The Faroe Islands, Travel guides

Road trip on the Faroe Islands – a travel guide

This post is also available in: Danish

My friend and I went through a bunch of travel catalogues trying to make a decision on where to go when I saw a photograph of a bunch of puffins on a cliff. It was settled! This bird crazy lady had to go to the Faroe Islands!

The Faroe Islands consist of 18 islands (the word oy – means island) most of which is connected with bridges and tunnels. We rented a car and booked two nights in three different places around the islands and hoped to see as much as possible on our way.

Day 1 – Mykines

After landing in Vágar Airport we picked up our car and started our road trip. We drove straight to the ferry bound for the island Mykines. The weather was amazing, the ferry trip was beautiful and when we arrived at this little charming and sparse populated island we started the hike to the lighthouse at the southern tip. Lots of steep cliffs and beautiful views. The puffin colony was on the half way and I was not disappointed. There were hundreds of them and they were not especially shy.

Faroe Islands Mykines puffinMy best puffin shot – aren’t they just adorable?

faroe islands mykines trail lighthouseHiking to the southern tip of Mykines

faroe islands mykines lightjouse travel guide

At the southern tip there was a beautiful view of the whole island and a gannet colony on a cliff – but out of reach for my camera. Late afternoon we sailed back to Vágar island and stayed at Hotel Vágar. Our room had the largest windows and I could just sit and watch all kinds of birds on the rocks outside.

Note: If the weather is bad enough it is not possible to sail to and from Mykines so don’t plan this trip at the end of your vacation – you might miss it or get stuck out there!

Links:

Car rental – the cheapest I could find

Hotel Vagar – lovely hotel right next to the airport

The ferry to Mykines – need to be booked in advance at this website

The helicopter to Mykines

Day 2 – Vágar

We really enjoyed that first day of sunshine as we knew the weather would turn worse the next days. We drove to Gásadalur and it stormed and rained like mad. When we stood above the waterfall the water just blew right back up in our faces. The view is still beautiful regardless of the weather but the rest of our plans just rained away that day.

faroe islands gasadalur road trip travel guideGásadalur

Day 3 – northern Streymoy

We left out hotel and drove through the tunnel to Streymoy and on to Vestmanna where we sailed out to look at the bird cliffs. We sailed into caves and through arches and it was great fun.

faroe islandsSailing out from the town Vestmanna

faroe islandsVestmanna cliffs

In the afternoon we drove onwards to the town Saksun and later Tjørnuvík both situated on the northern coast of Streymoy.

strandskadeThe road to Saksun was narrow, winding and beautiful with lots of oystercatchers on the way – the national bird on the Faroe Islands called tjaldur in Faroese.
saksun-kirkeBeautiful Saksun

faroe islandsRight before you reach the town Tjørnuvík you can spot the highest waterfall on the Faroe Islands by the roadside. It’s simply called Fossa – waterfall.

faroe islandRisin and Kellingin – two rock formations that can be seen from the town Tjørnuvík. The legend says that the giants in Iceland were jealous and wanted the Faroe Islands so they sent the two giants Risin and Kellingin (the giant and the witch) to pull the islands nearer. They were so busy they didn’t notice the sunrise and turned to stone in the morning light.

faroe islandsI wanted to take a self portrait with Risin and Kellingin but they didn’t want to cooperate and just disappeared into the rain.

After our trip around northern Streymoy our road trip continued to Eysturoy and the town Fuglafjørður where we stayed in a private bed & breakfast.

You can find B&B’s around the islands here

Day 4 – the northern islands

I wanted to see the northern islands because they are the most remote and dramatic of all the islands. We visited Viðoy, Borðoy and Kalsoy in one day.

faroe islandsThe northern tip of Kalsoy. You need to take a car ferry and drive through four narrow tunnels to get there. From the small town Trøllanes there is a 40 minutes hike to the lighthouse where this shot is taken. Kalsoy means man island and right next to it is Kunoy – the woman island.
faroe islandsMet this whimbrel on my way to the southern tip of Kalsoy

vidaroy-klipperIn the town Vidareiði on Viðoy looking over at the remote islands Svínoy and Fugloy.

Links:

Timetable for the ferry to Kalsoy

Day 5 – Gjovg on Eysturoy

We left out lovely B&B and set sails for Tórshavn. But first we drove north through the highest mountain Slætteratindur and after a few hair needle turns we landed in the town with the odd name Gjógv.

faroe islandsLots of eider ducklings on the cliffs in Gjógv. This is daddy eider.

gjovg-havnenThe natural habour in Gjógv
 faroe islandsLeft of the harbour there is a path up the mountainside to a lovely viewpoint.

Day 6 – Tórshavn and southern Streymoy

In Tórshavn we stayed in Tora Guesthouse. A little old and worn but cheap after scandinavian standards (around 70 euros per night). From here we took a trip to Kirkjubøur – a pretty little town with historic buildings and a museum that by the time we visited also housed a petting lamb and a calf. The rest of the time we relaxed in cafés in Tórshavn, drinking hot chocolate and trying to keep warm. Tórshavn is a very small capital with only  little to see, but remember to take a walk by the harbour with the old red buildings that still houses the Faroese government.

Here is a list of places to stay in Tórshavn

faroe islandsA pretty white icelandic horse I found in Kirkjubøur

Day 7 – back at Vágar

On our way back to the airport we managed to visit a few of those places that we missed on our second day – the one with the heavy rain.

faroe islandsIf you drive through the town Sandavágur there is a sign and a path leading to the rock Trøllkonufingur – the witch’s finger. And it is kind of spooky isn’t it?

faroes islandsWe planned to walk along this lake called Leitisvatn (or Sørvágsvatn) – the largest lake on the Faroe Islands – to the waterfall Bøsdalafossur but we didn’t have enough time before our flight back. I am definitely putting this on my list if I ever come back to the Faroe Islands someday.

Map of our route around the Faroe Islands

faroe islandsA road map of our route around the Faroe Islands. I have left out the southern islands Sandoy and Suðuroy. Click on map for larger version.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Iben Rathje 9. August 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Wonderful! Such an inspiration! I have been on most of the locations 15 years ago by boat and food, but never took pictures, and of course they wouldn’t have been so beautiful as yours, but at least I would have remembered where was what.. I suspect I will copy your trip next summer with my girlfriend… Thank you! Iben:-)

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