During our few days in the Faroe Islands we spent all of our time on the islands of Vágar, Streymoy and Mykines. Flying in from Norway we arrived to blue skies at the Vága Floghavn airport in the town of Sørvágur during mid-morning.
The airport was one of the smallest we’ve been to and since we arranged the car rental through Unicar prior to our arrival, pick-up was a breeze. Doors unlocked and keys in the glove compartment, we drove out of the parking lot and headed straight for Gásadalur waterfall.
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Located on the west side of the island Vágar, the Gásadalur waterfall is easily reached by car. Leaving the airport we headed west, stopping many times along the way to admire and photograph the spectacular views.
We reached our destination and parked the car alongside the road. From there we set out on foot, walking the short distance to reach the waterfall. Cascading over the edge of the cliff with the tiny village of Gásadalur in the distance, it was easy to see why the waterfall is an icon to the Faroe Islands.
After exploring the Gásadalur waterfall and the surrounding area we headed back in the direction of our apartment in Miðvágur to drop off our bags.
Our next stop on this abnormally sunny day was to hike the length of Sørvágsvatn lake.
Initially seen from the sky on our flight in, Sørvágsvatn lake or Leitisvatn, is the largest in the Faroe Islands. Located on Vágar Island and covering quite a large area the lake stretches a distance of 6 km towards the high cliffs at the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean.
We found a small area to park our car directly opposite some small turf houses. Leaving the main road we passed through the small cattle gate and continued to use the lake as our guide as we walked along the waters edge.
Nearing the end of the hike we could hear the flowing waters dumping over the edge into the ocean below. Climbing up onto the cliffs, we sat along the edge and watched in awe as the mighty Bøsdalafossur waterfall poured over the edge and into the sea.
Known as Trælanípan, or slave mountain, this perpendicular rock wall is one of the highlights of this 3 kilometer hike.
I imagine that the waterfall is quite an impressive sight from sea level but we were still blown away by the beauty of the falls from where we were standing.
Just up the road from where we were staying in Miðvágur was the small village of Sandavágur. On our way back from our tour with the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs we decided to make a quick stop to check out the tiny town and photograph its distinctly unique red-roofed church.
Built back in 1917, the real highlight of this church, besides its adorable appearance, is the runestone inside.
Supposedly, the inscription on the stone dates back to the 13th century and basically states that the Norwegian man Torkil Onandarson from Rogaland was the first settler here.
Located on the Northwestern part of Streymoy, the Vestmannabjørgini (Vestmanna bird cliffs) are only reachable by a boat excursion. Unfortunately, we realized this after we had set out to find the hiking trail with no luck, only to be informed by some locals that the only way is by boat.
With our new found knowledge we took to the internet to book our excursion for the following day. The guided tour departed in the afternoon from the Vestmanna Tourist Center. We boarded the boat with our fellow adventurers. We were each given a helmet (for protection from potential falling rocks, of course). Then we snagged a seat in the inside due to the rain.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the sky-high cliffs where thousands of seabirds nest. The magnificent cliffs, carved out by nature, rise around 700 meters from the sea and seemingly disappear into the sky above.
The skilled captain sailed with ease through the narrow grottos and towering cliffs. It was a lot of fun to watch the seabirds. But honestly, I think i spent most of the journey in awe of these massive and incredibly impressive cliffs. If you are visiting the Faroe Islands a trip to the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs should absolutely be in your travel plans.
Where to Stay in the Faroe Islands on Vágar Island
For the duration of our time in the Faroe Islands we stayed at the lovely Pakkhúsid Apartments located in Miðvágur on Vágar Island.
The large apartment was equipped with a full kitchen, free parking and a washing machine and dryer (which we were so thankful for!) The view from the apartment was absolutely the best part of this family run accommodation.
How to Get to the Faroe Islands
We flew Widerøe airlines direct from Bergen, Norway to the Vágar Airport in the Faroe Islands. The airport is small and easy to navigate once you arrive. The Vágar airport is the only international airport in the Faroe Islands and the code is FAE.
Car Rental in the Faroe Islands
We pre-booked our rental car with Unicar. Their customer service is excellent, as well as their pick up and drop off procedures. After emailing multiple different companies, Unicar offered the best price. The car was simple and slightly old but got us everywhere we needed to go. The staff at Unicar was also easy to get a hold of via WhatsApp and their communication is very good.
The Best Time to Visit the Faroe Islands
The best time of year to visit the Faroe Islands is between May and July. The days are longer and the weather is more mild. That’s not to say you won’t experience some rain or humidity but it won’t be as frequent as other times during the year. This is also the time of year that the puffins migrate through and you will see thousands of them on the island of Mykines!
Responsible Tourism in the Faroe Islands
- With larger groups of visitors coming to the Faroe Islands, the government is beginning to crack down on allowing people to explore and hike for free. They have implemented fees associated with the hiking trails since I was here a few years ago and I expect those prices to increase in the future.
- When you visit the Faroe Islands you need to respect the land, the locals and the wildlife. This means sticking to the designated trails and not littering.
- This also includes respecting the local laws and understanding that you could be fined up to 1000 DKK for trespassing on local farm owners land. So stick to the designated hiking trails and do not venture too far off the path.
- Keep in mind that drones are allowed in the country, however, there are restrictions. Do not fly in a no-drone zone and be sure to check the drone zones ahead of time. You can find that information HERE.
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WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO I USE?
- Main Camera: Sony A7III
- Wide angle lens: Sony G Master 16-35mm f/2.8
- Zoom lens: Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3
- Secondary Camera: Canon 6D Mark II
- Canon wide angle lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
- Underwater camera: Leica X-U
- Camera with gimbal: DJI Osmo Pocket & Underwater Housing
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro
- Camera Bag: Polar Pro Drone Trekker
- External Hard Drive: LaCie 1 TB rugged mini external hard drive