The Faroe Islands

I remember my first visit on the Faroe Islands back in 2017. The first sight was straight from the departing plane and it got me right away. The plane passed some impressive cliffs just seconds before landing and the runway seemed extremely short. I was glad we had good weather, imagine landing there in a heavy storm.

Since then I have visited the Faroes a few times and my favorite time for a visit is for sure spring. It is less crowded and the landscape is green again. But! You have to be aware of the ever changing weather. Two weeks before my recent visit they had some heavy snow fall and I was afraid my spring content would turn into a winter wonderland.. A week later the weather was extremely sunny and warm. All the snow melted and I was afraid the weather could be too good. Only sunrise and sunset would have been an option for photography because the sun was extremely bright and burned out the green landscapes. Well when we actually arrived on the island we couldn’t see anything during the landing. The cloud level was extremely low and this didn’t change for days.

When you look at a map you think the Faroe Islands aren’t this big and its true. You can move between the West and East end pretty fast but the mountains in between are a big factor when it comes to weather. Therefore we had more luck on the island Vagar (the airport island). Cloud level was higher compared to the rest of the island. We spent a day on Kalsoy and couldn’t see anything! A second attempt finally ended with good results and better visibility.

Therefore you always have to bring some sort of flexibility with you if you plan to travel to the Faroe Islands! But it is always worth it. Especially because of the following five spots I can recommend visiting!

Many hiking treks are located on privat land owned by farmers of the Faroe Islands. Please do respect these people and their property by not leaving any trash and keep distance to their animals as well. Most of the time you can see a little footpath to the spots, please stay on those treks. This is a good way how you can protect the surrounding fields by not walking everywhere around. Some destinations on the Faroes have designed walkways built by volunteers and land owners. Please stay on these walkways as well.

  1. The Island Kalsoy

The first thing you have to be aware of before visiting this island is: It is not connected by a bridge or tunnel to the main islands. Therefore you have to take a ferry from the city Klaksvik. Check here for the timetables: https://www.ssl.fo/en/timetable/ferry/56-klaksvik-sydradalur/

I am sure you all have seen a photo of the Kallur lighthouse located on the island Kalsoy. It is a short and moderate hike from the parking lot which is located in the most Northern village of the island called: Trøllanes . You will see a gate which you have to open and close to keep the farm animals on their field. You might meet the owner of the field, just say hi and where you are planning to go. He likes to know how many people are walking on his property and he wants to make sure everyone returns safely to their cars as well.

If you check this image you can actually see the village and the lighthouse. It is not a steep hike and you can’t really miss the lighthouse if you follow the trek. You will also be able to see the lighthouse very early.

Since you have to take a ferry to the island it is quite hard to photograph a sunrise or sunset. I would highly recommend to check the accommodation options for Kalsoy. This way you can stay overnight and hope for some good light! Sadly we had no luck with the clouds when we spent a night on the island. We had to come back during the day but it was still cloudy enough to keep the harsh sun light out.

We had a great accommodation for the night which also a very photogenic house. It is located one village Southern than Trøllanes and is called: Mikladalur. A cute little town which is worth a visit anyways! Check out the accommodation: http://visitnordoy.fo/frontpage/plan-your-stay/accommodation/summerhouses-and-apartments/h35/

The last spot I can recommend on the Island Kalsoy is actually on top of the mountain behind the Kallur lighthouse. You can walk up the hill, not too close to the edge obviously to take some stunning images off the cliff. If the visibility is good, you can also photograph the surrounding islands. This hike is very steep! But worth it.

 

2. The church of Vidareidi

This is probably a typical Instagram spot you are looking for if you don’t like hiking. You can park your car in front of a public building and the church will be right behind it. Very easy to photograph and usually empty. It is also the end of the road. You can’t drive any further North-East on the Faroe Islands. The village is very cute and you can also walk up a hill to look down onto the church. In my case the clouds were too low so I couldn´t to this little extra hike. Too bad :p

 

3. The island Mykines

This recommendation counts only for the summer months if you are looking for some cute little Puffins. Otherwise I can´t really recommend this island because I felt that there isn’t much else to do beside a hike to another lighthouse. It is also remote and you have to take a ferry to get here. I would suggest to book a ferry one way and a helicopter for the return. Depending on the timbales you can also take the inbound flight with a helicopter and the outbound trip with the ferry. Both are very cheap (around 20€)

Check here for the ferry: http://www.mykines.fo/#/home
Check here for the helicopter: https://www.atlanticairways.com/en/helicopter (can be booked 7 days in advance) 

Since the summer months are very busy I would suggest to get a roundtrip ticket for the ferry because you can book these further in advance and than you can check 7 days before if you get one of the few helicopter seats they offer. You can also stay overnight on the island but the options are very limited and I do not recommend the accommodation we booked: http://www.gulahusid.com/omgb.htm

The accommodation is very old which is absolutely no problem but the shower was in an extremely bad shape. We did not use it at all. In general the bunk beds didn’t look to stable as well and the room was very small. Hard to move around with a few people and the person sleeping on the upper one was facing the ceiling very closely. There are a few other options as well which I can’t say anything about. I would just suggest to maybe request a few photos before you book your stay for a better overview.

