[img] Faroe Islands ocean waterfall

One Week in the Faroe Islands with The Laughing Traveller

In Europe, Faroe Islands, Guest Post by Katelyn2 Comments

[img] One Week in the Faroe IslandsEver wonder how to spend one week in the Faroe Islands? I haven’t been yet, but Eran of The Laughing Traveller went this year. Here’s how we spent one week in the Faroe Islands and after this, I think you’ll want to book a trip there, too. Just look at his photos! Enjoy!


Faroe Islands are a group of Islands in the North Atlantic, somewhere between Iceland and Norway, just south of Scotland. It contains 18 Islands, most of them are inhabited but with small communities. The total population is around 50,000, and 20,000 of them live in the capital city of Torshavn.

Vagar

I landed after a 2-hour flight from Copenhagen and spent the evening on Vagar, which is the island where the airport is located and is home to two of the most famous spots on the islands. I reached the B&B, which I reserved in advance and met a Finnish couple who also stayed there. Before I went to sleep, I looked out the window and… It was still almost like daylight, at midnight!

I woke up the next morning and luckily it was sunny outside! (This is not something to be taken for granted.) So after a short breakfast, I headed to Sorvagsvatn lake. Back home I printed the directions for the trail head, and it was good since at that point since I still didn’t have a local SIM card… Anyway, I started walking, and the first thing you notice in the Faroe Islands is the lack of trees! Everything is green but a different kind of green. Everywhere you look you see grassy hills where sometimes a small “waterfall” is decorating it.

Back to the trail, so I’m walking along the long lake, the biggest in the Faroes, when suddenly to my left I notice a potential photo-op because it’s a cliff looking down to the sea. No, I’m not confused – to my right there’s a lake and to the left the ocean. Now there are some more peaks to climb, and as I start climbing one of them and looking back, I could imagine the pictures I recalled from Instagram, so had to reach the top! This was an enjoyable hike, and another good thing about it was that you’re almost alone. During this hike, I saw one person (this applies to the Faroes in general, but this was my first day so was excited).[img] One Week in the Faroe Islands[img] Faroe Islands ocean lakeMy next stop was the Gasadalur waterfall. You can reach the waterfall either by a 2-3 hour hike or by just parking next to it. Since I just finished one hike, didn’t want to start another one, so I parked next to it. The waterfall is located next to a village by the same name. This is a tiny and remote village. How small? Let’s say that in most villages in the Faroes there’s a church. Here since it’s so small, service is given in the school building. How remote? Until something like 15 years ago, there was no a road to it! 

[img] One week in Faroe IslandsOh, the waterfall… From the “parking lot,” you don’t see it, but I started walking when suddenly I saw a bench in the middle of nowhere… I was pessimistic about the option to see the waterfall from that spot, so I went to check it out and… I was wrong! I saw the waterfall for the first time. So beautiful! 

[img] Faroe Island cliffside benchBut the trail goes for another 300 yards or so and I was sure there’s a better viewpoint. I reached the “end of the trail, ” and there it was – WOW!!! This is unbelievable. The waterfall itself is not wide or high, but the whole setting just makes it crazy. The water falls straight to the ocean, everything around is green, behind it a small village and behind it mountains… Try to imagine it, and now you’ll see it 🙂

[img] Faroe Islands ocean waterfallFeeling accomplished that I saw two main sites and had great weather, I now drove to Torshavn, which is about a 45-minute drive from where I was. Driving is really fun, all in awesome roads.

Torshavn has one mall! (The only one in the Faroes) It is where I bought a SIM card for my phone and had some dinner.

[img] One week in Faroe Islands TorshavnThis is Tinganes – I think it’s the oldest still active parliament in the world or at least in Europe. It began when the Vikings reached this area during the 12th century.

[img] Faroe Islands ParliamentMykines

The next day I visited the island of Mykines (pronounced: mee-chi-ness) which is special due to the fact it has no cars! It can be reached either by ferry or a helicopter. I thought it would be best to reach it by one means and return with the other, so I made reservations in advance. Luckily this was enough.

What do I mean? Before the trip, I read that sometimes flights get canceled due to weather conditions of fog and wind, but it turns out weather can also impact the ferries. The day before I went there, the ferry service was canceled due to some low-pressure area in the ocean that resulted in high waves near the island.

[img] Mykines ferryMost people come to the island and return on the same day, but I was smart enough to listen to a tip I got and spend a night there. Now, what’s special about this island? I mean people don’t go there just for the fact it doesn’t have cars… So, during summer it has a large puffin colony.

Puffins are one of the cutest birds!! They are small and have a reddish beak and orange legs. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of them. They live at sea and only come inland to nest. I’m mentioning this because to see them you walk on the edge of the cliff! So watch your step.

[img] Faroe Islands puffinsI spent the night in one of the two hostels in the small village. In the morning after the sky got a little clearer, I went up to see them again. During that walk you pass a double sided memorial stone – one side lists people from Mykines who died at sea and the other side lists individuals who fell off the cliff.

Anyway this time I went to a place which I couldn’t visit the day before. There’s another small islet connected to Mykines via a small bridge, and there too you have a good view of their nesting spots which are burrows in the mountain. It turns out these holes can be quite deep, like 2-3 feet! 

