the village. The other option was to clamber up the cliff face from any ship brave enough to venture that close to the rocks. In the 1940s a staircase was built into the cliff rocks to make travel a bit easier, but other than that, progress in terms of making the remote village accessible was almost nil.

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Because of this isolation, the population of the village fell dramatically despite a number of good, workable fields near the settlement. The number of citizens had dropped into the teens by the time a tunnel was blasted through one of the mountains in 2004, allowing automobile travel to the small community.

While the hope is that the population will grow with the use of the access tunnel, as of 2012 the reported population was still only 18. However, the smaller population has ensured that the historically quaint houses and unspoiled vistas all around will stay around a bit longer.

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Eric Grundhauser is a head writer and editor at Atlas Obscura. He lives in Brooklyn with his comic book collection. Follow him on Twitter.