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 three weeks in the Faroe Islands spanning across two separate trips, 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 virtually every corner of this beautiful archipelago is a pleasure to explore, these were our favourite things to do in the Faroe Islands, and the places we think you shouldn’t miss out on either.
Mykines (pronounced mee-chin-ness) is perhaps the most affecting of all the islands and a visit here is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible things to do in the Faroe Islands.
This remote western isle is home to some of the archipelago’s most striking landscapes, but its biggest draw is the thousands of puffins that nest here during the summer months.
Departing on the ferry from Sørvágur, you’ll glide past rocky archways, lonely sea stacks and the impressive spire of Tindhólmur fending off bursts of ocean spray and by the time you reach the soaring cliffs of Mykines and pull into the tiny harbour where puffins whirl overhead in their thousands, you’ll be well and truly hooked.
From the village, be sure to complete the 3-hour return hike to Mykineshólmur and its lighthouse that stands proudly on the westernmost tip of the archipelago. The walk takes you past some spectacular viewpoints, through vast meadows, over a small bridge that links the islands and, best of all, amongst a maze of puffin burrows.
The area is a fascinating hum of activity with birds constantly coming and going, flouncing through the air and returning with beaks full of glassy sand eels for their pufflings hidden safely within their nests.
It’s easy to lose hours here sitting, watching and photographing these beautiful creatures, but please, please be sure to stay on the path and do not disturb the birds or their burrows. Lingering too long or too close to their nests will make them more reluctant to return so try to be mindful of your surroundings at all times and don’t be a nuisance for the sake of a photo.
Get There |
From May through August, there are two daily ferries departing from Sørvágur at 10:45am and 4:20pm, returning from Mykines at 11:30am and 5:05pm. Tickets are 60 DKK (€8) each way and should be purchased in advance as crossings regularly fill up. Check the timetable here and buy your tickets online here.
Alternatively, you can arrive by helicopter which makes the trip just four days a week. However, as this is used as a form of public transport for locals, tourists are only able to book tickets one way meaning you will still need to either arrive or depart by ferry which will generally require you to stay overnight on the island. Check the schedule here.
Things To Know |
As a protected area, all visitors to Mykines intending to explore beyond the village are required to pay a hiking fee of 100 DKK (€13) that contributes to the maintenance of the island and conservation of the fragile nesting habitats. This hiking fee must be paid online before arriving to the island here.
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Though not essential, day visitors can also be accompanied by local hiking guides who are a wealth of knowledge about Mykines and the Faroe Islands. For those planning to stay overnight and explore the island outside of the designated visiting hours (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), a guide is required.
It is also important to note that many of the organised tours to Mykines include the ferry ticket and/or hiking fee so be sure to check what is covered before booking.
Set beside a remote village in the far west of Vágar, the dreamlike waterfall of Múlafossur is one of the most iconic places to visit in the Faroe Islands.
Essentially, this is the spot that put this tiny archipelago anchored in the Atlantic Ocean on the map.
With an imposing wall of craggy mountains and the charming grass-roofed village of Gásadalur nestled at its base, the majestic falls tumble from the cliff top into the inky black sea creating a scene straight out of a fairytale.
The falls are best experienced from the viewing platform on the opposite side of the river but be sure to visit the village itself and take in the stunning views from further up the hill.
Get There |
Gásadalur is an easy hour-long drive from Tórshavn, ending with a stunning coastal road that extends out beyond Sørvágur before disappearing into the eerie mountain tunnel.
Alternatively if you’re not travelling by car, you can arrive to Sørvágur on the #300 bus from Tórshavn (see timetable here). Making the final leg of the journey is slightly more challenging but there are a few different options to choose from. There’s a very infrequent bus (just 4 times per day) that continues onto Gásadalur, you can hitchhike or, for the more adventurous, follow the scenic Postman’s Trail over the mountain into the village beyond.
