Faroe Islands Itinerary – 5 Scenic and Serene Days
The Faroe Islands are one of the best destination for travelers looking for stunning, unique scenery without huge crowds. After news broke that just American tourists in Iceland this year will outnumber the local population, it might be time to find a less busy place to indulge in your landscape love. Despite the Faroe Islands posting similar ratios of tourists to locals, visiting the Faroes is a much quieter experience after having visited both in the same month. If you want some of the most epic backdrops in the world without fighting crowds at every attraction, then follow this 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary for an unforgettable vacation.
As small of a country as it is, the Faroe Islands offers a million things to see and do. A 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary may not be long enough to comprehensively cover everything, but it’ll be a great taste of this beautiful country and will expose you to unforgettable landscapes and experiences. They say it’s always best to leave them wanting more, right?
Preparing for your 5 Day Faroe Islands Itinerary
The DIY Faroe Islands Itinerary
Any Faroe Islands itinerary is best done as a self-managed, self-driving trip. There’s absolutely no need to book an organized tour with a large group, and it would only detract from the magic of discovering everything yourself with a rental car. Roads are easy to traverse and maps are all clearly marked. I rented my car from Unicar, and while the process of doing so was a bit complicated, I found it well priced and a good experience. However, if wiring money and picking up your car in a parking lot with the keys inside and no attendant turn you off, there are plenty of other conventional places to rent a car in the Faroe Islands. I’m personally a sucker for bidding on my own price for a car via Priceline and have gotten great prices in the past by doing so.
Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best
Conditions can vary wildly in the Faroe Islands, with snow and ice in the winter and heavy fog and rain in the summer. With these remote islands being prone to flight delays and cancellations, I highly recommend a travel insurance policy to cover any unexpected delays or other speed bumps in your journey. I always use World Nomads, and find them to be the best coverage for a good price.
Packing Light and Packing Right
I split my 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary into different parts of the country over different days, so it was important for me to stay mobile. With mobility in mind, I brought my essential camera gear, enough clothing changes for a week (this was part of a month long trip for me), and my mandatory packing cubes to keep everything contained and manageable.
As far as clothing goes, it’s fairly brisk in the Faroe Islands even in the summer, so I was sure to pack a lightweight waterproof rain shell, waterproof hiking boots (I seriously can’t live without these), and plenty of layers. Weather changed on a dime while I was there so I recommend lightweight layers that can easily fit in your day pack without slowing you down.
Now that you’re prepared for a successful trip, let’s get into the details of your 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary!
Day 1: Getting to Know the Faroes
Welcome to the Faroe Islands! Depending on where you came from, you could be arriving early in the day or late in the evening. Whichever it is, don’t let a single moment of your 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary go to waste and start exploring! My flight arrived at 9 pm, but I just couldn’t contain my excitement to start exploring this beautiful country.
After landing at the Vágar airport and collecting your rental car, it’s easiest to check in to your accommodation for the night to drop off any of your things and get situated before heading out. There’s plenty to see in the area around the airport so I recommend staying somewhere nearby as a base for tonight and tomorrow’s activities. I stayed in Sandavágur, a small town located 10 minutes from the airport, and it worked out great.
See What You Can See
If you arrive late like I did and have to get up early the next morning, don’t worry, there are still easy things to see! Just a few meters from my bed and breakfast was a charming waterfall running down the hillside, so I had to go check it out! This waterfall is shallow enough that you can walk right across it, and the hill that it runs down provides a nice panoramic view of all of Sandavágur and its scenic bay.
If your flight arrived at a more reasonable time, today would be a perfect day to explore Gásadalur and Sørvágsvatn. Both are very close to the airport and easy to reach by car. I’ll outline both of these destinations in day 3 of this Faroe Islands itinerary, but if you can fit them in today then all the better. If you still have time, take a look around Sandavágur and walk around its picturesque bay. There’s also a very pretty and textbook Nordic church located right in the middle of town that should make for great photos. When you’re all done, get some rest because every day in your Faroe Islands itinerary is full of amazing scenery and exploration.
Where To Stay
Accommodation: B&B Sandavágur
Cost: $117/Night for a double room
Notes: This B&B was extremely charming with great hosts and a beautiful view of Sandavagur. The hosts answered any questions I had and were happy to suggest places to go and things to see. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.
Day 2: Choppers, Ferries & Puffins
Day 2 of your Faroe Islands Itinerary is a huge sight seeing day as you’ll be visiting one of the most scenic and remote islands on the Faroes: Mykines. There are no roads going to this westernmost island in the Faroe Islands, so you’ll have to look at the alternatives.
