The Faroe Islands are the most spectacular place I’ve ever been. The landscape looks impossibly rugged, going from jagged mountains to churning sea in what seems like an impossibly short distance. The only sign that these islands are habitable are the winding roads and the small, colorful houses that seem to cling onto this craggy landscape for dear life.
In this guide to where to stay in the Faroe Islands, I’ve worked my way from the nearest island to where you’ll land (Vágar) to the further reaches of the Faroes, culminating with the southernmost island (and one of my favorites), Suduroy. Far and away the island of Streymoy has the largest number of options, particularly in and around its capital city, Tórshavn.
In fact, if you only want to base yourself in one place in the Faroes, Tórshavn would be my pick. It’s relatively central – though to be fair, the Faroe Islands are so well-connected by road, tunnel, and ferry that no place is truly that far. Tórshavn is easily connected by ferry to other lesser-visited islands like Nolsoy, Suduroy, and Sandoy, making it possible to get off the beaten path on day trips while staying in the capital.
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Plus, if you’re planning on staying in hotels, Tórshavn is the place with the greatest variety of restaurants and nightlife (though to be fair, nightlife never gets that wild in Tórshavn).
However, what I personally did on my Faroes itinerary was stay in a variety of places on three different islands, making it so that I had to backtrack less and got to spend more time off the beaten path in places like Bordoy and the northern islands and Suduroy, the furthest south of the Faroes. Depending on your travel style, you’ll want to either shack up in one spot or bounce around the islands, so I’ve included stops all around the Faroes to help you pick.
I’ve organized this post by island, but I’ve included the rough budget category so you can refer to that at a glance. Here is generally how I define my price categories:
$ – Budget: Has a hostel option. Each bunk should be less than $50 per person, or $100 for a private double room.
$$ – Mid-Range: No hostel option, and rooms cost between $100-200 per night for a double.
$$$ – Luxury: Private rooms from $200 per night and up.
Where to Stay in Faroes Islands: Vágar
If you’re arriving by plane, Vágar will be your first port of call in the Faroe Islands. It is not a large island, but it does have a handful of the Faroes’ most famous and photogenic spots. Namely, you won’t want to miss Gásaladur and its famous Múlafossur waterfall which flows endlessly into the Atlantic Ocean from a height of 30 meters (nearly 100 feet). This was my first stop on my Faroes trip and as it’s only about a 10-minute drive from the airport, it’d be silly to skip it!
Vágar is a great island for hikers, with two of the Islands’ best-known hikes both easily accessible. The Postman’s Hike from Bøur to Gásaladur is one of the most beautiful in the whole cluster of islands. The hike to Traelnipa, a.k.a. the “optical illusion” hike at Lake Sorvagsvatn, is one of the most spectacular hikes in the world.
Close to the only airport in the Faroe Islands – not to mention the beautiful Mulafossur Waterfall and famous Traelnipa hike as well – this is one of the few Faroes accommodation options on the island of Vágar. With a view of the most famous sea stack in the Faroes, Drangarnir, literally right outside your window, The View more than deserves its name.
Hosted by Tróndur and Anita, this is a relatively new holiday home option which they built from the ground up in 2017. However, they took pains to ensure their new cabins matched the beautiful landscape. That’s why they adhered to the old Faroese standard – a partial stone foundation, black painted walls, white window shutters, and of course, the turf roof.
While the cabins look old-fashioned and traditional from the outside, on the inside they are delightfully spacious and modern. Each cabin has a large living room (36 square meters), a well-equipped kitchen so you can cook your own meals (and a dishwasher!), a bathroom, a washer-dryer, and two bedrooms for sleeping in a cozy second-floor attic nook. Each of the four cabins can sleep four people comfortably.
There aren’t a ton of hostel options in the Faroe Islands, but Giljanes Hostel is one of the few and it’s located in beautiful Vágur as well. Most of the hostel options are on Streymoy, so if you want to stay in Vágur on a budget – whether it’s to take advantage of the beautiful hikes, catch an early ferry to Mykines, or be close to the airport – this is a great choice.
This hostel has a shared kitchen area and a cozy lounge room as well, all of which are designed with a spacious, airy Nordic design in mind. You’ll find the kitchen to be well-stocked and spacious, great for reducing costs while traveling in the Faroes as food costs can really add up here! It’s also near a bus stop on the line that goes from the airport to Tórshavn, so if you are trying to visit the Faroes without a car (difficult but possible!) it’s a great option as well.
Some rooms even have a stunning ocean view, so try to find a room with that if you at all can! There are a few single and double rooms but this is mostly a hostel. A variety of dorm configurations, co-ed and gender-segregated, are available, but so are tents if you are really on a budget during your time in the Faroe Islands! Wild camping is not permitted in the islands so this is a great and legal alternative, especially if you don’t have your own tent with you but feel like camping could be fun.
Previous guests have raved about the friendly host, the convenient location close to some of the Faroes’ best hikes, and how well-equipped the hostel is for the price.
Literally a five-minute walk from the airport, Hotel Vágar is the place to stay if you want to be close to the airport for your flight early in the morning or if you have a late arrival and just want to crash when you get to the Faroes.
There are only a few flights a day in and out of the airport, so guests have reported that they didn’t have a problem with the noise. Honestly, it’s not the most exciting place to stay in the Faroe Islands, but for certain cases it is definitely the most convenient.
The rooms are bright, clean, and spacious, with wooden floors and TVs in every room. All rooms come with their own private bathroom, and some are ‘suite’-syle with a separate area for sitting and spreading out.
Conveniently, there is also a restaurant at the hotel, which serves both international and traditional Faroese dishes on an à la carte basis. Free breakfast is included. Double rooms and family rooms (sleeping 4) are available.
Streymoy is the largest of all the 18 Faroe Islands and home to the capital city, Tórshavn. Like I said before, if you want to only pick only one place to stay in the Faroe Islands, I recommend Tórshavn.
It not only has the most Faroes accommodations options, it’s one of the places you can really get to meet local people and see what the average life of a Faroese person is like… after all, nearly half of all Faroese live in the capital. However, that’s not to say Tórshavn is built up or crowded at all.
It’s funny that the capital city of this country is literally a third of the size of the California suburb that I grew up in – one that I always thought of as “tiny.” But when you compare Tórshavn to the rest of the Faroe Islands, full of sleepy seaside villages, you’ll see what I mean when I say that it is a completely different experience than the rest of the Faroes.
One of the best-loved accommodations in the Faroe Islands, Hotel Føroyar has a fantastic location. It’s not that far from the center of Tórshavn but it offers solitude away from the bustle of downtown, with panoramic views of the Nólsoy fjord, city, and gorgeous mountains.
Meanwhile, amidst all the natural beauty, the hotel’s aesthetic is ultra-modern yet comfortable, with spacious rooms and interesting lounge areas. Every square inch of this design hotel is planned to please the senses. It was designed by the famous Danish architects, Friis & Moltke and the interior was designed by famed designers Philippe Starck and Montana. I especially love the traditional grass roof, which is just so quintessentially Faroese.
Keep in mind that this location isn’t close to the center of Tórshavn, so if you are reliant on public transportation during your stay in the Faroes it may not be the best option. You can walk to and from town but it’ll take about 30 minutes each way, with the way back from town being uphill and very steep.
However, I think it’s a great place to stay if you are renting a car and don’t want to deal with the hassles of parking in Tórshavn but want to be close to the action of the city. I stayed in the city center of Tórshavn last time and got really lucky to snag the last parking space at my hotel, but if I had to find city parking I would have been screwed.
There is no kitchen access, but you can eat delicious traditional Faroese food at their well-known restaurant, Gras, if you don’t feel like going downtown to eat at one of the restaurants in Tórshavn. It also serves international food if you’re in the mood for something more familiar.
There are a variety of rooms ranging from your standard double room to a business suite to a family room, making it one of the more versatile Faroes accommodations options. All are spacious and designed with aesthetics in mind, with luxe bathrooms that include a bathtub – perfect for soothing sore muscles after a long hike.
If you want a modern and stylish place to stay in Tórshavn just an easy walk from the center of town, visitHOMES Torshavn rooms is a good option. It’s full of stylish and new appliances and furniture; however, you sacrifice a bit of space and privacy, as it’s more like a bedroom in a house rather than a true hotel. If you enjoy meeting other travelers, however, this is more a blessing than a curse.
There is a shared kitchen and dining room that you can use, which is great for reducing your costs in the pricy Faroe Islands – though that said, these rooms aren’t exactly cheap.
However, there are a few quirks worth mentioning so you won’t be disappointed. For one, the bathroom is located separately from the room and down the hall in many instances. While there are convenient sockets located near the bed, there are no side or end tables, which would be helpful for organizing your stuff, as the rooms are on the smaller side.
