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5 Days in the Faroe Islands

Harsh Landscape, Unique Beauty

In May, we visited the Faroe Islands which marked my 50th country. With Torshavn as home base, we drove all over this remote archipelago, immersing ourselves in its beauty. 

In 50 Words or Less

In the Faroe Islands, nature's raw beauty unfolds amidst a harsh landscape. This small but well-to-do country, boasting one of the highest GDP per capita, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. Be prepared for unpredictable weather where rain can swiftly give way to sunshine. While it can be an expensive destination, the unique experiences, luxury dining options, and stunning vistas can make it worthwhile if you’ve already checked Iceland off the list.

Top Five Takeaways

A Playlist for the Faroe Islands

As you read about your potential Faroe Island adventure, give the playlist a spin to set the mood with tracks that highlight the isolated and broody nature of the place.

Unveiling the Rugged Allure

The Faroe Islands may be a small country, but it captivates with its rugged allure. It's a place where being outside and immersing oneself in nature take precedence. From stunning landscapes to the ever-changing weather, the Faroe Islands offer a unique experience that will leave you in awe. However, be aware that indoor activities are limited, and it's the outdoor adventures that steal the spotlight.

Getting there is easy. Although the islands are remote, there are convenient options available for reaching this captivating destination. The main gateway is Vágar Airport (FAE), which is well-connected to several major cities in Europe. You can easily book direct flights from Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Edinburgh, and other select cities. Atlantic Airways, the national carrier of the Faroe Islands, operates regular flights to and from these destinations.

We opted to take a direct flight to Copenhagen and spend a few days before flying into Vagar (FAE).

Faroe Islands. sheep, Kallur lighthouse, hiking

The Logistics

Hotel Foyor

  • mid-to-high tier hotel

  • a short drive or a 20-minute walk from Torshavn

  • rooms were pleasant, but the real highlights are the top-notch hotel facilities, including gym and spa

  • Ruks restaurant is fabulous but a bit pricey 

  • avoid the annex rooms by any-means-necessary, as they lack the same ambiance and are separated from the hotel

AirBnb

  • we spent three days in a charming Airbnb located right on the water by the port, offering views of the ocean

  • you'll find more pricing variety with this option as hotel options are more limited and more expensive overall 

  • there are ample grocery stores in Torshavn though you need to buy alcohol at a separate store 

Transportation

  • to explore at our pace, we rented a Volkswagen Tourag

  • the rental cost was $900CAD for five days from Alamo though there are plenty of rental options right at the airport

  • i read a few people writing about poor road conditions and dodgy tunnels, but found this to be wholly untrue

  • any style of car would be fine 

  • keep in mind the tunnel costs, which amounted to $125CAD for 9 uses

  • a full tank of gasoline set us back $120CAD

Top Six Things To Do

Kallur Lighthouse, Faroe Islands, hike

Kallur Lighthouse

Why It's Great

The relatively easy hike offers the most impressive views in the Faroes with ample photo opportunities. 

How to Get There

Take the ferry from Klaksvik to Sydradalur. You can tap-to-pay after driving on - the fee includes a round-trip. 

Things to Know

When you get to the lighthouse, there are two further paths going to the tips of the island. Use caution as they aren't for the faint-of-heart on windy days. 

Sørvágsvatn (Floating Lake)

Why It's Great

Another easy hike takes you to an inimitable contrast of the lake and ocean. Peer down the towering cliffs. 

How to Get There

Drive to Slave Cliff marked here on Google Maps. There is a small town with a restaurant and gas station. 

Things to Know

Yes, it costs 200KR, which you'll read about a lot. If this price tags seems too steep for you, I would re-evaluate whether Faroe Islands is a destination for you given everything is comparably expensive.  

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Faroe Islands, Risin og Kellingin, hike

Torshavn

Why It's Great

The main 'city' in Faroe Islands boasts only 22K people, though it does feel much larger since it contains most of the islands services. Using Torshavn as a home base is good given everything is in driving distance.  

How to Get There

It's a 45-minute drive from the airport in Vagar. There are buses in the town to get around if you don't have a car.  

Things to Know

Take advantage of its burgeoning food scene that focuses on local ingredients and traditional Faroese recipes. Steinprent Galleries is also a good visit especially if you want a memorable souvenir. 