Rolling the Dice
To reach Mykines, you’ll need to either take a government subsidized helicopter or a ferry. If you do reach Mykines by helicopter, you will have to count on the ferry to take you back as the helicopter only allows one-way travel, and the ferry doesn’t run in bad weather! There have been reports on occasion of travelers being stranded on Mykines after the ferry didn’t show up, but thankfully there are generous hosts on the island willing to house unlucky visitors.
If you have an extremely tight schedule, it may be a risky proposition to visit Mykines. However, with a 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary like this one, you have some wiggle room and the scenery is well worth the very small risk.
Getting To And From Mykines
If you can, I recommend departing for Mykines via helicopter. Since it’s subsidized by the government, the cost is quite reasonable ($54 when I took it). The only catch is that, depending on when you visit, it might not be running the day you would like to take it. The helicopter to Mykines operates 3 days a week most of the year and 4 days a week in summers. You can view the timetable and book your trip in advance (advanced booking is mandatory!) at the Atlantic Airways website.
There are several great reasons to use the helicopter system on your way to Mykines. For starters, it runs earlier and is a quicker trip than the ferry so you can maximize your time there. You’ll have a full extra hour to explore the island if you arrive via helicopter. The second reason the use the helicopter is because it’s awesome! Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to take a helicopter ride over one of the most beautiful countries in the world? It’s a very quick trip but the views are spectacular.
On the way back (and maybe on the way there, if the helicopter timing doesn’t work out), you’ll be taking the ferry. It departs Mykines at 4:20 pm daily (weather permitting) and is a 45 minute journey. Like the helicopter, you’ll have to book in advance through the Mykines website, and you can view the ferry timetable here.
Beautiful Birds and the Scenic Seaside
Alright, now that you’ve gotten here, it’s time to enjoy Mykines! Most people hike from the helipad to the lighthouse on the western tip of the island upon arrival. Along the way and especially near the end you’ll be greeted by the endless sea of Puffins that populate the island.
Some other highlights on Mykines are a tiny bridge over the Atlantic Ocean that you’ll have to cross to reach the western tip of Mykines, and the second most beautiful lighthouse in the Faroe Islands more on that later…). Remember to bring a lunch with you to enjoy a picnic at the lighthouse, as there isn’t exactly a bustling restaurant scene on this island of 14 people.
When you return back from your hike to the lighthouse, you can explore the village of Mykines and admire the turf-roofed houses and steep cliffs surrounding them. There will be plenty of gorgeous scenery to fill your time until the ferry arrives. Make sure you don’t miss it because it won’t wait for you!
After returning from Mykines, seek out some dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening sorting through the incredible photos you took today! Tomorrow is another great sight seeing day with a few options to choose from.
Where To Stay
Accommodation: B&B Sandavágur (again)
Cost: $117/Night for a double room
Notes: It was great last night, so why not stay here again?
Day 3: Sights by Land, Sea and Air
Day 3 of your Faroe Islands itinerary will take you to several of the most iconic places in all of the Faroes. Depending on what direction you choose to go with your activities today, you might be putting in a few miles to get the full experience.
Start your day with a bang by visiting the most photographed village in the Faroe Islands. Gásadalur is a 30 minute drive from Sandavagur, and the road leading there is one of the Faroe Islands’ notable scenic drives. When you do arrive in Gásadalur, you can reach the famous viewpoint by turning left on a dirt road just before you reach the village. If you cross the river, you’ve gone too far. Besides enjoying the incredible view of the waterfall, it’s also a nice area to explore or enjoy a picnic breakfast. There are walking paths and a bench nearby, bringing a lot of coziness to this small and scenic place.
Also known as Leitisvatn by locals, Sørvágsvatn is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands and home of on one of the other most photographed views in the country. There’s a parking turnoff just to the side of the main road, right where the road and lake bend away from one another. From the parking area, head south towards the ocean. Besides the famous view, the cliffs on the southern end of the island are great to walk around and explore as well.
I’ll be honest, when I first arrived at Sørvágsvatn I hiked to the southwestern tip of the lake and looked EVERYWHERE for the famous view. I grew a bit frustrated that I couldn’t find it, until I decided to climb some steep hills on my way back. Finally, after spending entirely too much time looking , I found it! Be careful when you perch on the cliffside, it’s a big drop and there are some very defensive seagulls there! To find the viewpoint on the map, look for the southern tip (not the southwest end of the lake) where 3 small points stick out from the island. When you’re there, just look for a particularly steep hill around the southern curve of Sørvágsvatn.
