For our last official trip while living abroad, George and I knew we wanted to go somewhere special. I had been saving a trip to the Faroe Islands for May or June, not only to see the islands in the summer, but also to see the puffins. However, our moving date turned out to be early in April, so we just decided to go for it on our way out of the country. For those of you that don’t know, the Faroe Islands are in the middle of the North Atlantic between Iceland, Norway, and Scotland. So I wasn’t exactly expecting it to be a summery green landscape, but I also never expected to see so much snow–knowing the islands have pretty mild weather overall. Anyway, I’m so glad we got to see the landscape covered in snow, even if it did force us to cut some things from our itinerary. Below is a guide of how we spent our time on the islands. But they are really quite small and easily navigated, so you could always switch up activities without any lost time.
- DAY 1: Arrival & Múlafossur
- DAY 2: Sørvágsvatn
- DAY 3: Saksun and Gjógv
- DAY 4: Klaksvík and Viðareiði
- DAY 5: Departure
GETTING THERE: Atlantic Airways via Edinburgh
DAY 1: Arrival & Múlafossur
The sun was already quite low in the sky when we arrived in Vágar, but somehow I convinced George to brave the icy roads in our tiny ill-equipped rental car for one quick adventure. Of course we went with the cheapest option possible. Linked below, it was the easiest rental experience ever. They email you the car info and where to find it in the airport lot so when you arrive, you just walk outside to find your car with the keys in it, ready to go!
And off we went to one of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen: Múlafossur and the tiny village of Gásadalur. Previously only reachable by a long and strenuous hike over the mountain, I for one am so pleased there is now a tunnel and vehicle access to the village. Fifteen minutes drive to the waterfall from the airport makes it such an easy and quick stop, we managed to make it there just as the sun was setting.
STAY: Kristjanshavn $
DAY 2: Sørvágsvatn
Our initial plan was actually to wake up early and hike to the Drangarnir sea arch, but unfortunately, the weather made that impossible. We didn’t come prepared for snow and had to adjust our plans quite a bit. Instead, we had a leisurely morning near the harbor and went into town to stock up on supplies for the week. We drove to Bøur to get a view of the arch, but didn’t stay long.
A bit later in the afternoon, some of the snow had melted and we decided to try a different hike in the area. Sørvágsvatn is a lake situated near some spectacular sea cliffs creating an amazing optical illusion. My photos really don’t do this landscape justice as I was way too afraid to get any closer to the edge. The ground was still quite frosty from the snow and I couldn’t bring myself to test it. But if you’re interested in looking it up, there are some outstanding photos of this place from other, braver photographers than I. Park near the boathouses on Vatnavegur to begin the walk. Others have said the walk takes only half an hour, but it took us nearly an hour to reach the cliffs only stopping for a few photos.
STAY: Kristjanshavn $
This price really can’t be beat, so it’s worth staying two nights. Not luxury at all, but the options were quite limited anyway.
The Faroe Islands: Itinerary & Guide
DAY 3: Saksun and Gjógv
We woke up the next day to a raging snowstorm, which I was quite excited about but did pose a problem for driving. We set out anyway, having checked the route beforehand and not seeing anything too alarming. There are a number of small villages I was hoping to see, but we settled on only two: Saksun with its hidden beach and cute grass roofed houses and Gjógv with its charming harbor and gorge. Both were lovely, although I would love to see them in summer with a few more people around.
We stopped at Fossá (the highest waterfall on the islands) along the way, but didn’t manage to get the drone out far enough to see the upper falls. You can scramble up the grass in order to see it without a drone, but again we didn’t have the proper footwear for climbing in snow. My favorite stop of the day, however, was completely unplanned. On our way to Gjógv, we came across this view of a windy road leading down the valley to a village and I just loved it. Perhaps because it was unexpected. Now I’m happy to share that the name of the village is Funningur.
That night we stayed in Tórshavn (the capital city) and ate our only nice meal of the trip. Read more about Tórshavn in our city guide, here.
STAY: 62°N Hotel $$
DAY 4: Klaksvík and Viðareiði
The next morning, we woke up to the most beautiful snow falling softly on the city and had to get out to see some of the sights. Again, check out more specific ideas for Tórshavn in this post. We checked out of our hotel fairly early and started driving to our next destination: Klaksvík. We planned on taking the ferry from there to the island of Kalsoy, but it didn’t seem worth it with all the trails covered in snow. Instead, we walked around the surprisingly cute Klaksvík, stopped into a few shops and cafes and just had a really laid back day.
EAT: Fríða Kaffihús
It was perfect timing when an instagram friend and Faroese local, @byolafsdottir, invited us to her house for coffee and snacks. This culture of hospitality actually has a name in Faroese called ‘heimablídni‘ and it’s an experience worth taking part in. Check out Harriet’s home and meals offered here. I only wish I had thought to look ahead and book a full meal with her!
After leaving Harriet’s, we found ourselves with just enough time for one more adventure before sunset. And after talking with her, we decided on the Faroe Islands most northern town, Viðareiði. We hadn’t planned on visiting simply because it was quite far from where we were staying, but I’m so glad our plans changed because it ended up being my favorite. I couldn’t get over the way the sun was setting over the sea and mountains.
STAY: Bådhus i Klaksvík $$
This airbnb is by far the best place we stayed on the islands, perhaps because it was the only place we stayed that actually put thought into the decor. Not to mention the amazing view of the town and heated floors!
DAY 5: Departure
On our way back to the airport in Vágar, we made a few stops just for fun. One to find these cool geodesic igloos that, for whatever reason, have been abandoned. And two, back at Múlafossur and Gásadalur, because why not?
One of the main reasons George and I wanted to take this trip before leaving the UK is because it’s seriously half the price of getting there from the US. So unfortunately, I don’t see us going back any time soon even though it was incredible and I would love to. Both George and I really miss the ease of low cost travel within and around Europe. So if anyone is reading this from the UK, take advantage of where you live and the access you have to amazing places like this!