The Faroe Islands is not a place that initially comes to mind when thinking of planning a road trip. Located in the North Atlantic between Iceland, Scotland and Norway, the islands are a hidden gem that I can’t recommend highly enough. Dramatic mountains and fjords aplenty, the scenery is absolutely incredible.
Most of the islands are connected by a network of bridges and tunnels that run over and beneath the fjords, meaning much of the island is accessible by car. You’ll also be able to take your car on some ferries to those islands that aren’t connected by road bridges or tunnels. The Faroe Islands really make a great destination for exploring by road.
I spent 7 days here in July with a rental car and managed to explore many of the islands. Read on to learn about my own experience of driving in the Faroes and to get some inspiration for your own road trip planning.
Flights to the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands is served by its only airport at Vágar. The approach into the airport is something special and was one of the highlights of the trip, with spectacular views of fjords and mountains as you descend. The airport itself is rather susceptible to bad weather, and it can be quite common for flights to be delayed or even cancelled. Keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Atlantic Airways have a good selection of flights to the Faroe Islands. Many of the flights will take you via Copenhagen airport in Denmark. But you can also get direct flights from a few select locations such as Edinburgh in Scotland. When I visited I travelled direct from London Stanstead Airport , but this route has now been cancelled.
I would recommend checking out trip.com to see what flights suit you best.
Renting a car in the Faroes
You’ll have no problem driving on most of the roads with a regular 2WD vehicle if you’re there during the peak months. I hired the smallest car available to keep the costs down.
For the best cheap car rental check out qeeq.com.
Day 1 – Arrive at Vágar
Despite a slight delay we safely arrived in the early afternoon and picked up our rental car from the airport. Rather than head straight to Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, we decided to stay close to the airport as the next day we had planned to visit the island of Mykines. There was however time to take a short drive to the village of Gasadalur, probably one of the most photographed locations in the Faroes. The village is set with a mountain backdrop and next to a beautiful waterfall that cascades into the sea below. I would recommend parking up and following one of the trails and soaking up the scenery.
Day 2 – Mykines day trip by ferry, drive to Gjógv (1 hour drive)
Today we left the car behind and caught a morning ferry from Sørvágur to the island of Mykines, the western most island on the Faroes. It’s a 45 minute trip with stunning views to check out. We arrived around 11am and had to be back by 4pm for the return ferry. This gave us about 5 hours on the island to explore. We used this time to hike to different sides of the island and take in the scenery. The highlight was being able to get up close to hundreds of nesting puffins who seemed unconcerned by the people around them.
Please note that it’s quite possible that ferry trips can be affected by weather, and in some cases tourists may even find themselves unable to return back to Sørvágur. However we had no problems and were able to continue on with our journey as planned.
You can find information on the ferry schedule and how to book tickets by visiting mykines.fo. You’ll need to make sure you book in advance to guarantee your place on the ferry.
A good alternative would be to book a guided Mykines trip which will include the ferry, private guide and food.
Once back in our car we chose to drive to the village of Gjógv which took around one hour. We did take a detour via the village of Saksun however. Here you’ll find a church with turf-roofed buildings, high mountains and black sand beach which you can hike to. As was often the case during our trip, the scenery was epic.
We stayed for one night at Gjaargardur Guesthouse, but you can visit trip.com to view other accommodation options available.
Day 3 to 5 – Klaksvik (1 hour drive)
Next we took a leisurely morning drive to the town of Klaksvík which is located on the island of Borðoy and connected by a road tunnel. The village itself is again set in fantastic mountainous scenery and worked really well as a base for three nights, and there were a handful of accommodation options to chose from. We chose to rent a great house in the centre of town. Klaksvik is the second largest settlement in the Faroes yet had a small village kind of feel. We used the town as a base to explore the surrounding area and islands for the next few days. There are several small shops and restaurants which were more than enough for us.
The hike up the mountain Klakkur (413m) was a great experience and provided some spectacular views of Klaksvík and the islands of Kunoy and Kalsoy. You begin by parking your car at Hálsur, a viewpoint located between the peaks of Klakkur and Hálgafelli. Then it can take up to an hour to reach the peak by foot.
We also chose to visit the nearby island of Kalsoy as a day trip to take on the Kallur lighthouse hike from Trøllanes that we’d heard great things about. You can take your car on the ferry that departs from Klaksvik and arrives at Syðradalur, then drive to the starting location of the hike once you reach the island. Visit ssl.fo to view the ferry timetable, but note that you’re not able to book in advance. And check out this blog for a comprehensive summary of everything you need to know for the hike and getting to and from the island. Visiting Kalsoy was probably the highlight of the trip for us
It’s worth getting in the car and driving up to Viðareiði, the northernmost settlement in the Faroe Islands and on the Island of Viðoy. The island of Viðoy is connected to Borðoyby by a road bridge and it’ll only take you 25 minutes to drive there.
We also joined a morning fishing trip out into the North Atlantic to try our hand at catching some Cod. This wasn’t something we had planned in advance but managed to book our place when taking a walk in the harbour the day before. Even for us novice fisherman it was a great experience and we were surprised at just how easy it was to catch fish!
Day 6 – Drive to Torshavnn (1 hour drive)
We departed Klaksvik in the morning to drive to the starting point of a hike to the top of the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands, Slættaratindur at 880 metres. There are two points from which you can start the hike. The first is from Gjógv which takes about four hours. However we chose to start from Eiðisskarð. From here the hike took about an hour. There were some steep sections but overall it was a fairly moderate hike. We were extremely lucky with the weather and were able to get a spectacular view all of the 18 islands from the peak!
Once we descended and returned to our car we took a 45 minute drive to Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. This left the afternoon to explore at our leisure. Aside from wandering the pretty streets of the capital, a good option is to take a boat trip to explore the towering Vestmanna bird cliffs which are the breeding ground for thousands of seabirds.
Day 7 – Depart from Vágar
This marked the end of our time in the Faroe Islands and we took a morning flight back home to the UK.