Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The Unfathomable Beauty of the Faroe Islands

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I have been to the end of the Earth — and it is GLORIOUS.

My time in the Faroe Islands was absolutely enchanting.  These are some of the most beautiful islands I HAVE EVER SEEN.  That’s not something to say casually!  I mean it.

Maybe the most beautiful islands in the world aren’t filled with palm trees and sunshine — but instead cliffs and cloud-encircled islands and waterfalls tumbling into teal seas.

And yet the Faroe Islands remain so unknown to travelers.  The few that venture here — mostly Danes, though I met a few French tourists as well — are rewarded with an absurdly pristine natural paradise.  And aside from the occasional cruise ship stop, a paradise virtually devoid of tourists.

The islands are actually not that difficult to visit.  During the summer, there are twice weekly flights from London on Atlantic Airways, as well as a variety of Scandinavian cities.  Travelers with more time on their hands can take ferries from Iceland or Denmark.

The best reason to visit these islands?  Beauty, beauty, beauty.  Over and over, I was stunned by the scenery.  I was grateful that the tourism board arranged a hire car for me, because I was pulling over everywhere to take photos.

My wonder began from the moment my flight descended into the islands.  To my great surprise, the islands all seemed to be raised high into the air, with the majority of the coastline consisting of high cliffs.  Beaches?  They exist, but there aren’t many of them.

This mountainous landscape is one reason why travel around the islands was difficult and time-consuming as recently as six years ago.  Today, there are many new bridges and tunnels throughout the islands — including one that leads to Gásadalur.

Gásadalur, on the island of Vagar, was the absolutely most beautiful place I visited in the Faroe Islands.  It’s pictured in the top photo as well.  This above waterfall is what originally inspired me to visit the Faroe Islands, and I was thrilled to finally take this picture.

Throughout my trip, I saw tiny but high-cliffed islands in the ocean…

Fjords on the island of Eysturoy…

Charming ports straight out of a postcard…

And even some PUFFINS!

I left the Faroe Islands with a wistful heart.  Three days was NOT enough time — even though my three days were packed with nonstop activities, I yearned to see more, to drive to the edges of the islands and photograph even more landscapes.

These islands are an absolute treasure.  I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a secret so monumental, I want to shout it from the rooftops.  The Faroe Islands enchanted me, and they’re waiting to enchant you, too.

Many thanks to Visit Faroe Islands and Travel PR for hosting my trip to the Faroe Islands.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

Comments

79 Responses to “The Unfathomable Beauty of the Faroe Islands”
  1. Megan says:

    ive been wanting to visit these islands for so long and it is so great to see that someone has finally been and took photos that completely validate my reason for going. luckily from bergen, norway (where i live) there are flights during the summer via atl airways 🙂 hoping next summer ill be lucky enough to make the trip!

  2. EurotripTips says:

    PUFFINS. ’nuff said. 🙂
    (but also, gorgeous photos, Kate!)

  3. Wow, stunning! It looks like a mash-up of Iceland and Scotland, two of my very favorite places I should note.

  4. Giulia says:

    Wow! I agree this is still not so popular as a destination… but now I want to go!!! That photo with the waterfall made me feel like I was there. Beautiful 🙂

  5. Katie says:

    What were the activities you did while on the islands for three days?

    • There are quite a few 🙂

    • So much: I drove to scenic villages (Gasadalur, Bour, Gjov); had dinner with a local family; had haute Faroese cuisine; went on a cruise and listened to a choral concert in a grotto, then zoomed through more cave; took a boat to Mykines and hiked the island; and enjoyed a Faroese culture night!

      • Katie says:

        Oh wow I didn’t expect there to be sooo much to do haha But i’m going to be in London for four months with a study abroad program and I’ve already told my future roommate that the Faroe Islands are a must 🙂 can’t wait!

        • I’m so happy to hear that, Katie! Keep in mind that the London flights are only from May through September. Check out the Atlantic Airways site for the specific dates.

          • Katie says:

            Oh wow thanks so much for telling me that! I’ll make sure I make it one of my first trips in either August or September! If you were giving someone advice, and there was only ONE thing they could do on the islands, what would you recommend?

          • Definitely drive to Gasadalur — it was my favorite spot to photograph. Mykines was awesome, too!

  6. Wow – I just wanna go to hang out with puffins!

  7. Mary says:

    Well you have me convinced. Thinking a ferry between Iceland and Faroe islands will be a must at the tail end of this trip! Thanks for the inspiration to head here!

  8. Jenna says:

    This looks like a place I would love. The landscapes are simply stunning!

  9. I first heard about the Faroe Islands on an article of the Lonely Planet magazine. Great to see I am going to learn more about the islands thru your experiences.

  10. Stunning photos. I didn’t know what to expect but your photos show a beautiful island. I cannot believe the landscapes and those puffins…how cute!

  11. Ish says:

    Puffins! I declare, they might be even more adorable than pandas (gasp!)! That waterfall is stunning, as well. Thanks for letting us have a glimpse!

