A Guide to the Faroe Islands
A little group of islands between me in Edinburgh and Iceland. Faroe Islands felt so distant from anything I had experienced before, its own ecosystem in the middle of the Atlantic sea. With similar landscape to the Shetlands and the quaintness of Danish culture, I knew I was in for a treat. This guide will hopefully help if you are planning to visit the Faroe Islands - any questions just let me know 😊
Our Favourite Hikes Saksun - one of the most photographed spots in the Faroe Islands did not disappoint. Overlooking the Saksun bay never got old as we hiked our way to the top and lots to explore when you get to the top too. It is on the main island of Streymoy, so easy to get to.
Leitisvatn - is a relatively easy one, a great one to get you started. The combination of overlooking a calm lake against a crashing Atlantic sea is amazing. Once you are at the end of the trail, look back and it will appear that the lake is elevating.
Kunoy - this hike was one of the sunniest days we had during the holiday so feels the most special to me! Some awesome views of the neighbouring fjords and if you climb up the hill and it feels like you have entered another world.
Eidi - this one will take you all afternoon and gets your legs working pretty hard, more tranquil views are in-store. Once you are at the top you are rewarded with birds eye views of the “Risin & Kellingin”
Tjornuvik - Tjornuvik is known as surfers paradise of the north and has a great hike from there to Saksun , which takes about 4 hours. We had a car and wasn’t up for an 8 hour round trip so we only did half of the route which still provided some amazing views and great waterfalls to explore.
Our Favourite Pretty Spots
Is a picturesque village in the North of the Faroe Islands. If you can, try and go here in the afternoon if you want the place to yourself. It is a popular stop with tour groups so you may find yourself surrounded by tourists if you head to Gjov in the morning.
Parliament of Thorshavn
Probably the cutest parliament building there could possibly be in the world. Exploring these buildings feels like exploring something out of a fairy-tale, with lots of cute old-fashioned houses around it too to explore. (Whilst being respectable and giving the locals their privacy of course!)
The Oldest Inhabited Wooden House in Europe
Only a 15 minute drive from Thorshavn , this is easy to find. It also beside one of the oldest cathedrals on the islands so definitely worth the visit.
Is one the nicest hikes on the islands...we think, based on other pictures we have seen haha. The day we decided to hike this felt like one of the foggiest days of the year and our view ended up being like this;
In the Faroe Islands there are a lot of different tour and trip options available, we decided to take the grotto tour from Vestmanna - and can’t recommend it enough! It is a well priced tour lasting 2 hours. You will explore the “hidden fjords” only accessible by boat and see the abandoned villages from the Second World World. The scenary around you is absolutely amazing - my neck was sore by the end of it as there was so much to see! There is also a great tour guide who provides loads of fun facts about the Faroe Islands and tells stories of it’s fascinating culture and traditions. Here are some picture from the tour below :
Airbnbs We Stayed In
A well priced room in the centre of Torshavn near the harbour, a great host and car parking just across the road.
A massive house in Norðragøta, with the whole second floor reserved for guests. Two bathrooms, kitchen and living room (and a mini living room in our bedroom too). Great decor and a very welcoming home.
This place is amazing in theory...my vision was nice romantic sunsets with a couple of beers on the deck. Unfortunately when we stayed on the boat there were very VERY rocky seas - I am now grateful everyday that I am not on a boat.
Stunning house with a beautiful view on the balcony with an amazing breakfast included - our favourite!
Things to Prepare Beforehand
Waterproof socks….waterproof everything - a holiday in the Faroe Islands involves walking through rivers, climbing up waterfalls, hiking through marshland, walking / falling into snow. Strong waterproof boots , yes - with waterproof socks even better! We got SealSkinz socks and they did the job amazingly! There were many times I would be absolutely drenched and freezing but my feet toasty and warm. Yea, we looked like this most of the time;
Climbing a few hills - there is a Faroese saying that there is not enough flat land for the sheep to rest their head down at night. It seemed like we were constantly on a slant. If you have time try and get some up-hill training done before you go for a holiday in the Faroe Islands. By the end of the holiday I felt confident and strong enough to climb my last mountain, but I wish I had that confidence at the beginning of the holiday!
Food staples in your suitcase - if you are travelling to the Faroe Islands from Europe you will probably will be flying via Atlantic Airways. We didn’t realise until we got to the airport (opps) that you get a free check-in bag. A great opportunity to bring food staples with you! As you might expect Faroe Islands is pretty expensive, so we chose to cook for ourselves most nights - a few snacks and staples in a suitcase would have been really handy.
Book helicopter rides in advance - visiting Mykines island by helicopter is on the top of the list of many Faroe Islands guides, as a hasty booked holiday we were unable to book in advance but assumed this would be possible when we got there - unfortunately these were booked up weeks in advance. Also worth noting you can only use the helicopter on 1 leg of the journey as this is reserved for the locals, therefore you will need to get the ferry to your next destination.
Faroe Islands is an awesome kept secret of Europe, providing a wonderland for the adventurous type. Faroe Islands is definitely an unique holiday, one you will never forget!