The Faroe Islands are simply overflowing with fairytale landscapes and rugged cliffs rising straight from the windswept seas. Driving any road between the charming end-of-the-line villages of grass roofs and red window frames will have you diving for your camera and stopping at every possible moment.
The hard part is deciding where exactly deserves your attention.
With two weeks in the Faroe Islands, we drove down almost every road we could find, through dimly lit tunnels, across mountain passes and along the tiniest of sheep trails to discover these islands piece by piece, and we still didn’t see it all.
While just getting from A to B is a pleasure in any part of this beautiful archipelago, these were our favourite things to see and do in the Faroe Islands, and the ones we think you shouldn’t miss out on either.
Mykines is probably the most affecting of all the islands and deserves at least a day of its own on any Faroe Islands itinerary.
While the adorable puffins that nest here in the thousands during the summer months are reason this has become a firm favourite for visitors to the Faroe Islands, the western-most island also plays host to some of the Faroes most incredible scenery.
The ferry, leaving from Sørvágur, passes rocky archways fending off bursts of ocean spray and the impressive spire of Tindhólmur. By the time you reach the vertical cliffs of Mykines and pull into the tiny harbour where puffins circle overhead en masse, you’ll be well and truly hooked.
An absolute must for Mykines is the hike to the islet of Mykineshólmur and the lighthouse that marks the archipelago’s westernmost point. The hike takes around 3 hours return from the harbour and lead you past the veritable hum of activity that is the puffin nesting area. Birds flounce clumsily through the air, coming and going with beaks full of glassy-eyed fish to feed to their pufflings safely hidden with their burrows.
Be sure to stay on the path and do not disturb the birds or their burrows. Also, if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to lose absolute hours watching and photographing these beautiful creatures – for this you’ll need to factor in a few more hours during your hike.
Get There | From May through August, there are two daily ferry departures from Sørvágur to Mykines costing 60 DKK (€8). Check the current timetable here. You can also take a one-way helicopter ride which leaves 2 to 3 times a week depending on the time of year.
Things To Know | From May through August, all visitors who wish to explore Mykines beyond the village must pay a fee of 100 DKK (€13.50) which goes toward conserving the fragile bird habitats on the island. The fee must be paid online in advance here.
Join A Tour | To help in preserving the environment and manage the growing number of tourists, it is also recommended to hire a local guide for exploring Mykines. If you plan to stay overnight and explore the island outside of the designated visiting hours (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) a guide is essential.
The dreamlike waterfall at Gásadalur is one of the original scenes that first captivated the world and thrust this previously unheard of group of islands onto travellers’ bucket lists the world over.
Along with Sorvagsvatn and Kallur Lighthouse, this majestic waterfall that tumbles straight into the deep grey sea backed by the quintessentially Faroese grass-roofed village remains one of the Faroe Islands most iconic sights, and despite its growing popularity, there are never more than a handful or so of people perched on the little viewing area.
The alluring lake of Sørvágsvatn is yet another of the Faroe Islands most iconic sights, and with good reason.
Nestled in a lush, vivid green basin surrounded by razor-sharp sea cliffs this lake, the largest in the Faroe Islands, appears to float precariously above the tempestuous ocean. It’s an incredible place to hike and absolutely one of the best things to do in the Faroe Islands.
Get There | When heading toward the airport, where the main road intercepts the lake you’ll find a small side road where you can park. The hiking trail is about 4km each way and begins along the banks of Sørvágsvatn, continuing onward to the far cliffs. The furthest, highest cliff is where to go to get the best view of the lake. This area is also notoriously foggy so take care when hiking.
Saksun is the little village we came back to over and over again, with the cottage so cute we nearly threw in the towel so we could stay forever. This etherial bay fills with turquoise water on the incoming tide but the real magic happens when the entire valley is bathed in golden light.
Wander between the grass-roofed cottages, walk into the hills or pass between the walls of the fjord to the beach on the other side – just watch out for the tide.
Unfortunately, the picturesque red-roofed cottage has become something of an Instagram icon in the Faroes since we first visited this spot several years ago. Understandably the farmer here has become rather frustrated with photographers trampling over his land in pursuit of the perfect shot and this area is now off bounds. Please respect that!
This long thin island has some of the coolest (and creepiest) tunnels you will find on the islands. Cut through the enormous mountains, these passages have just a single lane and no lights.
Visit the seal woman on the rocks of Mikladalur and learn about her harrowing past and the unfulfilled lore still believed to curse the men of the island.
At the lighthouse near Trøllanes you will find some of the most remarkable scenery on the islands. Walk left from the parking area, through the little red gate and follow the trail to the lighthouse.
With blasting winds, a thick layer of fog streaming over the steep ridge and sheer cliffs falling into the choppy sea, this spot really feels like you’ve reached the end of the world. Step into the lighthouse to warm up and read the little logbook which has entries dating back to 1966 when the lighthouse first opened.
Watch your step on the way back; we drifted way off course by choosing the wrong sheep trail to follow. Luckily we could see the town and so after a bit of clambering and sliding downhill we made it back, but if the fog was to strike, you may be wondering the hillside for a while.
Gjógv is charming little village of colourful houses and a turquoise-roofed church set deep in a valley of green. Although also notoriously foggy (are you starting to see a pattern yet?) the winding drive here is simply gorgeous.
The tiny path up the hill to the left from town will lead you to another puffin nesting area on the cliff face. Although numbers are far fewer, if you can’t make it out to Mykines this is your best bet for puffin viewing.
Of all the charming villages in the Faroes, Tjørnuvík is probably the most picturesque; a collection of traditional grass-roofed houses, backed by a wall of iridescent green in a bay of black sand and turquoise water. Just off-shore are some really unique rock formations too.
For us, these were the highlights of our time in the Faroe Islands, but there are still so many more places to drive, ferry and hike to. Even more postcard perfect villages, expansive fjords and scenic trails are just waiting to to be explored.
If you’re looking for even more inspiration for what to do in the Faroe Islands, use our interactive map to help you find all the best spots to fill up your itinerary.