Take the High Road or the Low Road
Now you may choose whether you’d like to take a helicopter trip or visit the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs. If you weren’t able to take a helicopter to Mykines or if you just want more of those amazing aerial views, grab a helicopter ride! If you’ve had enough airtime, then now is a great chance to visit the iconic Vestmanna Bird Cliffs via a boat tour to get up close and personal with puffins and steep cliff walls.
The Helicopter Tour
So you want to get the prime Faroe Islands overhead view. Where do you fly to and from? I opted for Klaksvik to Tórshavn, but there are less complicated tours to take. My trip involved driving an hour to Klaksvik, getting on a helicopter, completely misunderstanding that I had to get off in Tórshavn (more on that in another post) and eventually hopping on a 2 hour bus ride from the Vágar airport to Klaksvik.
For less hassle (but a shorter trip), you can stick to one area. Alternatively, it’s worth flying from Klaksvik to Tórshavn and finishing your trip there to save some time. You can plan and book your helicopter schedule via the Atlantic Airways timetable.
As I mentioned before, keep in mind that the helicopters only take passengers one way, so you’ll have to make arrangements for your return trip. I took the 2 hours bus ride from the Vágar Airport to Klaksvik, where I stayed that night. If you stick with a shorter helicopter ride, then maybe you can fit in the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs on top of your scenic aerial tour!
Vestmanna Bird Cliffs
For unique views of steep cliffs from below and more Puffin sightings, you should take a tour of the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs. Bookable through the Vestmanna Tourist Center or through Greengate, this 2 hour tour is one of the most popular attractions on the islands. You’ll remain in your boat for the duration of the tour so be sure to pack warm clothing and both your wide and long lenses to take great photos!
If you plan carefully, you can fit both the helicopter trip and the Vestmanna tour in a busy schedule, but a packed Faroe Islands itinerary makes for fond memories and that many more spectacular sights! At the end of your day, drive to the northern town of Klaksvik where you can grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants there and check into your hotel for the evening. Tomorrow you’ll be touring the north!
Where To Stay
Accommodation: Hotel Klaksvik (email them to book)
Cost: $145/Night for a double room
Notes: The only hotel in town as far as I could find. They have a restaurant on location that sometimes serves dinner and always serves breakfast in the mornings, and plenty of eating options within walking distance. If you’re interested in renting an apartment, the Eysturland Lodge seems popular but availability is hard to come by.
Day 4: The Dramatic Northern Islands
For a change of pace, day 4 of your Faroe Islands itinerary will feature incredible scenery and dramatic views! You’ll be exploring the beautiful northern islands and villages of the Faroe Islands. My favorite view in the Faroe Islands (and possibly the world!) is part of today’s plan, so get excited!
Set your alarm early and catch the first ferry to Syðradalur, the southern port of Kalsoy Island. You can’t book in advance and pay on the ferry itself (yes, they accept credit cards), and there isn’t much need to arrive terribly early either. I wanted to ensure my spot and arrived 30 minutes before the first departure, but nobody else (including the crew) showed up until maybe 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Upon arrival head directly north until the road ends. Be ready for some “tunnel chicken” (see my driving guide at the end of this post) and park at the parking lot where the road terminates in Trøllanes. There’s an open community house next door with a restroom, kitchen and sitting area where you can prepare for your hike.
When you’re ready, head north west towards a small red gate along the fence. Once you’re through, make your way up the hill however you like and follow the hillside until the very end where you’ll find the Kallur Lighthouse. Make sure you wear shoes with proper ankle support, because the sloping paths along the hill are pretty rough on your feet.
The Kallur Lighthouse is right in the middle of a jaw-droppingly beautiful setting. It sits in the middle of a cross made up of verdant sheer cliffs dotted with sheep. I couldn’t get over what an amazing place this was, and how lucky I was to get perfect weather on the day I visited!
Further south on Kalsoy Island you’ll find the village of Mikladalur. Here is the statue of the infamous Seal Woman, who was kidnapped to become a wife and took revenge on all men of the Faroe Islands after escaping. Legend has it that she continues to take lives to this day. It’s a beautiful statue in a great setting by the sea as well.
Besides the Seal Woman statue, you’ll also find some of the only trees in the Faroe Islands in the village of Mikladalur. There’s a perfectly square park just outside the village that has several walking paths through the “forest,” a great place to stop and take a breather.
