Europe’s best-kept secret: the Faroe Islands

Hi!! I am wrapping up a solo week in the Faroe Islands courtesy of Visit Faroe Islands.
Experiencing this place has been nothing short of incredible, and even though I’ve
been here alone it has been an amazing memory that I’ll never forget. It is one of the
most unique places I’ve been – especially in Europe. I had some time today to write a
description of what to expect here. I’ll have some more photos and stories from the
trip tomorrow! Meanwhile, I’ll be flying back across the Atlantic to the mainland :)


One of Europe’s last undiscovered destinations, the Faroe Islands
live up to their slogan: untouched, unexplored, unbelievable.
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Flying into Vagar airport is possible on the Faroese airline Atlantic Airways
from certain 
Scandinavian cities (I flew from Copenhagen). The experience is
unique and old fashioned 
from the second the flight begins. I knew right away
that this was unlike any other place in 
Europe. Expect a free (yes, free!) meal
on the short two-hour flight with the likes of fresh 
salmon, frittatas, warm
homemade bread, and chocolate. The pilot happily opens the cockpit 
to allow Faroese children to stare in wonder and sit on his lap. This is just the

start of the feeling of stepping back in time to a place you won’t believe exists.
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBe sure to snag a window seat as the plane begins to descend on the
remote set of islands. 
You won’t quite believe where you are landing.
Rugged landscape and mountains surround 
the landing strip and
there is almost no trace of humanity in sight surrounding the airport.
Luckily, you’ll spy human life soon as the Faroese locals wave from
inside the glass windows 
of the small airport as passengers disembark
the flight. The flight from Copenhagen to Vágar 
can set you back close
to €500, but if booked far in advance that fare can be cut in half.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe small airport takes a few minutes to walk through, and before you know it you’re

in a rental car driving roads through green (or in my case, snow-streaked) hills that
don’t seem real. It already feels otherworldly. Every few kilometers you’ll come upon
a tiny town (populations: about 25-50) and want to pull over and move right in. Each
curve of the road is enough to make you swerve right off while taking in the sweeping
views – so make use of the many pull off sections for lookouts. Also keep an eye out
for the plentiful sheep crossing the roads at any given moment. If you see one, there
will definitely be more following. It’s a fun type of traffic jam to come across.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs you drive toward the capital city of Tórshavn you’ll suddenly find yourself
in a 
sub-sea tunnel lasting for a little bit longer than is comfortable, but emerging
out of 
the other side is like coming back to Earth again. The tunnel will set you
back DKK 
100 (about €14) and it will make you feel like you’re in an even more
remote place. 
You’ve now covered two of the five main islands – and 18 total islands.
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThese islands are inhabited by 50,000 total Faroese people, but
locals will tell you that this 
number doesn’t include the “hidden people.”
They are referring to creatures such as gnomes, 
trolls, & fairies
living in stones, hills, and grottos. Don’t be surprised to hear a
lot of stories about 
the hidden people, and take them seriously.
The locals like to stay in good graces with them! :)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs you pull into the harbor town of the Tórshavn capital city, it may
feel more like a town…
but a charming one straight out of the past.
Explore the old part of town first, where every house 
has a name
and not one front door is locked – ever. A local told me, “I never
lock my door. I could 
even go abroad and not lock my front door!”
On a scenic drive you can see the one prison which 
has about
20 beds and has never been full. It looks out on a gorgeous canyon
but still doesn’t 
tempt the local people to commit crimes. As a guide
explained, “They couldn’t get away with 
it here!” Smile and enjoy
the fact that a place like this really still exists on earth.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIn the days of your visit, nature should be the main focus. At bare
minimum explore the 
villages of Gásadalur, Saksun and Gjógv.
Don’t miss walking the
 waterfall at Gásadalur… The wind spraying
the waterfall over the cliffs is one of the 
most memorable sights I’ve
seen in Europe…or anywhere. In the summer, you can book 
excursions from town to town guided by cairns stacked as tall
as people. Information on the guide service for that is coming!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHotel Føroyar (Hotel Faroe Islands) is the most established hotel in
the capital city. 
Bonuses include the view over the harbor, the friendly
service, and the proximity to 
Icelandic horse rentals. Drawbacks
include being a bit hard to find up on the hill the first 
time, and
being a touch outdated. A few smaller boutique hotels & guesthouses
can be 
found down in town as well. Another suggestion is to stay at
the very remote 
Gjáargarður Guesthouse. Perched at the top of the
island in Gjógv, it’s about an hour drive 
away from Tórshavn. I know
that this is where I would go straight back to first, given the chance!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFaroese food has its own take on a combination of Scandinavian traditions.
Don’t miss Restaurant Áarstova, the best on the island. Sister restaurant
Barbara Fish House is another special place, as is Café Smakka in the iconic
Nordic House. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fish, lamb, potatoes, and rhubarb
to keep up with the locals. The food I had was delicious, unique, and fresh.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis magical cross between Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Scotland,
and the North Pole will leave you refreshed and dreaming
this faraway fairy land for years to come. I know it did for me.
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Thank you to Visit Faroe Islands for inviting me up to experience the wonder of this land!