A visit to the alluring lake of Sørvágsvatn is one of the best things to do in the Faroe Islands, and despite its popularity, we didn’t bump into another soul during our visit.
Nestled in a vibrant green basin surrounded by razor-sharp sea cliffs, Sørvágsvatn, the largest lake in the Faroe Islands, appears to float precariously above the crashing ocean, an optical illusion that has led to its well deserved popularity.
The relatively straightforward hike along the lake is fantastic. Climb to the edge of the perpendicular cliffs of Trælanípan for the classic view, watch Bøsdalafossur spill from the lake into the ocean and clamber up the sweeping hillsides to experience this beautiful spot from every perspective.
Get There |
You’ll find the trailhead for the Sørvágsvatn hike here, just a short way outside of Miðvágur. The hiking trail is about 3km to the furthest point which can be easily reached in less than an hour but you’ll definitely want to spend a whole lot more time enjoying the scenery. Given the large sprawl of the lake, the area is also notoriously foggy so take care when hiking and don’t stray from the path.
Visitors are able to complete the hike independently, but you must pay the hiking fee of 200 DKK (€27) at the entrance gate. Sørvágsvatn is one of the most visited areas in the Faroe Islands and these measures have been put in place to help preserve the fragile natural environment and curb the strain from increasing foot traffic.
On our first visit to the Faroe Islands, Saksun was a little village we returned to over and over again.
For starters, the drive here is ridiculously picturesque following the coastal road out of Tórshavn, where the verdant green walls of the fjords cast a perfect reflection on the calm bay, before turning onto the meandering buttercup road that winds through the countryside.
Marked by a tiny cluster of traditional grass-roofed houses and a white church and backed by steep mountains, Saksun has a lovely setting. But it is when the ethereal bay below fills with turquoise water on the incoming tide and the entire valley is bathed in soft golden light that the real magic happens.
Wander between the grass-roofed cottages, stroll around the bay to the beach beyond (just watch out for the tide), or hike over the hillside to Tjørnuvík for some spectacular views (more on that below).
Get There |
Tucked away in the north of Streymoy, Saksun lies just 50 minutes from Tórshavn. Follow the scenic coastal road to the north of the island and turn off just beyond Hvalvik.
There is no public transport directly to Saksun, however, bus #400 travels between Tórshavn and Klaksvik via Oyrarbakki and can drop you at the turnoff to Saksun from where you’d have to hitch a ride. Don’t confuse this with the express bus to Klaksvik (#401) as this travels via the sea tunnel to Runavik rather than directly north on Streymoy.
Kalsoy is perhaps the most famous of the northern isles and is home to the iconic Kallur Lighthouse that sits perched on the very tip of the peninsula offset by a wildly impressive backdrop (if you haven’t seen it on Instagram, you may have peeped it in the latest James Bond film).
Catch one of the morning ferries across from Klaksvik to Syðradalur and continue driving north to the village of Trøllanes. Prepare for plenty of spooky tunnels that cut through the island’s mountains and epic views as you zoom along the narrow fjord.
To reach the lighthouse, set off from the village through the little red gate and follow the rambling sheep trails across the countryside to the far end of the island. This area is known for its violent winds and torrents of mist that roll across the escarpment at a moment’s notice so be sure to bring warm clothing and keep a close eye on the trails if the fog descends.
Trust me, it’s far too easy to get funnelled off on the wrong tiny trail and end up way off course.
At the end of the 45-minute walk, step into the lighthouse to warm up and read the little logbook which has entries dating back to 1966 when the lighthouse first opened.
For the iconic view of the sheer cliffs behind the tiny red and white lighthouse, you’ll need to scuttle along an even tinier trail with steep drops on either side to the very tip of the peninsula. If you dare, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most epic views in the Faroe Islands.
On your way back to catch the ferry, stop off at Mikladalur and wander down to Kópakanon on the rocky outcrop fronting the village.
