Traveling To The Faroe Islands

Last summer I traveled to Longyearbyen, which is the world’s northernmost city. Going into the trip I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, though I had an incredible time. It’s definitely one of my top five destinations of all time.

Pyramiden-Svalbard - 12

I love being outdoors. No, I’m not someone who wants to take a weeklong camping trip, but there’s nothing more relaxing to me than being in a physically beautiful, secluded place, enjoying nature for a few days at a time. Longyearbyen (or perhaps Svalbard on the whole) was simply magical, and I can’t recommend it enough.

I also really loved Iceland, and Greenland is on my radar this summer. However, I now have another place in that general region that’s on my radar. It’s a place I was familiar with, but previously never really put much thought into — I’m talking about the Faroe Islands.

SAS flies from Copenhagen to the Faroe Islands, and it’s a roughly two hour, ~850 mile flight. The Faroe Islands are about halfway between “mainland” Denmark and Iceland.

CPH-FAE

The area looks physically stunning, though perhaps not quite as dramatic as Iceland or Svalbard. Still, based on looking at pictures, reports, and videos online, I’m certainly intrigued. Some of the pictures remind me of coastal Ireland.

In looking at hotels there, Hotel Føroyar looks quite nice, and isn’t terribly priced. No, it’s not a 5-star hotel, but it actually looks charming, cute, and well maintained.

Hotel

Given that I’ll be in Northern Europe this summer anyway, I’m tempted to make a three day detour and visit the Faroe Islands.

Has anyone visited? Is it as cool as Iceland, Svalbard, etc.? Is a few days enough to see everything? Anyone else intrigued by the Faroe Islands?

Comments

  1. Since when have you cared about seeing everything. Stay one night​ and eat at the airport hotel lounge then leave.

  2. Maybe when you’re there Ben you can ask the locals why they continue to slaughter pilot whales every year.

  3. An entire blog post about the Faroe Islands, and not one word about the annual dolphin slaughter! Just when I think you can’t be more oblivious, you prove me wrong.

  4. You can also get there on Atlantic Airways from both Copenhagen and Edinburgh, and often at reduced prices. Secretflying.com has regularly posted dates when the flights are available cheap, which seem to be a really good value!

  5. @sheila e Dolphin meat is good meat

    But seriously, you only care about the dolphins? Not the Whales? Screw them right? Or are you just oblivious to what The Grind really is?

  6. The government subsidizes travel between the various islands, including by helicopter! It’s an amazing deal (as far as helicopter travel is concerned), there isn’t a guarantee of how long the flight is (it could be a 5 min flight or they could end up hopping all over the islands before dropping you off, depends on the various bookings they have). One of my favorite places was the town of Gjov- stunning!

  7. I just got back from there actually 🙂 Pretty dang beautiful! I definitely recommend seeing it outside of the high-season as you may have the islands to yourself 🙂

  8. I’ve been, but only for two days, which wasn’t enough to see the beauty of the islands, especially since it rained one day when I planned to do a long hike. I quite enjoyed my time there and I would go back, particularly to see the puffins. I would highly recommend Greenland too. Enjoy!

  9. Just back last week from a week long trip to the Faroes – stunning Islands and can highly recommend visiting.

    We stayed at Hotel Foroyar for the duration of our stay and found it very nice, decent breakfast, no complaints about it – it’s not 5 star but frankly that doesn’t bother me. There aren’t many hotel options (I think there are 4 hotels in the capital).

    You will need to hire a car to get the most from any trip. Driving is easy.

    You’d need at least 3 nights there.

  10. I thought pilot whales are their main target, not dolphins. And don’t they do this to feed themselves for the year?… its not for profit.

  11. If you go, you simply must try the pilot whale!

    In defense of the harvest, they’re doing so sustainably. Pilot whales aren’t endangered and people eat plenty of similarly intelligent land-based animals.

