The Faroe Islands are unquestionably beautiful and secluded. The 18 islands are located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean – northwest of Scotland and midway between Norway and Iceland. Despite being unknown to most, these rugged and wild islands are gaining popularity with tourists. People come to the Faroe Islands to explore the wind-swept scenery, to witness incredible seabird colonies, or to simply escape large tourist crowds.
In this guide, you will find information about getting to and around the islands, where to stay, places to eat, what to pack, must-visit locations and photography tips!
Faroe Islands Travel Guide + Best Photography Spots
- Official Name: Føroyar (in Faroese)
- Population: 49,469 people; 70,000 sheep; 2 million+ seabirds
- Language: Faroese & Danish, though English is widely spoken
- Currency: Faroese & Danish Krone (DKK)
- Capital: Tórshavn, on the island of Streymoy
- Time zone: UTC
- When to visit: Anytime, with July-August being the most popular
- Fun Fact: Faroes has its own version of Google Street View, called “Sheepview 360”. Yep you guessed right – they literally strap a 360 camera to a sheep and let it run around. Watch the videos here
Despite being remotely located, it is much easier than you would think to get to the Faroe Islands. Cities such as Copenhagen, Reykjavík, and Edinburgh have direct routes to the islands. My Atlantic Airways round-trip flights (in late March) from Reykjavík cost around $300 USD, including baggage (read all about my Iceland trip here!) If you would prefer to arrive by boat, the Smyril Line’s ferry, M/S Norröna, sails to the Faroe Islands from Hirtshals in the north of Denmark and from Seyðisfjørður in Iceland.
The islands are incredibly easy to navigate. My husband and my preferred transportation was a rental car through 62°N. The islands are connected by a network of well-maintained roads, tunnels, bridges, ferries and helicopter services. There are affordable and regular bus services between islands and attractions if you prefer public transport. I personally love the freedom of going wherever, whenever I want when traveling. Plus, gas is relatively cheap in the Faroe Islands compared to most Nordic countries.
Visiting some of the islands by ferry is a fun day trip. We chose to explore the islands of Sandoy and Kalsoy, at a price of about $30 USD for the two of us and a small car on each island. Getting to the islands of Vágar and Borðoy will cost you around $15 USD round-trip in order to use the sub-sea toll tunnels.
Navigating the islands is easy with the use of basic paper maps and Google Maps. I would recommend getting a local sim card (pick it up at the information desk at the airport) so that you can use the GPS on your phone. Oh and watch out for sheep! They are EVERYWHERE in the Faroe Islands.
Where to Stay
Tórshavn is a fantastic home base due to its central location to most attractions. It also has the advantage of being the capital city and therefore provides easier access to restaurants and groceries. My husband and I stayed in a lovely Airbnb in the downtown area for about $500 USD for 7 nights (use this link for $40 off your first Airbnb trip!) You could also opt to stay various nights on different islands. For example, you could split your time between Vágar, Streymoy & Borðoy. This would result in less driving between attractions but would also offer less flexibility with weather conditions. We found that it was common for one island to be rainy when another island was completely sunny, so we simply chased the best weather each day.
Restaurants are nice but also pricey in the Faroe Islands. In Tórshavn, you can get deliciously fresh seafood at high-rated restaurants such as Aarstova & Barbara’s Fish House. Interestingly, the gas stations had some affordable but also tasty food options! The Effo gas station fish and chips were under $10 USD and definitely hit the spot after a long day of exploring. Emilia Fast Food in Tórshavn was another affordable place to grab a bite to eat.
What to Pack
No matter what time of the year you are visiting, you should consider taking clothes suitable for wet, cold and windy conditions. The weather can change very quickly in the Faroe Islands. One day (in late March) I witnessed snow, thick fog, sunshine & hail all within 2-3 minutes. Hiking boots are another necessity if you plan to get out of the car/bus and explore a little. The ground can be wet and some hikes do not have a designated or well-maintained trail.
Must See Locations
There is definitely more to see then the locations listed below – these are just some of my favorites!
This tiny village boasts the magical Múlafossur waterfall, which flows directly into the ocean. The area is surrounded by lush fields, towering mountains, and quaint farms. Definitely a must see!