From the roadside, this tarnished copper woman might look like just another statue, but in this land of myth and legend, that would hardly be the Faroese way. Rising from the wave-soaked rock platform, learn about the harrowing tale of the seal woman and the curse still believed to haunt the men of the island.
Get There |
To reach Kalsoy, you’ll first need to make your way to the marina in Klaksvik which lies on Bordoy, 45 minutes from Tórshavn. Ferries depart most hours to Syðradalur on Kalsoy, from where it’s a 20-minute drive to Trøllanes.
Ferries are most frequent before 10:30am and after 2:30pm, with reduced schedules on Tuesday, Thursday, weekends and during winter. See the timetable here.
By public transport, take bus #400 or #401 from Tórshavn to Klaksvik and walk the 600m to the ferry terminal. Once on Kalsoy, bus #506 travels between Syðradalur and Trøllanes but keep in mind that this schedule is fairly limited so you may be forced to walk a fair way (not recommended within the tunnels) or hitch a ride.
Things To Know |
If you’re spending more than a couple of days in the Faroe Islands, I’d also highly recommend choosing a base in the northern isles for a few days to cut down on travel time as there’s plenty to see up this way.
Set in the far north of Eysturoy, Gjógv is a colourful little village set deep in a valley of green. Although it’s frequently foggy up here, the winding drive is simply gorgeous, following either the famous zigzag road above Funningur or the highland road that swings out from Eiði and funnels between the Faroe Island’s tallest mountains.
Be sure to stop at Gjógv’s pretty marina and marvel at the impressive rippled mounds of the northern isles before clambering up the grassy path to the left of the village.
This tiny trail will guide you to another puffin nesting area on the cliff face. Although numbers are far fewer here than you’ll find on Mykines, if you’re unable to make it out to the western isle, Gjógv is the next best option to view these wonderfully clumsy birds up close.
Get There |
Gjógv sits about an hour from Tórshavn and can be reached via several different routes depending on your plan for the day.
Either follow the coastal road along the west of Streymoy and then cross over to Eysturoy at Oyrarbakki (this route pairs perfectly with visits to Saksun and Tjørnuvík) or take the newest sea tunnel north of Tórshavn and travel up the centre of Eysturoy.
Whichever route you choose, the northern tip of Eysturoy is among the archipelago’s most mountainous with some spectacular viewpoints and roads so be sure to stop often as you make your way north.
Things To Know |
Gjógv is one of few places in the Faroe Islands outside of Tórshavn where you’ll find a cafe so if you’re in need of some warmth and a hot drink before or after your walk, stop in at Gjaargardur Guesthouse.
Of all the villages in the Faroe Islands, Tjørnuvík may be the most picturesque. A tight cluster of brightly-coloured houses caught between a dramatic patchwork of iridescent green and a bay of clear, turquoise water.
It’s an impossibly pretty setting but things only get better as you head into the mountains beyond.
Climbing up behind town, through frosted clumps of grass and streams laced in ice, tiny meandering sheep trails lead you up to the saddle overlooking the rugged northwest coast of Streymoy. The rarely seen cliff formations here are some of the most epic you’ll find anywhere in the Faroe Islands.
While the views here certainly won’t disappoint, keen hikers can continue all the way across the island to the wide glimmering bay of Saksun.
Get There |
Tjørnuvík sits in a secluded horseshoe bay on the northern tip of Streymoy and is easily reached from Tórshavn via a one-hour drive along the island’s east coast.
The hiking trail is marked by a combination of wooden posts and rocky cairns and takes about 6 hours in total or, like us, you can simply go halfway to the ridgeline and return back down to Tjørnuvík from there.
Anchored just off the southern peninsula of Vágar, these stark rock formations of Drangarnir and Tindhólmur are likely ones you’ve seen on the ‘gram. While you’ll get a pretty decent look at both as you shuttle past on the ferry to Mykines, as is so often the case in the Faroe Islands, if the weather is behaving, you’ll always have a better experience by exploring on foot.
