A Complete guide for a Family Vacation in Faroe Islands

When you are planning future family vacations, it is always an excellent idea to check out parts of the world where you have never been before.  Sometimes, it is even an amazing idea to consider destinations you may have never heard much about, like the Faroe Islands! 

Where is Faroe Islands?

When you are considering Faroe Islands travel, you may find yourself wondering where the Faroe Islands are located.  Well, these islands are within an archipelago in the Northern Atlantic, approximately two hundred miles to the north and northwest of Scotland.  

A little over fifty thousand people live on the Faroe Islands and they all speak the Faroe Islands official language of Faroese.  While these islands are not their own country, they are an autonomous territory of Denmark. The capital of the Faroe Islands is Tórshavn, which also is the largest city on the islands.  You will spend at least a little of your time in this city, and anything that you purchase while you are there will need to be paid for using the local króna currency.  

Weather in Faroe Islands

The weather in Faroe Islands is mostly cold, windy, and rainy throughout the year.  Less rain falls during the summer months, and storms are prevalent during the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March.  As for the temperatures in the Faroe Islands, it never gets below zero degrees Fahrenheit. However, it also never reaches temperatures higher than fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit.  

Family Vacation in Faroe Islands

How to Get to Faroe Islands

When you choose to visit Faroe Islands, you must get a flight into the Faroe Islands airport.  That airport is the Vágar Airport and it can be found to the east of Sørvágur. It is easy to catch a flight to Faroe Islands from cities like Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Edinburgh, and Bergen.  However, that means if you are traveling from the United States, you must fly over to these parts of Europe and then hop onto a plane to your destination.  

A flight from New York City to Copenhagen is a little over eight hours, and then your flight from there to Faroe Islands would be approximately two-and-a-half hours.  Traveling from Reykjavik to Faroe Islands only take an hour, so you may want to fly there first since the final part of your journey will be much shorter. There are numerous flights from the cities mentioned above, so you never need to worry about missing out on an extraordinary vacation simply because you cannot find a flight that meets your needs.  

How to Get Around Faroe Islands

Getting around the Faroe Islands is quite easy if you rent a vehicle for your trip, especially since almost all the islands are connected via bridges and sub-sea tunnels.  It does cost quite a lot for Faroe Islands car rental, and the cars must be rented immediately upon planning your trip or you risk not having one available for your stay. This is also important, because most of the vehicles over in the Faroe Islands are manual and most people do not know how to drive them nowadays.  Therefore, if you want to guarantee an automatic car, you must make your reservation as soon as you know your arrival and departure dates.  

When you are driving your rental car in the Faroe Islands, you must make sure you drive on the right side of the road.  It is also important that everyone in the vehicle has their seat belt on at all times. Some of the roads are quite narrow, so you must take care when other vehicles are approaching you.  The speed limits are not always clearly marked, but in urban areas, you should go 50 km/h. When you are out in rural areas, you can go faster at 80 km/h. You must always have your headlights on when driving and you should never talk on the phone while driving or drive after having an alcoholic beverage.  

One more thing about driving in the Faroe Islands… It is common for sheep to block the roads, so keep an eye out and make sure you stop for them.  

Where to Stay in Faroe Islands

When you are choosing where to stay in Faroe Islands, you will find that you have more unique opportunities than other parts of the world.  Your first option is any of the grass-covered homes that are rented out to Faroe Islands tourists. If you cannot find one of those, there are numerous Airbnb’s and HomeAway accommodations that are near many of the popular attractions on these islands.  

grass-covered homes

As for hotels, you will have your pick of anything from budget friendly to luxurious.  One of the newer hotels is a Hilton, which will be opening in the summer of 2020. This is the first chain hotel on the island, and it will be interesting to see how they do when compared to the traditional hotels run by the locals.  You cannot book a room on their website yet, but that feature will be available sometime in May for arrival dates as early as the middle of July.  

