22 reasons to visit the Faroe Islands
East of Iceland and north of Scotland lays a fairytale-like archipelago called the Faroe Islands. Part of the Danish Kingdom, the Faroe Islands consist of 19 volcanic islands with rugged coastlines, grass roof houses and more sheep than people. The islands offer scenery as extraordinary as Iceland, but with substantially fewer crowds. From enchanting waterfalls and colourful, quaint villages to spectacular hikes and world-class bird watching (hello puffins!), the Faroe Islands are sure to provide an epic and unforgettable adventure. Come along with us as we go on a photo journey through this magical destination:
- From May through September, green grass blankets both rolling hills and building rooftops in the Faroe Islands.
- Only a few minutes’ drive from the airport on the island of Vágar, Mulafosser Waterfall is a breathtaking natural wonder in the tiny village of Gásadalur.
- At every turn, you’ll come upon sheep resting in the shade, grazing in the grass or loitering on the road.
- While not as ubiquitous as sheep, you’ll also see a few distinctly hairy Highland cattle if you keep your eyes peeled.
- Fishing has long been at the core of Faroese culture, and you’ll find colourful little huts and boating sheds all along the waterfront.
- With its dramatic cliffs and panoramic views, Trælanípa is the most photographed spot in the Faroe Islands.
- Hike along the shores of Lake Sørvagsvatn, the largest lake in the Faroe Islands, to reach the cliffs of Trælanípa.
- The local sheep will even brave harsh conditions on windy cliff faces to enjoy a good graze.
- The 40-minute trek out to Trælanípa rewards hikers with epic views. Bring a picnic and take your time soaking up the magic of this spot.
- Tórshavn, the colourful seaside capital of the Faroe Islands, dates back to the Viking Age. Today, it’s home to a buzzing harbour filled with boutique shops and Nordic-style cafes.
- Feast on the freshest catch at Barbara’s Fish House. The beloved eatery is found in a cosy historic building in the centre of Tórshavn and is famous for their savoury fish soup.
- The red parliament buildings, known as Tinganes, are a must-visit in the city of Tórshavn. The first parliament meeting occurred in 825AD during the Viking Age, making it one of the oldest assemblies in the world.
- Explore the back streets of Tórshavn and admire the charming houses with colourful facades and grass rooftops.
- Many of the boutiques in Tórshavn offer local goods, including fine Faroese wool. Check out shops like Gudrun & Gudrun and Östrom for a chic mix of clothing, gifts and home goods.
- The Michelin-starred restaurant, KOKS, boasts an unforgettable culinary experience which begins lakeside at a Faroese curing shed, then moves into the restaurant for a 17+ course tasting menu driven by the tastes and smells of the Faroe Islands.
- A ‘hjaller’ is a typical Faroese drying shed used for the curing and fermenting of meats and fish. It’s designed with slits on both sides to allow the fabled North Atlantic winds to whip through.
- Take a road trip out to the cool, craggy village of Gjógv – about an hours’ drive from Tórshavn.
- ‘Gjógv’ means ‘gorge’ in Faroese, and you’ll see immediately why the scenic 50-person village was so named upon arrival! Park in town and hike out to the end of the gorge to admire views of the distinct rock formation and picturesque town.
- Explore the remote northern islands, where you’re more likely to find animals than people.
- Spend an afternoon visiting the storybook grass-roof village of Saksun, set along the shores of a turquoise lagoon cradled by rugged fjords.
- Hotel Føroyar is a well-known 4-star property on the hillside above Tórshavn with a full array of amenities. For more of a boutique feel, stay at the charming seaside property, Hotel Havgrím.
- With jaw-dropping scenery at every turn, the Faroese landscape is laden with natural wonders and dramatic topography.
by Sarah Driggs of Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the storytellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay!
All images: Sarah Driggs