Faroe Islands is one of the most visually seductive places in the world. This small self-governing archipelago is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It’s made up of 18 rocky, volcanic islands and sits between Iceland and Norway in middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. The islands are connected by tunnels, bridges, ferries and causeways. We spent 10 days exploring the islands. There is so much to see on these islands and we have put together a list of our top 12 things to do.
It was a photograph of the church in Saksun that first intrigued me to visit Faroe Islands. You can only visit Saksun by car (or tour). There are public buses that circulate Vagar and Streymoy (where you will find Saksun) but they do not travel all the way to Saksun. The one way road can get a bit busy during the summer months when there are more tourists around. The drive into Saksun is spectacular. This village is set about a tidal lagoon in an amphitheater above. There are only 14 inhabitants and they are very protective of their privacy. Please be mindful of this when you visit and respect their privacy.
Drangarnir is a collective name for two sea stacks between the islet Tindholmur and the island of Vagar. You can view these sea stacks from Bosdalafossur near Lake Sorvagsvatn (the floating lake, see below). You can also view these sea stacks from a boat ride. The individual names of the sea stacks are Stori Drangur and Litli Drangur. The names can be translated simply into large and small sea stack. It is certainly an iconic spot in Faroe Islands.
Torshavn is the capital city of the Faroe Islands. You will find the Tinganes (government offices, old town), Torshavan Cathedral as well as many shops and restaurants. This is the liveliest city on the islands. It is located on the island of Streymoy. Torshavn is translated as “Thor’s harbor”. The city has a population of over 20,000. There is lots to see and do in Torshavn like visiting Fort Skansin, Torshavn harbor and don’t forget to taste the unique Faroese cuisine. One place you can’t skip is the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands, it’s the most important cultural institution in the Faroes.
4. Mykines To See The Puffins
Summer is certainly the best time to visit Faroe Islands, not just because of the weather. Not only are there more things open to visit and more accessible but you can also get the chance to see one of the most adored inhabitants of the islands, the puffins. These seabirds are a wonder to watch and in my opinion, the superstars of all the seabirds. You can see these seabirds from May until August, each year. Mykines is only accessible to 20,000 visitors each year so plan your trip accordingly.
5. Kallur Lighthouse
Kalsoy is known for it’s wild landscapes and Kallur Lighthouse. There are only 4 villages on the island with only about 15 residents total. The hike will show you the most iconic views the Faroe Islands has to offer. The hike is 3 miles long, round trip. The hike is not difficult in and of itself but if you are afraid of heights, like me, this will be challenging. The grass can be very slippery and the winds don’t do you any favors exposed on this hike. You will need to take a ferry to this island so be sure to account for that in your travel time.
6. Mulafossur Waterfall
The trip to Mulafossur Waterfall is one of the most popular things to do on Faroe Islands. I mean, who doesn’t love a waterfall but this one will blow you away. As you approach it you will see that it plummets into the ocean below. The view is spectacular, hang around for a bit, the weather is always changing in Faroe and you will be continually amazed. Since the completion of the tunnel the traffic has dramatically increased in the town of Gasadalur. This single lane tunnel is the only connection to the rest of the island. You can easily park your car in the new parking lot and simply walk 5 minutes to the waterfall.
7. Walk Around Tinganes
Tinganes is the historic location of the Faroeses government. It is located in the capital city of Torshavn, next to the harbor. It was surprising to see you can just walk around the government complex with no issues. The name Tinganes means “parliament jetty” or parliament point. The outer most buildings were erected in 1749. In it’s original form the building consisted of small, single story wood built house on a basement made of stone and lime mortar from burned seashells. It’s a beautiful place to walk around.
This village is famous for it’s tiny population of less than 100 people. You will find this tiny town on the island of Eysturoy on the northeast tip. The village is named after the 200m long sea filled gorge that runs north to the sea from the village. It’s a quaint place to stop and enjoy the views and the iconic homes Faroe Islands is known for. There are also plenty of photography opportunities here.
9. Hike To Lake Sorvagsvatn
The good thing about the hike to Lake Sorvagsvatn is that you can not get lost. The trail is very well marked and runs along the eastern shore of the lake. Lake Sorvagsvatn is known at the “floating lake”. It is unmistakable as you fly over it upon landing on the island of Vagar. The lake is named Traelanipa and you will also find a fabulous waterfall into the ocean not far from the lake overlook, Bosdalafossur. The hike is on private property so you will have to pay a fee to enter. The family does a great job maintaing the trail, so it’s well worth the entry fee. They also have the cutest outdoor bathroooms I have ever seen.
Just west of the island of Streymoy you will find this sweet, little town. It was formerly used as a ferry port until the undersea tunnel of Vagatunnilin was built connecting Vagar to Kvivik and Stykkio. It is best to view the cliffs of Vestmanna by boat. You will get the best pics and the best view. Vestmanna is often called the “tourist village” of Faroe Islands. You will even find one of few camping sites in this town of around 1200.
11. Fossa Waterfall
Fossa is the tallest waterfall on Faroe Islands. With a height of 140m it cascades beautifully down the mountain in two sections. In dry season the waterfall is only a few meters wide but after heavy rain it can spread up to 30m wide. Fossa is located on the island of Streymoy. you will find this waterfall on the northern edge of the capital city of Torshavn.
12. See Witches Finger
In the tiny town of Sandvagur you can start the trail to hike to Witches Finger but you are not up to the hike, you can enjoy this interesting phenomenon from the viewpoint. Only about 11 people are known to reached the top. The 313m monolith is on the east side of Sanavagur. Legend has it that the finger is of a witch that came to throw the Faroe Islands to Iceland. When she came to the sea south of Vagar, the sun came up ans she was turned to stone and fell into the ocean.