Updated: Mar 25
Never heard of the Faroe Islands? Don't worry you are not alone! Up until last year even I had not heard about this otherworldly land until I stumbled upon a image on Instagram and immediately fell in love with this place! Unexplored, Unspoiled and utterly Unbelievable, Faroe Islands is the closest you will ever get to experiencing heaven on earth!
The Faroe Islands are known for their rugged landscapes , cliffs rising several meters above the ocean, mind boggling lakes, picturesque villages and stunning fjords! There are various hiking trails around the country and most of them are unexplored, so don't be surprised if you find yourself alone while on these hikes.While there are a lot of places to explore here, I will be specifically listing out the ones I visited during my trip and these are definitely the ones you don't want to miss!
PLACES OF INTEREST IN FAROE ISLANDS
Below you will find a list the places I visited during my 6 day trip to the Faroe Islands in June of 2018. Of course, this is just a recommended list, you can always add on to the list.After that , you will find a recommended itinerary to cover these places over a period of 5-6 days.
1. LAKE SØRVÁGSVATN & BØSDALAFOSSUR WATERFALL
Sørvágsvatn or Leitisvatn, situated on the island of Vágar between the municipalities of Sørvágur and Vágar is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. This along with the Mulafossur waterfall are probably the prime reasons why people like you and me decided to pack our bags and head for the Faroes!
The lake is actually one big optical illusion: In reality, the lake is no more than about 90 feet above sea level. The steep cliff in front of the lake — coupled with the perfect camera angle — just makes the lake look as if it’s sitting several hundred feet high.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 2019: I read on social media that since March 2019 they are going to charge an entrance fee for the Traelnipan hike. This sounds sad but if you think about it it's definitely a good way to curb people from spoiling this natural beauty and thus the fee will help protecting this gem!
To reach to this famous spot you need to hike for about ~1.5 hours (one way) to a spot called the Trælanípan, and this hike takes you along the lake shore , towards the top of the cliff from where you can see this optical illusion.
The hike starts in the island of Miðvágur and there is a small parking lot where you can park your car. The directions to the parking lot are well marked along the way and you will see signs on the road for Trælanípan or Bøsdalafossur
Parking Lot: https://goo.gl/maps/pk1PHNJzC1A2
Trælanípan Spot: https://goo.gl/maps/94NRFSSdAAQ2
Remember to save the above locations on your google maps, cause there have been many cases where people have mentioned that they missed the spot just because they were not able to locate it properly.You can read more about the lake on the official visit Faroe islands website here
2. MULAFOSSUR WATERFALL & GÁSADALUR VILLAGE
The Mulafossur waterfall in the small village of Gasadalur that looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale is one of the most famous and iconic sights in the Faroe Islands. Pictures of these waterfalls on Instagram is what inspired many travelers to pack their bags and head to the Faroe Islands.The waterfalls overlooking the cliffs with the picturesque village of Gasadalur in the background is dreamlike and makes it worthy for any season!
Gasadalur is located about a 25 min drive from Miðvágur, and to reach here you have to go through what they call a Buttercup route (basically scenic routes). Also, you have to go through a one lane tunnel, so just make sure that you are following the rules (read more here)
Once you cross the tunnel you drive down the hill and there will be a small parking lot just after the dirt road on your left. After you have parked your car, head down on the dirt road for about 300m to the spot from across the waterfalls.
Parking lot: https://goo.gl/maps/2aUvzTACnHA2
There is also a small Cafe here, in case you want to stop for some refreshments or bathroom breaks after seeing the falls
Saksun is a small village in the northwest coast of Faroese island of Streymoy. In the photography community, Saksun is known for a small idyllic cottage framed by the background fjords and the lagoon.
This cottage is however located on private property and I do request that you respect the privacy of others and not trespass onto this location!
There are quite a few other spots to see here - like the Saksun Church and the Museum. Even the drive up to Saksun is considered to be a Buttercup(scenic) route. Also, at low tides you can enter the small fjords and walk out between the cliffs right onto the beach!
4. TJØRNUVÍK & FOSSA WATERFALL
Tjørnuvík is the northernmost village on the Faroese island of Streymoy and is about a 35 min drive from Saskun. Along the way you will find a small parking lot for the Fossa waterfall which is the largest waterfall in the Faroe Islands. Tjørnuvík has a black sand beach which is apparently famous of surfing! Also, on a clear day you can see all the way upto the iconic sea stacks - Risin and Kellingin
Fossa waterfall: https://goo.gl/maps/pQrU2RAxmV42
Tjørnuvík village: https://goo.gl/maps/7wthbekLVR42
You can also hike from Saksun to the village of Tjørnuvík, the hike is around 6-7 kms and takes about 3 hours to complete. You can find more details about this hike here
5. FUNNINGUR & GJOGV
Funningur is a small village located on the northwest coast of Eysturoy in the Faroe Islands. Our point of interest here is not the village itself but a hike up a mountain for a breathtaking view of the surrounding fjords!
The hike starts at a very small parking lot on the way to the village of Gjogv. Once you have parked your car on the right your first and most difficult step is to climb up the ridge along the fences in front of you, which does take a bit of stamina! (see pic below).
As always please make sure you take care while climbing as there could be loose rocks and it can be slippery depending on how the weather is!
Once you have reached the top, you have two options - either go down to your right or climb up further to your left, and I would suggest you take time out and do both. This entire location offers you plenty of opportunities to take breathtaking photos with the fjords as your background framed by the mountains and the ocean (pics above).