'Europe’s best-kept secret: the Faroe Islands' has 15 comments

  1. March 3, 2016 @ 12:33 pm Natalie M.

    The Faroe Islands are at the top of my travel wish list this year! They’re so gorgeous and remote! So jealous of your trip, hope you had fun!


    • emi

      March 6, 2016 @ 8:36 am emi

      I am so glad they are on your list! I hope you go!!


  2. March 3, 2016 @ 11:36 pm Lauren

    I’ve been seeing so many photos of the Faroe Islands lately! Absolutely beautiful. I really hope I get there one day.
    Thanks for sharing! :)


    • emi

      March 6, 2016 @ 8:37 am emi

      I know! Once this tripped was booked I started to notice them listed everywhere as the place to go! :)


  3. March 4, 2016 @ 12:08 am Ann

    This is incredible! I love your descriptions and photos. You are brave to go there alone, love that about you.


  4. March 4, 2016 @ 2:58 am Liz Peterson

    Wow, the Faroe Islands look incredible! Adding them to the list :).


  5. March 4, 2016 @ 11:23 am traveling lady

    This photos made me want to travel back to Denmark again !
    Thanks for sharing :)


  6. March 4, 2016 @ 11:15 pm katilda

    I have been eying this place for sure and you’ve added to the fever! haha. It reminds me so much of Iceland, with the colorful houses and gnomes/fairies and barren landscapes and words no one can pronounce, haha. Love those houses with turf roofs! Also really into the word “Faraoese.” Anwayyyy. I need to stop lusting after small countries because the scratch-off map on my wall still looks like I haven’t been anywhere in the world, haha


    • emi

      March 6, 2016 @ 8:38 am emi

      I truly thought of you while there…I feel like your passionate love for Iceland would translate to this place too!
      Small countries are sometimes the best! (Just make sure your souvenirs from here don’t mysteriously disappear one day…;)


  7. March 5, 2016 @ 1:33 pm Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

    My friend frequently goes to the Faroe islands for work and her pictures are always amazing as are yours. I really need to get over there!


  8. March 5, 2016 @ 6:11 pm whitney

    Gorgeous! I hope to go there one day.


  9. March 6, 2016 @ 7:07 am Jordan

    So incredibly gorgeous! I just looked up the flights and there is a nonstop one in the summer from Edinburgh! Must do more research now :)


    • emi

      March 6, 2016 @ 8:39 am emi

      Yes! I was about to write you saying that. Hope the timing lines up for you!! :)


  10. March 7, 2016 @ 6:13 pm Rachel

    I’ve never heard of The Faroe Islands, but as usual, you’ve inspired me to add another place to the list!


  11. March 14, 2016 @ 9:39 am Lillian

    This looks amazing – never thought of it as a travel destination but it might just have to be added to my list. I love Scandinavia so this is a no-brainer.


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