The hike departs from Sørvágur, just beyond the marina and ferry terminal. The 6km route more or less hugs the coastline, with some steep and challenging sections, until you reach the tip of the peninsula where you’ll find the colossal rocks rising from the ocean before you – the perfectly carved archway of Drangarnir and the dragon-like ridge of Tindhólmur.
Unfortunately the weather has never cooperated enough for me to do this hike, but it’s certainly on my list for a future trip.
Get There |
Sørvágur is easily reached from Tórshavn or Vágar by car or the #300 bus and you’ll find ample parking near the marina.
Join A Tour |
As this trail passes through private farmland, it is now essential that you be accompanied by a guide. The 5-hour guided hike to Drangarnir departs at 11am three times a week from the Esso Petrol Station in Sørvágur. For bookings and details, see here.
Alternatively, you can also explore the area on a combination of boat and hiking tour. This option includes a brief boat trip through the fjord before landing on the peninsula and hiking out towards the viewpoint. Here, you’ll have several hours to enjoy the scenery before returning to Sørvágur by boat. See here for details and bookings.
Wild and desolate, little-visited Suðuroy is one of the Faroe Island’s best kept secrets.
Along with spectacular drives between coast and mountain, you’ll find some fantastic hiking on the southern isle as well.
Sandvík in the north acts as the gateway to the chiselled cliffs and dramatic folds of the island’s west coast where you’ll find the wave-battered sea stack of Ásmundarstakkur anchored against the cliffs, the treacherous bridge that hovers precariously over a chasm and a flurry of birdlife to keep the twitchers entertained.
Another option is the hike to Hvannhagi, a protected lake cradled beneath a sheer wall of rock, which begins near the hospital in Tvøroyri. There’s a good description of the route here, otherwise, the trail looks to be marked on my go-to hiking app, Maps.Me.
Get There |
First, you’ll need to take the 2-hour ferry crossing from Tórshavn to Suðuroy to begin your visit to the island. From the large town of Trongisvágur, it’s just a 20-minute drive to Sandvík in the north or a 40-minute drive to Sumba, the southern point of the island. Of course, there are several slower, more scenic detours to choose from as you traverse the island which I’d certainly recommend you taking as well.
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Alright, I get it, virtually everywhere in the Faroe Islands has incredible views but this one is well worth a visit and you’re most likely going to drive right past it about a dozen times anyway so you may as well stop to enjoy it.
As one of the highest points on Streymoy and located more or less in the centre of the island, you’ll be rewarded with a sublime vantage point that overlooks the neighbouring isles – the dramatic ripples of the fjords soaring above the glistening sea in all directions. On a clear evening, it’s an incredible place to catch the sunset when the horizon blushes orange and vibrant copper tones wash across the landscapes. I can imagine the uninterrupted outlook would also make this a fantastic spot to catch the northern lights.
Get There |
Follow the mountain pass, Oyggjarvegur, out of Tórshavn for about 15 minutes and turn onto Mjørkadalur. About 3km along this tiny mountain road, you’ll reach the Sornfelli parking area.
Things To Know |
While there are stopping bays to allow cars to pass each other, this little drive isn’t for the fainthearted and if you time it incorrectly, it can definitely be a stressful, hair-raising road to have to reverse down to allow oncoming cars to pass.
This road can also get exceptionally icy during the colder months so consider giving it a miss if the way hasn’t been properly cleared.
Gazing across the bay at the dramatic folds of Kalsoy, Kunoy is a sleepy village backed by mountains that rise up steeply from the outskirts.
If you’ve spent any time in the Faroe Islands, you may have noticed that trees are few and far between, but climb higher behind little Kalsoy, past golden fields and curious sheep, and you’ll find one of the archipelago’s few small forests.