Tucked away from sight, this hillside village is located inside a natural amphitheater and above a tidal lagoon. Saksun may only have 14 inhabitants but boasts unparalleled mountain views. The village includes a 160-year-old church and an active sheep farm which also functions as a museum.
Lake Sørvágsvatn, Vágar
Not only is this the largest lake in Faroes, but Sørvágsvatn sits right next to the ocean and features the impressive Bøsdalafossur waterfall. It takes less than an hour to hike out to the view you can see in the above photo – absolutely worthwhile!
This village is the northernmost settlement of the Faroe Islands. Hiking the mountain behind the village, Villingardalsfjal, provides gorgeous views of the nearby fjords and mountains, though you should allow 3-4 hours.
This charming village is surrounded by mountains on three sides, with the north side opening out to the Atlantic Ocean. A 200 m / 656 ft long sea-filled gorge runs from the village into the ocean, splitting the town down the middle. Take a stroll around and admire the old timber-walled and turf-roofed cottages.
Kallur Lighthouse, Kalsoy
The island of Kalsoy can be reached by ferry from Klaksvík. Its thin shape is dotted with mountain peaks, valleys, and tiny villages – reached only via road-tunnels. Hike out to Kallur Lighthouse at the northernmost tip of the island for impressive sea cliff views.
With the landscapes being so undeniably beautiful, it is hard to take a bad photograph in the Faroe Islands. Here are some tips for taking the best possible photos:
- The most practical lenses to take on your trip are a wide angle (e.g. 16-35mm), a mid-range lens (e.g. 24-70mm) and a zoom lens (e.g. 200mm+). I was particularly surprised at how small/close many of the locations were that I had previously only seen in photos, which was when I found a wide angle lens to be most useful. A zoom lens is handy if you plan to take photographs of the seabirds or cliffs in the far distance (e.g. “Risen & Kellingin”).
- Taking a drone to the Faroe Islands will allow you to capture stunning aerial perspectives. Though, be warned that the winds can be very strong and also be mindful not to disturb wildlife.
- Take loads of lens cleaning wipes/cloths with you! The wind and ocean breeze makes for some challenging shooting conditions!
Find Out More
- Visit Faroe Islands has some really informative and practical information
- Atlantic Airways is your go-to for booking flights
- Check out my Instagram feed for more photos from my March trip
PIN FOR LATER!
Disclaimer – This trip was in collaboration with Visit Faroe Islands & Atlantic Airways. As usual, all opinions and recommendations are unbiased. All photos were taken by myself or my husband, Matthew Hahnel.
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The Faroe Islands are on my bucket list and I really hope to cross the off! Excellent post, Renee!
Thanks so much! I hope you get to visit one day 🙂
What a wonderful review of the Faroe Islands. I am going there in July and loved your comments. Your comments were brilliant and your review of the places were just excellent. How can anyone give more honest or clear comments? That’s brilliant! Thank you. John x
Thank you so much John!
Wonderful photos Renee – Have been thinking about visiting the Faroe Islands while in Europe next year and I think you’ve made up my mind!!
Thank you Brodie! I would highly recommend it!
Thanks for sharing. I’m wondering how was the weather in March as most website mentioned March is wet and not suitable for hiking and even the ferries are shut. Hope u share more about your daily itenary.
Hi Yully. I was there in March and we had a mixture of weather (rain, sunshine, wind, snow). It was definitely chilly but absolutely beautiful. Summer is more green and more likely to get sunshine. We didn’t have any issues with ferry closures in March. Good luck!
I absolutely love your photos of the Faroe Islands! It looks like a beautiful place and I definitely want to visit one day – your tips are so useful! I especially like the photography tips. I’ve been following your adventures on Instagram and recently found your blog! Keep up the amazing work!
I really appreciate that Anna, thank you for following along 🙂
I loved the Faroe Islands – so beautiful! I’d love to visit again, especially as I didn’t get chance to visit Sørvágsvatn. We did a package with Atlantic Airways that included flights, hotel and car hire which was very convenient.
Isn’t it wonderful?! I would love to get back there too. I think in summer next time though so I can see more of the birds 🙂
Beautiful photos! I’d love to visit the Faroe Islands. I particularly like the look of the hillside village with only 14 inhabitants! Very useful post 🙂
Your photos are spectacular! I can’t get over how stunningly beautiful the scenery is! After visiting Iceland recently I’ve become even more interested in going to the Faroe Islands someday.