It is not necessarily to stay overnight if you only want to check the island for some puffins. We wanted some sunset and sunrise light which we didn’t get at the end because of the bad weather. 

 

Mylingur

This is probably my new favorite spot on the Faroe Islands! It is quite an exhausting hike but it is really worth it. Depending on the season it is also a great option for a sunrise or sunset spot. I would suggest sunset, because you don’t have to walk an unknown path in the dark and it is not going to be dark immediately after sunset. with a headlamp, you will find your way back easily.

You have two options for your starting point for this hike. We chose the village Tjørnuvik. The other option would be the village Saksun. But this is almost entirely private property and the land owner is not happy to see any people walking around. So we kind of avoided this area of the Faroe Islands.
Anyways the trek you are looking for starts in the middle of the village and will bring you to the village of Saksun. You want to start on this path and walk all the way up the hill behind the village. It will offer some great views onto the little houses and the beach as well. So maybe take a little rest and enjoy the view before following the trek further up the hill. It is easy to follow because of the muddy ground. You will see many footsteps as well. From time to time they have some wooden sticks. Further up you have to look for the rock piles. They are leading the way up the mountain! You will climb a hill which offers a great view over the islands. This is also the point when you want to leave the Saksun trek. From now its more or less freestyle. Check out the following to screenshots to understand your direction.

Maps by Googlemaps: https://www.google.de/maps

I suggest to download the offline map of google maps for this area. You can easily follow the satellite image if you keep the trek in mind I marked on the photo. The reception was pretty good out there. Therefore we had no problems to locate us on the map!

Check the point which takes a “right” from the original trek starting in the village of Tjørnuvik. This is the point you have to leave the Saksun path. You have to walk up the hill all the way up to your right but you don’t want to walk down already. If you make it to the top you will see the Mylingur mountain already. From here you walk along the edge towards the ocean. The next step is a little bit tricky. You have to get down and that part is kind of steep. So take you time and be careful because of rocks. Keep distance to each other and scream “rock” in case you kicked a loose one down the hill and another person is in front of you. If you made it down you will see another trek which leads further North towards the mountain. For the best viewpoint you want to walk all the way to edge on your left. Just be very careful! The drop is extremely deep and especially if its rainy the gras might be slippery.

We haven’t seen any other hikers around. This is a spot not many people are visiting during their stay on the Faroe Islands. As always, please take your trash with you back to the car. Don’t leave anything behind. Other hikers want to enjoy the view without trash laying around as well!

 

5. Funningur fjord view

The last spot I want to share with you has a great variety of images you can get from here. It is also a very short walk from the road. First you have to navigate to the village of Funningur. The church is a also worth a visit! From there take the road up the hill towards Gjógv. While driving up the road you are also passing the highest mountain of the Faroe Islands: Slættaratindur (880m).

Enjoy the view onto Funningur from above before following the road. You will pass one S curve and a cattle. This is the point where you have to park your car. Don’t drive down the hill towards Gjógv. You want to stop at the highest point of the road. There is also a ladder to cross the fence. From now you just walk towards the fjord. I would suggest to use google maps again. You don’t want to walk up or down the hill. Just walk straight all the way to the front. You will see the fjord very soon and if you see Funningur to your right below you are standing at the right spot!

From here it is up to you if you want to walk along the edge for some other perspectives. I didn’t find it too dangerous. Just make sure you keep a little distance to the edge and make sure not to stand on loose rocks. This spot can be very windy. We were lucky and had almost no wind. I could also start my drone for some more photos of the fjord and surrounding mountains! Just be careful. The sea gulls are ver curious!

I hope you like the locations I suggested as much as I do. The Faroe Islands are a great destination for everyone who likes some raw and untouched nature. I just want to ask everyone visiting these places to keep them as raw and untouched as possible. We want to protect and keep them like this for as long as possible!

Have a great adventure on out there!