10 Amazing Things to See in the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are home to one of the most unique landscapes in the world. However, despite being named the top destination in 2015 by National Geographic, these islands remain surprisingly untouched by tourists. I visited in the height of tourist season, and even then I found the roads to be completely empty of traffic, quiet restaurants, and only a limited number of tourists for me to share this incredible place with. There are so many things to see in the Faroe Islands that you could spend an entire year exploring them, but if you’re on a short vacation like myself then here are some of my favorite things that I encountered.
Sørvágsvatn, also known as Leitisvatn to locals, is one of the two most iconic things to see in the Faroe Islands. It’s the largest lake in the Faroes and located right next to the Vágar Airport. It may not look like anything special from the road, but if you hike up the steep hills to the southeast you’ll be treated to this incredible view. It almost seems impossible for the lake to be perched atop these deep caves, and from here it looks as if the water comes right to the edge of the cliffside.
Located on the same island as Sørvágsvatn, Gásadalur is the other extremely iconic thing to see in the Faroe Islands. It’s the most photographed spot in the entire country, and it’s not hard to see why! This picturesque village just screams quaint beauty with a mountainous backdrop and waterfall foreground. As a bonus, the drive to Gásadalur is one of the Faroe Islands’ official scenic drives, offering you great views as you twist and turn along the way there.
Kalsoy Island and the Kallur Lighthouse
Kalsoy Island has some of my favorite things to see in the Faroe Islands, and it’s well worth taking the ferry ride to get there. When the ferry deposits you on the island, enjoy some rousing games of tunnel chicken with the locals as you head north to the very end of the road. The parking lot there is the trailhead for the Kallur Lighthouse, possibly my favorite view in the entire world.
The hike is awkward along sloping paths that will wear out your feet in a hurry, but if you can visit on a clear day you’ll get the view of your life! The Kallur lighthouse sits in the middle of a natural cross formation with dramatic drop offs in all directions. Mingle with the sheep (and try unsuccessfully to avoid stepping in their ubiquitous poop) while you take in this incredibly beautiful spot. I could have stayed there all day if the thick, incoming fog didn’t play spoiler to those plans.
There is more to Kalsoy Island than just the Kallur lighthouse. The next town south, Mikladalur, is the home to the infamous Seal Woman statue, a monument to a scorned wife who, as legend has it, has been exacting her revenge on the Faroese to this day!
The statue is actually quite haunting to look at, and it’s nestled in a beautiful cove that’s surrounded by cliffs and waterfalls. Mikladalur is also home to one of the few places on the Faroe Islands that you will find trees! There is a small, very geometrically perfect forested park right outside of town that you can wander through and just sit and enjoy. It feels really weird seeing trees in an otherwise treeless landscape, but that just adds to the uniqueness of the Faroe Islands.
Take a Helicopter Ride
Helicopters are subsidized by the government here, making them fairly economical to use. For roughly $55 USD, you can see the Faroe Islands from above and get a full appreciation for their incredible beauty. While you’re up there, you can keep a lookout for other things to see in the Faroe Islands that spark your interest, the only tricky part is remembering how to get there later!
Mykines is the prime bird watching destination in the Faroe Islands with its large population of Puffins dotting the cliffside. This also makes it one of the most popular things to see in the Faroe Islands. It’s generally done as a day trip because there are no roads going there. Once you arrive, the most popular route is to hike to the lighthouse on the western tip of the island. Not only can you spot Puffins along the beautiful cliffside (they’re hard to miss!), but you’ll also get to cross the Atlantic on a tiny bridge and see the second most beautiful lighthouse in the Faroes!
Slættaratindur is not only the highest peak in the Faroe Islands, but it also boasts the Guiness world record for longest line of sight in the world! Rumor has it that on a clear day, you’re able to see all the way to Iceland. I didn’t have such a clear day, but the clouds made the view all the more charming with islands peeking out from between them.
Despite being the highest peak, Slættaratindur is still one more the more accessible viewpoints in the Faroe Islands. The hike up is, for the most part, gently sloping and shouldn’t take most people more than an hour. There are plenty of other things to see in the Faroe Islands that require a lot more effort with less reward!
If Slættaratindur seems like too much effort, Sornfelli might be the perfect solution. Another of the many scenic peaks in the Faroe Islands, Sornfelli is probably the easiest to visit. You can literally drive directly to the top of it, where all it takes is a short walk to the view pictured here.
Saksun is a quaint village full of turf-roofed houses in the northern end of Streymoy. It’s also one of the things to see in the Faroe Islands that doesn’t require any hiking at all, in case you were looking for a break! The village contains a museum, church, and an active sheep farm. Like so many other places in the Faroe Islands, it’s a fantastic spot to wander around and get lost in. Explore the village and then wander over to the harbor for the full experience!
Faroe Islands Picturesque Drives
When you first arrive at the airport, you’ll receive a map that’s full of things to see in the Faroe Islands. Along this map, you’ll notice some green symbols marking the most scenic drives on the islands. Some of these routes will lead you to other great things to see in the Faroe Islands, and others will just be their own standalone attraction. The Faroe Islands are filled with these beautiful drives, so be sure to incorporate some of them into your visit!
What’s a visit to the Faroe Islands without hanging out with some of the locals? There are sheep everywhere in the islands, and there’s a certain satisfaction that seeing those little white dots along the green hillside brings about. In fact, sheep are so entrenched in the life of the Faroese that in an effort to bring Google Street View to the islands, they strapped cameras to their sheep and launched Sheepview 360!
There Are Many Other Things To See In The Faroe Islands!
This list is intended to get your started, and there are so many things to see in the Faroe Islands that you could fill a lifetime with them! Hopefully these images were able to whet your appetite and get you in the mood for visiting these incredible islands.