Faroe Islands

If the most common sentence during your trip is “I can’t believe my eyes”, then you are in Faroe Islands. With only 18 islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, you can take wonderful shots with every press of the shutter release without having to pose or search for a special place in this small country. The unusual mountains, a constant fog moving very fast, triangular roofed houses interspersed all over, mysterious walking and driving routes, combative waterfalls, sharp fjords, and cute puffin birds … Everything is so unbelievable that for a moment you feel like you are in a different world.

I’ll start telling you about this small place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where you will find happiness in every corner. Now, if you have decided to go to this country, you should be prepared for the following questions;” Where are you going? ”, “ To the Faroe islands”, “where is it ? …

Faroe Islands, even the name is strange, right? It means sheep in Faroese. “Sheep Islands”, why?, For the number of sheep being larger than the population consisting of 50 thousand people. If I were a sheep, it would be my only dream to live there! (Even Google placed cameras over sheep’s heads to show us how the country is reflected in their eyes). How can we describe further?

Let’s go to Faroe. But first, let’s get you your visa. Does Faroe Islands require a visa? Does a Schengen visa allow you to enter Faroe Islands? Unfortunately, no! Faroe Islands is not a member of the European Union, and is not a member of Schengen. Citizens of our country should have a visa. The visa application is made through the Danish Consulate. You can apply to the Danish Consulate, saying that you are going to the Faroe Islands. And if you ask why specifically the Danish consulate, it’s because until the year of 1948, it was a part of Denmark. They are very culturally close and still have 2 seats in the Danish Parliament.

Because it’s based on volcanic rocks in the middle of the ocean, you might feel it is the place where the world ends, but it is not. Access to the Faroe Islands is actually easy. There are flight options from the neighbouring countries like (Scotland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway) also there are ferry options from its closest neighbour, Denmark (for your information, the ferry ride is for 37 hours).

If you don’t like the weather, wait for 5 minutes! This is the most common sentence in Faroe. The reason is that the hot Gulf Stream meets the very cold waters coming from the North. So the hottest temperature average is 13 degrees in July, while the harsh wind always hits your face and the mist embraces you (average temperature is 3 degrees in winter). And from here, you learn your first lesson about going to the Faroe Islands, at any season you should carry with you thick, wind and rain resisting clothing to protect you! Even when you’re there, some days you might look and say “oh it’s sunny today”, and you decide not to carry those clothes but when you get to the state where you’re soaking wet and feeling cold that’s when you will miss them!

You can breathe the Scandinavian air with every breath in this country as until the sixth century it was still the place for the Norwegian Vikings Scottish monks. Although they are few in terms of population, they are extremely attached to their traditions. Maintaining their culture is the first priority of every Faroeian. Family ties are quite strict. The concept of “family” is so important that although it is one of the smallest countries, it’s Europe’s number one with a ratio of 2.6 child per adult.

The language spoken in the country is Faroese. You might have never heard of it, but don’t worry, you can still get around even if you don’t know Faroese because they speak English as good as an English person.

Perhaps one of the first searches about the destination for a traveller is whether the destination is expensive or not. I used the word Scandinavian above so I think you kind of figured it out. Is the Faroe Islands an expensive country? Yes, it is a very expensive country! The most expense of your budget will be accommodation, the second is food and drinks, the third is everything else. The Accommodation options from the cheapest to the expensive are camping, room rental, hostel, house rental and hotel. If your choice is camping- like us- you must have camping equipment that will protect you from the rain and the wind. It might seem weird but I would also recommend that you book your camping spots. Yes, it can be expensive, but it is possible to reduce the costs with ready-to-eat foods that you can buy from the markets and snacks that you can take with you. For your information, the currency used is the Danish Krone (DKK) . for booking Camping spots; the; https://camping.fo/locations?_l=en

Okay, so where are we going to travel around Faroe Islands? Although it consists of 18 islands, all islands are connected to each other by bridges, tunnels, ferries and helicopters. No, you didn’t hear it wrong, you could actually use a helicopter for transportation, and the price was just fine. If you are curious, it is an opportunity not to be missed, it will pleasure to both try the transportation and see the country from the air. Of course advance booking is a must. https://tyrla.atlantic.fo/

Although transportation services are more than expected and buses are free in the capital, Torshavn Faroe Islands is a place to get around by car.  Even though the streets in photos always seem rugged, the roads are actually very smooth. Because of the short distances and the places being extremely photogenic, the chance to stop and take photos anywhere you want is one of the biggest advantages of driving a car. By the way, did you know that there are only 3 traffic lights in this country?

