Faroe Islands September 17th – 24th.
I had been wanting to go to the Faroe Islands for a very long time and I finally decided that this was the year, and I knew it wasn’t going to disappoint. I had seen numerous images of the mist clad mountains, the wild elements, the striking Jurassic cliffs which rise straight up at a staggering height from the sea, a place of inspiration and adventure and so I was very keen to see it for myself! I had booked the trip for my partner’s 30th Birthday as a way to enjoy an experience together and of course as an excuse to finally go!
I had made a plan before going as we only had a week in the Faroe Islands (I’ll be back for longer next time) this meant that we were able to cover most of the Islands and see a lot of the landscapes that we so desperately wanted to see. We also stayed in 5 different places over the course of the 8 nights we were there. I know that sounds quite excessive but I have to admit; I got a bit carried away when looking up places to stay for the trip and I knew that I wanted to cover most of the Islands over that period. Plus, there was so many incredible unique properties to stay in so I knew that I wanted to make the most of it!
I also want to pre-warn you: this blog comes with many many images. I took possibly thousands of images when I was in the Faroe Islands as the dramatic landscape inspired me so much and the light constantly changed illuminating new parts of the ancient land! And so you can understand why it’s taken me a little while to get this blog out; selecting the images was very hard but I hope it gets across just how atmospheric and spectacular these Islands really are!
Day 1: We flew into Vagar airport on the 17th of September, hiring a car and setting off straight away to explore the Island of Vágar and make the most of the day. We made it to the incredible village of Gasadalur, wandered round the town and took in the sights of the well known Múlafossur Waterfall which was even more dramatic and inspiring in real life. Having only just arrived in the Faroe Islands, it was clear to see just how wild and elemental the Islands were, perfect for me and my artwork of course and perfect for us to do lot’s of hiking!
Our first night’s accommodation was at the very special Utsynid which translates to the View in English. This really set the bar high for the rest of our trip as it was right next to the picturesque village of Bøur overlooking some very impressive sea stacks right out to sea. The accommodation is designed to look like the old traditional Faroese buildings nestled into the landscape yet with very modern and luxurious touches inside. We had everything we needed in the space and the huge window at the front overlooking the water was the perfect touch.
Here are the links to the accommodation on Facebook and Airbnb so you can find it for yourselves! Here’s also a few images of the property so you can see how wonderful it really is and what a great spot it is overlooking the sea! (Click on the images to enlarge!)
Day 2 & 3: We awoke early with views from the house overlooking the impressive fjord and the stacks of Drangarnir and Tindhólmur. It was then time to explore the neighbouring village of Bøur with it’s untouched buildings and quite seclusion. We then ventured away from Vagar and drove the winding breathtaking roads towards Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.
We didn’t have long to wander around the town before it was time to board a boat that would take us to the Southernmost Island in the Faroe Islands: Suðuroy. When planning the trip to the Faroe’s I made it a priority to venture to some of the furthest away Islands, making the effort to see places far off from the capital. We arrived in Suðuroy after a 2hr boat journey passing the Island of Sandoy and some smaller uninhabited rocky outcrops rising dramatically up from the sea. The mist lay heavy on our journey but it just made the sailing even more dramatic and mysterious.
We arrived on the Island of Suðuroy on a calm foggy day, the town of Tvøroyri stretched out in front of us. There wasn’t a lot of light left in the day so when we arrived on the Island we decided to drive straight to the North to discover some of the more remote areas for ourselves. This was one of my favourite places on Suduroy, the impressive beach right next to the village of Sandvik in the North.
It was then time to find our accommodation which was located just outside the town of Trongisvágur. The unique place is called Hilmarsstova which reminded me of a hobbit house built straight into the landscape. This was a favourite for me because of it’s homely charm nestled straight into the hillside so there was the ultimate shelter, the turf roof, the cosy wood interior and the breathtaking views down the fjord out to the sea. We stayed here for 2 nights on Suðuroy and I’m sure you can agree with me that the place itself is something you don’t see very often! (Click on the images to enlarge!)
To find out more about this property please find Hilmarsstova over on Airbnb.
The rest of our time on Suðuroy was spent driving around the Island (it’s pretty big and the hiking trails are quite spread out) and discovering for ourselves some of the inspiring massive landscapes that were there. Here’s a few images from this special place!
Day 4: After a whirlwind two days of exploring Suduroy, it was time to get back on the boat and sail to Tórshavn. When we arrived back we spent a while wandering around the old town and taking in the sites of the scenic capital which felt more like a small town with it’s charm and independent shops. Our next stop on the journey was to head north of the peninsula up to the popular otherworldly spot of Saksun. Splendidly set in a natural circular amphitheatre high above a tidal lagoon, Saksun is a wonderfully remote hillside village and is one of the most worthwhile destinations in the country. Known for its tranquil atmosphere, the tiny village of 14 inhabitants offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains. The village includes a church, built in 1858, and Dúvugarðar, an active sheep farm which also functions as a museum. It was also the perfect place to stop for the night and luckily enough I had found another idyllic property in possibly one of the best spots in the Faroe Islands.
A tiny converted cabin overlooking the most breathtaking view of Saksun. When we got back to our cabin for the night, the sun was just setting and it lit up the whole inlet, we couldn’t have asked for a better evening to stay there. It had everything we could possibly have needed, fully equipped, a log burner with plenty of firewood, a cosy nook to rest our heads for the evening and the most impressive views out to the surrounding hills. You can find the lovely property on their Airbnb.
