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Location within the Faroe Islands
Location within the Faroe Islands
Coordinates: 62°00′33″N 6°40′7″W / 62.00917°N 6.66861°W / 62.00917; -6.66861Coordinates: 62°00′33″N 6°40′7″W / 62.00917°N 6.66861°W / 62.00917; -6.66861
State  Kingdom of Denmark
Constituent country  Faroe Islands
Municipality seat Tórshavnar kommuna
Population (2006)
 • Total 252
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) EST (UTC+1)
Postal code FO-270
Calling code 298

Nólsoy (Danish: Nolsø) is an island and village in central Faroe Islands, 4 km east of the capital Tórshavn in Streymoy.


Nólsoy is the lowest of the Faroes; the highest point is Eggjarklettur (371 m) on the mountain Høgoyggj. The southern coast contains two capes, each with a lighthouse (Øknastangi on the south-east, Borðan on the south). The lighthouses were built in the late 18th century to aid smugglers working against the unpopular trading monopoly imposed by Denmark. In 2005, the National Bank of Denmark issued a 20 DKK commemorative coin for the lighthouse.[1]

There is only one settlement on the island, also called Nólsoy, on the north-west coast on the Stongin peninsula which is attached to the rest of the island by a metres-wide isthmus. The island is accessible by a 20-minute ferry journey from Tórshavn. As many as 40 people that live in Nólsoy go to work in Tórshavn each morning. In recent years many young families have moved from Tórshavn to Nólsoy where the houses are cheaper than in Tórshavn. This way it is possible to live ‘in the country’ and still be only 20 minutes from the capital.

People from Nólsoy[edit]

Nólsoy has an annual civic festival called Ovastevna, held at the beginning of August. Ovastevna is similar to Ólavsøka in Tórshavn only smaller. Ovastevna is held to commemorate Ove Joensen from Nólsoy. He rowed from the Faroe Islands to Denmark in a traditional Faeroese boat in 1986. In 1987 Ove drowned in Skálafjørður-inlet where he fell overboard. The profit from the festival is used to build a swimming pool for the children in Nólsoy. Ove originally started this project after his row to Denmark.

Nólsoyar Páll came from Nólsoy. He is recognized as a kind of freedom fighter and national hero. He fought to end the Royal Trade Monopoly in the beginning of 19th century. The Royal Trade Monopoly was exhausting and impoverishing the people of the Faroe Islands from 1271 to 1856. Nólsoyar Páll carried trade between Denmark and Faroe Islands in his ship ‘Royndin Frida’. His ship was the first Faeroese ocean-going vessel since the early Middle Ages.


Nólsoy has one of the world's largest colonies of European Storm Petrels (50,000 pairs), and is also home to the first known wild population of Common Frogs in the Faroe Islands.

Important Bird Area[edit]

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for seabirds, especially European Storm Petrels, Atlantic Puffins (30,000 pairs) and Black Guillemots (100 pairs).[2]

Nólsoy on Faroese stamps[edit]

Nólsoy has featured on a number of stamps from Postverk Føroya:



  1. ^ "Nólsoy Lighthouse". National Bank of Denmark. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  2. ^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nólsoy. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-02-23.

External links[edit]