Come on, let’s plan a trip for you. I’ll make the plan more useful by putting it under headlines.

  • Visit the island of Mykines and the cute Puffin birds.

Perhaps this is one of our favourite places on the island that we enjoyed so much. It is pronounced as mee-chin-ness and it is the most western end of the country. It has the nests of dozens of various bird colonies, especially Puffin birds. Transportation is by ferry or helicopter. The lighthouse at the very end of the island is almost like a magnet that attracts you to it. The Round-trip walk takes almost 3- 4 hours but it’s totally worth it because during the walk It is possible to get so close to the puffins that you might get to touch them. The island also has a very charming village and a serving cafe. BY THE WAY a piece of very important information: if you are going to walk to the lighthouse, do not forget to pay the walk fee online and print your ticket out from this address; https://hiking.fo/?_l=en

  • Take the Trælanípa walk, where you can watch the magnificent Sorvagsvatn Lake.

As the lake level is higher than the sea level, it creates optical illusion, which adds the country another Instagram charm to make it more phenomenal. It is within an easy, 5-kilometer walk, starting from Midvagur and ending at Trælanípa’s sightseeing. This fjord which is 142 meters above sea level, where the Vikings used to execute their slaves from is worth the visit. The Bøsdalafossur waterfall, where the Sorvagsvatn water flows to the Atlantic, is also awaiting you here. Attention! The region is completely open, with so many harsh winds blowing. It is better to be very careful while traveling around the edges of the fjord!

  • Gasadalur” village and “Mulafossur” waterfall.

Now “I can’t believe I’m here! I can’t believe I’ve seen this with my own eyes, is it even real?”. Here is a place where it’s guaranteed that you will say such sentences. Perhaps it will be the first and only place to pop to your mind as soon as you hear the name of Faroe Islands. Besides the fascinating beauty of the Mulafossur waterfall, the square created by Gasadalur, a typical Faroe village, is spectacular! I can’t describe it any more, you should go and see yourself (on your way here, don’t forget to add the Bøur village to your list of places to visit)

  • Visit the dramatic and isolated town of “Saksun”.

With only 14 inhabitants, the colour mixture of green and grey makes it just another impressive corner of heaven. Built in 1858, the church is a complete photographic star, but people of this village are a bit furious about strangers entering the back of the fences and getting into their areas, so be careful. Also, you can enjoy pleasant walks in this fjord when the water level is low.

  • “Tjørnuvík” village.

From all the photos that I’ve uploaded to my Instagram account so far, the most liked photo is taken in this village and it’s very special for me. Its sandy beach and the cafe on it makes it look much like the smurfs village.

  • “Fossa” waterfall.

Among the 18,000 waterfalls in the country, the highest is Fossa waterfall, which is 140 meters high, and it is already on your way.

  • “Gjogv”, or as the locals call it “jek” village  awaits you.

The Faroe Islands are full of beautiful villages scattered throughout the country. But maybe the most photogenic one of them is this village. We can’t deny that we were jealous of the pool, formed among the colourful houses, and where the children were happily playing. By following the path to the left of the village, a short walk from the village and up the hill, you can get to a wonderful cruise spot. There is also a guest house with a camping area and a restaurant in the village. I also recommend you not to miss visiting the village of ”Funningur” when you travel to or from “Gjogv”.

  • The” Kalsoy” island and the famous lighthouse, visit Kallur.

With its shape long and thin, it’s an island where you’ll have the feeling of being at the end of the world. Starting from Trøllanes, fjords are rising from the North Atlantic, an easy walk of an hour and the Kallur lighthouse awaits you. The landscape at the lighthouse is spectacular. But be careful about the strong wind again! There is a statue that will get your attention on your way to the village of Mikladalur or when coming from there. ”Seal woman“. It’s an interesting story, I’d say take a look.

  • Try the Drangarnir march.

You might have seen a different piece of rock before, but when you see Drangarnir, your reaction will be like:” Yes, that’s definitely different” I am sure of this. Starting from the ferry port on the island of Vagar, this easy-to-walk march is likely to take 4 hours if you go at normal speed (2+2 hours round trip). You should choose your clothes cautiously and keep enough food + water due to the extremely variable weather conditions during your walk. If you want to reach the closest point to Drangarnir and you say “this is not enough for me to see this wonderful view”, to your left “Kvívíksskoranøva” mountain is waiting for you to climb.