Day 5: We awoke in the beautiful village of Saksun and decided to make the most of being in the area so drove further up the peninsula to the equally incredible village of Tjørnuvík. Tjørnuvík is the northernmost village on the Faroese island of Streymoy. It sits right in the inlet with the full charge of the sea and impressive waves thundering straight into the fjord. This is the view from the village looking out to the notorious sea stacks which are known as the giant and the witch. Old Faroese folklore has is that these two were about to drag the Faroe Islands back to Iceland one night but then the sun appeared and turned them both into stone! I absolutely loved hearing the folklore stories so integral to the landscape and culture in the Islands, there are so many more tales that you can find out about online!
We spent the rest of the day driving around the Island and stopping for walks whilst taking in the views. We ventured further onto the neighbouring island of Eysturoy which is home to 66 mountainous peaks and is extremely rugged. There was plenty places for us to stop and admire the views, to be honest I couldn’t drive for more than 5 minutes without wanting to pull over again and again! The light and elements are constantly changing in the Faroe Islands and it seems like every corner you turn there is a new shocking view ready to surprise you!
A favourite spot for me on Eysturoy was the northern village of Gjogv where we spent a great deal of time. Gjogv is named after a 200 metre long sea-filled gorge runs from the village into the ocean. Nominated by the Nordic Council for the Nature & Environmental Award in 2014, this beautiful quiet and well-preserved village is idyllically located, closed in by mountains to all sides. With less than 50 inhabitants, all living in old timber-walled and turf-roofed cottages, Gjógv has an abundance of charm and appeal. There was also plenty of hiking and walking routes that went straight from the town so it was the ideal location, we just wish we had a bit longer there!
After a huge day of massive landscapes and Jurassic cliffs it was time to go to the town of Strendur in the southern part of Eysturoy where we were to be staying in a modern luxury converted boathouse right on the water!
Now this place was also pretty special. I feel like I’ve said this about every place we stayed on this trip but what I enjoyed about all of the unique accommodation was that each one was different and homely in it’s own way. The boathouse in Strendur was the perfect spot for us to explore the Isles in the North and also to be able to do more hiking on Eysturoy. The boathouse had everything we possibly could have needed, a very luxurious modern well designed space with views out to the sea and a homely charm. If you would like to book to stay here please find their listing on Airbnb. Here’s a few images to show the boathouse in it’s full glory!
Day 6: We set off early to visit some of the Faroe Islands Northern Isles. We visited the smaller but no less dramatic Islands of Vidoy, Bordoy and Kunoy. Each Island differed slightly from the next one and the views were spectacular looking out to the even smaller Islands of Svinoy and Fugloy. I’m just going to let the images do the talking for these Islands as I’m still processing the majesty and drama of them! My advice though is to definitely make time to visit these Islands in the North when travelling in the Faroes. They are a lot quieter, are home to a very small amount of people who are very welcoming whilst being varied in their landscape and geology. We then hopped on a small boat over to the equally impressive Island of Kalsoy which is situated to the northeast in the archipelago of the Faroe Islands between Eysturoy and Kunoy. It has a total surface of 30.6 km², with a total of 76 inhabitants in 2016. It is the island of the archipelago that boasts the greatest length / width ratio and it was also the most dramatic Island for me. There is also four tunnels on the Island that go straight through all of the mountains, very impressive! We made our way through all four tunnels to reach the destination of Trøllanes, a village of only 20 people in the North of the Island to hike out to Kalsoy Lighthouse, possibly my most favourite hike of the trip! I struggled to get many photos on the hike as the weather turned very stormy and wet whilst walking atop quite steep cliffs so I’ll leave it to your imagination as to how dramatic the hike was!
Day 7: Our final full day and that meant only one thing: climbing up the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands! We made the most of being in the North of the Islands and also took advantage of the incredible weather (clear blues skies with the first dusting of snow on the mountain tops!) We set off early to climb up Slættaratindur which reaches an altitude of 880 meters; It is located in the northern part of the Eysturoy district, between the villages of Eiði, Gjógv, and Funningur. I was so excited to see the Islands from above and take in all of the surrounding peaks and the views definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s a relatively easy climb up from the parking area with a very well marked path all the way to the cairn at the top, we were even greeted with plenty of fresh snow at the top, we were told by the locals that this was the first snow of the season!
On our final evening in the Faroe Islands we made it back to Vagar to be closer to the airport and to also stay in the beautiful tranquil accommodation at Sandavágur. The house was built in 2010 with an old traditional Faroese style; stone and wood with a turf roof situated on a hillside. A very quiet place with only sheep, birds and green grass as far as the eye can see. It was the perfect spot for our final night and to reflect on a whirlwind of a trip covering much of the Faroe Islands. You can find the accommodation listed here on their Airbnb.
I’m going to leave you with my favourite images from the Faroe Islands and urge you to go if you ever get a chance. My trip was only for a week and when I go again I’m definitely going to plan to stay for longer and stretch out the trip a bit more. I’m so delighted I finally got to see these wild and rugged Islands with my own eyes that will definitely be inspiring me for a long time, I’m still processing every hike I ventured on and every coastline I walked along, one of the most elemental and dramatic places I’ve travelled to and I’m already looking forward to going back!