Faroe Islands: Europe’s Best-Kept Secret

Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands is Europe’s best-kept secret.   The 18 jagged rock island grouping offers up a dreamland of vistas where you can experience all four seasons in one day.   Dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, remote villages, moss topped farmhouses and some of the most unbelievable hiking sums up what you can look forward to at this remote destination. 

It is a playground for the senses for people who love the outdoors and are looking for an adventure.  You cannot go wrong by stopping off and spending 3 – 7 days in this magical sanctuary.  Wrapped in myths and legends, the islands offer up exactly what Nature lovers seek.  Sharing our favorite places to go, things to do, where to stay and dine while visiting the Faroe Islands.


Top Things to Do in Faroe Islands

1. Take in the Scenic Vistas

Upon landing at the airport, we breathed in the fresh Faroe air, and went straight to Gásadalur to see the iconic Mulafossur Waterfall with the charming village perched on a cliff.  Just a short walk from the road and only 15 minutes from the airport. You will enjoy the panoramic view over the island of Mykines where you will be surrounded by some of the highest mountains on Vagar Island.

2. Hike, hike and do some more hiking.

Book a reservation to hike the trail to view Drangarnir, also known as The Sea Stacks.   This 5-hour hike displays the glory of the cliffs, birds and mossy green color which is celebrated by all who visit.  Make sure you pack a picnic lunch and stay to enjoy the scenery. This hike must be completed using a local guide as it is on private property. Here is the Guide Information.

Another hike is on the island Kalsoy.  Hop the ferry from Klaksvik to Kalsoy island to hike out to the lighthouse near the highest point of the island.  Sitting on the side of a mountain, this majestic site is one not to be missed.  The hike lasts about 3 hours with spectacular views out to the sea   Use caution when windy, since the trails are narrow with steep drops to the ocean.  We did not continue to the lighthouse on the day of our hike due to high winds.  Again, pack a picnic and make a day of it.

One of our favorite hikes was to Traelanipan, high above the ocean where you can see the lake lying above the sea.  Good to note many of the hiking trails require an entry fee, so visit the tourism site to confirm opening times and prices.

3. Visit Mykines

If you have time to visit Mykines, be sure to plan ahead for your final hike before you leave town and book a helicopter from Vagar Airport to Mykines Island.  This 10 minute flight is a bucket list must do for your Faroe Island Travel. 

There are no shops on the island, so you have to buy your food before you go there. The island of Mykines is a bird lover’s paradise with puffins and gannets nesting in May. We booked a local guide, Heini Heinesen, to help find the best spots for photography and I am glad we did. Thanks to him, we were able to find the best shots on the island, and hiked trails that passed by a colony of 60,000 puffins, thousands of gannets and local hillside sheep.  Heine grew up at the majestic lighthouse on the clifftop and shares stories of what it was like to live on Mykines. If you want to stay the night or if for any reason, the ferry is cancelled, contact Go Local to find a place to stay.  The caretaker, Odda shows her island hospitality for each guest.

There are two ways to get to the Mykines: ferry and helicopter. The helicopter is mostly used by locals and tourists cannot book two-way tickets for the same day, so we booked the helicopter to go there and the late afternoon ferry to come back that same night. Everything can be booked and paid online Ferry or Helicopter.

4. Cultural Highlight! Meet & Dine with the Locals

 Not to be missed is the opportunity to dine in a house of a local islander.  This is the best way to really experience the Faroe Islands.  The Faroese phrase HOYMAbit translates to “home bite” or “a bite of home”. In addition to being served traditional homemade Faroese food, we heard interesting stories and listened to local Faroese music that relates the islands or a village. Our hosts were Karl and Noomi Gregersen, and they served our group local smoked fermented sheep, whale blubber, and the most amazing rhubarb dessert from their local farm and gardens. We were entertained by musician artist Kári Sverrisson. Dates vary, so check their website prior to arriving on the island and their facebook page.

5. Visit the charming villages

Villages like Gjogv, Kirkjubour, Tjornuvik and Saksun where there are scenic views, lagoons and waterfalls.


Where to Stay during your Faroe Island Travels

Havgrim Seaside Hotel Located in Tórshavn, this small boutique hotel is one of the newest additions to the downtown.   Book early as it fills up quickly in advance of the summer months.  You can look forward to excellent service and a relaxing atmosphere as you return from a day of hiking. First class accommodations with attentive staff and a memorable breakfast at their restaurant Kaffihúsið for all who stay.  Book reservation at this link, click here.   

Hotel Foroyar  The contemporary conveniences and welcoming rooms will form the basis of a wonderful stay for you.  Located a short distance outside of Torshavn, this modern hotel has all the amenities that a luxury traveler is looking for in a hotel.   The thatched roof and location with views forever will start your trip off right.  Rooms are clean and modern.  Book a reservation at this link, click here.

For those looking for a non-hotel option on the Islands, look no farther than an AirBnB. Simple and clean, these accommodations are perfect for the person who wants to be outside of the capitol city and located in a beautiful small town of Eysturoy on one of the northern islands.  The owners, Jon and Esebeth made our stay wonderful and memorable.  It also offers one of the most affordable options on an island that is considered expensive.  Click here to make a reservation.    


Where to Dine

Dining options abound, but not to be missed are two very special places. 

First up as you dine around Faroe Islands make sure to stop at Restaurant Gras located inside the Hotel Foroyar –offers up local cuisine.  The breakfasts are sumptuous and feature local cuisine, but the evening buffet is a real pleasure, with outstanding gourmet selections and an enchanting view over the city.

In recent years, the Faroe Islands saw the opening of what might be the world’s first fermented restaurant: Raest, entirely dedicated to traditional Faroese fermented foods. We were fascinated by the variety of locally sourced foods including their well-known fermented lamb soup with turnips, pilot whale & dried fish or cod cheek and onions.  A favorite was the dessert – local rhubarb with milk granita. Foodies come here from around the world to experience this locally sourced and prepared experience. 


How to travel to Faroe Islands & Get Around

Atlantic Airways, and Scandinavian Airlines are the 2 national airlines of the islands.   A recent check of round-trip flights from Reykjavik, Iceland to the Faroe Islands cost about $230.

Upon arrival, rent a car from 62N at the airport.  Reliable new cars make driving the modern roads of the islands super easy. 

Other Resources:

Currency – Danish Krone

visitfaroeislands.com to see the Faroe Island Tourism Office official site with their recommendations. You will find travel inspiration, trails, more information about each island here.

Written & Edited by: Julie Bishop & Patricia Stone

Photos Credit: Julie Bishop & Patricia Stone


Aknowledgements

Global Adventuress would like to thank, visitfaroeislands.comHavgrím Seaside Hotel, Hotel Foroyar, Restaurant Gras, Hoymabit, RAEST and 62°N Car Rental for hosting us during our visit to the Faroe Islands.

Have questions? Contact us at :
info@globaladventuress.com

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