The Faroe Islands are beautiful in a very Scandinavian way – they’re not comforting or luxurious, but have this wild, untamed natural beauty.
You don’t have to worry about crowds when you visit Faroe Islands. The archipelago of 18 islands which forms Faroe Islands have a total population of around 50,000—a drop in the bucket compared to Nordic neighbors Sweden and Norway or tourist-heavy Iceland, which saw 2 million visitors in 2019 (American visitors alone already outnumber the locals). In fact, the sheep outnumber humans nearly 2:1
One of the main reasons that people visit the Faroe Islands is the incredible nature and scenery. The Faroe Islands turn extraordinarily green during the summertime. The fresh air, the deep blue ocean, the vertical sea cliffs and the green mountains with their picturesque valleys, is something which would amaze anyone who enjoys being surrounded by nature. For generations the locals have lived off the land and the animals that are on the islands as not much grows in this climate.
Tórshavn, the capital, is so pretty. It’s like a picture in a children’s book, with cobbled streets and hills and small red houses with white-painted windows. And the ocean is everywhere: you can go and stand on a cliff and feel the waves’ power or just walk out into incredible nature so close to town.
The tranquillity of the islands is great if you want to escape from big city madness. The Faroese love to take things easy and are not at all worried about arriving on time. But if you ever find yourself in the mood for a night out in town, you will find that Tórshavn caters for your every need with its great shops, bars, cafés and restaurants.
Because the islands are so close to the Arctic Circle, the amount of daylight varies by season. The sun sets briefly each night in June, so there are several hours of twilight, before the sun comes back up again. During the winter there are no days of complete darkness, but about five hours of daylight.
The Faroese tourist season is very short. It begins in May and ends by September. Most visitors come between July and August by far. If you would like to avoid the busiest season, it is best to visit the Faroes in late May or early June. The Faroese weather has its own temperament and is a lot like the weather in neighboring regions, just more unpredictable.
Location: In the middle of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic at 62º00’N and 06º47’W, halfway between Scotland and Iceland
Area: Faroese archipelago, 113km (70 miles) long and 75km (47 miles) wide. Total coastline of 1,100km (687 miles). No point in the Faroe Islands is further than 5km (3 miles) from the sea.
Islands: 18 volcanic islands separated by narrow sounds and fjords arranged roughly in the form of an arrowhead. All but one are inhabited.
Heights: Highest peak 880m (2,887ft); average height above sea level 300m (980ft)
Climate: Average 3º-11ºC, winter-summer
Population: 52,656 (as of July ’20)
Capital: Tórshavn (population 22,216 as of July ’20)
Status: Self-governing region within Kingdom of Denmark
Language: Faroese. Danish has equal status in all official affairs
Main industries: Fishing and aquaculture, shipping and offshore services, tourism and prospects for petroleum in Faroese area
Currency: Faroese króna (DKK)
Why Visit Faroe Islands?
- Nature: The Faroe Islands has unique scenery
A combination of hard rocks, velvety green grass, and dramatic waterfalls. A stunning picture painted in green and blue colours, where your eyes can stretch from the top of a mountain over the endless surrounding ocean at any one time.
- The Island Culture
The Faroe Islands are remote and isolated, and so the ocean has served as a great defense against dilution of the islands’ original culture. There are many wonderful examples of the original culture. For instance, the national costume and the language rooted in the Nordic languages – but a very unique language in its own right.
- The Authenticity
As a traveller you can experience the same food, drink the same coffee and buy the same brands as in the same concept stores in most of the world. But as many destinations seem to be getting more alike, the contrast to the Faroe Islands becomes even greater.
There is no predetermined route, no fence to stand behind and no plastic signs telling you what to see and feel. Absorbing reality, as it is in the Faroe Islands, almost forces you to look within yourself to discover who YOU really are.
- The Remoteness
The Faroe Islands may be close in distance but are far, far from everyday life. Far from stressful obligations. Far from traffic jams and crowds. Far from normality and everyday routines.
- The Involvement
It is often said that the Faroe Islands have no tourists – only guests. People are welcoming and open, and nature invites everyone to participate. The nature is not just something you look at. It’s a place for being – for hiking, angling, diving, sailing and absorbing.
