Why Visit The Faroe Islands
If you’ve been following my Instagram for the past 2 months, you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you how much I loved the week my fiance and I spent in the Faroe Islands.
While I will have a full itinerary post coming on how to best spend a week in the islands, I wanted to give you an overview of the trip highlights to explain why you need to visit the Faroe Islands!
The Faroes blew me away at every turn, and were such a unique destination due to the scenery, the solitude, the accessibility, and the hospitality of the locals.
At most spots we visited in the Faroe Islands, I had one "best of" image in my head from research we did before the trip, whether it was from a guidebook, blog post, or Instagram photo. Every single time, we experienced another view I had never seen before, that I felt was even more stunning than the original photo. In a time when everything is overshared, this is so rare! I feel slightly guilty that I robbed my followers of some of these moments when they ultimately visit the island, but the good news is that there is beauty in every direction. What is just a mundane waterfall on the side of the road to natives, would be a must-see destination in most countries!
At the start of every hike, you are greeted by miles upon miles of bright green fields, no fences, no markers, no ropes. You get to choose your own adventure with every step Phrases like “is that a trail or the sheep path?” “I think it becomes too steep, let’s take the other turn,” “we have to backtrack,” or “I see footsteps!!” are all common exclamations during a one hour (or six hour) hike in the Faroes. There are some hikes where you won't pass another soul. We were there in September - shoulder season, where the summer ferries had just shut down. At this time of year, even on the more "crowded" hikes, I'd guess you run into a person/couple/small group once or twice an hour. We encountered a lot of hikers who were alone, and while I would warn that you should feel very confident in your hiking skills, and have a phone with you, I think it would be a very relaxing solo holiday.
One of our favorite parts about the Faroe Islands is hardly any spots in this beautiful country are more than an hour drive apart! Not to mention, the driving is almost always beautiful and entertaining (except maybe those tunnels). This is one of the major pluses compared to Iceland, which the Faroes is frequently compared to, where you could have to drive 5, 6 hours in a single day between sights.
While the country is made up of 18 islands, you will likely spend most of your time on Vagar, Streymoy, Esturoy, and Bordoy. Those four are all connected by bridges or underground tunnels, along with Vidoy, and Kunoy. The other 12 islands are only accessible by boat or helicopter, but it doesn't mean they're hard to reach! Nólsoy is a 20 minute ferry from the capital, Torshavn. Kalsoy is a 20 minute ferry from Klaksvik, the second largest city. Mykines is a 15 minute helicopter ride or a 45 minute ferry (in June - August.) Suðuroy, the southernmost island, is probably the longest journey, a 2 hour car ferry from Torshavn.
In terms of getting to the island, from the US you can take the quick (and cheap) flight to Reykjavik, followed by a 1 hour flight. From Europe, there are direct flights to about a dozen cities, some seasonal.
A must do when you are in the Faroes is a Heimablídni dinner. Heimablídni translates to “Home Hospitality” and allows you to see a slice of everyday Faroese life. We visited Harriet and John, whose home, Hanusarstova , is located in southern Esturoy, a beautiful town on the ocean. We had fermented lamb ribs, which John said was one of his favorite meals they only have a few times a year - we felt so lucky to get to join them for such a special dish!
The lamb was absolutely delicious - you used a knife to slice off pieces of the fried meat which was complemented perfectly by the herbed potatoes, bread, and homemade butter. Harriet and John recently took over the sheep farming business from her parents, and started hosting Heimablídni not just because they love welcoming travelers, but also to provide a source of steady income. Farming is completely unpredictable, you don’t know until the end of the year if it will be a great year or if you will lose money. (It was great to do this in the middle of our trip when we had a whole bank of questions about everything we'd seen so far - they were happy to answer) To see more about Hanusarstova, watch this video from my friends at Spartan Media .
We loved all the food we ate throughout the trip, from the most smokey salmon I've ever tasted, to the seafood stew, to the langostine. Most traditional dishes are fermented since the salty, chilly Faroese air is perfect for it. Another highlight was our meal at Michelin Starred Koks - a fascinating and flavorful experience from start to end. That said, we tend to enjoy the local food everywhere we visit, so I chose not to list that as one of the reasons the Faroes were my favorite holiday!
Why visit the Faroe Islands? In a single day, you can lay on a black sand beach and swim in the ocean, climb a cliff and see a waterfall being blown straight into the air, get rained on, have the sun burst out, see a rainbow, dine at a Michelin Starred restaurant, see a whale, walk under a natural archway, hike to a remote lighthouse marking a dangerous peninsula, and sleep in a grass-roofed home.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reminiscing with me and I’ve convinced you to plan a trip to the Faroe Islands! If so, please check out my detailed, map-based 7 Day Itinerary to the Faroe Islands.
I’ll leave you with this stunning video filmed and edited by Spartan Media Group to celebrate our engagement and commemorate our favorite holiday.