  12. I was there a couple of years ago. It’s very nice, although less scenic than Iceland. Prices are high, of course.

    At the risk of being accused of sacrilege, not every destination is best experienced by flying in and staying at a chain hotel with points. In my opinion, the best way to see the islands of the North Atlantic is by boat. We did a great cruise that went up the coast of Norway then visited the Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Newfoundland over two weeks. You got a day or two in each place, which was enough in most of them (Iceland needs more time). As usual with cruising, the best part is taking your hotel with you.

    To be clear though, these are not your stereotypical 7,000-person Behemoth of the Seas megaships with happy hour from 5-6 on the Lido Deck. These are small boats which may only have a few hundred people on them, which is necessary given the small size of the ports being visited. It’s a very different crowd and experience from the Caribbean party ships, and naturally the price is higher too.

    Hurtigruten has some really cool itineraries in the North Atlantic and elsewhere you might want to check out.

  13. It’s a beautiful, stunning place. We went in May last year and thought it was kind of similar to Iceland but a bit more unique and less touristy. 4 nights was enough time to see the main islands as long as you hire a car (which in itself is an experience). Driving was super easy though. Found a fantastic house in Torshavn on Airbnb so that’s another accommodation option.

    We flew with Atlantic from Bergen and back to Edinburgh. Getting between the islands is complicated due to ferry and helicopter timings. We wanted to see a particular island with a bird colony but were unable to as would have had to spend the whole day there because of ferry times.

    And be sure to check out Koks. We had one of the best meals of the year there, which is a tall order considering we dined at Noma a few days before.

  14. If in 2017 you need to kill a pilot whale to feed yourself, you might want to think about your life choices. Plus the idea of killing whales sustainably is just complete bullshit. They’re not they’re to be killed “sustainably.”

  15. One of my dream destinations! I love the landscape of Northern Europe in general, and I hope someday to be able to fly to a place like this and spend a few days in such a place 🙂

  16. Okay, rant alert:

    Would you people get off your high horse for one god damn second? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? Is the country YOU live in perfect? Does whaling define everything that the Faroe Islands or its people stand for? How god damn narrow-minded are you idiots? By your logic, the USA is only about guns and killing people, Germany is only about drinking beer, and Italy is only about the Mafia. UGH. I guarantee you there are atrocities happening right now in your country, in your city…but that shouldn’t define whether or not one “ought” to visit that place. Besides, who gets to make that determination? Morons like you? Who the hell anointed you?

    Lucky talks about wanting to visit a beautiful place, and is asking for input on how best to do so. Isn’t that what a travel blog is SUPPOSED to be about? How about we stick with discussing that? Along with how to get there using points, or what the best time of year is to visit, etc.?

    If you don’t have anything useful to contribute to the conversation, SHUT UP. I don’t come here to see you complaining and whining, no matter what the hell poor Lucky writes about. Seriously, he could mention liking butterflies, and you morons would find something to complain and whine about. SHUT. UP.

    Lucky, I hope you ignore these small-brained, small-minded individuals…as you can tell, they get under my skin sometimes.

    /rant

    ANYWAY:

    The Faroe Islands look absolutely amazing, and I look forward to reading about your strategies on how to get there, and enjoying your trip report once you’ve visited.

  17. Craig – Perhaps you’d like to explain WHY you can’t kill whales instead of demanding they can’t? And no animal is “there to be killed”, how are whales any different.

    Finally to everyone else saying this, since when has intelligence been a criteria for whether to kill or not? It’s certainly not the case for other animals. Pigs are highly intelligent (sharing many traits with us) yet they’re routinely horrifically abused in the US factory farm system. Chickens likewise – they’re not as intelligent obviously (though more than people think) but still smart enough to know they’re being abused, like most large animals are. Does the criteria extend to humans? If someone kills a person with severe learning difficulties they should get off lighter because the less intelligent have a lesser right to life?

    The only people who have the right to complain about a sustainable whale harvest are vegans (or unusually ethical vegetarians). The rest of you are nothing but hypocrites.

  18. Another great article from Lucky!

    I’m surprised something so innocuous and innocent post can trigger an SJW.