Hotels in various shapes and sizes are found on most islands in the Faroe Islands, ranging from luxurious 4-star hotels to comfortable and simple lodgings. There are no 5-star hotels, however.
The vast majority of hotels are located in the capital, Tórshavn. Other locations include Runavík, Skálavík, Vágar Airport, Klaksvík, Vágur, and Tvøroyri.
Many of the hotels in the smaller towns and villages, where the population is sometimes only a few dozen people, are small.
BOOK HOTELS EARLY
Many hotels are fully booked during the summer. It is, therefore, a good idea to book your hotel stay as quickly as possible, especially if you are visiting between May and August.
The newest hotel in the Faroe Islands is a city hotel in Tórshavn, the capital, called Hotel Hilton Garden Inn. It opened in October 2020 and is classified as a 4-star, superior hotel.
Below is the listing of my favorite Hotels: All Hotels in/around close proximity to the Capital Torshavn.
4-star Superior Hotel Brandan is situated in the middle of the capital, Tórshavn, and is surrounded by opportunities. You can reach SMS, the largest shopping mall, Tórsvøll, the Faroese football stadium, and the city centre by foot in a matter of minutes.
Hotel Brandan is a a 4-star, Superior hotel, and is to be classified as a GreenKey hotel in the near future.
Brandan has has 116 double/twin rooms and 6 superior rooms, which are well suited for persons with disabilities, as well as 2 large suites, a restaurant, a bar and four meeting rooms.
This stunning 4-star hotel is located on a hillside with impressive views of the capital, Torshavn. It includes a restaurant and a cosy lobby bar, and provides 4-star conference facilities.
Hotel Føroyar has following room categories:
Double rooms (141), Executive suites (11), Junior suites (2), Family rooms (6), Studio with kitchenette (16), Handicap rooms (2), Annex rooms (21), Annex family rooms (2).
A large part of the rooms in the main building have the same unique panoramic view over the capital Torshavn, the island Nólsoy and the North Atlantic Ocean.
The hotel also has a fitness room and a billiard room.
The design is harmonic with the nature and scenery outside every window. The rooms are light with big windows. All double rooms are the same size and equally equipped.
Havgrím Seaside Hotel is a new boutique hotel by the seaside in Tórshavn with beautiful views of the island of Nólsoy.
It includes 14 bedrooms and is only a 5-minute walk from the city centre.
Hilton Garden Inn offers beautiful panoramic views of the Atlantic ocean, Nólsoy island and more.
Located just five minutes from the beautiful Svartafoss Waterfall, Nordic House, and the National Museum of the Faroe Islands, and only a 10 minute walk into the centre of town, Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands is perfectly situated in the capital.
Their on-site restaurant features local produce and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
THE VIEW, BØUR
The View is situated by the village of Bøur. Bøur is an old Faroese village with 65 inhabitants. The village is characterized by the close built houses with the charming grass roof, the mountains behind and the unique view in front – which also gives these cottages their name.
The cottages are built with inspiration from the old traditional Faroese houses. Stone foundation, white window bars and of course grass on the roof.
STRENDUR BOAT HOUSE:
This luxury new renovated boat house is to be found on the island Eysturoy – just in the center of the Faroe Islands – and only 3 meters from the ocean.
Situated in beautiful nature – the perfect place to stay.
Tórshavn: approx. 60 min. by car
Airport: ca. 60 min. by car
You wont find a better location. Just a few steps from the sea, and you’ll find this brand new house.
The apartment is 80 m2 and includes a small hallway, toilet, one double room and one room with 4 beds.
Tórshavn: Aprox. 70 mins with car
Airport: Aprox. 80 mins with car
You can rent two new luxurious architect-designed boathouses with stunning views. The apartments in the boathouses are spacious with 80 sqm each, and they have all modern comforts. In terms of design, the focus is on giving you a good overall experience, while the details are completely thought out.
The boathouses are located by the water in a peaceful environment, with fantastic views, which consist of high mountains, birdlife and other things that can be seen and experienced on the sea. In addition to the unique view, you can also enjoy the peace, the fresh air, as well as very pleasant sounds from the balcony.
In the individual apartment, there are two bedrooms, a loft, toilet/shower, kitchen and living room, and there is sleeping accommodation for 6 people. In the living room/kitchen area, it is possible to connect the two apartments together, so that there is room for 12 people. Therefore the apartments are also suitable for larger groups.
