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Faroe Islands - how long to spend there?

I'm thinking about The Next Trip To Europe and am eyeing the Faroe Islands for summer 2019 (early July). My first task is trying to decide about how long to spend there.

It's clearly a bit out of the way and off the beaten path, which is of course part of its appeal (although there's certainly an active tourist industry there - I understand there are cruise ships...). Not a lot of major museums, cathedrals, castles, or other obvious big tourist magnets there. Seems like mostly it's dramatic scenery, lots of birds, splendid isolation and a unique place. Tourist activities seem to be limited to hiking, bird-watching, ogling the scenery, and that's pretty much about it.

Right now I'm tentatively planning 6 days there, not including travel days in and out (flights do not go every day, so there are constraints - we could work things so we had 3, 6 or 9 full days there).

We're adventurous, enjoy scenery, nature and outdoor activities, we're fairly active, don't need fancy food or lodgings. Although I come from Norse stock myself and am at home in empty, far northern lands, my spouse is more attuned to the tropics, but she really wants to go and is very enthusiastic about the adventure.

My gut says 6 full days there seems about right - that's enough time to get around and see a lot, but if staying 9 days I can easily imagine my spouse might have had enough of birds and hiking by then (but that's just a guess, maybe she'll want to retire there...). It's not the easiest place in Europe to get to, so I'm hoping we can go once and do it right - I'm not planning my usual Rick/MacArthur-esqe "I shall return!" for this place (although who knows, if we love it, we could always visit again).

(Note: this would be part of a trip to Europe that will include at least one other destination - probably Ireland and/or Scotland - we're not flying all the way to Europe just to spend 6 days in the Faroes).

Have you been to the Faroe Islands? If so, how long would you recommend?

Thanks for any insights.

Posted by
1352 posts

As you’ve figured out, flights availability will dictate the time you spent in the Faroes. We did something thing similar to what you are considering 2 years ago.

We started in Ireland, moved onto Iceland (got relatively cheap tickets on SAS via Oslo). After 5 days in Iceland, flew Atlantic airways to the Faroes where we spent 3 days driving around. Next, flew to Edinburgh and got 2 days of the Fringe festival before returning to Ireland. Rented a car and drove the ROK and part of the Dingle peninsula before flying home from Shannon.

Given our limited time, I could only fit in 3 days in the Faroes though I would have liked another day or two.

Do note that I tend to travel quite fast and in a manner quite different from most of the regular posters on this board. And I have no issues moving from place to place. In fact, just crossed from Moldova into E Romania this morning.

Enjoy the Faroes- they are a special place if you like off the beaten path places that have a wildness to them.

Posted by
5011 posts

We started in Ireland, moved onto Iceland... After 5 days in Iceland, flew Atlantic airways to the Faroes where we spent 3 days driving around.

I assume this was during the summer, yes? Which part? How was the weather while you were in the Faroes (I know, past is not a reliable predictor, but it's a data point)?

Given our limited time, I could only fit in 3 days in the Faroes though I would have liked another day or two.

Yeah, I'm feeling like 6 full days there would be about right.

Do note that I tend to travel quite fast and in a manner quite different from most of the regular posters on this board...

Understood. I also generally move a bit faster than many here recommend (although I'm trying to slow down a little).

In fact, just crossed from Moldova into E Romania this morning.

Sounds like fun. Have a great trip and thanks for the intel on the Faroes!

Posted by
9597 posts

I spent four days there in May two years ago and plan to go back for a week this fall.
When I was there, tourism was practically non existent except for the cruise ships. It's beginning to pick up now that SAS has a daily flight from Copenhagen.

The pace is slow, there is zero crime, almost everyone speaks English, and I hope you like fish or lamb. The food was excellent.

The only fast food restaurant in the Faroes is Burger King. It's in the only mall in the Faroes. The bus system in Torshavn is free and a great way to see how they really live. The school kids ride the buses and they are quiet and polite. At the mall, kids leave their bikes unlocked.

When I went, I flew round trip from Edinburgh. Next time, I'll flight in from Reykjavik. If you do fly via Iceland, be aware that Atlantic Airways does not fly from the main international airport at Keflavik but from the smaller Reykjavik City Airport.

Posted by
5011 posts

Thanks, Frank II.

We will be flying in/out from Edinburgh - just booked our flights last night. We will have 6 full days there (not counting travel days), which seems about right.

I will undoubtedly have more questions as I start the detailed trip planning over the coming months (trip is not until next July so plenty of time for that), thanks in advance for the help.

Posted by
9597 posts

Don't wait until the last minute for hotel rooms. There aren't that many and they fill fast in the summer.

I stayed at the Hotel Hafnia. It was fine and centrally located. They were going through a refurbishment when I was there. The sushi restaurant across the street was excellent. All the fish was local.

If you need transportation from the airport into Torshavn, you need to book it before arrival or you can take the bus. It's 45 minutes from airport to Torshavn.

Immigration is only for non-Faroese/Danish. It took less than a minute. You will get your passport stamped in and out.

Posted by
1352 posts

Coming back to your questions

Our trip was in Early August.
- we split our time, spending 2 nights at the Atlantic Puffin (thru Booking.com) which was on the outskirts of Torshavn and one night at at a hotel on one of the other islands. We loved the space provided by the Atlantic Puffin as we were a family of four.
- we rented a car from Avis as we didn’t want to rely on the bus system. Wasn’t too expensive and gave us the freedom to move about. Some of the undersea tunnels have tolls including the one to and from the airport
- Avis seemed to have some automatic vehicles but I would call ahead if this is important
- tourist office in Torshavn was very helpful including booking the bird cliffs boat ride (Vesthammer?)
- weather - can be wild. We had a full evening and half the next day where it rained continuously. when we did get out after the rain had eased we encountered hundreds (I’m not kidding) of waterfalls all over the islands - which was truly magnificent. We also got fog and light rain at other times.

- driving is quite easy with a few things to keep in mind. A few of the tunnels which could be fairly long, only have one lane but two way traffic. There will be an indicator at the entrance indicating which direction has the right of way. There were frequent pull outs to let oncoming traffic pass when they had the right of way.
- some roads are steep and twisting with no way to pass which may necessitate one person having to reverse till you get to a passing area. Thankfully there are so few people that we did not encounter this where we needed to reverse
- a number of places we drove to were wild and raw with the N Atlantic lashing the shoreline- have appropriate weather gear
- there was one area where we climbed half way up a cliff to see the sea birds and Puffins returning to their nests with fish. If you do something like this, have appropriate footwear as the grass is very slick and the slope steep with significant drop offs into the sea many hundreds of feet below. Definitely an adventure but not for anyone afraid of heights

Hope this helps - will check our notes once I get back to CO