While the colder months leave the forest somewhat bare, summer brings a lush knot of ash, birch and spruce. A well-laid path weaves through the leafy grove, past the enormous rock of Eggjarsteinur and into the wilderness beyond where you’ll find an enchanting arched bridge that will guide you across the river.
For the more adventurous visitors, Kunoy is home to some challenging hiking trails, like the gorge of Skarðsgjógv which passes between the rugged canyon walls to an abandoned mountain village, however this difficult trip should only be undertaken with a guide.
Get There |
Kunoy is another of the Faroe’s northern isles and lies about an hour’s drive from Tórshavn. Like many remote villages in this part of the archipelago, the village of Kunoy is reached via a dark mountain passageway that cuts across from Haraldssund.
There is no public transport to Kunoy.
In favour of dewy green fjords and epic vistas, rugged cliff lines and mirrorlike lakes, the charming Faroese capital of Tórshavn is a place that is often overlooked, but it’s a lovely place to lose an afternoon, particularly if the weather has put your more adventurous plans on hold.
Stroll around the harbour where colourful boats bob to and fro and fishermen sell their catch of the day, take refuge in the galleries and cosy cafes that lie hidden between the city streets, and get lost in the tiny knot of Tinganes, the old town, where grass-roofed homes and white window frames are in full supply.
Tinganes is thought to be home to one of the oldest parliaments in the world with rock carvings dating back to the 16th century and over time developed into a key place of trade. Today, Tinganes is home to some of the oldest buildings in the Faroe Islands, many of which have been carefully restored, and trace these historic events of the capital’s past.
Tórshavn is also one of few places in the Faroe Islands where you’ll find no shortage of restaurants, with everything from Sushi and Italian to pub fare, so don’t miss the opportunity to eat out while you’re here.
The Faroe Islands have plenty of impossibly pretty churches, but perhaps none hold such a striking position as the white church of Viðareiði.
Nestled between the mountains of northern Viðoy, Viðareiði and its glimmering church stand perched proudly on the cliffs high above the water with the dramatic peaks of Malinsfjall and Villingsadalsfjall soaring high on either side. It’s about as spectacular a backdrop as you could hope for with the best views enjoyed from above.
If you’ve made it as far north as this little hamlet, one of the best things to do in the Faroe Islands is to take the challenging hike toward Villingsadalsfjall and Cape Enniberg, the highest sea cliff in the archipelago.
Forever distracted on my island drives by yet another photo opportunity or stunning side road, on both my visits here I arrived too late in the day to actually complete the hike. Thankfully if you’re short on time, even an hour’s scramble up the uneven slope will offer up a phenomenal vantage point.
The 6-hour return hike up Villingadalsfjall is steep and is not to be taken lightly or in bad weather. Follow the road past Hotel Norð to the end of Garðsvegur and onwards into the fields. The path is vaguely marked with cairns, otherwise you’ll find it marked on Maps.Me.
Get There |
As the northernmost village of the Faroe Islands, Viðareiði is about as far from Tórshavn as you can reach by car and takes just over an hour, made significantly faster using the new sea tunnel. Again, if you’re staying for more than a couple of days, I’d recommend choosing a base in the northern isles for a night or two to cut down on travel time.
For those using public transport, bus #500 travels between Klaksvík and Viðareiði, however, departures are extremely limited and often only by request.
Join A Tour |
For those not keen to attempt the hike alone, various hiking tours for Villingadalsfjall depart from Tórshavn during the summer months, as well as top-rated sightseeing tours of Viðareiði. See tour options here.
A solitary outpost on the cliff tops, Akraberg Lighthouse marks the southernmost point of Suðuroy and the Faroe Islands and certainly has that desolate edge of the earth feeling about it, staring out at an empty horizon.
Reached via the stunning coastal roads that trace the southern half of Suðuroy and a long mountain tunnel, you’ll first pass through the beautifully situated village of Sumba before reaching the archipelago’s southern frontier marked by sheep and brightly coloured houses.
