The Faroe Islands are a small cluster of self-governing islands situated between Iceland and Norway.
It’s a vacation spot that not too many vacationers go to, however its quaint cities and awe-inspiring cliffs are one thing out of a fairytale, and the three days I spent right here in the summertime of 2022 had been an unforgettable spotlight of my latest travels.
Listed here are 10 suggestions on your first go to to the Faroe Islands that can assist you expertise the exact same magic that I did.
1. Stroll Round Tórshavn
Your journey to the Faroe Islands will more than likely be centred round Tórshavn, the small capital of this tiny island nation.
As one of many smallest capital cities on this planet, Tórshavn could be very simply navigable by foot. Exploring the charming metropolis centre space surrounding the marina is a good way to get a primary style of what the Faroe Islands have to supply.
Tórshavn’s central space appears like a miniature model of Nyhavn in Copenhagen – the capital of the Faroe Islands’ sovereign mum or dad, the Kingdom of Denmark – with its vibrant buildings surrounded by the boats on the ocean.
The skyline of this tiny settlement is fascinating to take a look at, and we loved soaking in the entire fascinating buildings that we got here throughout.
Though Tórshavn is small, it boasts a surprisingly multicultural eating scene. We had some tasty Thai meals throughout our time on the town, in addition to a scrumptious burger at HAPS, a neighborhood burger joint.
2. Drive Round a Lot
Travelling by automobile is the first technique of getting round and exploring all 18 of the Faroe Islands.
When you’ve gotten your first glimpse in Tórshavn, you’ll need to drive round lots so you’ll be able to go to the neighbouring islands, take within the superb surroundings, and admire every thing that the archipelago has to supply.
I’d positively advocate choosing up a automobile rental upon arrival at Vágar Airport. In our case, we had really booked a automobile with Price range, however upon strolling into the automobile rental centre, we stopped by one of many native automobile rental firms known as CarRent.fo and requested if they may beat Price range’s worth.
They did so by about 100 Danish krone, so in the event you’re renting a automobile, you need to examine with a neighborhood firm, because it could be a less expensive choice – and it’s all the time good to help native companies!
Most stretches of the principle collection of islands – Vágar, Streymoy, and Eysturoy – are all related by street. Many locations throughout these islands could be reached from Tórshavn inside about an hour, so whilst you’ll need to plan for some driving time, it received’t be too time-consuming.
For the reason that early 2000s, the Faroe Islands have been constructing a collection of superior underground tunnels. Proper now, there are three such tunnels:
- Vágatunnilin connects Vágar and Streymoy
- Eysturoyartunnilin connects Streymoy and Eysturoy (together with the world’s solely undersea roundabout, which could be very a lot an expertise in itself)
- Norðoyatunnilin connects Eysturoy and Borðoy
By 2023, there must be one other tunnel constructed all the way in which to the southernmost island of Suðuroy as nicely.
I discovered the undersea tunnel community to be extremely spectacular, and there was a weird sense of juxtaposition between the remoteness of the Faroe Islands and the superior infrastructure of the place, as we’ll focus on later.
3. Hike to the Kallurin Lighthouse
There are just a few locations within the outer reaches of the Faroe Islands which might be completely value testing.
For instance, the Kallurin Lighthouse, situated on the northernmost tip of the island of Kalsoy, is certainly a must-see in your journey to the Faroe Islands.
The hike to the lighthouse is downright breathtaking, and was the one greatest hike I’ve been on in my life.
Kalsoy is without doubt one of the many very thinly formed islands within the northeast of the territory. To get there, you’ll have to drive to the second-largest metropolis of Klaksvík, located on the island of Borðoy. From there, you’re taking a ferry to entry Kalsoy, as there aren’t any roads that join on to it.
It’s potential to drive onto the ferry, however there are a restricted variety of spots for automobiles, so that you’ll have to arrive early to line up for a spot. Alternatively, you can too go to the lighthouse on foot.
After you arrive by ferry, you’ll have to drive or take a bus from Kalsoy’s southern ferry port of Syðradalur all the way in which to the northernmost village of Trøllanes. From there, you embark on a few 45-minute hike throughout a pure-green sloping hill till you get to the lighthouse.
As you proceed throughout this sloped hill, you actually haven’t any sense at the entire gorgeous views which might be about to greet you – till the hike culminates on the hill’s highest level, the place you’re met with a sheer cliff right down to the ocean far beneath.
Solely when you get to the very high of the hill and the lighthouse itself, you’ll flip round and immediately witness probably the most stunning pure formations that you just’ll ever encounter.
From the lighthouse, you’ll be able to hike down after which head as much as an outcrop on the very northern tip of Kalsoy. Wanting again throughout this skinny island, seeing our bodies of water on both aspect, is just a sight to behold.
