My recent trip to the Faroe Islands has absolutely blown me away. I had been to many northern destinations and seen bizarre and isolated islands like Iceland or the Shetland islands, but the Faroes were a different number. Maybe Google Maps doesn’t give them Streetview – or a complete location system to be honest – because they know that people would get stuck. Imagine you look up directions from one village to the other, decide to ‘quickly check it out on Streetview’ and then hours later you’re still clicking your way around the coastal roads of the Faroe Islands. With a flight search engine already open in a second tab. It would be like legalising a drug – the Faroese landscape is that addictive.

So until streetview has finally arrived in the Faroe Islands, I will have to do the job and convince you with my experiences and ideas for 25 things to do in the Faroe Islands. Keep that credit card and passport number handy!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

Torshavn: Almost a City Trip

1. Explore the Old Town of Torshavn, where you find grass-roofed houses, the cutest parliament ever, and gorgeous views onto Torshavn harbour.

2. Feel the flair of Copenhagen in Torshavn: the colourful harbour of of Torshavn is lined with restaurants and cafes with plenty of outdoor seating for a dry day – it feels and looks a bit like Nyhavn in Copenhagen, only smaller. Our pick for coffee, a sandwich and a slice of cake was Kaffihúsið.

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

3. Try the best sushi outside Japan at Etika! Now, I can only speak for the vegetarian selection, but Etika is considered one of Torshavn’s best restaurants and the fish in the Faroe Islands comes basically straight from the boat onto your plate!

4. Head for a vegan dinner at Sirkus, Torshavn’s trendiest bar with weekly live music, cozy lounge chairs and a great selection of vegan (and non-vegan) food served every day until 11pm!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

5. Have drinks at Cafe Natur, a cozy, pub-style bar with candles on the tables and delicious local beer!

Top Tip: My favourite beer was a bubbly red lager called Slupp Øl.

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

6. Hit the knitwear shops in the town centre and the mall! If you’re a fashion victim you might have already heard about high street label Guðrun & Guðrun who design extraordinary knitwear and have a store on Niels Finsensgøta (the main shopping street in Torshavn).

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

7. Another shopping highlight in Torshavn is Öström, a shop for local Faroese design that ranges from clothes and knitwear to jewelry and home interior. The shop is also a coffee shop, so it’s easy to combine window-shopping with a caffeine kick.

Top Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful pottery by Guðrið Poulsen and her label Leirlist.

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

8. Right next to Öström is another place for art lovers, one of the world’s last lithographic workshops called Steinprent. There is a little gallery downstairs, but you may also be lucky and allowed a peek into the workshop upstairs where print artists Jan Andersson and Fríða Matras Brekku work on a daily basis.

9. The best shop to prepare for your upcoming Faroese adventures is probably Tutl, the local record label and music shop. Here we stocked up on some local music for our road trip and learnt a lot about the development of music on the Faroe Islands. Did you know that Modern Faroese did not exist as written language until the 1850s and most history and folklore were transmitted in songs? Nor did the Faroese use music instruments, which makes for quite an interesting music history!

Top Tip: Listen to one of the recent records at the listening stations!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

Stremoy & Eysturoy

10. A trip to the famous village of Saksun is on every visitor’s to do list, but did you know there is a hidden beach in Saksun as well? You can only reach (and leave!) it during low tide when you can follow the beach out towards the ocean. Around the corner, behind the big hill on your left is a secret oasis that – if you time it right – can be all yours for a few hours! If only wild camping was allowed in the Faroe Islands – this is where I’d pitch my tent!

Top Tip: If you decide to do this walk (which easily takes up 2-3 hours) park your car in the village on the southern side of the bay – not where the heritage site village with the grass roofs are! It will save you a lot of walking in the end.

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

11. Have Heimablidni at Garðahúsið in Søldarfjørður. Heimablidni is a Faroese speciality that exists probably because of the lack of restaurants in rural areas – people open their homes to guests and welcome them for lunch, teatime or dinner. We booked Heimablidni with Lena and Jacup in Søldarfjørður and were not disappointed! The amount of soup, salads, eggs and dessert Lena prepared for just the two of us was incredible! After the meal we explored the lovely garden and got close up to the family’s chickens as the grandchildren showed us their favourites.

Top Tip: This will give you a prime opportunity to try some of your Faroese language skills!

 

12. One of my highlights of this trip: a half-day of sea kayaking with NAX! Our guide picked us up from the hotel in Torshavn and we set out to Leynar, a tiny village on the west coast of Streymoy. From there we paddled past (and into) some awesome caves over to the next bay, where we had a cup of coffee and some cookies before returning back. And I can’t decide what’s cooler: the fact that we actually paddled over one of the Faroe Islands sub-sea tunnels or the gorgeous views we could not have ever seen from land!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

13. Dance at G!Festival in Syðrugøta, one of the Faroe Islands’ biggest festivals and by far one of the coolest music events I’ve ever been to! I will tell you more about this festival in a seperate post, but trust me, if you think a stage with sea view, hot spots by the beach and knitwear as the pre-dominant festival fashion essential sounds good, then definitely check the festival’s dates!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!Photo: Edith Johannesen 

Vágar & Mykines

14. Hike from Bøur to Gasadalur for the postcard-view of the Gasadalur waterfall. Sadly we were caught in some nasty rain, so we decided to drive to Gasadalur village and see the waterfall from there. It was impressive but the views from the hike up in the hills are one thousand times better!