There is a continental breakfast available, but it does not come included in the room price, so keep that in mind.
This cozy guesthouse, Faroe City View B&B, has a shared lounge and fully-equipped kitchen area that guests can use, which can be very useful for reducing dining costs in the Faroe Islands. The décor is not super modern, but it’s functional, spacious, and on the affordable side of the mid-range budget spectrum with most rooms hovering just over 100 euros per night.
Rooms are cozy, spacious, and well-decorated yet streamlined, with space for your luggage so you can spread out a bit. Guests have raved about the cleanliness of the rooms, the delicious free breakfast (not always a given in the Faroes!) and the relatively cheap price for Tórshavn. Keep in mind that this is a B&B, and all the rooms have a shared bathroom. This is one of the reasons why the price is low so if you can accept this quirk it’s a great choice.
When it comes to Tórshavn, the location is hard to beat: walking distance to the center, though with a bus stop right near the apartment so that you can take the (free!) city bus whenever you please. Supermarkets and restaurants are 700 meters away. This is a great choice for people looking for a budget-friendly place to stay, but not necessarily wanting to stay in a hostel or to camp.
Offering both double rooms and single rooms for a relatively affordable price, 62N Hotel is one of the most popular choices for where to stay in the Faroe Islands and is often sold out months in advance. It’s mostly because of its excellent location, close to Tórshavn’s restaurants, bars, and shops yet with plenty of parking nearby. It’s a short walk to the harbor and Tinganes, one of the most scenic areas in all of Tórshavn (a high distinction).
Guests have access to a shared kitchen, which is great for a hotel-style accommodation in Torshavn like this one as most hotels don’t have this choice and this can lower the daily cost of visiting the Faroe Islands by quite a bit. Rooms are modern and stylish, slightly on the small side but well-equipped with a working desk as well as a private bathroom in each room. Some of the rooms even have a private balcony with a sea view!
Guests rave about its speedy WiFi, its excellent location, and plentiful breakfast; the attached restaurant gets lesser reviews, so skip it and opt to cook in or eat out at one of the delicious restaurants in downtown Tórshavn (we loved Circus and Paname Café).
One of the most unique places to stay in Tórshavn, Havgrim Seaside Hotel 1948 is absolutely stunning. It’s quite close to the city yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle to provide free parking for its guests, perched high enough up to offer incredible views over Tórshavn’s harbor and the nearby island of Nolsoy.
Guests rave about the kindness of the staff and the deliciousness of breakfast, which is included in the room price. The breakfast room is lovely, with plenty of plants and cute furniture to give you the feeling that you’re eating in a dear friend’s kitchen, rather than a big hotel’s faceless dining room. The whole hotel has that same vibe to it, a place with true personality, unique down to every last detail. It’s on the less expensive side of the luxury tier as well, so it’s a rather good deal for the Faroe Islands.
The rooms are very luxurious and beautifully designed, with fluffy white linens, brightly-lit with large windows (with heavy curtains to block out the sun in the summer), and thoughtful details like reading lights, coffee & tea making facilities in the room, and L’Occitane toiletries. It’s inclusive as well: some of the rooms are specifically designated as accessible, great for travelers who have limited mobility or use a wheelchair.
There aren’t many places to stay in Gjogv – in fact, this is the only one I can find! But this is one of my favorite places on Streymoy, and in fact the whole country, that I couldn’t leave this village off my list of where to stay in Faroe Islands
If you want to stay in a traditional house with a turf roof, surrounded by one of the most beautiful environments in a quaint seaside village in the Faroes – this is your pick! There’s no kitchen access, but breakfast is included and the guesthouse also provides lunch and dinner for an additional charge in the on-site restaurant, which serves up typical Faroese cuisine.
Each room has a private bathroom with a shower, with clean and crisp linens, closet space, a desk area to work at if needed, and daily maid service. Some rooms are located in the annex not a far walk from the main guesthouse building. Previous guests raved about the kindness of the staff, who were very helpful in discovering the nearby area, and the unparalleled quiet and beautiful scenery.
One of my favorite islands in the Faroes, I don’t know why more travelers don’t visit Suðuroy! I suppose the two-hour long ferry scares them off, when all the other islands are more easily accessible, but still: I’ll argue over and over again that Suduroy is well worth a visit when you come to the Faroe Islands.
There are a few main towns on Suduroy: Tvøroyri, where the ferries let you off, Hvalba, my personal favorite town, and Vágur, the largest town on the island. I’ve only found Suduroy accommodations in Tvøroyri listed, so you’ll find my top pick below.
Where I stayed in Tvøroyri, I loved my stay at B&B Suduroy hosted by Bindi! This small B&B is incredibly cozy and we could have easily stayed here for days enjoying Suduroy. It has two bedrooms, each with two beds, so it’s great for a larger group of travelers, or you can rent out just one of the rooms and be willing to share the bathroom and kitchen with other travelers.
There’s a kitchen in the guesthouse with a gorgeous view of the fjord, and you’re brought a basket full of local goodies to make yourself breakfast each morning: a great idea that I wish more guesthouses did!
The whole place is very new and modern, and I really loved the décor – it had that cozy feel that made you feel instantly at home, with plenty of cozy textiles and comfortable sitting areas. I especially loved the ultra-modern bathroom and kitchen, both of which made me feel like it was a shame we only stayed the one night!
Have you stayed anywhere in the Faroe Islands? Where do you recommend?
It’s no secret if you look at my recent post history that I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately.
My constant movement has become exhausting, inhibiting my ability to work on my business and myself in the ways I’d like to. Nearly three years of nonstop travel later, I think it’s safe to say I’m tired. The routines I once ran from I now crave. Simple things — doing a load of laundry in a familiar washing machine, having my my own pantry and kitchen knives — all carry just as much, if not more allure to me as ticking another place off my bucket list.
In the wake of my year-long standoff with Bulgaria’s bureaucratic immigration requirements, travel has become more burden than blessing: something I must do every few weeks rather than something I get to do.
I felt detached from most of the trips I did this year, like I was floating through a city, avoiding as much interaction and stimulation as possible so as not to get overwhelmed – my default setting over the past twelve months. But in all my travels last year, there is one place that bucks the trend.
The beautiful Faroe Islands.
Leave it to this cluster of islands to do the impossible and wake me from my sleeping inner self and shock me out of my blasé and hyper-privileged attitude towards travel.
Leave it to these islands to come back to a more raw, pre-burnout version of myself: capable of awe, brimming with curiosity, and awake to small and beautiful details.
Like these adorable Faroese sheep.
If you feel as if that was a strange segue…. you’re 100% correct. The thing with writer’s block is that it is like a vice grip on your brain, and every day that passes without writing is confirmation that you, indeed, should not be writing.
Between my perfectionist tendencies, my general feeling of malaise towards travel, and working on my second site which is admittedly grabbing more of my attention now, I’ve logged into Eternal Arrival planning to write several times over the past few weeks… and never published a word. Everything seemed trite, pointless… until I stumbled across this folder of photos of sheep from the Faroe Islands I’ve been saving for some iteration of this exact post.
You see, if perfect is the enemy of good, then Faroese sheep are the enemy of malaise.
They are so un-self-consciously silly that it’ll break through even the most rock-hard ennui. They are aloof to your existence yet not afraid. They are simple, and yet they have an innate intelligence that allows them to live in complete harmony with the land.
They give zero f(@*s about your presence – especially when there is an especially delicious ray of sun hitting them while they bask in the sun.
The Faroe Islands are not an easy place to eke out a living – approximately 2 percent of the land is arable, leaving Faroese people to turn to the sea. That’s why fishing and whaling are such big industries here – when you have 2% of 1,399 km² to feed 50,000 people, you’re going to have to get creative.
Sheep, meanwhile, have zero problems making it on the Faroes. These crafty little creatures are basically one step away from photosynthesis. Sun hits grass, sun feeds grass, grass feeds sheep. Simple.
Of course, sheep and humans live together on these islands in a kind of partnership. The sheep provide wool and meat; the humans provide shelter from the harsher elements.
In fact, the name Faroe Islands comes from old Norse old Norse Færeyjar, which literally means “Sheep Islands” – that’s how essential these animals are to the islands. And with sheep outnumbering people by about 50% on these islands, you’ll see why.
Sheep were not born on these islands, but they were seemingly made for life on it. Norse settlers brought sheep to the Faroes during the Viking era, where they thrived in this grassy, mountainous landscape. Their wool coats kept them protected from the icy Atlantic winds and their light, strong skeletal structures allow them to easily traverse the mountainous terrain with an ease that makes humans look quite clumsy in comparison.
Faroese sheep are now a unique breed of sheep all their own. Their unique breed has been mixed with sheep imported from Iceland and the Scottish isles to boost their numbers during valleys of low numbers in the 17th century and later again in the 19th century, to engineer a sheep with more meat and better wool.
