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. Even if it’s not the puffins you’ve come to see (although why wouldn’t you), Mykines is a must for any Faroe Islands itinerary.
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 by the thousand, you’ll be well and truly hooked.
The walk up to the lighthouse takes you past a slew of puffin burrows (they nest here during the summer months) and the nesting areas of various other seabirds, as well as the best viewpoints on the island.
From the harbour it’s a 3-hour return walk – plus a few extra depending on how long you want to puffin watch. Stay on the path and do not disturb the burrows.
The dreamlike waterfall at Gásadalur is one of the most famous sights in the Faroes, particularly with photographers, but even so there are never more than a handful of people perched on the little viewing area.
The village also has a pretty cluster of traditional grass-roofed houses.
The alluring lake of Sørvágsvatn is another beloved Faroese attraction, but the area is so large we didn’t bump into another soul during our visit. This lake, the largest in the Faroe Islands, is perched precariously above the ocean alongside razor sharp cliffs.
When heading toward the airport, where the main road intercepts the lake, a hiking trail begins along the banks of Sørvágsvatn and continues to the cliffs edge. The furthest, highest cliff is where to go to get the best view of the lake.
It’s about 4 km each way and this area is notoriously foggy so take care.
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.