GJAARGARDUR GUESTHOUSE GJOGV:
Gjáargarður is not only one of the most beautiful guesthouses in the Faroes– it is also situated in remarkably beautiful nature.
In picturesque surroundings, far away from the treadmill of reality, Gjáargarður is the most charming hotel of the Faroe Islands. Enjoy the idyllic village of Gjógv or go hiking in
the impressive countryside.
DINNING WITH THE FARMERS:
Try a traditional Faroese lamb meal while dining in the home of farmers Anna and Óli.
The Faroese phrase “heimablídni” translates directly as “home hospitality”. Anna and Óli offer authentic and intimate dining experiences in their own dining room, serving traditional homemade Faroese food mostly grown on their own farm.
This underground restaurant offers you the opportunity to sample new food, often dissimilar to the food usually served in restaurants, in a personal environment that will give you a proper taste of Faroese culture.
Sometimes a perfect stranger is the best dinner host.
EXTREME OUTDOOR DINING in a cave on a vertical mountain wall 30 meters above sea level.
THE FAROESE HORSE
The Faroese horse, called føroyska rossið in Faroese, has wandered in the rugged landscape of the windswept islands for over a thousand years. DNA analysis has shown that the Faroese breed is unique, not found anywhere else in the world.
But not long ago, the Faroese horse was nearly extinct. In 1960, there were only a handful of the beautiful, robust Faroese horses left – a drastic decline from the nearly 800 horses that roamed the islands a century and a half earlier. To prevent the extinction of the Faroes horse, people joined forces around this time and started breeding the one stallion and four mares that were left. Today, there are 74 Faroese horses, approximately 125 horses short of the number needed for the race to be considered safe.
Fjallaross is the only company in the Faroe Islands that lets you ride a Faroese Pony in the wild Faroese Nature. Let detailed knowledge about this ancient Faroese horse-breed blow you away and immerse yourself in the fascinating history surrounding it.
They believe in keeping the ponies in their natural habitat and interfere as little with their physique as possible. This is why at Fjallaross you will be riding on “bare-back” (without saddles) and learn that the ponies can thrive without the use of horseshoes.
FISHING & ANGLING:
The Faroe Islands are synonymous with fish. Without this natural resource, one could argue that the first settlers would have found it incredibly difficult to settle on these remote North Atlantic islands. Faroe Islanders have fished for centuries, and fishing still plays an essential role in the community. You could say that fishing is what we do best, and we’re happy to have you join in!
Whether by boat or from shore, there are plenty of opportunities to fish in the Faroe Islands. With the ocean never further than 5 km away – no matter where you’re located – it is effortless to grab a rod and go fishing whenever you want.
The Faroe Islands have good fishing areas and sheltered fishing grounds away from strong winds, making it possible to fish most days regardless of wind direction. The two main types of fishing in the Faroe Islands are deep-sea fishing and fly fishing.
Fishing and angling in the Faroe Islands is unlike anything you have experienced before; the beautiful scenery and splendid tranquillity makes fishing a truly extraordinary experience.
The Faroe Islands aren’t just ideal relaxing and taking your mind off things – they’re also the perfect playground for adventure sports of all sorts!
Try kayaking in the ocean, cliff jumping, rappelling, snorkeling, speed boating and much more.
Go with a fast going RIB boat into a grotto to experience a live concert. Every concert is unique because of nature’s participation. There may be so quiet that you can hear the birds participating, while other times the heavy beating of the waves spin in. The natural sounds and unique acoustics of the grottos become an integral part of the music.
This is once ina lifetime concert experience, and will leave you stunned by the unforgettable grotto concert.
You’ll find that once you get off the beaten path on foot, the mountains and valleys will open up for you in marvellous and unexpected ways.
A short hike into the mountains affords numerous vantage points that overlook awe-inspiring peaks in one direction and the dishevelled surface of the ocean in another. One of the many special features of the Faroe Islands is that you don’t have to go far to experience magnificent and untouched nature. Look around you. Take a few steps. Take a deep breath and listen. It’s all right there!
The 18 islands of the Faroe Islands are surrounding by the North Atlantic ocean. No point in the Faroe Islands is further than five kilometres from the ocean. Sailing is a fantastic way to experience the beautiful landscapes of the islands, offering completely different views compared to the ones from land.