For views as incredible as anywhere you’ll find in the Faroe Islands, don’t miss the daunting climb up Beinisvørð, the highest point on Suðuroy. To reach here from Sumba, you’ll need to skip the tunnel and instead take the narrow, winding pass that climbs high above the village toward the weather station where you’ll see the ridiculously steep peak rising overhead.
While Sorvagsvatn will always be an essential stop on any Faroe Islands itinerary, you may be surprised to learn that just a few kilometres away lies the far less visited Fjallavatn which offers up views that are just as impressive.
Rolling meadows, a hidden black sand beach, a thunderous waterfall and the quintessential Faroese cliff line rising from the ocean are all things you can expect from this epic hike.
The 13 km return trail begins just beyond Vatnsoyrar and hugs the shore of the lake before emerging at an impressive panorama of angular peaks, wild ocean and a relentless stream of waves crashing against the black sand beach below. It’s rugged and remote and certainly one of the most beautiful views in the Faroe Islands.
Get There |
Located on Vágar, make your to Vatnsoyrar and continue along the unsealed road that leads beyond the village. After about 2.5km the road will peter out and the walking trail will begin. Near the beginning, you will need to cross a river but there are plenty of rocks you can use to jump across provided the water level isn’t too high.
The trailhead is a 50-minute drive from Torshavn or just 10 minutes from the airport.
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Set nearby on Vágar, this short and relatively easy walk pairs well with the hike to Fjallavatn and will reward you with some fantastic views.
Starting from just outside of Sørvágur, you’ll cross the grassy countryside to the cliff’s edge where you’ll find the chiselled sea stacks teetering above the deep grey sea, a rugged plateau and views across to the hulking mass of Suðuroy in the distance.
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There is no clear trail for this walk and the way crosses private property so should only be hiked with a guide. I did the hike with Jóhannus from Reika Adventures who is a wealth of information about the Faroe Islands their many curous quirks.
Set a short ferry ride from Streymoy, Sandoy’s compact size, charming villages and sprawling beaches make it a wonderfully easy day trip from Tórshavn, and because it seems to be left off so many people’s itineraries, it’s also an excellent place to explore without the crowds.
Start in Sandur for a walk along the sandy beach and continue along the cliff-side road to Skarvanes before crossing over to the east coast where you’ll find the most picturesque villages on the island – Husavik and Dalur.
You’ll find some hiking options fanning out from Dalur or at the north of the island near Skopun.
Get There |
Ferries to Sandoy depart several times a day from Gamlarætt bound for Skopun. Tickets for a car and driver cost 160DKK (€21.50) plus an additional 40 DKK (€5.50) per passenger and are paid only one way of the trip. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Check the current timetable here.
TOP TIP |
On your way back from the Sandoy, be sure to stop in at Streymoy’s southernmost village of Kirkjubøur which lies just 5 minutes from the Gamlarætt ferry port. Along with black-washed homes, red window frames and delightfully tousled grass roofs, Kirkjubøur is also home to some of the Faroe Island’s most historic sights, namely the oldest still inhabited house which dates back to the 11th century, Saint Olav’s Church and the ruins of the enormous Magnus Cathedral.
Join A Tour |
If you’re not travelling by car, Sandoy is a great place to join a day tour for further insight into the legends of the island and where to find the best viewpoints. The jam-packed Sandoy In One Day tour looks to give an excellent introduction to the island and covers all the main sights.
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Set just across the bay from Torshavn, colourful Nolsoy provides a warm welcome and that ‘country’ feeling without actually having to go all that far.
It’s an easy place to kick back and relax with a breezy stroll around town and some warm hospitality. For those up for an adventure, the 6-hour return hike to the lighthouse on the island’s southern tip is a beautiful way to spend a sunny day, though bear in mind that thick fog has a habit of sweeping across the peninsula at a moments notice.
