The archipelago of the Faroe Islands, consisting of 18 islands, is situated in the North Atlantic, halfway between Iceland and Scotland. This blog details my experiences, and highlights, during my recent visit to this island destination; I hope that you enjoy it.
The Faroe Islands
are remarkably beautiful, rugged and green. They are also surprisingly barren with only the mounds of potatoes providing breaks in the lush mountainous landscape. The weather is unpredictable. It can change quickly from brilliant sunshine to misty hill fog and rain showers. But, you do not visit the Faroe Islands for the weather, and its changeable nature did not stop me enjoying my time in the archipelago.
Torshavn, which is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, was our base for the first few nights of my four night visit to the Islands. I stayed at the 4-star Hotel Føroyar
, situated on the hillside above Torshavn and affording great views of the town below. The rooms are comfortable; the restaurant is excellent and there are ample parking spaces – making it the ideal base for a fly drive holiday. The city of Torshavn is full of history and is best discovered on foot. Be sure not to miss the picturesque harbour front and the historic centre of Tinganes with its narrow passages and small wooden houses topped with the traditional grass roofs. It is a friendly capital and offers a selection of good restaurants, bars and cafes.
Hire a car:
The best way to explore these beautiful unspoiled islands is by car. When I first looked at the map of the Islands I assumed that the only way to travel between islands was by ferry but I was wrong. In fact, subsea tunnels and bridges connect many of the northern islands – including Vágar
and Bordoy. It is very easy to drive in the Faroes. You will never find yourself stuck in a traffic jam and you are more likely to pass some sheep on the road before another car!
A selection of private taxi tours and guided excursions are available to pre-book or to arrange locally through the tourist information centres. During my stay I took an evening cruise onboard a Schooner. The schooner cruises the Faroese coastline and offers the opportunity to sight a variety of sea birds and even seals. I saw hundreds of puffins flying through the air and resting on the water. The cruise also included a delicious meal of freshly caught fish and crab. I would also recommend a private taxi tour to Kirkjubour where a Roykstovan Farm, home to the same family for 17 generations, has stood for approx 700 years. It is said that the driftwood used to construct the farm came from Norway
The highlight of my trip was the helicopter ride I took from Torshavn to Klaksvik. I have never travelled by helicopter before and to be honest I was a little nervous, but once up in the air all my fears disappeared as I admired the steep green mountains and beautiful scenery below. Tjornuvik: The village of Tjornuvik on the island of Streymoy
was another highlight. It is a picturesque village facing the sea and has a spectacular mountain backdrop. From here you have a fantastic view of Risin and Kellingin, the sea stacks that lie just off the north coast of Eysturoy
. Risin and Kellingin means Giant and Witch. According to ancient legendary tales, the giant and the witch were envious of the beauty of the
that they wanted to take them back to their home, Iceland. One night the witch climbed the mountain and tied a rope around it so that they could drag the island home across the ocean. They struggled throughout the night to move the mountain but to no avail and did not notice the time passing. As the sun rose in the sky, the giant and the witch were turned into stone.
Final thoughts: I really enjoyed my time in the Faroe Islands and I look forward to another visit. Hopefully next time, I can coincide my trip with one of the local festivals that take place throughout the summer.
* Voted most appealing island destination in the world by National Geographic