One of many causes I’d advocate driving your personal car up right here, in the event you can, is so you’ll be able to full the hike by yourself schedule. You received’t need to be pressed for time, worrying about catching the bus for the return journey.
As a substitute, plan to remain right here for hours with the intention to merely take up the gorgeous views throughout you. No different view that I’ve skilled to this point fairly compares to it.
4. See Cliffs and Waterfalls Like Nowhere Else
The Faroe Islands are all about pure surroundings, due to their dramatic rugged cliffs, storm-lashed coasts, and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Listed here are just a few of the highlights among the many islands’ many pure sights to behold.
Positioned on Vágar, Múlafossur Waterfall is the one waterfall I’ve ever seen that cascades straight into the ocean. I stood completely transfixed as I watched this unimaginable pure phenomenon happen.
I couldn’t assist however mull over the truth that for 1000’s of years earlier than I used to be right here, and for 1000’s of years after I’m gone, Múlafossur will proceed to empty into the Atlantic Ocean with such hanging simplicity.
Múlafossur is discovered on the western aspect of Vágar, which can be the place the airport is situated. Thus, a visit out right here is a pure cease to make both proper after you arrive or simply earlier than you depart from Vágar.
On the identical island, and solely 5 minutes from the airport, is the Trælanípa cliff. You may hike round a fairly distinctive lake known as Leitisvatn, and also you’ll finally be handled to an impressive view on the high of this hike.
Fairly remarkbly, the Leitisvatn lake additionally drains straight into the ocean, albeit much less dramatically than Múlafossur. Nonetheless, the actual focal point here’s a cliff known as Trælanípa, the place with good climate, you could find a view of Leitisvatn that resembles an optical phantasm.
Since Trælanípa is located excessive above the lake, which itself is above sea stage, you will get some fairly mind-bending views of the surroundings right here. The lake seems as if it’s really floating above the ocean, as if it had been “a lake within the sky”.
On our specific go to, it was fairly windy and foggy, so we didn’t really get to see the unimaginable views. Nonetheless, the mirror-like floor of the lake itself was fairly stunning.
Additionally, in the event you’re tempted to fly a drone to seize the views out right here within the Faroe Islands, be certain that to watch out of the windy climate.
In my case, my DJI Mini 2 was sadly misplaced to the winds, having been taken down by a powerful draft of upwardly wind arising from a cliff right here at Trælanípa.
Along with these two dramatic sights right here at Vágar, you’ll discover distinctive and exquisite cliffsides all around the Faroe Islands, that are nicely value your time to admire.
5. Discover the Picturesque Villages
In addition to the capital of Tórshavn and among the larger cities like Klaksvík and Runavík, all the opposite settlements right here within the Faroe Islands are tiny villages of as much as 50 to 100 individuals at most – and sometimes with even fewer inhabitants than that, corresponding to solely 10 or 20 individuals.
With distinctive vibrant buildings and a uniquely-designed church in each, the Faroese villages look proper out of a storybook, as if they’re trapped in time and haven’t caught up with the trendy period.
Just a few highlights to discover embody Saksun, which is situated on the finish of a protracted single-lane street on the principle island of Streymoy. From Saksun, you’ll be able to hike right down to a black sand seashore, the place you’ll be able to really stand up shut and private with the ocean because the tide swarms across the seashore.
One other is the village of Gjógv, situated on the very northern tip of Streymoy, the place you’ll be able to hike up one other pure-green hillside and absorb related views to over at Kalsoy.
Casting your gaze eastward from Gjógv, you’ll look straight throughout the channel and see the northern tip of Kalsoy.
When you occur to go to Gjógv after hitting up the Kallurin Lighthouse, and you end up lacking these unbelievable views over there, you’ll get one other style and a distinct perspective of a really life-changing vista.
In fact, it’s not simply the villages right here on Streymoy, that are simply accessible from Tórshavn, which might be value testing.
Quite, a number of the villages within the outer reaches of the Faroe Islands are worthy of your time as nicely…
6. Go for a Helicopter Trip
Whereas any helicopter trip is actually going to be a spotlight, taking one within the Faroe Islands positively ranks amongst my most favorite journey experiences.
As an necessary transport hyperlink between the islands, helicopters could be booked at a considerably discounted price for locals. Guests to the islands might also e book out there seats, however solely on a one-way foundation.
You’ll should e book seven days upfront, or two days upfront for particular routes. And although you’ll be able to e book a trip out and in of Tórshavn, I’d advocate taking a trip between two of the outlying islands so you’ve got an excuse to go take a look at extra locations.
That’s precisely what I did, taking a trip between the southernmost island of Suðuroy and the tiny settlement of Skúvoy, with a cease on the tiny however stunning island of Stóra Dímun.
A helicopter trip could be booked on-line at amazingly low charges, and my journey solely value 85 Danish krone ($15 CAD) – a spectacular deal for an aviation expertise with aerial views that you just received’t discover anyplace else.
