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Best Places to Visit in Faroe Islands, Top Attractions
Are you planning a visit to the Faroe Islands? Are you wondering where to go and what to do while on holiday in the Faroe Islands? For adventurers lovers, there are the archipelago's steep cliffs, hiking trails, waterfalls, and rocky coastlines, and more than enough sites. For music lovers, the region is recognized for its festival scene, that hosts five music festivals each year. The Faroe Islands are an archipelago located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, in the middle between Norway and Iceland. If you love breathtaking landscapes and to run away from the crowds, this is the right place for you. A wild and rough destination with steep landscapes to fall in love with nature. The Faroe Islands consist of 18 islands and more than 750 islets located halfway between Norway and Iceland. The islands are under the sovereignty of Denmark, though they have their own government and parliament. The Faroese self-government was granted in 1948, though Denmark still retains control of the defence and foreign affairs. With a population of just over 50,000 people, the islands are one of the most sparsely populated places in Europe. The majority of the population is concentrated on the main island of Streymoy, with many living in and around Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. The islanders are descended from Vikings, and the Faroese language is closely related to Icelandic and Old Norse. Despite their small size, the Faroe Islands have a rich history and culture. The Faroe Islands are home to hearty and determined people who have made the most of their remote and rugged environment. Living off the land and the sea, the Faroese cherish a strong sense of community and tradition – a belief that reverberates through their daily lives.
The northernmost island in the Faroe Islands won’t disappoint those interested in hiking and bird watching. Vidareidi, the main village on Vidoy, looks out to the peninsulas of the neighboring islands, creating a stunning sight, even if the weather turns especially blustery. Continue up the road from the Hotel Nord and park your vehicle on the widened road pull-off. From here you can hike up into the hills, until you reach the mountain’s peak. Beautiful views abound all around you. Keep your eyes and ears alert for birds as you walk through the meadows. It is possible to reach the bird cliffs from this path, but we recommend going with a guide, especially if the weather has the possibility to turn inclement.
Kalsoy is most famous for two things. First, it is considered an Important Bird Area for the tens of thousands of birds that nest on its cliffs in the summertime. Second, its dramatic landscape and local legend make it a top site for many visitors. Visitors can catch the ferry from Klaksvik (after enjoying a tasty breakfast at the Fríða Kaffihús) to the Island. Arriving early to the ferry port is important (at least an hour before departure), especially in the height of summer. Prior reservations can’t be made, so arrive early to ensure yourself a spot!
This beautiful inlet is the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee and carrot cake at the Sand Cafe. In the summertime, people lounge on the beach or play frisbee, even if the weather is chilly and windy. It is from this location that the legendary sea stacks can be seen. The story goes that these sea stacks were once beings named Risin and Kellingin (Giant and Witch). The Giant and Witch tried to move the Faroe Islands back toward Iceland. With the rising of the sun, they were turned to stone, thus forever entombed in rock to stay on the Faroes forever.
Follow along green hills and cascading streams into the valley that leads to Gjogv, looking out to Kalsoy. This beautiful town is right next to mountain trails just waiting to be explored. Stop along the road heading down to Gjogv to spot some small, yet beautiful, waterfalls. The Gjaargardur guesthouse offers cozy rooms and tasty food options. This is a great place for visitors to base themselves on the center part of the Islands.
Saksun is one of the most visited villages on the Faroe Islands. Its iconic grass-roofed houses are set in a remote location overlooking beautiful fjords. The drive alone to Saksun makes the visit worth it. Meander along a narrow road with various vehicle pull-off locations, looking out to cascading glacial streams. Oystercatchers are easy to spot along the streams as well, especially during their summer breeding season.
Gásadalur is one of the most photographed sights on the Faroe Islands, and for good reason. Its close proximity to the airport (about a ten-minute drive away) makes it accessible to visitors. And let me tell you, the scenery is stunning. The massive waterfall is created by mountain runoff leading through the town of Gásadalur. The famous bird-nesting island of Mykines can even be seen in the distance on a clear day. As soon as you come out of the Gásadalur tunnel, you’ll wind downhill until you see gravel pull-offs on the street. Park here and walk down the grass pathway toward the ocean viewpoint!
Visitors are required to pay an additional tourist fee prior to their visit. There is also a mandatory guide requirement in the “restricted area” outside of the hours of 11:00 to 17:00. We highly recommend you book a guide through the Visit Mykines website anyway. This greatly enhances your experience and keeps you safe in inclement weather. The “restricted area” is reached after climbing a steep, grassy hill, then descending a set of steep, rock steps. Some more twists and turns, and you are brought to a cliff-side field to descend even further toward the ocean. Here, you’ll already spot Gannets on rock outcrops, Puffins zipping in and out of burrows, Arctic Terns gliding down to steal fish from Puffins, and more. Once you’re nearly to the ocean, you’ll walk over an extension bridge that allows you to cross a large ravine.
Colorful buildings greet visitors coming into the harbor, and sweet cafes, gift shops, and a handful of nice hiking trails make visiting even more enjoyable. Bird lovers will want to extend their day trip to the island and plan to stay overnight. Nighttime is when some of the most incredible bird action happens! Nólsoy is home to the largest Storm Petrel colony in the North Atlantic, and the sensory experience of seeing and hearing them is one-of-a-kind. Contact Jóhanna directly at the Kaffistovan í Nólsoy in town to arrange for accommodation and Storm Petrel tours. You’ll spot colorful directional signs leading you to the Kaffistovan, and Jakubina will be awaiting you there.
Named after the stunning sea bird, Skúvoy is home to thousands of Skua in summertime. Skua take refuge and nest on Skúvoy until taking to the seas once again in the autumn. It’s also one of the best places to see nesting Puffins. You have two options for visiting the remote island – either take the journey on your own for a day trip or book a tour. From the Gamlarætt Ferry Port, about 15 minutes from downtown Tórshavn, take the boat to the island of Sandoy. Another 15 minutes overland brings you to the Sandur ferry port, where you’ll take a 30-minute ferry to Skúvoy. There are no cars on Skúvoy and no accommodations, so you’ll only be able to go for the day. However, the hiking vistas and birdlife you’ll spot along the way make this hidden gem worth a visit.
Bøsdalafossur is a waterfall that originates from the overflowing Sørvágsvatn Lake. You can see the edge of the lake just a few minutes’ drive up the road from Vágar Airport. The waterfall rushes down the rocky cliffs straight into the roiling ocean, making it a fantastic sight. The nearby Trælanípan overlook is also stunning. A nice trail hike is the only way to access the waterfall.
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