The hike to the top and back will take about ~ 3hrs and maybe more if you decide to spend more time at the top. Once you are back down, you can continue to drive to the small village of Gjogv located on the northeastern tip of the island of Eysturoy.
There is a small parking lot here where you can park and look around. Gjogv has a couple of hiking trails which are pretty well laid out, but if you are not in the mood to hike then you can still enjoy the views of the village , the gorge and the surrounding nature. The village also includes a charming tea shop, a guesthouse (Gjáargarður) and a campsite
6. MYKINES - PUFFIN ISLAND :)
Mykines (pronounced MEE-chin-ness) is the westernmost point in the Faroe Islands, and is the most ideal location in the world for seeing the Puffins. The islet of Mykineshólmur is also home to a lighthouse which is the westernmost point of the Faroe Islands. It is quite a surreal feeling standing here next to the lighthouse surrounded by nothing but ocean for miles and miles!Mykines can only be reached by either a Ferry or Helicopter.
Please read my other blog post for complete instructions on booking and per-requisites before you head to Mykines!
7. KALSOY - KALLUR LIGHTHOUSE
Kalsoy is an island in the north-east of the Faroe Islands between Eysturoy and Kunoy. The hike to the Kallur lighthouse at the end of the island in Trollanes is the main highlight of this island, along with the seal woman in Mikladalur.
Kalsoy can only be reached by a ferry from Klaksvik. The ferry accomodates around 11 mid sized cars (that is if there are no huge trucks or buses) and you can find the ferry timetable here.
I would suggest that you do take your car on the ferry since Trollanes is about 17km from the ferry terminal in Syðradalur, Kalsoy. There is a small bus that runs from the ferry terminal till Trollanes, but it only runs during certain times so better to bring your car if it's possible.The fee for the Ferry for one driver + vehicle is 160 DKK
Kalsoy is a famous tourist destination so the ferries will definitely get filled up during peak season. Ensure that you arrive at least 35-40 minutes before the departure time and park your car in the car line. You never know when there will be big buses/trucks on the ferry and if there are any then they will fill up almost the entire ferry, so make sure you get there on time!
Once you get off the ferry in Kalsoy there is only one straight road till the village of Trøllanes, so you don't need any GPS or location. The road consists of four one lane tunnels and as already mentioned, please read this guide for how to drive on one lane tunnels and other driving instructions. After you pass the third tunnel, there will be a small road to your right that will take you to the village of Mikladalur where the statue of the seal woman is located. You can either visit this first or finish up the lighthouse first and then come here on the way back, your call!After you pass the fourth tunnel you get a glimpse of the village of Trøllanes as you drive down through winding roads. Once you reach the end of the road, go right and you will find few parking spaces to park your car. If they are all full (which was the case when I went!) then you can park them along the road, but don't park on any of the private properties.To start the hike to the lighthouse, you walk down the road that was to the left at the T junction.
Keep walking and you will see the famous red gate that denotes the start of the trail to the lighthouse (see pic above). Now you might have read many posts where people say that they had a difficult time finding the path to the lighthouse after crossing the gate. Honestly , I am not sure what was difficult for them to find, I went in summer and the paths were all clearly marked!Once you pass through the red gate, walk right for about 5om and then start climbing the first hill in front of you.
After you have reached the top, DO NOT climb the second hill to your left, you won't find any lighthouse there! Instead keep walking straight on the path, if you pass sheep shelters on the way then you are on the right track. Keep walking along the path and after about 30 minutes or so you will get the first glimpse of the lighthouse. You are not there yet, but getting there! After you see the first glimpse it's just really easy to figure out the path.I would say you need about ~3 hours in total , starting from the red gate and getting back, including an hour spent at the lighthouse.
8. KLAKSVÍK HÁLSUR KLAKKUR
One of the other things to do when you are in Klaksvik (apart from taking the ferry to Kalsoy) is hike up the small mountain of Klakkur to experience a magnificent view of the beautiful islands in the north.You have two options -
1) Start the hike from the parking lot below the church in the center of Klaksvík , and then walk upto the dirt road of Astarbravt or 2) Drive up to Hálsur by car and park there. Note that the gravel road is somewhat unevenIf you are going to hike from Klaksvik note that the total duration will take you at least ~2 hours to reach the top from the parking lot in the church, so plan your time accordingly. This is not a strenuous hike but does require some stamina as you will be climbing a mountain! More details about this hike can be found here.
If you are going to drive upto Halsur, then note that the dirt road is called Ástarbravt (The Love Path) and I have provided the location for that dirt road in the link above. As you drive along that road you will surely realize the ideal parking location for your car!
If you want to grab something to eat or just coffee, I would suggest you check out Hjá Jórun nearby
9. DRANGARNIR THE SEA STACKS & TINDHOLMUR
One location that has become quite popular in recent times (thanks to social media!) is the hike to the two sea stacks between Vágar and the islet Tindhólmur named “Drangarnir”. The distinct names of Drangarnir are Stóri Drangur and Lítli Drangur which can be translated into Large- and Small sea stack.
You cannot do this hike without the landowner's permission as this is a private property, so unless you want to get fined , I would suggest you do what I did and safely book a guide from hiking.fo
The hike starts and ends at the Effo petrol station by the harbour, Bakkavegur in the village of Sørvágur. The duration of the hike depends on the weather, when I went there the guide was nice enough to take me on the boat first, so instead of hiking we directly sailed to the spot from where you can get a good view of Drangarnir and the islet Tindhólmur!
But if you are going to be hiking then this can definitely take upto ~6 hours in total so I would suggest allocating one day for this hike.