You can discover these views of the Faroe Islands by sea while sailing with ships, boats or even an old schooner. Some of these ships or schooners are old and have a great history, making the journey even more interesting.
More and more people are choosing to explore the Faroe Islands from the saddle on their bicycle. It’s no wonder why, considering the spectacular beauty one can see from the roads, mountains and valleys.
The infrastructure in the Faroe Islands is excellent, with all islands accessible either by sub-sea tunnels, bridges or ferries. This, combined with low volume traffic on most roads, makes bicycling in the Faroe Islands a pleasurable experience.
Photos: Martin Paldan / GripGrab Media Crew
Faroe Islands from above is a unique experience, which will take you on a tour to see the rugged and dramatic islands in the wild Atlantic Ocean from a different perspective.
This will most certainly make you feel a very special rush and a kick of adrenaline. Atlantic Airways has a helicopter charter service offering their two Augusta Westland 139 helicopters from 2015.
HELICOPTER Atlantic Airways has 2 helicopters, but only one of them can be used for “transport” the other is for Search and Rescue operations only.
RENT A HOT TUB AND SAUNA:
If the mountain will not come to the hot tub and sauna, the hot tub and sauna go to the mountain! You can Rent a portable wellness rig with a jolly Jacuzzi and a sudatory shaped as an old oak barrel. To an abandoned village? To some hill with a view? To your own hidden bay?
It consists of a trailer with a hot tub and sauna. This portable paradise is about enjoying life in the Faroese nature. The company RIB62 brings and heat up the tub and sauna at noon and come to collect the trailer 22 hours later. Their daily rental includes wood fuel and gas.
DINING IN THE FAROE ISLANDS
Dried fish and fermented lamb, sheep head and fresh salmon, burgers and pizza – Faroese cuisine has it all and more!
One of the great joys of travelling to new places is experiencing the country’s food culture. Faroese dining certainly doesn’t disappoint, offering a vast array of dishes, ranging from the very traditional to food influenced by foreign cultures.
Traditional Faroese dishes more often than not include meat, fish and potatoes. These main ingredients are prepared and served in a variety of ways.
TRY FAROESE FOOD
If you’re looking at trying traditional Faroese food (fermented lamb and fish, rye bread, blood sausage and stewed rhubarb), check out the new restaurant, Ræst (the Faroese word for “fermentation”).
For vegan/vegetarian eaters, check out this guide to eating in the Faroe Islands.
Cafés line the streets of Tórshavn and are found in most of the larger villages. Good cafés include Brell, Kaffihúsið, Gómagott, Kafé Umami, and Kafé Kaspar in Tórshavn, Jacqson and Café Fríða in Klaksvík, Café Fjørðoy in Sørvágur, Kafé Mormor in Tvøroyri and Café Cibo in Saltangará. Check out the Faroes’ only juice bar at No 12.
Globalisation has, inevitably, brought fast food to the Faroe Islands. Try City Burger and Burger King in Tórshavn or Smiðjan in Miðvágur to whet those salty taste buds.
The Faroe Islands offer one sushi restaurant, but when the produce is that good, who needs any more than one? Etika combines fresh Faroese seafood with foreign expertise to produce magnificent sushi dishes – some calling it the best sushi in the world!
There are two beer breweries in the Faroe Islands. One in the smaller village of Velbastaður just outside Tórshavn. The other one is in the second largest city called Klaksvík. Both breweries offer beer tasting, a great activity after the adrenaline incentive, or before going to dinner in the evening.
The brewery in Klaksvík is called Føroya Bjór (1888), Faroese Beer. The brewery close to the capital is called Okkara (2009), Our Beer. Both breweries use of course the freshest Faroese water to produce their beers.
The Faroe Islands hold numerous options when it comes to sightseeing. The different islands are rich in experiences, all in their own way. Great nature, waterfalls, high cliffs,
mountains and cosy villages are to be experienced.
But to make it easy for you. I have curated a suggestive 6 days itinerary as below:
DAY 1: Arrival
Arrive and settle down.