When exactly sheep came to call the Faroe Islands home is not exactly known.
Historical records show that the islands were full of sheep as far back as 825 CE, but the islands have been inhabited by people on and off since the 300s CE – so the sheep must have arrived sometime in between and immediately started thriving in these wild, grassy lands.
The relationship between man and domesticated animal is for one of two purposes: companionship or food.
Sheep, while adorable, don’t make the best companions (I find them a bit snobby, the cool kids of the animal kingdom you can’t quite make an in with) – and therefore, they have become food.
Lamb has been a crucial part of the Faroese diet for centuries. As the slaughter occurs only once a year in the fall, the Faroese developed a variety of ways to eat the meat for the entire year to come: cooked, dried, and fermented.
The latter two methods were especially essential in the years before electricity and therefore freezers were invented, and they are still part of a traditional Faroese diet.
Even though Faroese people now have basically all of the conveniences of modern-day life – great roads, electricity in all villages, surprisingly fast WiFi – they still maintain the traditions they gained from leaner, harder times, those little ways of doing life that make up the distinctly Faroese identity.
To preserve the lamb meat for the year to come, the Faroese would build dry, airy structures and hang up the meat. This semi-sheltered preservation system provided a safe way for the meat to ferment (ræst). This meat has a unique flavor and texture that the Faroese still incorporate into their modern cuisine
As Faroese people have gained an easier, more modernized way of life, they have more room to explore and get creative with their cuisine. Young chefs in the Faroes have begun to play with their country’s national dishes, putting new spins on traditional classics.
While you’ll find a lot more vegetables and tastes from abroad on your typical Faroese plate – I had a quinoa salad in Tórshavn, hardly native to these islands – you’ll also find plenty of nods to the importance of sheep meat in the country’s cuisine in the restaurants of these islands. Lamb – fermented and cooked – is inextricably tied with Faroese gastronomy.
Of course, meat is just one aspect of the importance of sheep to the Faroe Islands. Another reason why sheep were brought to the Faroes and tended to for centuries was their wool – semi-seriously called ‘Faroese gold’ in a common Faroese adage.
The spring shearing of thousands of Faroese sheep each year meant that almost-magically warm wool was never in short supply. While traditionally designs were more utilitarian, newer designers have focused on bringing a more fashion-forward touch to their creations. In particular, the Faroese designers Guðrun&Guðrun have received a lot of buzz abroad for their creative, sustainable designs made with Faroese wool.
Today, sheep serve a new purpose – tourism – as one of the most unique and distinct reasons to visit the Faroe Islands. In the world of European travel – where cookie-cutter Old Towns with escape rooms and hipster bars all start to make every place feel the same – this is a unique asset.
Sheep have been at the heart of a lot of the Faroes’ most viral marketing campaigns, like Sheep View – which eventually finally got these islands on Google Street View. (They are currently trying to get Faroese added to Google Translate with the hilariously awesome Faroe Islands Translate project)
Squee-inducing sheep photos are just one reason of literally hundreds to visit the Faroe Islands. Stunning sea cliffs, abundant bird life, a thriving capital, gorgeous harbors, unparalleled hiking – the Faroe Islands have a little bit of it all.
But more than just being a cute quirk of Faroese life, the country’s ovine residents are a window into understanding the Faroe Islands and Faroese people, their past and how these islands and the people who call them home came to be who be who they are today. They’re also clinically proven to leave a smile on your face.
On a far-flung cluster of 18 of the most impossibly beautiful islands, how do you prioritize what to see when literally everything is stunning?
How do you make a Faroe Islands itinerary that sees the very best of what this magical place has to offer – without doing the exact same thing as everyone else and risk turning this beautiful place unsustainable?
These were some of the questions that kept recurring in my brain when planning my Faroes itinerary with my friend Megan, who’d be joining me on the trip. She had been once before and seen a handful of the highlights and a few hidden gems, such as the island of Sandoy which few tourists visit despite being a quick ferry from the capital of Tórshavn.
We decided that there were a few musts. Since the whole purpose of my trip was to write an article for Visit Faroe Islands about the Kalsoy lighthouse hike, that was an obvious yes (you can read that article here).
Since we flew into Vágar, it felt silly to miss Gásaladur and the “optical illusion” hike to Lake Sørvágsvatn – both are within a 15-minute drive of the airport. Gjógv was another village I decided I couldn’t miss.
But one of the problems of Instagram is that it promotes a certain type of travel that is ultimately unsustainable, as everyone goes to the same handful of places. I respect that everyone has a right to see the most beautiful places and travel how they please.
I’m not trying to be a gatekeeper of your experience – by all means, do as you wish while of course following Leave No Trace principles. This Faroe Islands itinerary may not be right for everyone!
However, as a blogger who considers the impact of the resources I publish, I have to make this point. On islands as tiny as the Faroes, overtourism will be more immediately noticeable than in tourist-impacted cities such as Barcelona or Amsterdam, where the problems may lay below the surface.
There are a handful of places that have been made so famous by Instagram that they can lead to truly unsustainable conditions and an unfavorable relationship between the locals and the islands. One prime example is “that Saksun house”, where everyone tramples and trespasses to get the same photo as hundreds of others who have come before them.
Another place that is grappling with an influx of tourists is the tiny island of Mykines, a puffin breeding grounds which is a mecca for any wildlife enthusiast. However, Mykines is getting so swamped by visitors that luckily, Visit Faroe Islands is implementing a few modest measures and guidelines to control tourism, such as requiring you to book in advance and pay a modest entrance fee for preservation.
For some of these beautiful yet often visited places, we decided to give them a pass, in favor of allocating time for other harder-to-reach and often-skipped islands, so that we can help travelers spread out a bit and keep visiting the Faroe Islands sustainable. That’s why this Faroes itinerary will be a little different than others. However, this is your Faroe Islands trip – I’m here to share my experience, and you’re free to plan it how you wish.
Long sidebar aside — this Faroe Islands itinerary can be completed in 4 long summer days. If you’re traveling in the winter, when days are shorter, you’ll need more time. Of course, a lot of this also depends on your luck.
Weather in the Faroe Islands is mercurial at best and violently unpredictable at worst. Passing fog (the thickness of which even I, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, had never seen before) will likely spoil your plans at least once – and that’s not accounting for any storms that may roll through.
Before planning your Faroe Islands trip too painstakingly, be sure to check the weather (though don’t pay it too much heed as things are quite subject to change around here!). Inclement weather will delay or even cancel ferries, so have backup plans.
If you have a flight on a specific day, I recommend staying the night before on one of the many islands that are connected to the airport by road rather than by ferry, just in case you get stranded on an island for longer than expected.
Faroe Islands Itinerary, Day 1: Vágar & Eysturoy (overnight in Klaksvík)
There’s only one airport in the Faroe Islands, on the island of Vágar, and as a result, this is where nearly all tourists start their trip.
And incidentally, it’s one of the most varied and beautiful of all the islands, with two of the Faroes’ most iconic sights easily within reach.
In fact, when we asked our dinner host in Suðuroy what he thought was the most beautiful of the Faroe Islands, he didn’t have to think for long before blurting out Vágar (though it did take us considerably longer to understand what he was saying — Faroese is not easy to understand or pronounce).
Gásadalur & Múlafossur Waterfall
Yes, it is one of the most done-to-death photos of the Faroe Islands, but that’s for a handful of reasons. For one, it couldn’t be easier to get here from the airport – it’s about a 15-minute drive through a newly-minted tunnel, only opened in 2004.
Prior to that, the 10-odd villagers who lived in Gásadalur could only access the rest of the islands by climbing the 400-meter, incredibly steep mountain that blockaded it from the rest of Vagar.
It’s easy just to drive here, which is what we did, but if you have extra time and want to make it a memorable hike, you can do the hike in about 4 hours.
This hike is often nicknamed “the Postman’s Path,” as the only way for the postman to get the mail to the residents prior to the tunnel was via this difficult, 4-hour return schlep!
With our time constraint, we opted to drive and just photograph Múlafossur from the pull-out spot on the road. This area is signposted and clearly marked on the left side when you cross through the tunnel to Gásadalur, so no need to park somewhere stupid (please).
This is where you’ll find the best view of Múlafossur – there is no need to go into town to see the waterfall, though you surely could explore this tiny village. Since it’s formerly one of the Faroes’ most isolated and still one of its smaller villages in terms of population, it’s certainly an interesting place.
Another famous photo spot on the Faroe Islands, this hike is one of the most beautiful and easy you can do – on a clear day.
It’s about a two-hour roundtrip hike out to Trælanípa, where you may (or may not!) witness one of the most spectacular views in the Faroes: a gorgeously placid lake where, through a trick of perspective, the height difference between you and the lake basin makes it appear as if the lake itself it is teetering on the edge of the cliff!