  19. Ben, just in case you forgot – SAS do NOT have Business class in Europe (even some web sites charges and call some front rows business class in Europe) SAS called it Plus and only difference is that you can have free drink and – sandwich from menu card – seat and coffee is as bad for everybody.
    If you go I am looking forward to see how you combine with point and by the way how about Greenland – any news when and how you get there with Air Greenland Business class point ???

  20. @Robin, how in the heck do you think good change comes around in the world? By everyone just shutting up and saying nothing?

    People who don’t want to listen to intelligently dissenting views should be culled from the herd.

    Then we wouldn’t have to eat any other animals!

  21. The Faroe Islands evoke images of cured mutton, pilot whale canapes during a cocktail party, stuffed puffin, boiled sheep’s head and apples roasted in hay. Hope you get to try Koks.

  22. @Ben….it’s been on my radar for about a year, and watching an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” that featured the Faroe Islands sealed the deal for my husband and I. This year is Cuba and Machu Picchu though.

  23. Yes Robin!
    Also JoeMart, that sounds quite a bit like a lovely meal I enjoyed in Reykjavik.
    Looking forward to Lucky’s review!

  24. Kudos to you Robin! Comments From Craig, Sheila E and others are both ignorant and untrue. People do hunt whales for subsistence and it is no different than those of us buying beef, pork and poultry at the grocery store, other than the fact it is far more dangerous for and a lot less wasteful. So damm tired of all of these PC folks who don’t have any real life experience and just love to generalize and put other cultures down. And by the way this is a travel blog!

  25. wow…

    Such negativity. Here we have a blog authored by someone who constantly travels the globe transferring his experiences & knowledge for all whom expresses an interest to visit somewhere he has yet to visit. Now there’s a full comment tangent about whales & dolphins. To all of you passionate about these matters, the one foundamental truth that Ben Has shared with us that cultural differences exist. Speaking as a 64 year old dude who has traveled for over four decades and who has followed Lucky’s missives & recommendations for a long time. I’ve been in remote regions that caterpillars were a delicacy and it was an insult to the host not to devour it. Does this make me a butterfly killer, perhaps. One will gladly take blog comment wrath in order to embrace the cultures of our fellow members of our species.As my dearly departed mother would state, ‘Ya’ll need to get a grip’.

    Lastly Ben, I spent four wonderful relaxing days in the Faroes in the late 90’s. I’m sure that things have changed since then but Do It!. If you’re coming from Copenhagen perhaps you can do a Fraoe/Greenland week. Greenland in the summer is almost as amazing as Bhutan.
    $0.2 deposited
    Drukyulgoods

  26. Svalbard, Iceland, Faroe and Greenland… You seem to like the Nordics but you are missing out on the best island of them all – Gotland in the Baltic sea.

  27. Hi,

    I’m from the Faroe Islands, but have lived in Copenhagen the last 9 years. In my objective opinion 😉 I think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth!

    I would recommend Mykines with a lot of Atlantic puffins. Vestmannabjørgini (which you see by boat) and also taking a trip with an old sailboat called Nordlysid. I also really like Saksun.
    The helicopter ride is also really nice, but you need some careful planning as you are not allowed to do a round trip on the same day (they are trying to limit sightseeing tours as the trips are subsidized and are meant as public transportation for the remote islands)
    It is also a possibility to try some local foods if you are adventurous (fermeted sheep and fish + potentially whale meat).
    Koks was also just awarded the Michelin star ever in the Faroe Islands and is supposed to be nice.

    You can see a lot in 3-4 days on the Faroe Islands.

    Let me know if you need any more suggestions.

  28. Greenland is much better seen by ferry. I doubt you will love it as there are few fancy amenities, but it is an amazing place.

  29. The landing in the main airport is something else, the runway ends on on a cliff which you can see as the plane makes a 180 to go back to the airport.

    Great little country with some of the friendliest people on earth, it’s also the only place in the world, bar Ireland’s Aran Islands, where I’ve seen people leave keys in their ignition while out.

    We were told by a local, I don’t know how true it is, that the island has one sex worker, but when the Germans come to play them in a football match they have to fly more in!

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