Visit the Faroe Islands

Visit the Faroe Islands – If you’re starting to think of unusual holiday destinations then I’ve maybe got a gem. In May I went on a press trip to the Faroes, a tiny cluster of islands in the North Atlantic.

How to Get There – Visit the Faroe Islands

The Faroes sound remote but you can hop on a direct flight from Edinburgh and be there in just over an hour. Before you know it you’ve landed in this breathtaking landscape that I’ve been describing as awesome with a dose of epic thrown in.

The Appeal – Visit the Faroe Islands

The Faroes are ideal for those who love the great outdoors, hiking, wildlife, good food and adventure. It’s also known for knitwear as the jumper worn in The Killing by Sarah Lund is Faroese – the knitwear shops offer up some gorgeous wools and dresses as well as cosy sweaters. If you’re passionate about the scenery of Scotland then you’ll instantly find affinity with the Faroes – the sweeping valleys, the rugged hillsides, the picturesque coastal villages.

Things to Do – Visit the Faroe Islands

Vestmanna Boat Trip

Head to Vestmanna on the west coast of Streymoy to set sail with www.puffin.fo cruises. Take in dramatic ock formations, sea stacks, caves, birdlife and the most precarious grazing lambs. The skilled skipper navigates narrow channels and caves to bring visitors epic sights.

Vestmanna’s Saga Museum

Visit the Faroe Islands

Saga Museum – Vsetmanna

This museum packs no punches about Faroese history, from the early Irish settlers to violent pirates and Vikings. From decapitations, hangings, raids, violence and drownings, it conveys history with acutely lifelike waxworks.

Stroll Around the Government Buildings ‘Tinganes’ of the Faroes

On the waterfront, these iconic red buildings bedecked with green grass roofs are unusual and photogenic.

Hiking Út á Lónna

Park at the small town of Saksun at the north of Streymoy and walk (strictly when the tide is out or going out) to meet the Atlantic. The route is 3km each way, and takes roughly an hour.

Head down a gravel path, follow the water to a beach and its dramatic waterfall straight out to sea. Hugely dramatic.

Visit Kirkjubøur

Experience the ruins of St Magnus Cathedral, as well as the famous farmhouse Rokstovan, one of the world’s oldest inhabited timber houses which is open for the public to explore.

The houses in Kirkjubøur are clad in the signature black tar, with vivid red doors and window frames and the iconic insulated grass roofs.

Situated on the land of a 17th-generation farmer, sheep and Highland cows graze on the grassland, but step inside the main farmhouse to discover everyday life from days gone by. Flotation aids created from animal guts, harpoons for whaling and ropes for catching wild birds on clifftops festoon the walls.

Hike from Tórshavn to Kirkjubøur

Hike along the cliffs linking the town of Tórshavn with Kirkjubøur. At 7km long it takes approximately two hours. Walkers are rewarded with excellent views of the neighbouring islands of Sandoy, Hestur, Koltur and Vágar before descending into Kirkjubøur.

Visit the National Art Gallery & Forest in Tórshavn

Visit the Faroe Islands

Visit the Faroe Islands

With a permanent collection of renowned Faroese artists visitors get an insight into Samuel Joensen-Mikines who put Faroese art on the map, Ingálvur av Reyni who gained an international reputation, and the impressionism of Ruth Smith. Immediately adjacent to the gallery is the National Forest peppered throughout with striking sculptures by Hans Pauli Olsen.

His work is found across the Faroe islands, his most distinctive perhaps being the Seal Woman or Selkie statue at Mikladalur on Kalsoy – a folklore familiar to many Scottish islanders.

Food – Visit the Faroe Islands

Visit the Faroe Islands

Quality restaurants with signature grass roofs in Tórshavn

The food is excellent. The Faroese have quite a simple larder but they’re imaginative with it. On the whole, only hardy animals and plants flourish, for example rather than savouring delicate strawberries we were sipping on rhubarb cordial. Rhubarb style Kir Royale was another favourite of mine.

Lots of glorious slow cooked meat was served in ‘Aarstova’, a wonderful seafood restaurant called ‘Barbara’ dished up beautiful horse mussels and cod, and excellent “Heimablídni” or home-dining was provided in the dining room of a local farmer. Home dining would work work exceptionally well for families, the couple we visited were warm and friendly, and they even had kittens.

Oh, and do try ræst – that was a new one to me. Ræst is a very specific flavour and method of preserving food. Foreigners react to ræst in the Faroes in a similar way to how they react to haggis in Scotland – lots of questions and uncertainties over something we consider quite commonplace. But you’ve got to try everything once.

