Think of city breaks in Scandinavia and the bustling capitals of Denmark and Sweden come to mind. Think of spectacular road trips in Northern Europe and Norway comes to find. Think of Northern Lights in Europe and Iceland automatically springs to mind. But what if there was a destination that offered a bit of everything and fewer tourists that the aforementioned places?
The Faroe Islands is not on the tourist radar just yet but this little archipelago, somewhere between Iceland, Norway, and Scotland has so much going for it that I predict it will gain immense popularity in the years to come.
I went for an Autumn road trip in Faroe Islands. During the shoulder season, summer tourists had left and the ones who visit the islands for the Northern Lights hadn’t yet arrived. This meant I could relish miles upon miles of pristine wilderness alone – it’s truly a feeling like no other. My road trip in Faroe Islands was packed with dozens of splendid memories, but here are the five highlights meant to persuade you into visiting this gorgeous kingdom soon:
I) Hoyma Music Festival
This is a music festival like no other. Faroese musicians belt out some incredible music in, wait for it, locals’ houses – Göta in Eysturoy island was the chosen island for 2017. At this time of the year, locals actually open their houses to fellow locals and tourists. The festival is aptly called HOYMA, which means Home in the local language. Music varies from rock to folk genres and all one gets to hear is unplugged music – no fancy sound or light systems.
An entry fee provides access to all acts and there are refreshments at each house. The best part? The music festival isn’t just for grown ups. Kids actively participate in the festival during the day. This makes it ideal for families, couples, and solo travellers and provides a rare opportunity to truly mingle with locals and make lots of new friends. I had such an amazing time going from one house to another, watching and hearing some amazingly talented musicians play. You can follow all updates and upcoming festival schedules on the official website.
II) The Village of Gásadalur
The iconic village of Gásadalur is usually the first pit stop on a road trip in Faroe Islands and with good reason! Here stunning panoramas abound and rainbows and waterfalls jostle for attention. The actual village is tiny and has a population of just 18 (yes, you heard that right!). The cliff-top scenery will astound you – don’t forget to try and spot the island of Mykines stretching out in front of you 🙂
III) Rental apartments that look like this
Traditional Faroese houses are distinctive. They have turf roofs that make them look like they’ve just stepped out of a fairy tale. There is a scientific reason behind these green roofs – traditionally the grass provided both insulation and protection from rain. Today, they truly amplify Faroe Island’s unscathed landscape as they make these houses seem part of nature. For a truly Faroese experience we recommend skipping hotels and renting a turf house or a local cottage instead. You’ll find plenty of options on Air BnB and you can use my link to get $20 off your first booking if you’d like 🙂
IV) Hikes like these
Nestled in a remote part of the globe, the Faroe Islands actually offer some of the most stunning hikes in the world. You could go anywhere and you are bound to end up with scenic views that knock your socks off. Did you know – irrespective of where you are, you can never be more than 3 kilometres away from the ocean on the Faroe Islands. This geographical blessing ensures some amazing hikes with dramatic views of fjords, cliff-top villages, surrounding islands, and the vast Arctic ocean stretching out to infinity. Some of my personal favourite hikes include the Funningur Hiking Trail on the island of Eysturoy and hiking along Lake Leitisvatn to Trælanípa rock in Vágar. Check out the official Faroe Islands website for detailed information about hiking trails in the region.
V) Views like these
Faroe Islands will endear you from the second you land at the airport. Such raw untouched expanses are truly hard to find in today’s day and age where travel is the trendiest buzzword. Everywhere you drive, you will see dramatic scenery. If you visit during winter months, you will see the Northern Lights dancing in the sky. During rainy days, you will spot rainbows stretched out over waterfalls. And summer months will have you chasing thousands of puffins for photographs. Here in the Faroe Islands the sheer force of Mother Nature will wow you into exploring every nook and corner of the archipelago
Visiting the Faroe Islands? Check out our itinerary for a roadtrip in the Faroe Islands