15. Hike to the edge of Sørvágsvatn and wait for sunset. Sørvágsvatn (also Leitisvatn on Google maps) is the Faroe Islands’ biggest lake and when you drive past it initially you could easily mistake it for a fjord. It is also called the Hanging Lake, and once you’ve reached the edge and made your way up the hill on the left or right you will see why! The hike itself takes about 1h one-way and leads along the eastern shore of the lake.

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

16. Another beautiful sunset hike that was recommended to us, but we sadly didn’t find the time to do was a hike around Fjallavatn – supposedly even more beautiful, but longer than the hike at Sørvágsvatn.

17. An absolute must in any Faroe itinerarly is a day trip to Mykines! The island can be easily reached by helicopter or ferry (roughly the same price even!), but you better book in advance as it’s very popular indeed! On the island you meet your local guide (mandatory and organised through the tourist office) to walk towards the famous lighthouse on Mykinesholmur, a small island at the far end of Mykines, connected by a bridge. You even walk through a massive puffin colony and get really close up to the funny birds! The walk is mainly easy, but good waterproof shoes and a jacket for once you reach the lighthouse are a must! The weather can change rapidly, so we had our lunch in the sun and returned to the ferry in the pouring rain…

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

Top Tip: Make sure you have enough time to wander around Mykines village, where there are no car, just grass-roofed houses and free-running chickens. This is one of the most expensive and sought-after addresses in the Faroe Islands!

 

18. Take the ferry between Vagar and Mykines – at least one way. The views of the bizarre rocks sticking out of the ocean are incredible!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

The Northern Islands

19. Explore the forest of Kunoy. One thing you will inevitably notice is that there are no trees on the Faroe Islands. The natural forests were cleared hundreds of years ago, very much like in Scotland for example, and have never grown back. There are however a few reforestation projects dotted around the islands and one of them is just above the village of Kunoy. The forest is small but diverse and there is a little river trickling through it. Right by the entrance there are a few Icelandic horses waiting for treats and petting. With all that, this was easily one of my favourite places on the islands!

Top Tip: If you have just one day to explore the northern islands, I can only recommend this place as the drive is wonderful and you are not reliant on ferry times!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

 

20. Roadtrip to Múli on Borðoy. This road trip leads you along one of the Faroe Islands’ Buttercup Routes – a number of particularly scenic drives along the coast or over the inland mountains. This drive can be easily done in combination with a trip to Kunoy and is particularly exciting because you have to drive through some of the islands’ oldest tunnels from the 1960s in order to reach the road!

Top Tip: The sheep along this road were some of the most trustworthy and curious ones. Drive slowly, stop your car every now and then, and let them pose for your photos!

The Travlettes Guide is the only travel guide for the Faroe Islands you'll ever need - with info on accommodation, getting around, things to do & what to pack!

21. Pit-stop at Cafe Fríða in Klaksvik, one of the coziest cafes we’ve been to in the Faroe Islands. It gets quite busy because there are not too many options, but the staff speaks English and the cakes are a delight! Sadly we didn’t spot any vegetarian options on the menu, but we didn’t ask about alternatives as we were only there for coffee and cake after all.

 

22. Do a daytrip to Kalsoy if you have an entire day to spare. There is only one single road to drive up and down, but it’s exciting with its five subsequent tunnels. Some people come here without their car and simply hike one of the hills in the south of the island. However, if you come by car make sure you get to the two most interesting points of the island!

The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

23. See the Seal Woman (Selkie) of Mikladalur. Mikladalur is about halfway along the island of Kalsoy and in order to see the larger-than-life statue of Daenerys Targaryen the Selkie you have to descend through the village towards the water. Patience is a virtue here, as everybody gets here more or less at the same time due to the ferry arrival – wait around for a while and you’ll get the statue all to yourself. Luckily this is not the worst place to sit down and soak up the view until the crowds are gone!

 

24. Of all the lighthouses we went to, the lighthouse at Kallur, Kalsoy’s northernmost tip was the most impressive! It can be reached via Trøllanes and the hike takes around 45-60 minutes one-way. Once at the lighthouse, we wished we had taken some lunch because the spot was so beautiful we didn’t want to leave! We climbed all the way to the tip of the island, sat down for some fresh sea air and waited for the seagulls to fly by.

 

Top Tip: Be at the ferry terminal early – like at least an hour ahead of departure, otherwise you might have to wait for the ferry to go back and forth before you can go across (it takes roughly 1.5h back and forth!)

Faroe Islands-21

 

25. Finally, there is just one thing left to do in the Faroe Islands: talk to the people. The Faroe Islands are a peculiar place and trying to understand the essence of being in this place works best through the stories and experiences of the locals. Most people speak English and will be happy to tell you their stories or offer their opinion on any given topic. Make the most of it, and try to learn as much as you can!

 

I hope you enjoyed this little list of things to do in the Faroe Islands – as you can see we only scratched the surface during our one-week trip and places like the southern islands, Nolsoy, Gjogv or Vidoy have to wait until we return one day. For a more practical guide to the Faroe Islands with tips on where to stay, how to get around and where to find more vegetarian food check out my Travelettes Guide to the Faroe Islands right here!


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The smallest destinations often boast the largest variety of things to do, places to explore and experiences to try - the Faroe Islands are no different!

Disclaimer: The authos’s trip was sponsered by Visit Faroe Islands, but all opinions are her own. If you’d like to read more on why the author decided not to boycott the Faroe Islands, read her think piece here.

All images by Kathi Kamleitner & Frida Runnkvist.