  12. There is nothing more for me to say, you have sad it very well yourself 🙂

  13. Jayne says:

    Kate, thanks so much for introducing us to this part of the world – I had no idea where the Faroe Islands were, let alone how beautiful they are. Great post

  14. Lauren says:

    Stunning photos – and great post! I want to visit for those puffins alone….. 🙂

  15. Amanda says:

    Holy crap. How can I get an invite there??? It looks amazing.

  16. Elie says:

    Three days?? what a pity!! I went there 3 weeks and I saw neally everythings! I dream to go back to see absolutly everything! I’m so happy that someone who travelled in so many famous and touristic places should be able to say that Faroe islands is the best place ever! I didn’t saw the quater of what you saw but I absoloutly agree about faroe!
    Did you had time to go to suduroy? Mikynes?? Svinoy and fugloy???

  17. Ava Apollo says:

    Never heard of these islands before. Sigh… this is such a beautiful world.

  18. LifePart2 says:

    What a beautiful place. The photo with the waterfall is amazing!

  19. Wild puffins! It really does look like a special place to go exploring…another dream destination to add to the ever-growing list.

  20. Wow Kate! The place looks stunning in the pictures! It really looks like you’ve stumbled upon a monumental secret. And I hope that this place continues to be hidden from mass tourism.
    By the way, congrats to you for having traveled to such a beautiful place!

  21. This does look like a beautiful place, the photo with the waterfall being my favorite one too. Is there a special season to see the puffins, or can you see them year-round?

  22. Michelle says:

    Your post and amazing photos have inspired me! I am obsessed with mountains, water and isolation, so I will be visiting the Faroe Islands someday soon. Speaking of photos, what type of camera did you use? DSLR or point-and-shoot with a little work in Photoshop? Cheers!

    • I hope you do, Michelle!

      For this trip, I borrowed my boyfriend’s Canon DSLR — except for the awesome waterfall pic, which was taken with my iPhone on the Pro HDR app.

  23. Marina says:

    Puffins! I’m certain there is no better reason to go anywhere…

  24. Breno says:

    I will live one year in Faroe Islands! I will go with program of exchange student!!! in 18 days I will go!!! I’m very anxious to know this place!!!

  25. Mariann says:

    Hi Kate, your article really inspired me to visit this island in the future. beautiful pictures. My question would be that how easy/difficult was it to find accommodation? Where did you stay? Thanks 🙂

    • Mariann, my lodging was booked by the tourist board, so I didn’t have to search on my own. I stayed at the Hotel Foroyar in Torshavn and Gjaargarður Guesthouse in Gjov. Both very high-end properties.

  26. Jorg says:

    After reading your series about the faroe islands, I was sold! This was the place to go to for a few months. But after reading some more about their ‘culture and traditions’, I’m not going anymore.

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/330455

    Slaughtering whales as tradition is not really my idea of culture celebration…

  27. Johan Petur Dam says:

    I’m not sure to make of it… but the only B/W picture in this post is of my home village… (Funningur, btw.) 😛 But in any case: Amazing pictures, Kate, and you were amazingly lucky, that the weather was so good. The summer months can at times also be the most cloudy. 🙂

  28. Beautiful images Kate! And I especially love the adorable puffins!

  29. Dan Williams says:

    The images you’ve got here of the Faroe Islands remind me of the Pembrokeshire National Park, perhaps slightly different but similar.

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  31. Jone Laxer says:

    Hi….Cate,

    The Faroe Islands is looking so pretty and beautiful. It could be a great option for travellers to have an adorable travel experience with enjoying amazing natural beauty.

  32. Sofus Gaasedal says:

    Yes, Gásadalur is a really nice place, my father was born there 🙂

  33. The Faroe Islands are definitely on our bucketlist. We look forward to the day we make it there!

  34. Suzanne says:

    Fantastic description and amazing weather. We had freezing rain and clouds the whole time we were there! Somewhere that we should keep a secret as it is a special place.

  35. Christina says:

    Thank you for this post. How are Faroe Islands for beginner solo female travelers? Safety wise and the ease of getting around? Is a car completely necessary would you say?

    Thank you!

    • I think it’s a great choice for first-time solo female travelers — very safe, English is spoken, and lots to see and do. I only got around by car and I recommend doing that if you can; it’s best for seeing the small towns. Many roads were great, others (like in Eysturoy) were not.

  36. Eran says:

    Hi Kate,
    I enjoyed reading about your visit to the Faroe Islands as I recently “discovered” this destination and added it to my bucket list 🙂
    You said that 3 days weren’t enough, so how much would you say is enough ? Assuming I like hiking and would like to see the puffins in Mykines.

    Thanks,
    Eran

  37. Sabrina says:

    Hey Kate!

    Love this post.. I’ve really wanted to go to the Faroe Islands for awhile but it always seemed too out of the way to consider. It looks beautiful in your photos, what month did you go during?

    Thanks!
    Sabrina

  38. Ankey86 says:

    Look great and beautiful.

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