I hope you can make it there 🙂 Thank you for the kind words!
wow, another nordic island I’ve never heard of! A photographer’s and nordic-lover’s paradise. I feel like that village that you captured is really communal.
Every Nordic country I have visited has been so magical. The Faroe Islands are no exception!
Wow, what an incredible adventure! It looks so wild and unspoiled! Thank you for sharing the details and the breathtakingly beautiful photos. I’d love to visit Lake Sorvagsvatin- it looks amazing! What was your favorite location?
Thanks Sally! My favorite location was probably Sorvagsvatin or Múlafossur waterfall – it’s so hard to choose!
I never thought to travel to the Faroe Islands before reading this post ! Your pictures are absolutely stunning as usual… These mysterious islands are famous for their exquisite beauty and isolation and they seem to have their own identity and their own traditions such as old folk tales. On my bucket list, now 🙂
Wow you summed it up so well! It’s exactly like that haha! You should definitely visit 🙂
The Faroe’s recently moved to the top of my travel list, and there isn’t a ton of great information out there for them. This post is super helpful. Thank you!
Thank you Lindsay. It’s an amazing place to visit!
These photos have me dreaming of a trip to the Faroe Islands! It looks like Iceland – but no annoying tourists 🙂 Bookmarking for my next wanderlust adventure.
It’s just like that haha! Also no geysers or glacial lagoons but still amazing! You would love it there!
I fell in love with the rugged beauty of Iceland back in January and I think I would love the Faroe Islands for the same reason. Your pictures are absolutely stunning!
You absolutely would Phoebe! Anyone who loves Iceland would enjoy their visit to Faroes. Thanks for following along 🙂
Truly stunning as always Renee! Loving this island… you make me want to get into drone photography!
Thank you lovely 🙂 Drone’s are so much fun!
I shamefully didn’t know where Faroe Islands is until a month ago because its becoming quite popular on my instagram feed. Lol! I followed your IG stories a few weeks back when you were in Iceland and Faroe Islands and I was just blown away. It’s now on top of my bucketlist. Btw, Im so in love with your photos. Im such a big fan!
Getz – your website is beautiful as well! Gorgeous photos.
Thank you Getz! I also hadn’t heard of the Faroe Islands before it became more popular on social media – nothing to be ashamed over! I also agree with Hannah, you have a beautiful website!
Hi Renee! Love your photos! Just wanted to ask you about what kind of camera and lenses you use? Maybe you’ve answered this question before somewhere but in that case I can’t seem to find it 🙂 Keep up the good work!
Thanks Kim! I am going to be putting up a blog post on my camera gear very soon. I shoot with a Sony a7ii though will be switching to the a7Rii soon. I have a range of Sony lenses which I will mention in my gear post. Thanks for following along 🙂
Thanks for the blog post! Very helpful insight. My brother and I are heading there at the end of April. You don’t mention anything about the people. From what I’ve seen, they have a lot of pride for their culture. Are they nice and helpful? Or are we better off figuring out things on our own?
Thanks for reading! You and your brother will have a great time, I’m sure of it. The people we met were friendly and helpful, similar to other Nordic countries. Enjoy!
Brilliant information and love your photos and links Renee, keep up the great work ! You provide very helpful information.
Cheers David! Glad you liked it 🙂
I am just getting to know your work but I love what have seen so far.
Looking forward to what’s to come
Thanks for following along John!
just found your instagram which then lead me to your blog and I love all of your photography and posts of my goodness! Keep it up Renee ! 😀 (from a fellow aussie)
Thanks so much Rachel – that means a lot 🙂
Amazing blog and photos, Renee! Can’t wait for the next post x
Thank you Sharmaine 🙂
Never thought to travel to the Faroe Islands, but after reading this it’s definitely on the list. Another fantastic blog and stunning photos Renee.
You guys would love the scenery and wildlife!
Thank you for sharing this post with us. I am planning on visiting the Faroe Islands in June so this is very useful! Beautiful photos by the way – I hope I can take some half as pretty as that 🙂
I am so glad to hear you found the guide to be helpful. You will love the Faroes!