Unfortunately, we got rather unlucky with the fog and the viewpoint that we were aiming for ended up being completely obscured by fog.
We waited nearly two chilly hours for the fog to pass, making up ridiculous names for the sheep who milled around in the meantime. In case you’re wondering, the best name we came up with was clearly Baarbara, though Graham ran a close second.
If you’re lucky, you’ll see some truly incredible cliffs as well as the optical illusion lake, and if you walk a bit further you can also see Bøsdalafossur, a waterfall that trickles from Lake Sørvágsvatn into the Atlantic Ocean below.
This hike is by no means a hidden gem; however, we didn’t find it particularly crowded here, despite traveling in peak season (early August). We’d encounter fellow hikers every 5 or so minutes on the path, but it never felt jam-packed.
Note: Due to the popularity of this hike (and subsequently, people disrespecting the land), the land owners have implemented a hefty fee to do the hike – the equivalent of $67 USD, to be precise (read more here).
The next stop on this Faroes itinerary is Eiði, which means you’ll briefly pass through the largest island of Streymoy on the way. There’s a ton to see on Streymoy, but since you’ll have to pass back through on your way to the airport, I’m saving it for a later day – so don’t fret!
Eiði is a beautiful village, made all the more beautiful for the views of Tjørnuvík you can get from across the water. But the real reason I’m choosing Eiði is so that you can take one of the most beautiful buttercup roads (the incredibly cute Faroese way of saying ‘scenic roads’), passing the highest mountain the Faroe Islands, Slættaratindur, on the way to Gjógv, another can’t-miss spot in the Faroes.
Eiði is known for being home to two of the Faroes’ most beautiful sea stacks, Risin and Kellingin, which are the subject of many Faroese legends. However, we found an even more incredible view of these two stacks on the buttercup road heading towards Gjógv.
The picture-perfect town of Gjógv is up there on my list of favorite villages in the Faroes. Perhaps it was arriving these in nearly fog-free golden hour perfection, but I found it to be one of the most picturesque of all the villages in the Faroe Islands, which is a high distinction!
The town’s name of Gjógv means ‘gorge’ in Faroese, and upon arriving to the tiny harbor in the center of the village you’ll understand why.
But beyond just the harbor, I loved the scenic church, the tiny triangular houses that sated my obsession for symmetry, and just watching kids play in the creek in the middle of the town, seemingly immune to the knowledge that they just so happen to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Depending on what time of day you arrived (this Faroes itinerary assumes you arrived earlyish in the morning to take full advantage of your day) and what time of year it is, you may or may not arrive to Klaksvík in the dark.
Dilly-dallying around Lake Sørvágsvatn waiting for the fog to clear ate up several hours, despite arriving around noon at the Faroes, and after all of our scenic driving and photo-stopping we found ourselves arriving in Klaksvík in the inky blue hours (in August, the sun never goes down far enough for the sky to get well and truly black).
We checked into our lovely hotel, where we’d stay for the next two nights, and collapsed into our beds. You’ll have more time to explore Klaksvík tomorrow morning and evening, so don’t push yourself unless you want to!
Where to Stay
We stayed at Hotel Klaksvik for two nights, which is not available to book online so you’d have to call. If you want something you can book online easily, I recommend this nearby and affordable alternative, visitHOMES Faroe Islands Leirvík, which is 6 kilometers away and an excellent value for budget-minded travelers.
It has a family-run feel, magnificent views, a delicious breakfast included in the price, tasteful decorations, and plenty of free parking on site. I recommend booking this for two nights as it’s a convenient stopping point after tomorrow’s itinerary as well.
Faroe Islands Itinerary, Day 2: Kalsoy & the Northern Islands (overnight in Klaksvík)
The main reason why we wanted to end our first night in Klaksvík was so that we could easily access the Kalsoy ferry the next morning. As I mentioned before, the main reason I was coming to the Faroes was to write about hiking in Kalsoy for their website, so it was unavoidable to visit it.
After visiting Kalsoy, we wanted to explore a handful of the lesser-visited Northern Islands which are all easily connected by tunnel – those include Viðoy (the northernmost island), Kunoy (with one of the only ‘forests’ in the Faroes), and Borðoy (the island Klaksvík is on), before settling back in for a chill night in Klaksvík — which, for the record, didn’t go quite as chill as planned…
Klaksvík Harbor to Kalsoy Ferry
We woke up early, stuffed ourselves at the hotel breakfast, and drove to the ferry (about a 5 minute drive from our hotel) about an hour and fifteen minutes before the 8 AM ferry.
However, it’s easy to just drag yourself to the ferry terminal, park in one of the lanes (the first lane is reserved for Faroe Islanders who use the ferry to commute, who naturally do and should get first priority), and then leave your car while you walk around and photograph the beautiful Klaksvík harbor – it’s truly stunning, especially with that early morning light.
We got there early out of my anxiety that if we waited later we may not get a spot on the first ferry and have to wait until 10. This ended up being a very good idea, as the ferry filled up entirely and people who only arrived ~45 minutes early or so found themselves without a spot
Note: please don’t be a jerk and go back to your car on time, at least 20 minutes before departure time. It takes a while to board the ferry as you pay while boarding (it accepts credit cards or cash) and also they pack the cars extremely close together to fit as many as possible on the tiny ferry.
A tourist came back from wandering around the area late and didn’t move their car, making cars zoom around them, and when they wanted to get back in, they got very aggressive that people didn’t wait for them *eye roll*
The ferry to Kalsoy takes about 20 minutes, which is either pleasantly short or feels terrifyingly long if you’re encased by thick fog and other cars pressed in tight — which was the case for me and Megan, who both have varying degrees of claustrophobia.
The Kallur lighthouse hike
There’s one main reason why people flock to Kalsoy, and it’s to see the Kallur lighthouse, which is not necessarily a beautiful lighthouse in and of itself but has one of the most spectacular backdrops I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. If you’re a hiker, undoubtedly this features high on your wishlist for your Faroes itinerary.
From the ferry terminal in the village of Syðradalur on Kalsoy, you’ll need to drive to the other end of the island to Trøllanes, which takes about 20 minutes. There are several one-lane tunnels, so read the signs cautiously to see who has right of way (it is posted at the entrance of each tunnel).
Prepare to pull over as needed if you see another car’s headlights approaching, and even if you have right of way, don’t take it for granted as tourists who do this route may not know the rules of the road, particularly with respect to one-lane tunnels.
This won’t happen too much as the flow of traffic is generally determined by the ferry arrival and departure times, but you should be aware regardless. It’s a little scary, but not so bad. I have a slight fear of tunnels due to my claustrophobia (oh, and probably residual trauma from the time my family drove through the Caldecott tunnel during the Oakland Hills fires), but I managed.
Once you arrive in Trøllanes, park your car and walk towards the red farmhouse with the blue silo. There’s a gate there that you can pass – it’s there to keep the sheep in, not to keep travelers out.
Immediately start climbing up the hill – it’s quite steep at the start – until you start to see a more well-trodden path that levels out so it’s not such a steep ascent. The path is not immediately obvious at first, so climb up until you see the path with more clarity.
From the steep part of the hill (about 5 minutes’ climb), it’s a relatively smooth 45 minutes to an hour to the lighthouse itself, with one final uphill push.
There is one steeper part of the hike, where it helps to side-step. If it is very muddy (quite likely) this is where trekking poles will come in handy. I did my hike without them, but Megan had hers and was grateful for them, especially as she has a bit of a fear of heights.
If you’re lucky, the gorgeous local pup named Leika will join you for a bit! Megan ran into her on her first hike to Kalsoy and she was an excellent emotional support pup, helping her through some heavy patches of fog. We actually ran into her again once we finished the hike — talk about a reward!
In order to get to the most epic viewpoint of the Kalsoy lighthouse, you have to go down and then up a tiny, narrow path with drops on each side. Be extremely cautious when doing this. A local man actually died doing the hike on Kalsoy in 2018, so it’s not something to laugh off or take unnecessary risks doing.
I assessed the ground, found it to be rather dry and solid, and scooted using 3 points of contact at all times on the more treacherous bits (so basically all of it because I’m a fraidy-cat). I felt safe, but I was constantly aware of what I was doing. I recommend you exercise similar precautions and if you don’t feel it’s safe – don’t do it! Your life is never worth a photo.
The walk back took another hour or so, mostly because we stopped to admire some of the most regal sheep I’ve ever seen.
A lot of people skip past Mikladur on their rush back to the ferry, but I think that’s a mistake. This Faroese village is well worth a short stop (about 30 minutes).
Be sure to check out the Seal Woman statue, Kópakonan, down the stairs at the edge of the sea. She is made of bronze, but the sea water and salt air have quickly given her a gorgeous green patina.