After Gásadalur, Fossa is perhaps the most popular waterfall in the Faroe Islands.
Now, in my experience, no matter what you see online, waterfalls have a high chance of disappointment and exactly how impressive they are will depend entirely on how much rain has fallen in the area.
That said, Fossa really bursts to life after heavy rainfall when Vikavatn, the mountain lake that feeds the river, swells sending torrents of water down the mountainside and over the two-tiered cascade in a rush towards the sea.
Rain is all too common in the Faroes so you’re likely to get the right conditions, but try to coincide your visit to follow a deluge if you can to get the full effect.
Get There |
You’ll find Fossa in the north of Streymoy, located right on the roadside between Haldarsvík and Nesvík. There is a parking bay just beyond the falls but on a busy day it can occasionally be hard to stop here.
Weaving between the tiny villages of northern Eysturoy, you’ll quickly notice the rugged peaks that soar above the narrow strip of road. Amongst them is the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands, Slættaratindur, rising to 880m.
Though there are multiple routes, the best starting place for the hike is from the large parking lot at Eiðisskarð from where it’s about an hour-long hike to the top.
On a clear day, you’ll be welcomed with spectacular views that extend across the Atlantic, taking in all the tiny isles of the Faroe Islands.
Get There |
About an hour from Tórshavn, Eiðisskarð lies about halfway along the stunning mountain pass that meanders between Eiði and Gjogv, a short distance before the iconic switchback that leads towards Funningur. You’ll find a good description of the hike itself, here.
Things To Know |
It’s a Faroese tradition to hike the mountain on the evening of the summer solstice (21 June) and watch the sun sink below the horizon before rising again a few hours later. On this longest day of the year, this gap is just shy of 4 hours during which it remains reasonably light. If you’re visiting the Faroe Islands at this time of year, this would be a fun activity to put on your list.
While the Faroe Islands are known for their iconic sites, simply driving across these vibrant green isles is, in itself, an experience.
The hairpin bends that pitch sharply downward to a remote seaside village, the narrow lanes that cling to the edge of a dramatic sea cliff, the arrow-straight paths that lead you between the staggering fjords and the slightly spooky, slightly exhilarating mountain tunnels of the northern isles, sometimes just getting behind the wheel and taking the scenic route is well worth it.
Travelling between many of the locations on this list will ensure you hit the best roads during your trip, but there are a few other routes that are worth the detour as you make your way across the islands.
The mountainous north of Eysturoy is home to some spectacular drives, like the steep zigzag that leads to Funningur with the northern isles in the distance or the highland road that meanders through the Faroe’s tallest mountains.
Over on Streymoy, the drive into Saksun is wonderfully picturesque, while to the south you’ll find the tight bends of Norðradalur gazing towards the hulking mass of Koltur on the horizon.
And then there are the tunnels.
While the three subsea tunnels (including the newly opened route between Tórshavn and Eysturoy) are wide, brightly lit passages that link the main islands, the tunnels you’ll encounter on the northern isles are dark single-lane channels carved directly through the mountains. They can be a little intimidating at first, but they’re a quintessential part of driving in the Faroe Islands.
There are countless scenes in the Faroe Islands that would be right at home in a storybook, and so it should come as no surprise that these landscapes are woven with stories themselves.
In fact, one of the most curious aspects of visiting the archipelago is knowing that every oddball rock formation, craggy cliff and lonely sea stack is stitched with folklore and legend, those of trolls and witches, of evil deeds and longstanding curses.
Among the most well-known are Risin og Kellingin, the tumbledown pinnacles of the giant and the witch that stand just apart from the cliffs of Eiðiskollur on Eysturoy, Kópakonan, the selkie woman at Mikladalur on Kalsoy and Trøllkonufingur, the knobbly witch’s finger poking out from the southern cliffs of Vágar.
On their own, these landscapes are remarkable, but knowing the legends that go alongside them makes them even more enchanting and intriguing.