For fine diners, KOKS restaurant in Kirkjubóur has a Michelin star. And for dining al fresco try Frída’s sea views at Klaksvik, or coffee by the quayside at Tórshavn’s Kaffihúsi.

Visit the Faroes Islands

Home dining in the Faroes

Where to Stay

In Torshavn I’d recommend Hotel Hafnia, complete with colourful puffin murals decorating the walls.

Out in the wilds of things, discover a charming eco-friendly guesthouse on the second largest of the Faroe Islands, Eysturoy – the Gjaargardur Guesthouse in Gjogv.

I can almost guarantee you’ll return bright eyed and almost literally blown away by the Faroes.

If ‘Visit the Faroe Islands’ helped you plan a short break or holiday then please consider subscribing here or buy me a coffee. Join the conversation on Facebook, or check out the bonny photos on Instagram. For any queries or opportunities please email scots2travel@hotmail.com. Content and images copyright of Scots2Travel. Check out our Privacy Policy here.The Faroes trip was courtesy of Atlantic Airways (which flies direct from Edinburgh) and Visit Faroe Islands – discover more here.

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24 Comments

  1. Reply

    motherhoodtherealdeal

    August 28, 2017

    Wow it looks so rugged and breathtaking and an amazing place to get away from it all and connect with nature!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 28, 2017

      It’s stunning, but equally you can just dip into Torshavn for a taste of city living.

  2. Reply

    The Money Shed (@TheMoneyShed)

    August 28, 2017

    What a great post. Those views are amazing, the sort you just wouldn’t get elsewhere.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 28, 2017

      I loved the brightly coloured houses too, especially those with the signature grass roofs.

  3. Reply

    Dean B

    August 28, 2017

    That does look amazing! Faroes does look like a wild paradise. Would love to visit too. I do love the view from that restaurant.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 28, 2017

      You’re never short of staggering viewpoints in the Faroes.

  4. Reply

    Laura Dove

    August 28, 2017

    Wow how lovely! I have heard a lot about the Faroes and keep saying that we should visit, hopefully one day!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 29, 2017

      It’s so close to the UK and culturally quite familiar yet wonderfully different.

  5. Reply

    Ana De-Jesus

    August 29, 2017

    I have not been to Scotland yet but I would like to as I think the wild beauty is a spectacle that any nature lover like myself can enjoy. Glad you had a good time x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 29, 2017

      It’s funny you should say that as it does look really Scottish, I kept saying that. The Faroes is very independent with its own currency but comes under Denmark and you can spend Danish Krone there too.

  6. Reply

    Sophie's Nursery (@sophiesnursery)

    August 29, 2017

    I love Scotland so would love this! Looks beautiful & the perfect place to spot wildlife x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 29, 2017

      Yes, if you love the landscape of Scotland you’ll love the feel of the Faroes.

  7. Reply

    Chloe Ciliberto

    August 29, 2017

    Wow it looks so beautiful and the food sounds so quirky but delicious. That wool dress is definitely something! The Faroes sounds like such a cosy little retreat, somewhere to go when you need fresh air and peace and quiet! 😀 x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 31, 2017

      Not the most practical dress, but fashion doesn’t have to be about everyday life does it?

  8. Reply

    steph_baybee

    August 31, 2017

    Oh it’s so pretty there, what a great place to visit

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      August 31, 2017

      Really dramatic scenery at every turn.

  9. Reply

    Michelle Murray

    August 31, 2017

    Oh wow, it looks absolutely stunning and the views are amazing

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      September 1, 2017

      A breath of fresh air.

  10. Reply

    Kaz & Ickle Pickle (@IcklePicklex)

    August 31, 2017

    It looks such an awesome place, what an experience to visit there! Kaz x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      September 1, 2017

      It was great. Not somewhere I knew much about so a real eye opener.

  11. Reply

    Kara

    September 1, 2017

    I would love to visit the Faroe Islands and see more of Scotland. Looks like you had a fab time

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      September 1, 2017

      I found the Faroes really familiar in many ways, and very similar to Scotland in terms of aspects of the landscape and the connection with the land/sea. Stunning place.

  12. Reply

    Louise x (@withlovefromlou)

    September 18, 2017

    I’ve never been to the Faroes before. They look great though. I may have to look into them further 🙂

    Louise x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      September 23, 2017

      A real adventure.

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