  • Torshavn

The smallest capital in the world where life is pretty easy! No traffic, no crowdedness, no noise, none of these. Neither chain stores nor shops. There’s oxygen, there’s fresh air. Fresh fish and intimacy. The heart of this small capital is the Tinganes region, which survived from the year 1400 to the present. You can explore the Tinganes’s narrow streets, the roofs of the houses made from mud and stone structures. You can also visit the world’s oldest parliament building in Tinganes. Colourful boats anchored in the harbor area is another place to have fun. You can go to Skansin by boats and enjoy the scenery.

If your holiday time in Torshvan coincide with the largest festival of the Faroe Islands, OLAVSOKA, don’t miss it, you can observe the culture of the country very closely and participate in great events, concerts, activities and celebrations for 2 days, day and night,. Throughout the festival, all the locals gather in the capital Torshavn. The clothes are very nice and interesting. And the dances accompanied by local songs are really worth seeing. (Olavsoka festival is every year on 29-30 July)

Other things,

If you’re interested in birds or if you’re a birdlover, the Faroe Islands are totally suitable for you. You will fall in love with the birds in Vestmanna fjords. You can enjoy this pleasure by participating in organized boat tours.

KOKS, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the country, serves you a wonderful dinner with local delicacies in its rugged shack. You can spoil yourself with this unique experience. Advance booking is a must.

In the country where sheep dominate, let’s not forget about the wonderful horses. We have seen so many beautiful horses in Iceland before. But the ones here are as much fancy and noble as there, too.

When you search the Faroe Islands on the Internet, you will come across something you didn’t expect; “Grindadrap”. Pilot whales, which are dragged into the shore by the fishermen, dozens of people waiting with huge knives in their hands, literally a whale massacre. Isn’t the sentence itself even barbaric and negative enough? But let us clarify this issue. First of all, we never approve what they do, but we will share it with you just because we learned what they did on the spot.

To continue their existence of life in this country for thousands of years with the hard Atlantic winds that prevented agriculture life, people in ancient times had to eat whale meat to survive from starvation. Until this day, they continue to eat whale meat as gratitude for their survival. They strongly argue that this is not a ritual or a festival. The hunted whales are consumed by the whole population. They are very satisfied with the whale meat and oil as nutrition. Although this is too wild for almost the whole world, unfortunately this event, which takes place in the middle of Europe, still continues every year.

Let’s put these negative sentences aside and continue with the beauty that we started with. Now you too start working on yourself so you can reach the landscapes you dreamed of and return with great memories. Have a nice trip.

Long story short;

  • Using the Drone is allowed for 150 meters from the residential areas and for 5 km from the airport. But beware of large birds and the strong wind.
  • If you are planning a trip to Faroe Islands, be sure to book your accommodation (including camping areas) in advance.
  • It’s going to be a bit hard for vegetarians as most of the dishes consist of mutton and seafood.
  • Mobile phone service is unfortunately weak across the country. If you intend to use your own operator there, it is very likely that you will have trouble connecting to the Internet on your phone. The roaming service is unfortunately not good. If you get a local SIM card from there, you can get better results but it is quite expensive.
  • The rules related to sheep are valid across the country. Especially if you come across sheep on the roads you should wait and not disturb them. If you accidentally hit one, you should inform the police.
  • A wide-angle lens for best picture results!
  • Hitchhiking is very common. You can use hitchhiking to get to where you want faster.
  • Before walks, prepare snacks, water and thick clothes.
  • In case of emergency, call: 112
  • Police: +298351448
  • There are two underwater tunnels linking the islands. We pay the fee either to the gas stations at the entrance of the tunnel or to the rental companies (round trip 100DKK)
  • If you are going to ride the ferry between Klaksvik and Kalsoy in your car, be prepared to hold a spot as you need to enter and wait in the cars line.
  • You can make the most convenient shopping at the Bonus Market.
  • You can find the best walking routes and guides at www.hiking.fo and get detailed information.
  • Electrical outlets are the same as ours. (220-230 volts AC (50 Hz))
  • Water is drinkable.
  • Faroese is not available on Google Translator!