There’s a small informational sign giving you the legend of Kópakonan – it’s well worth reading, and something about being in this setting, having just completed one of the most magical hikes of my life, made me understand the appeal of myth in a place like the Faroes.
There was also a super-cute local dog belonging to a man who was painting some street art here, so that’s another check in Mikladur’s favor.
Ferry back to Klaksvík
We arrived about an hour before the ferry back to Klaksvík but we still missed it, as it was at full capacity. We had to wait about two hours in total for the ferry, which since we didn’t have data on our phones, we spent scrolling through our photos and annoying each other by singing embarrassingly age-inappropriate songs.
I recommend having a book or something to do with you, as you likely will encounter at least an hour’s wait, maybe two, back to Klaksvík. The car ferries are quite small, and the demand for the hike is high.
Part of me hopes they will implement bigger ferries in the future, but I also fear that Kalsoy will get too crowded, so it’s a tough balance to not overtax the infrastructure while also allowing tourists to see one of the most beautiful parts of the Faroes.
Next up on our Faroes itinerary was the little-visited village of Viðareiði, the northernmost village on the northernmost island of the Faroes. Not many people go here as it’s at the literal edge of the Faroe Islands, but it is only a 25-minute drive from Klaksvík so it’s well worth the effort, in my opinion.
While Viðareiði is rather offbeat, what it is known for is its beautiful white and silver-roofed church set against a gorgeous sea backdrop. It really can’t be missed!
We didn’t get to explore Viðareiði quite as much as we’d like, because on our way back we hit a bit of a… snag, shall we say? I pulled over to let another car pass on a one-lane road…. yet I pulled over a little too early, and two wheels of my car ended up suspended above a ditch in the side of the road.
Luckily, the Faroese are natural-born problem-solvers (living on a cluster of islands hundreds of miles away from any other civilization will probably do that to you). Within minutes, we had a team of 4 locals from Viðareiði expertly helping us maneuver our car out from its stuck position.
It took about 40 minutes of their help, but they got it out with smiles and jokes along the way, expecting nothing in return – the Faroese are just that friendly.
Honestly, it’s such a small village that I half-suspect they were more grateful for the entertainment than anything else.
We tried to buy them beers, but found out that the only store to buy alcohol was back in Klaksvík and had already closed for the day – so we shoved some krone into their hands to say thank you and went on with our day, slightly nervy but still excited to keep exploring the Faroes, and eternally grateful to our awesome saviors.
After that… adventure… we nearly canned the rest of the day and went back to our hotel to lick our wounds and unwind. But I couldn’t help but feel like it would have been a waste of our limited time on our Faroes itinerary, and so we pushed on, heading to the tiny island of Kunoy next.
Kunoy is a funny place – an island with a population of around 100 people, linked to the larger island of Borðoy with a subsea tunnel stretching a massive 3 kilometers long. One thing that’s incredible to me is the infrastructure of the Faroe Islands.
It’s a place that truly takes care of its people and allows them mobility, and they’ve invested so much into improving the lives and connectivity of those who live there (and therefore also tourists). It’s really an inspiring example to other countries out there, though admittedly, not all countries have the power of the Danish krone behind them.
In Kunoy, we visited the main village (also named Kunoy) briefly before attempting to find the ‘forest’ of Kunoy. Located above the village, the ‘forest’ is really more of a grove, with flowers, trees, and benches for visitors and locals to enjoy.
Having spent less two days in the Faroes at this point, I was surprised by how surprised I felt to see trees in this landscape. In general, the landscape is quite barren – grass-covered crags leading up to the sky and then down into the sea, and not much variation on that.
Although trees once grew on the Faroe Islands, there are no naturally growing trees today. This grove was planted in the late 1800s and remains today, one of the only ‘forests’ in the Faroes.
Another town on Borðoy (we picked Múli)
We wanted to do something truly off the beaten path for our next stop – so we picked the abandoned village of Múli.
Múli is home to no permanent residents. It was the last village in the Faroes to receive electricity, not until 1970 – can you imagine?
It used to have no road, but a road between Norðdepil and Múli was built some years later, an attempt to stem the depopulation of this small village. And yet time did what upgrades could not, and as of 2002, the village is by and large considered abandoned.
To our surprise, after traversing the quite rocky and poorly paved single-track road to Múli (no residents mean that upkeep is not really prioritized, understandably), we found that Múli wasn’t actually abandoned, but was being enjoyed by two German tourists in a holiday home!
Some other towns you could enjoy that are also off the beaten track include Norðoyri (rather close to Klaksvík, with traditional boat sheds), Árnafjørður (quiet and rather off beat), Depil (with traditional grass-thatched roofs), and Hvannasund (with a beautiful harbor) on Viðoy.
But rather than putting any of those into your GPS, I just recommend you take a circuitous route back to Klaksvík, enjoying as many hours of sunlight as you can before you grow tired.
We expected Klaksvík to be a sleepy town, not up to much. While objectively this may be true, by Faroe Islands standards there’s quite a bit going on in Klaksvík – after all, it is the second largest city in the Faroes after the capital, Tórshavn, and the heart of city life for those living on the quieter Northern Islands who don’t want to go all the way to the capital for a city experience.
We ended up at a pub, Roykstovan, just in time for their pub quiz! Not used to having foreign visitors, but suddenly finding themselves with a handful of Norwegians and Americans, the pub quiz emcee quickly adapted and translated as much as he could into English, which was a kind gesture we much appreciated.
One of the most memorable moments of my Faroe Islands trip will be that night I spent in the pub, drinking surprisingly affordable (maybe too affordable) pints while dragging a poor young Faroese ex-soccer star named Karl from Kunoy onto our team — and losing spectacularly after initially placing a hopeful second place in the first round.
The thing about the Faroes is that you rarely interact with locals in any sort of natural-feeling way. Most Faroese you’ll meet work in tourism – as restaurant servers, hotel workers, or guides – or you’ll maybe pass by them wordlessly on your way to the next photography spot.
It’s a place that’s primarily about its landscapes, not its nightlife or city scenes. Which is understandable, but I also think that’s what makes some tourists treat the Faroe Islands like a canvas for their photography, rather than a place where people actually live, work, and love.
So to be able to break the mold a bit and actually spend the night getting to know a handful of locals was quite a bit of fun and truly deepened our perspective of our Faroes trip in a larger context.
Where to Stay
I recommend staying in or near Klakvsik another night, in a hotel like visitHOMES Leirvik or Hotel Klaksvik.
Faroes Itinerary, Day 3: Streymoy & Suðuroy (overnight in Suðuroy)
I promised earlier that we’d return to Streymoy, the largest island of the Faroes and home to its capital city, and today we do!
This day of the Faroes itinerary will take you to two important cities in Eysturoy, Kirkjubøur and the capital Tórshavn, before catching the ferry in the late afternoon towards Suðuroy.
Honestly, we know so little about Suðuroy before arriving – just that very few people visit it and there were pretty much no accounts from other bloggers about their time there – and that was exactly the appeal.
We both left with Suðuroy firmly planted as one of our favorite Faroese islands and with plans to return. If you’re questioning if it’s worth the 2-hour ferry ride, then let me tell you – it most certainly is.
One of the most important towns in Faroese history, I think it’d be a shame to skip Kirkjubøur on your Faroe Islands itinerary.
It’s very convenient, super close to Tórshavn, the roads getting there are both excellent and beautiful, and it has a lot of the things that make people go ga-ga for places like Saksun (grass-roofed houses, anyone?) without the crowds.
Don’t miss the beautiful and unfinished St. Magnus Cathedral, started in 1300 yet never given a roof.
Still standing despite the elements, it’s one of the few pieces of medieval history in the Faroes.
Meanwhile, the white church of St. Olav is completed and standing in perfect condition since the 12th century, the oldest church still in use in the Faroes.
But the most interesting part of the town is Kirkjubøargarður, which means “The King’s Farm,” and it’s one of the oldest still-inhabited wooden houses in the world with its origins in the 11th century – yes, nearly a millennia old (it probably helps that the Faroe Islands are one of the places least likely to get destroyed by a fire in the world).
You can visit the building, which has now been turned into a museum, although the family still resides there (and have been since 1550!)
One of my biggest regrets of my Faroe Islands trip was not giving myself more time in Tórshavn. Instead check out this awesome Tórshavn guide from Along Dusty Roads for a better glimpse at what to do and see there; I’ll just share my impressions.
Despite being one of the smallest capital cities in Europe with a mere 14,000 or so residents — literally, the size of the San Francisco suburb I was born in, which I thought of as so tiny any stifling.
Despite its relatively small population, Tórshavn feels quite busy. After all more than 1 in every 4 Faroese do live here. The island groups’ population is just under 50,000 and are dramatically outnumbered by the 70,000 sheep who also call the Faroes home.
