Outside of Europe, it may be hard to find people who know where the Faroe Islands are. This remote set of 18 islands, in fact, sits in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Norway. The rugged, rocky terrain is perfect for photos and that is why we chose this part of the Kingdom of Denmark for a road trip. Plus, the roadway tunnels, bridges and ferries make getting around easier than you might think.
We took a 2-hour flight from Copenhagen to Vágar Airport and once inside the small terminal, immediately spotted the Sixt car rental counter near the exit. Picking up our Nissan Qashqai SUV rental was easy, and we found that having a car on the islands is crucial because buses and ferries don’t run as frequently as you would hope. Plus, it’s easier to explore the beauty of the islands with your own wheels. Because of the sometimes winding roads and hilly landscape, an automatic transmission car rental will also make your trip more comfortable.
Stop 1: Saksun
This small village is located on the main island, Streymoy. You can get to Saksun in about 1 hour by taking Route 11 that connects Vagar to Streymoy, and then take Route 10 up the coast. Once there, enjoy the quiet and the sight of houses with grass-covered roofs, a church, a bay leading to the ocean, and even some waterfalls. You will have no problem getting here by car!
Stop 2: Kalsoy Island
Long, skinny Kalsoy island is only reachable by ferry or helicopter. You can take your car on the ferry, or can do as we did and ride the ferry and then take a bus to reach the main thing people come to this island to see: Kallur Lighthouse. After a bus ride we were at the tip of the island and after a 30-minute hike reached our destination. You will see beautiful scenery along the way to the small lighthouse perched on the green cliffs leading down to the ocean. After our visit to Kalsoy we went back to Eysturoy island to our next destination.
Stop 3: Gjógv
One of my favorite places on the islands was Gjógv, a tiny village on Eysturoy. It is surrounded by mountains and you will find a lot of colorful houses. The village is set before a gorge (which is what the name of the town translates to) that acts as a sort of natural harbor.
Stop 4: Sørvágsvatn
The largest lake in the Faroe Islands, Sørvágsvatn
Sørvágsvatn is one of the most famous places in the Faroe Islands. The lake, also called Leitisvatn by some, is the largest in the islands and sits between the towns Vágar and Sørvágur. This body of water is unique due to its location very close to the ocean, and that it’s surrounded by high cliffs. When you are standing on the cliffs, from a certain perspective it gives the illusion that the lake is higher above sea level than it actually is.
This was not our first time traveling to the Faroe Islands and we find it a unique place because the islands are so small, and you can see so many different places in a short time. We were happy to see it with our SUV, which turned out to be the perfect vehicle for taking photos of the rugged landscape in ever-changing weather. However, the islands are remote and some of the places are difficult to get to by car. We would recommend taking a helicopter ride so you can see the islands from a different perspective and see areas that are impossible to get to be car or by foot.
What to Know Before You Go
Lodging: Because the islands are so small and remote, many of the hotels are located in the capital city Tórshavn, located on the east coast of Streymoy. This can be your jumping-off point for exploring other islands.
The Food: They do a lot of fishing on the island so the fish, especially the salmon, is really good.
The People: The people from the Faroe Islands are overall very welcoming and friendly. They all speak English well and everyone tries to help you if you need anything. And a fun fact: There are more sheep on the islands than people (people population: 50,000, sheep: 70,000).
Activities: This is the best place to enjoy nature and go for hikes!
About the Travelers
Kay van Huisseling, @kayvanhuisseling on Instagram, is a self-taught media creative specializing in landscape and adventure lifestyle photography and filmmaking.