Risin og Kellingin

Why It's Great

This was a spotlight of the Saksun to Gjogv drive. The football pitch reminds me of a younger cousin to the semi-famous Henningsvaer, Lofoten Norway.  

How to Get There

Start with Saksun and with a hike to Saettaratindur.
See our Day One itinerary below for more.

Things to Know

This, like everything else, can be predicated on the weather. The views may be marred with grey skies and fog while the hike on Saettaratindur can be messy and punishingly windy. 

Faroe Islands, Roks, luxury dining, seafood, michellin star
Vidareidi, Faroe Islands, hike

ROKS

Why It's Great

We both loved the tasting menu which offered spectacular seafood and wine. Our favourites were the Greenlandic Snowcrab and the Urchin dish.  

How to Get There

ROKS is by the port in Torshavn. Make reservations as soon as you can as they have a finite number of sittings.

Things to Know

For the accolades of ROKS, the price is surprisingly within reason. If you need to be selective with dining out, ROKS should be your top choice. 

Vidareidi

Why It's Great

The relatively easy hike offers the most impressive views in the Faroes with ample photo opportunities. 

How to Get There

Take the ferry from Klaksvik to Sydradalur. You can tap-to-pay after driving on - the fee includes a round-trip. 

Things to Know

When you get to the lighthouse, there are two further paths going to the tips of the island. Use caution as they aren't for the faint-of-heart on windy days. 

Three Heads-Ups

Weather can cost

Be prepared for weather disruptions that can wreck your plans. If your tour or Mykines ferry gets canceled, you'll receive a refund, but administration and card fees won't be returned. Our cancellations cost us a total of $137CAD.

Day One
(150KM roundtrip from Torshavn)

Our first day led us to the village of Saksun, where a tidal lagoon and traditional turf-roofed houses awaited us. You'll need only an hour here at most, but it's worth visiting and getting some photos of the church overlooking the lagoon. 

A hike to the Fossa waterfall in Haldarsvík followed though this pales in comparison to the Icelandic options. 

We then visited the village of Gjogv, known for its natural harbor and coastal scenery. Be sure to stop at Risin og Kellingin viewpoint to see the uniquely position football field. 

Finally, we embarked on a hike to the summit of Saettaratindur for panoramic views of the islands.

Day Two
(80KM roundtrip from Torshavn)

We attempted a fishing trip from Vestmanna, but it was cancelled due to extreme winds. The folks at Guide to Faroe Island were good to deal with.

 

We explored the charming village of Vestmanna, with its traditional houses adding to the picturesque setting.

A drive to the village of Kvívík brought us to Viking ruins and breathtaking coastal landscapes. You could continue on to hike the nearby mountain, Húsafjall, though we opted out due to weather.

We spent the afternoon in town at Torshavn, visiting Steinprent Galleries and having dinner at the fabolous Roks.  

Day Three
(140KM roundtrip from Torshavn)

Day three marked a remarkable trip to Kunoy and Vidareidi, two hidden gems nestled in the heart of the Faroe Islands.

 

Venture to Kunoy, a picturesque island boasting dramatic cliffs and charming villages. Take a left turn before the village onto an unpaved road and you'll get views of the rugged coastline with sheep a'plenty. The road is entirely fine for any car. 

 

Continue your journey to Vidareidi, a captivating village and the Vidareidi Church are embraced by majestic mountains and overlooking the vast North Atlantic Ocean. 

Day Four
(100KM roundtrip from Torshavn)

This day was dedicated to the iconic Kallur Lighthouse hike, one of the highlights of our trip. This type of a hike would definitely be fenced off and disallowed in Canada. 

We were lucky in that there were not many folks there so the isolation was felt - when you're standing on the peak, it can be daunting to think just where exactly you are. 

While the hike is relatively straightforward, caution is required, especially at the tip of the island, where the narrow path can be precarious, particularly on windy days.

Kalsoy Tunnel

Kalsoy Tunnel

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Day Five
(85KM roundtrip from Torshavn)

On our final day, we ventured to Sørvágsvatn, also known as the Floating Lake. A 40-minute drive from Torshavn, this natural wonder enchanted us with its optical illusion.

 

Despite the 200DKK entry fee, the experience was well worth it. The 5km hike was easy, with an obvious path leading to captivating views.

 

Aim for a sunny day to fully appreciate the striking contrast between the water and the lush greenery.

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