We spent about three hours whiling away time in Tórshavn, having a delicious lunch and coffee at the sleekly designed Paname, strolling through Tinganes, and taking photos of all the adorable houses and the beautiful harbor.
I shouldn’t gloss over Tinganes, which is perhaps one of the most interesting places in the entire Faroe Islands.
It is one of the oldest parliamentary meeting places in the world – Norwegian colonists (aka Vikings) placed the first parliament there in 825, and it’s existed in some form or another ever since.
Walking around the red buildings with their green grass roofs was one of my favorite things I did in Tórshavn, and I wish I had more time to enjoy it!
Unfortunately, our ferry to Suðuroy was waiting, so we got back in the car (we parked it in the ferry lot) and got ready to board.
Compared to the experience of trying to squeeze onto the Kalsoy ferry, the Suðuroy boat was utterly massive – a parking lot compared to a parking space.
It certainly made boarding less stressful and the ferry experience a lot more pleasant – which was good, seeing as we’d be on it for a good two hours, easily the longest ferry ride in the Faroe Islands.
No complaints about the ferry ride – I did get a tad seasick, as per usual, but no catastrophes.
We arrived in Suðuroy with a bit of time to kill before our scheduled dinner, a heimablidni (home hospitality, a hosted dinner) with Elin and her family, including Bella, the world’s most smiley dog. You’ve probably gathered like I really like dogs.
Having dinner in her home was an amazing experience. We enjoyed some amazing fish soup before moving onto some courses that I was slightly less excited about – including a plate of dried whale jerky and whale blubber served with boiled potatoes.
Many people get up in arms about the fact that the Faroese eat whale and I’m not here to entertain that.
Frankly, Americans and Europeans who happily eat factory-farmed meat raised in cruel conditions have a lot more to answer for than the Faroese, who sustainably hunt pilot whales in a millennia-old, community-based fishing practice where the number of whales killed is highly regulated.
Pilot whales are wild animals who have lived their entire lives in freedom until their final moments. In my opinion, hunting them is no more or less cruel than any other form of eating meat.
Also, try being vegetarian in islands like the Faroes, where only 2.1% of the land is arable, and even that in extreme weather conditions that keep all but the hardiest of vegetables from thriving. Is it really logical to expect a nation of 50,000 to survive off a few crops worth of potatoes and root vegetables?
Sustainable fishing, including responsible whaling, is more environmentally sound than flying in vegetables and GMO tofu from all corners of the globe or eating factory-farmed beef. That’s all I have to say about the ethics of it.
I get that the optics are not great – a bay filled with blood makes for a fantastic viral photo – but look closer (and look at yourself and your own country’s stance on animal welfare) before you judge.
THAT SAID, whale meat is not something I have the taste for, nor is it something I would order for myself personally at a restaurant. But being invited to try it in someone’s home, I gave it a shot (and promptly tried to not run to the bathroom afterwards – whale blubber really does not sit well on a vaguely seasick and slightly hungover stomach).
What I really did enjoy, however, was the chance to speak with Elin and her family about a variety of topics about Faroese life (and also to rub her dog’s tummy).
It was great to listen to her perspective on tourism, especially coming from someone who lives on a less-visited island, as well as her and her husband view’s on economic opportunity and the future of the Faroe Islands.
We got to meet Elin’s daughter and son as well – one studying in Copenhagen, the other in Tórshavn – and it was quite interesting to hear from some young Faroese perspectives’ as well.
Afterwards, we made our way to our B&B, mercifully an easy walk from Elin’s place (Tvøroyri is small). We were hosted by the lovely Bindi in one of the best places we’d stay in all of the Faroe Islands (accommodation guide to come, but you can find out about her B&B here. We settled in for an early right, ready to take on the rest of Suðoroy the next day!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the lovely Suduroy B&B hosted by Bindi and found it to be a great choice, with two bedrooms (you can book both if you want the whole place to yourself or share the bathroom and kitchen with the other room), a comfortable lounge area, and a modern kitchen and bathroom.
We especially loved the breakfast basket the next morning, which let us cook for ourselves and bring some supplies for a mid-day picnic. You can book it on Facebook here.
Another option is this excellent one-story standalone hotel in Tvøroyri, which you can check out online here.
Faroe Islands, Day 4: Suðoroy (overnight in Tórshavn)
I’m going to keep this section brief (mostly because I’m super wordy and we’re already at 5,000 words, and I assume you have other things to do other than hear me blab about how great my Faroes trip was).
It’s not because I have self control or because there’s not much to say, but because I’ve already written an extremely in-depth guide to Suðoroy, which is probably the most comprehensive single-page resource to this island out there.
I highly recommend you read that, but I’ll go over the basics of my route here so that you don’t have to toggle back and forth.
If you are following this Faroe Islands itinerary, this is likely where you’ll wake up!
There’s not too much to see in Tvøroyri but I do recommend checking out the church and the adorable harbor on the side of the bay that is opposite the ferry terminal (close to the main part of town).
I also recommend making a quick detour to Froðba, another town not far from Tvøroyri.
This town is thought to be the oldest settlement in the Faroe Islands and you’ll also see some awesome basalt columns on the way, as well as some interesting fishing structures (fishing is the main economy of the island, as to be expected as tourism is not very strong in Suðoroy!)
If you have time and the weather is nice, I strongly recommend the two-hour beautiful hike to Hvannhagi, with its interesting geological formations and stunning circular lake called Hvannavatn. The weather wasn’t in our favor, with lots of rain and fog, but it’s on the list for next time. The route is right next to Bindi’s B&B, so she can give you directions.
I loved Suðuroy in general, but Hvalba was one of my favorite places we visited there. Perhaps it was the gorgeous black sand beach with a view of the tiny uninhabited island of Lítla Dímun, which looks like a tiny green dollop of whipped cream in the middle of the sea.
The black sand beach is in the middle of town and we really enjoyed taking a brisk summer afternoon’s walk along the edge. The old harbor area, Fiskieiði, is very photogenic and worth visiting when in town.
We ended up doing a short hike in Hvalba, past quiet Lake Norðbergsvatn and onwards to the sea cliffs of Norðbergseiði, where the water is far rougher and the scene more dramatic than the calm bay in Hvalba.
You can park by the public restrooms and enjoy a short walk – about 30 minutes in each direction – to get to Norðbergseiði. There was hardly a soul around, so it’s quite worthwhile.
The northernmost town in Suðuroy, to be frank there’s not much to see in Sandvík but it’s lovely all the same.
I liked seeing the old harbor and pausing near the tunnel at a quiet beach, which was really peaceful. We hoped to visit the sea stacks around Asmundarstakkur but weren’t quite sure where to find them, so we did a loop and went back southward.
Definitely the largest town in Suðuroy with some 1,300 residents, Vágur is well worth visiting for its church and the beautiful cliffs of Vágseiði.
There, you’ll find spectacular views of Vágur as well as Vágsvatn Lake and the Eggjarner cliffs, one of the most scenic places in Suðuroy.
Sumba & Akraberg
After crossing through the longest land tunnel in the Faroe Islands, you will reach Sumba, the southernmost town on the southernmost island in the Faroes (look at all those superlatives!).
Sumba is a cute town and well worth a visit. Just beyond Sumba, you can find Akraberg Lighthouse, which is the actual southernmost point in the Faroe Islands.
This isn’t in Sumba per se, but in Akraberg about 5 kilometers outside of the town. We got a little lost looking for it as there wasn’t any clear signage, but we eventually found our way and boy, was it worth the effort!
Ferry back to Tórshavn
After all that excitement exploring Suðuroy, catch the late afternoon ferry to get back to Tórshavn in time for dinner. Remember to pay for the ferry on the way back (you won’t have paid on the way over).
There are several excellent restaurants in Tórshavn. We opted for Sirkus, which is a bar slash restaurant that is the heart of (admittedly quite calm) Tórshavn’s nightlife scene.
There is also Japanese food and sushi meets Faroese fusion at Etika, or fine dining at Áarstova. But Sirkus is probably the best blend of affordable on the budget and excellent, mellow vibes.
You could continue your night, but we opted to go to bed early to rest up for our final adventure.
Where to Stay
I have a ton of recommendations for Torshavn hotels (you can find my full Faroe Islands hotel guide here) but if I had to pick one it’d be the Havgrim Seaside Hotel 1948. It’s a really unique place to stay and it’s absolutely stunning, with quirky décor that makes you feel like you’re staying in the home of a dear friend. It’s quite close to the city yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle to provide free parking for its guests, perched high enough up to offer incredible views over Tórshavn’s harbor and the nearby island of Nolsoy.
Faroe Islands Itinerary, Day 5: Vestmanna & the airport
Our flight left around 2 PM, giving us time for one final activity before making our way back to the airport and returning our car. So we saved (one of) the best for last – an epic excursion around the bird cliffs of Vestmanna.
