Faroe Islands travel guide
On an island far, far away, stunning Gásadalur village used to be completely isolated from the rest of the Faroes. Situated in a valley, with tall mountains to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean raging 79 meters below the cliffs to the south and west, Gásadalur was hopelessly alone on its dramatic location. That was until a 1.500 m tunnel was drilled through the mountains, connecting the settlement with the rest of the country in 2006. At that point, only 14 people still lived here. Everybody can now marvel at this astonishing location thanks to that lifesaving tunnel, which have completely revived Gásadalur. As if the site wasn't already sublime enough does the village have fantastic enough are there also wonderful views to the rugged splendour of Mykines – the country's least populated island, with just ten inhabitants left.
Named after the sea-filled gorge, this little village is particularly known for the great views of the dramatic coastline. There is a bench at the lookout, which was placed when the Danish crown prince and princess visited in 2005. There is also a guesthouse (with great views) if you want to stay for a day or two or just having lunch.
Likely the most important historical place in the Faroe Islands. From 1111 and throughout the High and Late Middle Ages Kirkjubøur was the home of the Faroese bishopric. The village itself dates back to the Viking Age and today around 80 villagers call Kirkjubøur home. Despite its limited size, here's an impressive historical presence. The biggest sight is the never-finished Magnus Cathedral. Construction started around the year 1300, but as it was never roofed, it was never finished. Nevertheless, is it still the largest medieval building in the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubøur is also noteworthy for holding the oldest, still-serving church anywhere in the country. Olav Church dates back to the 13th century. Lastly, one of the world's oldest log houses – the old bishop's presbytery – is also open to visitors. It's the largest farm on the islands and the current inhabitants the Patursson Family, who have lived here for 17 generations, have kept both the wooden interior and the grass covered roofs mostly intact.
Being the second largest town in Faroe Islands doesn't mean that much. Klaksvik is built around the harbour and surrounded by pretty pyramids mountains. It has what a town needs in terms schools, churches, and hospital, but most tourists will probable find it a bit dull. Before 2006, you had to sail to Klaksvik, but today you can drive all the way from Torshavn to Klaksvik (75 km) by going through the 6 kilometres long Norðoyatunnilin (The Northern Isles Tunnel).
It seems that every nation needs a famous statue - the Faroe Islands have Kopakonan. It's a statue of a naked woman, who steps out of her seal skin. According to legend, seals are humans who took their own life by drowning in the sea. Once a year they come ashore, shed their seal skins and become humans, and dance the night away. The Kopakonan statue is placed in Miklardalur on Kalsoy Island right at the waterfront with Kunoy's majestic mountains as background. In combination with the hike to Kallur lighthouse (from Trøllanes), they make the short ferry ride to Kalsoy (20 min from Klaksvik) well-worth .
The small settlement of Kunoy (population 64), on the island of Kunoy, sits dramatically on cliffs above the sea on a backdrop of a vertical mountain wall. There are beautiful views of the neighbouring island, Kalsoy, but there are beautiful views everywhere on the Faroe Islands. Kunoy even has a fine white church, which stands right at the edge of the cliffs, above a small colony of seabirds. You can drive to Kunoy from Klaksvik over the narrow causeway.
Right at the northern tip of Kalsoy Island stands this small unmanned lighthouse. You can only reach it by hiking a hour from Trøllanes through sloping grass land with grassing sheep (of course). The views along the way, and particularly at the top at the lighthouse, are stunning. Far below crashes the sea against the rocks, while the vertical cliff walls are home to bird colonies. There is a outcrop even further out with even more fantastic panoramic views, but be careful for the trail is narrow with steep slopes on both sides.
Only a twenty-minute ferry-ride from Tórshavn, Nólsoy feels like a world away from the cosmopolitan capital (everything is relative). For anyone with too little time on their hands, this is a comfortable and convenient getaway into the more traditional Faroese culture. The car-free island only has a single village on it, and it's from here walks around the Island is arranged. Most of the island is dominated by the 372 m high Eggjarklettur Mountain, wish is a challenging climb. Others opt for the walk to the lighthouse on the island's southern tip, 8 km from the settlement. For the less fit, plenty of smaller and shorter walks a possible. Notice the whale jawbones standing as an entrance gate at the harbour.
Pretty much any road trip in the Faroe Islands, is a pretty road trip, but there are sections which are of exceptional beauty. The inland road from Torshavn over the mountains offers amazing views; first over Torshavn and then birdview of Kaldbak fjord.
Another spectacularly road trip is the one-lane road to Saksun, named Hvalviksvegur. It's a narrow sealed road in perfect condition, which rolls through a valley with smaller waterfalls and ends at Saksun, where an old church with turf roof overlooks a cove, where more waterfalls tumbles down the sides.
The main islands are connected by tunnels, but to reach some of the smaller islands, you need to take the ferry. The picture is from Kalsoy Island, which is only reached by ferry. There is one road on the island and it only has one lane - so watch for on-coming traffic... and sheep. Always watch out for sheep!
Faroe Islands are spectacular in general, but there are places which are extremely spectacular, Saksun is one of them. Just the road leading to Saksun is well worth the journey. It's a rolling one-lane road (with on-coming traffic) down a valley with grassing sheep and smaller waterfalls. At the end of the road lies the tiny settlement of Saksun high above a cove with more waterfalls tumbling down the steep mountain walls. On a outcrop stands a picture-perfect old church with turf roof from where there are panoramic views over the cove. On the opposite side of the church, a trail leads down to the shore of the cove and further out to the Atlantic Sea. The walk takes about an hour return and is best done during low tide.