You arrive by airplane to Vágar airport about 45 minutes from the
Dinner suggestion: Famous lambhouse Áarstova in Tórshavn. Classic Faroese cuisine in an authentic location in the old part of Tórshavn. The restaurant is situated in a historic building with a charming soul. In the summer you can enjoy a light meal outside with sea view surrounded by little turf-roofed houses.
Overnight stay at chosen Hotel in Torshavn.
DAY 2: Vágar
Your guide and your driver will meet and greet you today.
A short sightseeing tour of Vágar. Driving to the small and picturesque villages Bøur and Gásadalur. The tour offers an unparalleled view of the fjord, the islet Tindhólmur and Mykines.
Until recently, the only way to get to charming Gásadalur was on foot over the mountain from Bøur. Although there now is a tunnel to Gásadalur, the village has preserved its charm and authenticity.
After the drive to Gásadalur, we top and go on a short guided hike from the village Miðvágur to the end of the lake Sørvágsvatn, also known as the lake above the ocean
for breath-taking views of the islands, with Koltur in the front. The hike is estimated to 1.5 – 2 hours roundtrip.
Drive to Tórshavn and overnight stay at your choosen hotel in Torshavn.
Dinner suggestion: Michelin restaurant Koks**. At the heart of KOKS is the culinary coquetry of Poul Andrias Ziska. As KOKS’ head chef he masters the artistry of distilling taste and smell from the Faroese landscape, combining them in exquisite dishes. The palate is local, uncompromisingly Faroese.
DAY 3: Capital Tour and relaxing afternoon
Sightseeing in the capital with private guide where you get a good view of the city and its history, its architecture, old town Reyni, the world’s oldest parliament Tinganes and the fort Skansin.
Enjoy your lunch at the Nordic house.
Afternoon at leisure or I suggest a Private boat-trip by sailboats, available only from May 1st – October 1st, due to safety and insurance policies, but regular boats are available all
I recommend a 5-7 hour trip, e.g. to the Vestmanna sea cliffs/bird cliffs, and to the islands Mykines and Koltur, where you can go on land in Mykines and/or Koltur, if the weather permits.
Nine people inhabit the island of Mykines and two people inhabit the island of Koltur.
Dinner suggestion: Try a traditional Faroese lamb meal while dining in the home of farmers Anna and Óli.
Overnight stay at your chosen Hotel in Torshavn.
DAY 4: Explore the North
Guided drive up north to the beautiful village Saksun, an idyllic village with old grass roof houses surrounded by steep mountains, and a lagoon-like lake with a sandy beach that leads out to the Atlantic Ocean.
If the tide allows it, you will go the easy but beautiful walk along the beach. Enjoy a lunch box in the scenic nature.
Continue north to the charming small village Tjørnuvík where you will have a spectacular view of the rock formations “the Giant and the Witch”. Hereafter you will continue north, cross the island Streymoy and further on to Gjógv in the northern part of Eysturoy.
On the way to Gjógv you will pass the highest mountain on the Faroe Islands, Slættaratindur (882m), you will also get another view to the rock formations.
Gjógv in one of the most visited villages on the Faroe Islands, though mainly during summer. It is beautiful and most famous for its natural harbour. There is also a possibility for hikes in the area.
Dinner suggestion: Faroese Tapas Restaurant Katrina Christiansen. Enjoy a 3-course tapas dinner based on Faroese produce in this historical building where multi-artist Willliam Heinesen was born – who referred to Tórshavn by calling it the navel of the world.
Overnight stay at your chosen Hotel in Torshavn.
DAY 5: The Northern islands
You will start out the day by visiting the Christianskirkjan, the church in Klaksvík. Said to be amongst the most beautiful churches on the islands.
Enjoy lunch at café Fríða in Klaksvík before you take the ferry from Klaksvík to the island of Kalsoy. Kalsoy, known as the flute islands because it is very long, narrow and has many tunnels, is a very picturesque island. Here you will experience beautiful nature and
small remote villages.
In Mikladalur, you will see the brand new sculpture of the Seal woman. In old Faroese legend and folklore, it was believed that on the “Twelfth Night” the seals came out of the sea, stripped their sealskins and became real humans.
This one seal was not able to return to the sea since its skin was stolen Hike to Kallurin lighthouse, a beautiful and scenic tour that will take you breath away.
Dinner suggestion at Garðahús where you will have a traditional three-course dinner.