We checked out of our hotel in Tórshavn and drove about 40 minutes through dense fog. We were a bit afraid that our tour would get canceled on account of the fog, but it cleared and were we ever glad it did!
Taking a 2-hour boat ride around the Vestmanna sea cliffs was magical. I’ll never forget the scale of it all. There is something so incredible about being at the foot of 2,000 feet high cliffs, on choppy waves in the Atlantic, stretching into the sky as birds mill about by the thousands over head. It was truly spectacular – spectacular enough that it took me about an hour to realize I was seasick (bring some motion sickness pills, y’all).
The Vestmanna Tourist Center organizes one or more boat trips daily during the peak season, which runs from April to September. Here are the departure times:
April: Weekdays and weekends at 10:15am
May 1st to September 30th: Weekdays at 10:15am, 2:15pm and 4:20pm & weekends at 11:15am, 2:15pm and 4:20pm
Returning to the airport
Tip: Fill up on gas at the Magn in Miðvágur, it’s the final gas station before the airport!
I felt truly sad as I returned to the airport, not quite ready for my Faroe Islands trip to end, even though I knew the islands had so captivated me that I would find a way to come back sooner rather than later.
Renting a car and driving through the Faroe Islands is truly a bucket list experience for a lifetime and well-worth saving for. The spectacular scenery, the tininess of the islands with their strange sense of vastness, and the friendliness of the locals we met along the way all but ensure a return trip.
I hope this Faroe Islands itinerary is helpful to you in planning your own adventure. There is truly no ugly corner to this island, so I encourage you to put down the map or phone and explore.
Note: A huge thank you to Visit Faroe Islands for hosting me and Megan during our time in the Faroe Islands. All opinions throughout are my own.
The fog was so dense that driving through it almost made me queasy. I drove slowly, hugging each hairpin turn, hating that I had no idea just how far down the cliff edges went. It was like driving on top of a cloud. I’ve never had a fear of heights, but the sudden not-knowing of just how high we were was somehow terrifying.
We were quiet in the car, a little nervous about our upcoming excursion to the Vestmanna bird cliffs. Perhaps foolishly, we had scheduled it for the final day of our trip. At the time, we didn’t consider just how often fog in the Faroe Islands can offset even the best-laid plans (see: that time we camped out at the viewpoint at Lake Sørvágsvatn for two hours, only to have the fog stubbornly refuse to move, and left us unable to capture that classic “optical illusion” effect photo)
We descended from the foggy apex of the mountain pass, and in time, the colorful harbor town of Vestmanna came into focus. Clear, nearly fog-free focus.
We popped into the tourism center and sorted out our tickets for the boat tour through Vestmannabjørgini, the 700-meter high sea cliffs that are home to so many of the Faroe Islands’ bird life. The boat tour lasts two hours, traversing the rugged coast of the island of Streymoy, navigating narrow straits and sea grottos along the way.
We got on the tiny boat and began heading from the harbor towards Vestmannabjørgini, where the cliffs begin. Along the way, as we edged away from the town of Vestmanna, we passed ramshackle boathouses, errant sheep nibbling on grass, and tiny sheds perched atop impossibly steep cliffs.
As the town of Vestmanna disappeared, the water surrounding us seemed to brighten to a near-Caribbean shade of turquoise, despite the moody sky overhead.
Elsewhere, waterfalls tumbled into the sea, cutting jagged lines in a landscape straight out of Jurassic Park.
As we got out to the sea cliffs, a familiar nervousness began to gnaw at my stomach. Fun fact about me: I just basically probably shouldn’t travel. I have massive travel anxiety, which results in me showing up to airports several hours early convinced I will miss my flight and has me gripping armrests preparing my last will and testament basically every time the plane even has a slight jitter of turbulence. But worse than my anxiety is my motion sickness, which is especially bad on boats: a fact I often conveniently forget until I am actually on the boat.
Luckily, I was so gobsmacked by the scenery around me that I was able to push aside my slight seasickness and take in the beautiful scenery. The Vestmanna cliffs in the Faroe Islands are dizzyingly high, stretching over 2,000 feet into the sky: a height you can truly appreciate all the more at the choppy ocean base, surrounded by countless birds swooping above our heads.
For nearly an hour, I was completely able to forget the tumult in my stomach, thrilled by the birds who soared above me and the towering magnitude of the cliffs around me. For birdwatchers, Vestmanna is the stuff of dreams for birdwatchers. A few of the bird species who call these cliffs home are the razorbill, puffin, guillemot, and fulmar, among others.
Several people on our tour had thought to bring binoculars; I didn’t and resorted to looking through my zoom lens to get a better glance at the birds. I was unlucky and didn’t spot a puffin; my friend Megan got lucky (more like has better eyesight) and spotted two.
I tried to snap a few photos of the birds, but let’s just say I don’t have a career as a wildlife photographer anytime in the near future.
Eventually, my seasickness got the best of me. About an hour and fifteen minutes into our Vestmanna boat tour, I had to go sit inside, focus on my breathing and my pressure points, and try to keep my breakfast inside me.
I wasn’t the only one feeling sick – the choppiness of the water is no joke this far north in the Atlantic. I recommend bringing someseasickness bands or motion sickness pills (the non-drowsy variety unless you want to sleep all day) if you are in any way susceptible to seasickness.
Luckily, after some deep breathing and focusing on the horizon, I was able to go back out and snap a few more photos of the beautiful area around Vestmanna as we got back to the harbor.
I mean seriously – how pretty is this part of the Faroes?
How to Plan a Vestmanna Boat Tour
The Vestmanna Tourist Center organizes one or more boat trips daily during the peak season, which runs from April to September. Here are the departure times:
April: Weekdays and weekends at 10:15am
May 1st to September 30th: Weekdays at 10:15am, 2:15pm and 4:20pm & weekends at 11:15am, 2:15pm and 4:20pm
I recommend booking in advance just in case as the boats are not very large and there is a possibility it could fill up, as seeing the Vestmanna bird cliffs is on many tourists’ wishlists for the Faroe Islands. I’d also recommend not booking it for your final day if possible, just in case a storm or foggy weather means that your boat can’t depart or that visibility will be really bad.
Show up at least 10 minutes early as the boats depart promptly on time.
If you’re planning on visiting Vestmanna to see the stunning sea cliffs during your stay, there are just a few extra things you should pack. If you get seasick I recommend bringing either these seasickness bands (which really work – I’ve used them before) or motion sickness pills. If buying a motion sickness medicine, make sure you buy a non-drowsy formulation. I accidentally took normal Dramamine once and nearly fell asleep on the boat. If you normally don’t get seasick, you won’t need any of these things – I am just awful on boats.
It can get quite cold out on the water as it is very windy and the air is both cold and high humidity, the kind of cold that really cuts through whatever you’re wearing. I recommend bringing a waterproof windbreaker at the very least – I use and love this Marmot PreCip rain jacket. I’d also recommend a hat that covers your ears, a scarf if the weather is especially chilly, and some gloves. I didn’t have gloves with me and I really regretted it, as my hands got quite cold but I wanted them out at all times so I could be taking photos. Bring a pair of lightweight, smartphone-compatible gloves.
I brought my Sony A6000 camera with its 18-105mm zoom lens. I loved having a versatile lens like this for Vestmanna, since you truly need a wide angle lens to even be able to come close to capturing the scale of the sea cliffs. However, 105mm isn’t quite enough zoom to get great photos of the birds themselves (as you’ve probably surmised from my photos). If you really want to be able to capture great photos of the birds, you should have something that is at least 200mm, but 300mm would be better.
Finally, if you’re a big birder, you’ll definitely want to bring along a pair of binoculars!
Note: I was hosted by Visit Faroe Islands on my trip to Vestmanna and the Faroe Islands. All opinions are my own.
When my friend Megan and I began to plan our Faroe Islands itinerary, we knew we wanted to do things a bit differently. It was my first trip to the Faroes and Megan’s second, so of course, I wanted to see some of the islands’ most famous sights: the Gásaladur waterfall, the optical illusion of Lake Sørvágsvatn, the Kalsoy lighthouse, and a few others. But we also purposely decided to skip some of the Faroes’ most famous (and therefore most negatively impacted) sights – namely, Saksun and Mykines – in lieu of getting a bit off the beaten path and encouraging future travelers to the Faroes to spread out a bit for sustainability’s sake.
Unfortunately, the nature of people making their travel plans based on Instagram means that too often, people go to the same places over and over again. In a big city or a vast countryside, perhaps that wouldn’t matter so much. But when it happens in a place like Saksun – a village of 14 inhabitants – you notice.