Things to do in Faroe Islands

One of the first things you should do after arriving at Faroe Islands is venture over to Mykines.  The only way you can reach Mykines is by boat, so you must plan this part of your itinerary carefully.  This part of the Faroe Islands is where most of the puffins live, and these cute and cuddly creatures are worth a quick peek.  While you are there, explore the extremely tiny village and then walk to the lighthouse to see panoramic views of the island.  

When it comes to lakes, Lake Sørvágsvatn Faroe Islands is one of the best in the world.  This Faroe Islands lake is so spectacular that you may find yourself returning to see it multiple times during your stay.  Thankfully, this lake can be found on the island, Vágar, which is where you will most likely be spending most of your time, anyway.  I recommend hiking an hour to the viewpoint at least once, as that is where you will see the cliffs and lake from a different vantage point.  

Another must-see destination is the Faroe Islands waterfall.  The Múlafossur Falls is famous, and you will find this waterfall to the south of Gasadalur Village.  The rushing water from these falls goes directly into the North Atlantic Ocean, and it is quite the sight to see and experience up close.  

Faroe Island waterfall

If you have the time to travel to Kalsoy, you must hike all the way to the Kallurin Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is at the top of massive cliffs and it looks as if it could topple off into the ocean with the next massive storm.  The hike only takes an hour in each direction, and the path begins at the red gate in the Trøllanes Village. You might want to consider hiring a guide to take you to the lighthouse, because the trail can oftentimes be slippery and steep, and the locals know how to avoid dangerous situations.  

Ólavsøka, or St. Olav’s Day, Festival takes place every year during the month of July and you may want to plan your trip accordingly, so you can experience it for yourself.  This festival will ensure you have a true Faroese cultural adventure. All the locals will arrive in Tórshavn in colorful Faroese costumes to participate in a weekend of musical and cultural activities.  Sports are also an important part of this weekend, so plan on seeing some rowing races and more.  

One of the last things you should do in Faroe Islands is visit the isolated town of Saksun.  If you think the Faroe Islands are isolated, you are in for a huge surprise! Fourteen people live here, or maybe less at this point, and if the tidal lagoon is really low during your visit, you can walk out to the headland.  There are multiple walking paths to hike along in Saksun and following them will allow you to see so many incredible waterfalls and fjords.  

Top Places to Eat in Faroe Island

While you will be eating at numerous restaurants while you are in the Faroe Islands, none of them will be better than KOKS Faroe Islands.  This was the very first Michelin star restaurant on these islands and the chef, Poul Andrias Ziska, uses locally sourced, as well as foraged foods, in every dish.  When you choose to dine at KOKS Faroe Island, you will be seated to wait for the first of your eighteen-course meal. Each course is perfectly paired with a glass of wine, or juice for the younger generations, and those who do not imbibe.  

Seafood

If you want the best in seafood when visiting Faroe Islands, you must dine at Barbara Fish House.  This restaurant can be found in a house that is tucked away in between rocks in the older part of Tórshavn.  All the seafood is locally caught, and every bite of mussels, scallops, and fish will melt in your mouth. There is a tasting menu available too, so you should find something that everyone in your family will eat.  

Etika is quite popular as well, and it is recommended that you reserve a table well in advance if you want to dine on their sushi.  They use the freshest Faroese seafood possible and every bite you take will have you wanting more.  

Can You See the Northern Lights in Faroe Islands?

While the Faroe Islands are amazing in their own way, you may decide that the best reason to visit there is the fact you can see the Northern Lights from any part of these islands.  Of course, as with all destinations, there are certain parts of the Faroe Islands that are better for viewing the Northern Lights than others. Those areas include Tórshavn, Sørvágsvatn, and Klaksvík, so plan on being in one of those areas late at night when the sky lights up.  

A family vacation in Faroe Islands is something that you will all cherish and remember for the rest of your lives.  So, take the plunge and start making your travel arrangements today, so you can experience this fabulous part of the world for yourself.  Your family, and you, will be so thankful that you took a chance to see somewhere different.  

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