My helicopter departure was at 15:30 so I headed back and took off. The flight takes 11 minutes and lands in the international airport. There’s nothing touristic about it; It’s used as public transportation by locals.

This is the village of Mykines caught during the few minutes that the sun came out.

[img] Mykines Village Faroe IslandsThree Gems of the Faroe Islands

Before I continue, I would like to say something about the Faroese alphabet. It is mostly Latin but has some additional Nordic letters. Some of the “regular” letters are not pronounced the way we are used to in the English language. I don’t know their rules, but there were times “K” was pronounced as “Ch” and times where it was a “K.” Bottom line – not always what you read is the way to pronounce it.

[img] Buttercup roads Faroe IslandsMy next stop was Saksun – a small village at the end of what they call Buttercup Road, which is like a scenic drive, but wow what a drive it is! Once you get off the main road, you move to a single lane road where you’re almost alone. It’s in some valley, treeless mountains on both sides with this flashy green color; I just love it!!

At the end of the road, you get to a small village located on the edge of a fjord where the church is placed. Ohh – this is where a picture is worth a thousand words! By the way, the grass rooftops are traditionally used for isolation.

The next day began at Kirkjubour, an old village 15 minutes away from Torshavn. A beautiful road leads to it, and it has some of nicest houses in the Faroes. Black wood with red window frames and grass rooftops, just beautiful! So I just wandered around for awhile before I moved on.

OK, so a word on driving in the Faroe islands. The islands are a group of 18 islands where some of them, the main ones, are connected with bridges and underwater tunnels. The tunnels can be 2-3 miles long and while some of them are “standard,” others are very very narrow, meaning they have one lane.

But what I wanted to talk about is the Buttercup Roads which I mentioned earlier. These are extra-beautiful roads which are worth the drive. For example, on my way to Gjogv, I made a small detour just to drive in one of those, and I didn’t regret! 

[img] One week in the Faroe IslandsAfter a while I started the road to Gjogv (pronounced something like Jekf) and when you get to that point where you suddenly see the village. Wow!

The name itself means “gorge,” and if you look below you’ll understand why… Just look at this gorgeous place and the flashy green color! Gotta love it 🙂

[img] Faroe Islands gorgeThis is where I stayed. Not too many options since this is the only place 🙂

I had dinner at 6:30 PM and the sun is nowhere close to being set so I thought of what should I do. I checked the weather forecast for the next day, and it turns out it’s going to be cloudy and rainy. It currently wasn’t raining, so I said to myself what the heck… Let’s go for a ride. 

The next village, Funningur, was like 7-minute drive away, so I reached it and then… Continued to the next one! This wasn’t the plan, but I loved it so much. And so I went to the next one and the one after it until the road literally ended in Elduvik.

Just pulled my car in the middle of the road to enjoy nature.

At this point, I went on a short hike and saw the island in front of me. This structure drove me nuts. Look at these almost symmetric triangles. This was Kalsoy which was my plan for the next day…

Kalsoy

The only way to reach Kalsoy is with a ferry from Klaksvik, the second largest city in the Faroes. I had to be there by 10 AM, and it’s a 20-25 minute ride. I got off the ferry and started driving north, the only way I could, and saw a lovely church on the side which I had to photograph. 

[img] Kalsoy Church Faroe IslandsThere are two cool things on this island – one of them is a sculpture of a seal-woman which tells a local legend of seal people who come to shore at night.

The second one is the Kallur lighthouse which I saw many amazing pictures on Instagram and wanted to get there. I reached the tip of the island at Trollanes and didn’t know where to go. There are no signs. Eventually, I found someone who gave me a general direction so I started climbing a mountain without seeing the lighthouse. 

[img] Seal People Faroe IslandsThe walk was challenging, and there was no sign of the lighthouse! I checked google maps and saw I only moved like 100 feet. I gave it another try; I said: “I’ll reach that landmark and check what I can see from there.” I reached that landmark didn’t see anything but was so curious that six feet later I saw it! It was far away but certainly doable – YAY!

After another 20 minutes of soaring ankles, I reached it. It was really beautiful!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get an *amazing* picture but it was alright. I went back to the village and wanted a “treat”. Guess it was my lucky day, look:

[img] Faroe Islands food kioskThis is so funny! There are no places to eat on the islands but here there’s a kiosk! The instructions say to ring a bell but first, you have to find it since these ads are hanged all over town! Finally, I found that container and rang the bell. Didn’t hear a sound. Then, from behind, some lady arrived, and I bought myself some sweets.

It’s time to say goodbye… This was my short summary of one week in the Faroe islands. Hope you liked it! 


[img] Eran The Laughing TravellerEran is the Israeli travel blogger behind The Laughing Traveller. He works full-time in the tech industry but still makes one or two big trips every year. He came to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes last year! He loves nature, wildlife, and uncrowded destinations. You can follow his adventures in both English and Hebrew on his blog

Comments

  1. Amazing Photos, and beautiful place. Thanks for your information. you shared the full of ideas and inspirations island.

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