Faroe Islands. Varied, mountainous landscapes that invite you to hike, numerous opportunities for bird-watching and plenty of driving fun on the winding roads. The Faroes are wild islands in the North Atlantic and are rightly considered a hiking paradise. They always offer new great views of picturesque bays or idyllic villages with their colorful wooden houses. In my following article you will learn more about our Roadtrip with the Land Rover Series II over the Faroe Islands. I also recommend a few places worth seeing and campsites on the main islands.
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In conjunction with our Road trip to Iceland we decided on a three-day stopover on the Faroe Islands. We soon discovered that the Faroe Islands were worth a trip of their own. Well, we would have liked to spend two weeks or more here.
During our road trip on the Faroe Islands, we visited the main island of Streymoy and the islands of Vágar and Eysturoy that can be reached via tunnels or bridges. After about 36 hours on the ferry Norröna we were glad to be able to use our legs a bit. Because three days later it should go another 15 hours to Iceland.
Faroe Island Streymoy and Capital Thorshavn
The Capital Thorshavn is with about 12,000 inhabitants not the smallest capital in the world. But it is still so small that you can easily visit everything on foot. Particularly attractive is a walk through the government district with its historic red wooden houses.
Von VestmannaVestmanna is the second largest city in the Faroe Islands. From here they offer boat trips to the gigantic cliffs on the northwest coast of Streymoy. Those boat trips are very famos, because between June and July thousands of breeding birds colonize the rocks here.
Tip: Choose one of the smaller excursion boats, as these ride between the cliffs and sometimes even a bit into the grottos - if it allows the waves.
In the north of the island Strymoy is the popular destination Saksun.However, the place is only accessible via a narrow road that leads over several kilometers up a valley.
Tip: Worthwhile is a short hike up past the church to the edge of the cliffs. From there is a beautiful view over a bay with a beach washed up by the storm.
For those who plan a longer hike tour, there is also a historic trail that connects Saksun and Tjornuvik. It is considered one of the most beautiful ways on the Faroe Islands. Unfortunately we could not hike it because we had too little time.
Faroe Islands Vágar
The island of Vágar is the third largest of the Faroe Islands and lies west of the island of Streymoy. Both islands are connected by the four-kilometer Vágart tunnel. For driving through you have to pay a Toll Fee You can simply pay these at the next gas station.
Vágar Island offers boat trips to the bird paradise on Mykines Island. Here you have the opportunity to get close to breeding puffins. Unfortunately we had no luck with the weather and our boat trip was canceled because of too strong wind.
Tip: Think about whether you might want to plan a spare day if there are weather-related changes for the trips.
Faroe Island Eysturoy
The picturesque village Gjógv is located on the northeast coast of the island of Esturoy. During a walk between the colorful houses you can always discover something new. For a break, there is also a small cafe with a view terrace, from where you also reached the lookout point to the bird cliff. From here, puffins and fulmars can be seen in the nests.
Tip: Do not forget binoculars for bird watching!
The Slættaratindur ("flat summit") is with 880 m the highest mountain of the Faroe Islands. It rises in the north of the island Esturoy and can be well combined with a trip to the village Gjógv. From the summit of Slættaratindur you should even be able to overlook the entire Faroe Islands in good weather. The way to the summit is well-worn and it is easy to find. The ascent is steep but technically not difficult. We needed about four hours for the entire hike.
Tip: Remember to pack a small picnic - in addition to the great view from the summit.
Camping on the Faroe Islands
Most campsites in the Faroe Islands are designed for RVs. For camping with a tent, we therefore discovered only a few suitable places on the named islands in 2016. We chose the following three places:
Tórshavn Camping at Streymoy: The first stop after arrival by ferry is Tórshavn Camping. Because shortly after the ferry terminal, it is easy to reach after arrival. It offers space for campers and tents, some even with a view of the water. The only downside: The course is right on a relatively busy street and therefore quite loud.
Camping Eiði on Eysturoy: The Eiði campsite was our favorite. The pitch for campers is very original on a former football pitch. Behind the football pitch there is a house with laundry and cooking facilities and a cozy lounge. For tents, however, there are beautiful pitches hidden behind the house overlooking the water.
Á Giljanes Hostel & Campsite on Vágar: The small campsite is located southwest of Sandavágur and is affiliated to Á Giljanes Hostel. Campers can share the rooms of the hostel, which includes washing and cooking facilities as well as a large common room.
Wild camping: Wild camping is strictly forbidden in the Faroe Islands. This also applies to camper vans, which may not be parked on parking lots or alternate places for overnight accommodation.
Downsides of the Faroe Islands - The Grindadráp (hunting for pilot whales)
As so often in life, apart from the beautiful pages, there can be a dark side. So also on the Faroe Islands. The breathtaking landscapes and charming villages contrast with a cruel tradition from the Viking era: the so-called Grindadráp, ie the hunt for pilot whales.
Before I decided to visit the Faroe Islands, I wrestled with me for a long time. Because the Grindadráp is a reason not to visit the islands, which I want to mention in my article. Brutal and bloody it takes place every year, usually in July and August, several times. It has been criticized and fought by animal welfare organizations since the 1980s, but unfortunately only with little success.
One of the active organizations working against Grindadráp is Sea Shepherd. Here learn more about it.
Detailed information about the Faroe Islands, hikes, bird-watching can be found on the page of visitfaroeislands.com.
Have you ever been to the Faroe Islands yourself and how did you like it? Do you have any questions about my article? If so, please write me a comment!