7. Take a Day Out on the Ferries and Buses
A part of what contributes to the surreality of the Faroe Islands is the truth that it’s extraordinarily distant, and but the infrastructure is extraordinarily well-developed.
As a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, they’ve had the funds to develop a really well-run public transportation system, which lets you discover the islands comprehensively even with out entry to a automobile.
For instance, after my helicopter trip to Skúvoy, I took the ferry from this tiny island to the port of Sandur on the island of Sandoy.
From right here, I took a bus that operates solely on Sandoy, going from Sandur to the northern level of the island: a city known as Skopun.
And from Skopun, I then took a ferry to Gamlarætt, again on the island Streymoy, after which I took a remaining bus again to Tórshavn.
The truth that all of those bus and ferry schedules line up very nicely is actually fairly outstanding. When you’ve got a day to spare, I’d advocate leaving the automobile behind and going in regards to the outer islands on ferries and buses to get to know the Faroe Islands from a distinct angle.
Be aware that by 2023, the Faroe Islands plan to construct a protracted tunnel right down to Suðuroy, which can part out the necessity for ferries alongside giant elements of my journey.
Whereas this may considerably shorten journey occasions for inhabitants of the outer islands, I’m a bit unhappy to be taught that sure ferry routes might not be out there the subsequent time I go to.
If you wish to expertise the ferries to their fullest, it’s greatest to plan your go to to the Faroe Islands sooner fairly than later.
8. Expertise the Humble Hospitality of the Faroese
The Faroese are hard-working, trouble-free, and humble people who find themselves simply glad to occupy their little fairytale slice of our stunning planet. It’s actually value chatting with just a few of them to get a way of what it’s prefer to dwell on the market.
On our journey, we determined to hitchhike for the primary time ever on the island of Suðuroy as we had been making an attempt to get between the ferry terminal and the heliport.
(We had initially deliberate to stroll the gap, however since we found we had been pressed for time, we had no alternative however to show round and stick out our thumbs.)
Fortunately, we had been picked up by a stunning older couple, who very warmly welcomed us into their car and fortunately gave us a trip.
For sure, the couple had been very inquisitive about what we had been doing out right here within the Faroe Islands.
You’ll discover that the Faroese shall be fairly inquisitive about vacationers on the whole, because it’s not likely a rustic that’s constructed for tourism fairly but. Even the ferry operators would discuss with us, getting a way of the place we had been from and what we had been doing out right here.
We had been delighted to make pals with this older couple on Suðuroy, and we’ll positively be sending them a postcard of our very personal stunning coastal views from Vancouver.
9. Keep on the Hilton Backyard Inn
In Tórshavn, the Hilton Backyard Inn is a superb house base. Whereas it’s situated exterior of town centre, I’d take into account this a plus, as its location offers you the prospect to take pleasure in a pleasant stroll to Tórshavn’s core.
It’s additionally very easy to get on the freeway from right here, particularly en path to among the extra northern locations on Streymoy and past.
The Hilton Backyard Inn affords nice worth for Hilton Honors factors, too. The Faroe Islands vacationer season is kind of brief and resort charges are often elevated, so you will get a wonderful deal right here by redeeming Hilton factors.
Whereas I loved my keep on the Hilton Backyard Inn, a part of the Faroe Islands expertise that I’d’ve additionally preferred to have was to spend time at an Airbnb or guesthouse on one of many smaller islands.
I’ll positively be in search of that out on my subsequent go to to the Faroe Islands, particularly since there’s one thing of a “gotta catch ‘em all” aspect to see as most of the 18 islands as potential.
10. Spot Puffins
Lastly, you’ll need to spend time with the cute puffins of the Faroe Islands.
You’ll be capable to spot them all around the islands, whether or not they’re simply swimming in a pack off the coast of Skúvoy or occupying their nesting holes on the cliff aspect of Múlafossur.
When you’re into images, the puffins generally is a fantastic topic to pursue and seize, particularly towards such a novel pure backdrop.
Similar to in neighbouring Iceland, puffins are a novel aspect to Faroe Islands, and are nicely value recognizing as you absorb the entire pure magnificence.
My go to to the Faroe Islands was probably the most transformative journeys I’ve taken in latest reminiscence, particularly after two years of restricted journey and an absence of invigorating new locations to find.
From strolling across the capital of Tórshavn to discovering all corners of this distant archipelago by automobile, ferry, and helicopter, from mountaineering up awe-inspiring cliffs to connecting with locals in distant picturesque villages, the Faroe Islands are really a vacation spot like no different.
Three days right here was each precisely what I wanted and likewise not fairly sufficient time. I’d love to return sooner or later, and would extremely advocate that a lot of you go and expertise this undiscovered a part of the world as nicely.
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