This is part of the reason why we decided to give ourselves an overnight in Suðuroy. While Suðoroy is the third largest of the Faroes’ 18 islands, it is one of the least discovered by tourists. This is largely because people often skip Suðuroy due to its distance from the rest of the Faroes. From Tórshavn, it’s a two-hour ferry, which is a small hurdle in and of itself as most other ferry rides in the Faroes take only 20 minutes or so.
Another stumbling block to visiting Suðuroy is that since there are only two or three ferry departures daily, you definitely have to plan it in advance. Visiting Suðuroy not something you can tack on at the last minute, unlike many places in the Faroes which are connected by an impressive network of subsea tunnels.
However, those who do opt to discover Suðoroy will be pleasantly surprised to find a stunning island of sea cliffs and black sand beaches almost all to themselves. We spent one full day with an overnight in Suðuroy, and while we got a beautiful introduction to the island, it was definitely not enough time to see it properly. Suðuroy has several excellent hiking opportunities, so it would behoove you to spend at least two nights, perhaps three on this gem of an island, especially considering that you are at the whim of the ferry schedules.
Where to Go in Suðuroy
With just one full day in Suðuroy, we opted not to tackle the island’s best hikes, but rather to visit its villages to get a sense of the island as a whole. While we were happy we did it that way, we wished we gave ourselves more time to explore Suðuroy at leisure. It is the third-largest of the Faroe Islands and there are several great day hikes that make Suðuroy well-worth spending several days hiking and exploring. It’s also a great place to visit during high season (June-August) as it is less popular than other places in the Faroe Islands, giving you an off-peak feel even in the highest tourism season.
While I definitely have to return to Suðuroy to explore it more deeply, here is a quick guide to a few of the most important villages and sights on beautiful Suðoroy, Faroe Islands.
When you arrive in Suðoroy by ferry, you will arrive across the bay from Tvøroyri, one of the larger towns on the island, with a popular of 844. Tvøroyri is located on the edge of one of the most beautiful fjords in the Faroe Islands, Trongisvágsfjørður.
As a small village, Tvøroyri doesn’t have a huge number of activities to offer, but you will likely pass through it due to it being so close the ferry terminal and it is well-worth a visit. The area around the harbor looking over onto the other side of the fjord is beautiful.
One of the most common reasons why people visit Tvøroyri is to complete the beautiful hike to Hvannhagi, with its interesting geological formations and stunning circular lake called Hvannavatn. We didn’t have time to make the hike when we were in Suðoroy as we were prioritizing seeing the different villages, but it’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the Faroe Islands.
Another great thing to do in Tvøroyri is to enjoy a heimablídni, which literally means ‘home hospitality’ and refers to a meal eaten in a local’s house. We enjoyed a meal with Elin and her family (and the world’s cutest smiling dog, Bella) while in Tvøroyri.
It was a great opportunity to actually get to know a few locals in the Faroes, something that is often a bit difficult to do in the Faroe Islands, as tourists tend to spend a lot of time in their cars driving from place to place or looking at the world from behind the camera. We got to speak to them about their thoughts on tourism in the Faroe Islands, sustainability, misconceptions about the Faroe Islands’ whaling practices, and what it’s like to live in one of the most isolated yet beautiful places in the world. To schedule a heimablídni dinner, you’ll have to book in advance (find information here).
We stayed overnight in Tvøroyri, at a B&B run by a lovely woman named Bindi. We had the entire furnished bottom floor of the house, which had two bedrooms, a kitchen, a cozy living room, and a large bathroom. I can’t speak highly enough about our B&B – especially with its stunning fjord views and a delicious breakfast. If you’d like to book, you can contact Visit Suðuroy or check out the B&B’s Facebook page.
Not far from Tvøroyri, Froðba is thought to be the oldest settlement on Suðuroy and in the Faroe Islands in general. To be honest, I didn’t find it particularly interesting or charming compared to other parts of Suðuroy, but since it is so close to Tvøroyri it is not a bad idea to make a short detour.
There are some interesting basalt columns on the road between Tvøroyri and Froðba, as well as a bench with what just may be one of the better views in the Faroes.
Hvalba is in the north of Suðuroy and is one of the largest villages on the island, with 626 inhabitants.
Hvalba was one of my favorite places we visited in Suðuroy, largely because of the gorgeous black sand beach with a view of the tiny uninhabited island of Lítla Dímun. The beach is in the middle of town and we really enjoyed taking a cold summer afternoon’s walk along the edge. The old harbor area of Hvalba, called Fiskieiði, is very photogenic and worth visiting when in town.
We ended up doing a short hike in Hvalba, past quiet Lake Norðbergsvatn and onwards to the sea cliffs of Norðbergseiði, where the water is far rougher and the scene more dramatic than the calm bay in Hvalba. You can park by the public restrooms and enjoy a short walk – about 30 minutes in each direction – to get to Norðbergseiði.
Back in the town of Hvalba, there are a few places to eat if you’re hungry – Grillbarrin (a fast food place where you can buy things such as hot dogs and burgers), Ruth’sa Café (which also works as the tourist center), and Bakkhús, where you can stop for groceries or baked goods. We just packed some sandwiches so we didn’t have a chance to try any of the places in Hvalba for lunch.
The northernmost town on the southernmost island, Sandvík is pretty quiet with only 161 residents, especially compared to the relatively “bustling” Hvalba and Tvøroyri. There is a lovely beach area between the town of Sandvík and the tunnel that connects it to Hvalba. There is also a small harbor area. There aren’t any shops or restaurants in the town, to my knowledge.
If you have time to explore the area, the sea stacks in the area of Asmundarstakkur offer great views and birdwatching opportunities. Alas, with only one day in Suðuroy, we had limited time.
By far the largest town in Suðuroy with a population of 1,356, Vágur is well worth a stop during your time in Suðuroy. It’s home to a beautiful church and some amazing sea cliffs just outside the city. Near the football field, you’ll find signs for Vágseiði, which you can follow for amazing views of Vágsvatn Lake and the Eggjarner cliffs, one of the most scenic places in Suðuroy.
Vágur has a few restaurant options. There’s a restaurant called Báran, a cute café called Hjá Jugga, a fast food restaurant called Skýlið, and finally Pizzakøkurin, a pizza restaurant. The restaurants are all along the main road that goes through Vágur, Vágsvegur, so they are hard to miss. You’ll also find a small maritime museum on this street.
After crossing through the longest land tunnel in the Faroe Islands, you will reach Sumba, the southernmost town on the southernmost island in the Faroes (look at all those superlatives!).
Sumba is a cute town and well worth a visit. Just beyond Sumba, you can find Akraberg Lighthouse, which is the actual southernmost point in the Faroe Islands. This isn’t in Sumba per se, but in Akraberg about 5 kilometers outside of the town. We got a little lost looking for it as there wasn’t any clear signage – but clearly, we weren’t mad about it because we got some awesome panoramic views of the town.
Be very careful on the drive to Akraberg as the road is very narrow with ditches on either edge, and there are more cars making the drive than you’d expect. There are designated places to pull over to allow cars to pass, so it is definitely doable, but be cautious.
Getting to Suðuroy
Suðuroy is well-served by ferry, which has room for 200 cars and nearly 1,000 people on board. Unlike the ferry to, say, Kalsoy, you won’t have any issues getting a spot on board the ferry to Suðuroy so there is no need to show up that early. However, if you are in Tórshavn and planning on taking the ferry to Suðuroy later in the day, you may find it helpful to park your car in the waiting area for the ferry, as parking in Tórshavn can be a bit difficult to find.
As with all ferries in the Faroe Islands, you pay the return price on only one of the legs of the journey. On the trip to Suðuroy, you do not have to pay, but on your way back to Tórshavn you will have to pay. You can buy your ticket on board the ferry at a kiosk on Deck 5 on your way back to Tórshavn – don’t forget to hold onto your ticket as you will be asked for it when it is time to disembark the ferry.
The ferry to and from Suðuroy is very comfortable and modern, especially compared to the tiny ferry to Kalsoy, which brought out my claustrophobia hardcore. There’s a restaurant on board where you can buy drinks and snacks for the two-hour long journey. I can’t find the exact cost breakdown of the ferry, but I believe we paid roughly 300 DKK (about $45 USD) for our return ticket for two people and one car. The cost will be a lot cheaper if you are not bringing a car, but it would be quite hard to get around Suðuroy without one, so I don’t recommend it.
Where to Stay in Suðuroy
As I mentioned before, we stayed at Bindi’s B&B in the town of Tvøroyri. We absolutely loved our stay there, and it’d be perfect for a longer stay as you have access to a kitchen which is a great perk in the Faroe Islands, where eating meals out can get quite expensive. With two big bedrooms and a very spacious living room and kitchen area, it’s perfect for friends, couples, or families alike and the price is very reasonable. You have the option to rent one or both bedrooms.