Once you’ve had your fill of Kalsoy, head back to Syðradalur to catch the next ferry. Make sure you know the time table so you can figure out when to get in line, and lines do form for the return trip!
Once your ferry lands, head north on highway 70 to Viðareiði, a small village on the island of Viðoy and the northernmost settlement in the Faroe Islands. There is exactly one restaurant in Viðareiði if you decide to eat here, and it’s not particularly cheap either. The village is very picturesque, especially from afar, and is a nice place to visit to get a fully scope of the Faroe Islands.
For more serious hikers, Viðareiði is also the trailhead for Enniberg, the highest cape in Europe. Although only experienced rock climbers can reach the top, it is possible to go to the end of the hiking trail for great views and beautiful paths that follow the edges of the cliffs. You can view the guide for the hike at this link starting on page 7.
Faroe Islands Scenic Drives
Although you should be making these in any location that fits your Faroe Islands itinerary, now is a great time to partake in some of the scenic drives that the Faroes have to offer. While you drive down to Tórshavn for the night, consult your driving map that you picked up at the airport upon arrival and look for the green scenic drive symbols. See what fits along your route, even if it requires a minor detour. Once you do arrive in the capitol of the Faroe Islands, explore the small but scenic downtown harbor and grab a bite to eat before settling in for the night.
Where To Stay
Accommodation: Hotel Føroyar
Cost: $175/Night for a double room
Notes: A more upscale hotel that enjoys paoramic views of Tórshavn, it’s a bit out of the way. There is a nice restaurant on location but if you prefer to eat in the city (and who wouldn’t?) it’s about 10 minutes to drive downtown. If you prefer something more central, consider Hotel Streym.
Well, here we are. Day 5 or your 5 day Faroe Islands itinerary. There’s some incredibly scenic stuff in store for you today, as well as a chance to catch up on any activities you may have missed out on due to weather or other circumstances.
This is a quick and easy stop if you stayed in Hotel Føroyar last night, as it’s located right up the road from it. Not only that, but you can literally drive directly to the top of the mountain and walk 100 feet to the viewpoint! It’s an easy way to roll into your day of sight seeing and checking off the last items on your Faroe Islands itinierary.
Slættaratindur is a must see if you are in the Faroe Islands. It’s the highest peak in the country, but the hike is actually not terribly difficult up a relatively gentle slope. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the top of this mountain provides the longest line of sight in the world on a clear day, all the way to Iceland. I didn’t have such a clear day, but the clouds enveloping the peak made the view that much more engrossing.
Check Off Your Faroe Islands Itinerary Bucket List
If you’ve finished your Slættaratindur climb with time to spare, it’s time to see anything else that you haven’t had a chance to yet. Did you miss out on something due to rain? Maybe you’d like to check out one of the other highlights you missed like Saksun Village or some more of those incredible picturesque drives. Or perhaps the light wasn’t quite right on one of your previous destinations and conditions are looking more favorable now. At any rate, go explore on your last evening in the Faroe Islands! In order to get the most of your final day, book your flight out early the following morning so that you aren’t under any pressure to meet a departure deadline.
Where To Stay
Cost: $175/Night for a double room
Notes: A more upscale hotel that enjoys paoramic views of Tórshavn, it’s a bit out of the way. There is a nice restaurant on location but if you prefer to eat in the city (and who wouldn’t?) it’s about 10 minutes to drive downtown. If you prefer something more central, consider .
Addendum: Driving in the Faroe Islands
It’s extremely easy to rent a car and drive for your entire Faroe Islands itinerary, with almost no traffic and very clear driving rules. Tunnels and bridges connect most of the main islands, with further away islands requiring a helicopter or ferry. Parking was plentiful everywhere I traveled in the Faroe Islands, just be sure to set your handy in-car parking meter at any timed parking spaces!
Tunnel Chicken in the Faroe Islands
There is one intimidating aspect of driving in the Faroe Islands: one way tunnels. In certain places, especially on Kalsoy Island, there are a series of very long, unlit, one-way tunnels. With turn-offs every 100 or so meters, there is plenty of time to duck out of the way once you see oncoming headlights. I started out my trip in the Faroe Islands with extreme caution, ducking out of the way as soon as I saw headlights, only to wait entirely too long as the bolder locals zoomed by. Later on I got the hang of the timing, and it became much more of an even share between me pulling over and the cars going the opposite direction pulling over. I began to enjoy what everyone called “Tunnel Chicken,” growing more comfortable with the one way traffic as the trip progressed.