6 days on the Faroe Islands
The COVID-19 travel restrictions limited the travel options this summer, but for Danes, both Iceland and The Faroe Islands was possible travel destinations. I’ve been following several Instagram and Youtube photographers that have taken great pictures of both destinations, but I really wanted to photograph the puffins on Mykines with my 600mm Sigma lens, so we decided to go to The Faroe Islands this year.
We booked the whole trip through Færøernerejser, so we didn’t have to focus on hotels, routes, car rental or anything – just the experiences and places we wanted to see.
One of the first things you realize when you start plotting in attractions on a map of the Faroe Islands is that the islands are not that big. In most cases, it takes about an hour to go between your accommodation and the attraction. However, hiking from the car park usually takes up most of the day.
In this blogpost, I have outlined our itinerary for the trip and showcased my favourite photos form each day.
Day 1 – Vagár
We took a SAS flight from Copenhagen to Vagár airport on the Faroe Islands where we picked up our rented car from 62°N Car Rental. Luckily we got a free upgrade to a Renault Captur. This turned out to be the perfect car for our needs with plenty of room and comfy seeding. Our travel agency arranged for a single night at Hotel Vagar just a few hundred meters from the airport. This place is a self-service check-in with an excellent breakfast and is a great base for trips to Mykines and the rest of Vagár island.
After our flight and check-in, we were rather hungry and used Google Maps to find a good restaurant near our hotel. Oddly enough we couldn’t find that many that was open on a Sunday. Luckily, we found one place in the nearby town of Sandavágur and it turned out to be one of the best places we dined during the whole trip! The place is named Fiskastykkið and is situated near the southern end of the town. Sadly we didn’t get any photos of the food, but I can highly recommend their fishbowl dish.
After eating lunch my wife dropped me off on the way back to the hotel, so I could hike out to the Trælanípan cliff on Vágar island. There is a parking spot at the start of the hiking trail, but you have to pay a fee of around 450 Danish kroner (around 60€) to walk the trail. It might sound a bit steep, but the experience is well worth the price.
The walk to Trælanípan is about 4km and takes about an hour. The path is well maintained, but I wouldn’t recommend with a baby carriage or wheelchair. There are no shops or vending machines on the hike (only at the parking lot at the beginning), so remember to take a bottle of water with you. The path is up and down some hills and valleys.
Once you get to the end, you can walk out on the cliff and look back down the coastal cliffs and see the Trælanípan cliff in all its glory. Seagulls swoop down from the cliff and above the waves breaking on the rock. It it quite a sight, but remember not to get to close to the edge!
If you have the time before heading back you should also go to the Southern edge of the cliff and see the Bøsdalafossur waterfall.
Day 2 – Mykines
This island is home to several thousand puffins. I’ve seen amazing photos and videos of this place on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube through the years and finally, I got to see it myself.
We took the ferry from Sørvágur to Mykines as early as we could to have a full day on the island. The ferry takes about 30-40 minutes, and on the route, we got to see some of the Faroe Islands’ amazing coastal landscape. I highly recommend staying on the open deck of the ferry if the weather isn’t too cold.
It is possible to see puffins right around the harbour at Mykines, but if you hike to the top of the island, and follow the path towards the light, you will get to see the puffins up close. Remember to bring cash or a VISA card to pay the hiking fee. I couldn’t figure out where to pay in town, so in the end, I started hiking up the cliff. At the very top, some lady ran after because I passed her by without paying the hiking free. Apparently, you pay that at the very top of the cliff. The fee is about 250 Danish kroner (33€). If you don’t want to pay or can’t walk the route, then you can also sit an enjoy the puffins near the harbour. You can even get quite close and get a good view with some binoculars.
I brought my 150-600mm Sigma lens, but at some of the places, the puffins were so close to the hiking path that I didn’t really need a zoom lens.
There is a small café on the island where you can get a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, but I highly recommend bringing water, good hiking shoes and a snack.
Mykines is a definite must-see while visiting the Faroe Islands. Just remember that that island closes for tourists in September and I highly recommend booking the ferry in advance!
Day 3 – Gjogv, Funningur and Fossá
On our third day on the Faroe Islands, we headed for the small village of Gjogv, where we booked into the picturesque Gjaargardur Guesthouse. The guesthouse offers breakfast and very good dinner – though the prices are a bit high. Gjogv is easy to get to by road and nearby you find a hiking route that offers an overview of the nearby town of Funningur.
The hiking trail is a bit hard to find (there really isn’t a visible trail), but if you drive from Gjogv to Funningur, you will encounter a small roadside parking spot near some fences. This is where you need to park the car and pass over the fence using the stairs.
If you walk across the fields with the mountain to your left, then eventually you will encounter a cliffside with a gorgeous view of Funningur.
Day 4 – Kalsoy and Kallur Lighthouse
We took an overnight stay at the town of Klaksvig on one of the Eastern islands. It seemed like a medium sized town with a heavy fishing industry. It wouldn’t recommend staying here for several days, but it is a perfect starting point for a trip to Kalsoy island and the well-photographed Kallur Lighthouse.
The island is not accessible by road, so you have to take the old car-ferry from Klaksvig. The ferry takes about 30 minutes or so before it docks at the Southern tip of Kalsoy island at the small town Syðradalur.
After driving off the ferry you head North to the town of Trøllanes where you can park your car. When I visited in late August most of the town was closed. I recommend bringing water/cokes and some snacks/food. There are also some public restrooms available right before you start your hike to the lighthouse.
Sadly, the wind was blowing quite heavily on the day I was there. The weather was also very grey with clouds, which prevented me from getting those great shots of the lighthouse that you can see on Instagram. However, I did manage to snap some photos that I was quite happy with. However, this is a place I would like to revisit on a day with more sun and clear skies.
Day 5 – Tórshavn
The forecast for our fifth day on the island promised rain – and a lot of it – so we drove to Tórshavn to do some shopping and visit a museum or two.
Tórshavn seems like a lovely city, but the grey weather and rain showers gave the urban environment a dull appearance compared to the amazing natural vistas we had seen the previous days.
After a bit of shopping we headed for the National Museum, but on the way we were hit by a heavy rainshower that left us soaked to the skin. We decided to head back to the hotel and just relax a bit before going home the next day.
Day 6 – Going home
On our last day on the Faroe Islands, we headed back to the airport and dropped off our rental car.
Vagár Airport is rather small and everything was closed while we waited for our plane to arrive. However, it gave me time to edit a few photos and look at some brochures with inspiration for our next visit to the Faroe Islands – because this is a place I need to re-visit and experience again!