Overnight stay at your chosen Hotel in Torshavn.
DAY 6: Departure
Check out and you will be driven to the airport for your flight back home.
The Faroe Islands is host to a range of unique events every year. Save below dates, and consider them when planning trip in 2021:
Ólavsøka is the national holiday celebration. The streets of Tórshavn are transformed into a big party during these two days. You will have the opportunity to meet the Faroese people dressed in their finest national costumes, sample Faroese delicacies and watch the national sport of rowing. Do not miss the fantastic community singing and Faroese chain dancing. An experience for life.
TRAVEL: 8 days | 7 nights
TRAVEL DATES: July 24th, July 25th, July 26th or July 27th
COMPOSERS AND SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL
Summartónar is a collection of concerts that take place all across the country during the summer. With its focus on composition, festival is a continuous, vital dynamo in the devolopment of Faroese music.
The programme ranges from improvisations with numerous world premieres of contemporary folk music to rock concerts, and features artists from all across the world.
The Summartónar festival offers a platform for Faroese and international composers and songwriters, as well as a summer of music for locals and tourists. No matter which of the 18 islands you happen to be on, there is always a concert somewhere.
TRAVEL: Available every day in the week – 8 days | 7 nights
SEASON: June, July and August
Mid July, the international orientated and progressive G! Festival takes over the small village of Syðrugøta and transforms it to one enormous experience. The setting is a wonderful combination of magnificent nature and Faroese hospitality, with concert stages dotted in between the colourful houses.
The main stage is situated down on the beach next to the Finnish sauna and the hot pools from where you can admire the view of the tall green mountains.
TRAVEL: Wednesday to Sunday – 5 days | 4 nights
TRAVEL DATES: July 14th to July 18th 2021
Seize the opportunity and join the Tórshavn Marathon. Bragdið Athletic Club invites runners from abroad and the Faroe Islands to participate in Tórshavn Marathon on June 7th 2020.
In addition to the full Marathon the races will include a Halfmarathon and a Health run. It will be a unique running experience in the beautiful Faroe Islands.
TRAVEL: 4 – 7 JUNE 2021 (Friday to Monday)
TÓRSHAVN MATATHON: June 6th 2021
Travel back a thousand years and experience what life was like back in the times of the Vikings at the Viking Days event in Hov, the old Viking capital of the Faroe Islands. Experience the beautiful nature, the ancient ruins and village names which assigns the sagas of Vikings and Irish monks.
TRAVEL: Thursday to Monday – 5 days | 4 nights
TRAVEL DATES: 27 – 31 May 2021
FUN FACTS ABOUT FAROE ISLANDS:
- The Faroe Islands is one of the world’s leading nations in producing sustainable electricity with over 50% of the nation’s electricity deriving from renewable energy sources. The aim is that the nation’s electricity will be sourced solely from renewable energy by 2030.
- No point in the Faroe Islands is further than 5km (3 miles) from the sea.
- Many houses in the Faroe Islands have grass roofs. Sheep – not mowing machines – are used for mowing the grass!
- The Prime Minister’s phone number is in the phone book.
- People population: 50,000. Sheep population: 70,000.
- There is no prison in the Faroe Islands. Prisoners being held for more than a year and a half are sent to prisons in Denmark.
- There are a total of five traffic lights in the Faroe Islands.
- The population of the Faroe Islands consists of 80 different nationalities.
- There are only two international fast-food outlets in the Faroe Islands: Burger King and Sunset Boulevard.
- There are approximately 110 different species of birds in the Faroe Islands.
- In the capital, Tórshavn, transport with city buses is free of charge.
- Faroese people have an average lifespan of 82.6 years old, which ranks 12th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019 estimate).
- 83.9% of Faroese people of working age were part of the labour force in 2019, which is one of the highest of any European country.
- The average temperature during winter is 3°, one of the highest averages among the Nordic countries.
- 97.4% of Faroese households have wireless internet.
How to book:
You can book a visit to Faroe Islands with Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd., which is New Delhi based, Boutique Travel Design company specialising in high-end bespoke, tailor-made journeys to destinations worldwide, including off-beat, off-the-grid destinations like Faroe Islands.
They have local knowledge and connections to be able to execute once in a lifetime trip experience for you to Faroe Islands.