How are the Faeroeer
Practical travel tips for your vacation in the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic have long been one of our dream travel destinations. Due to the remote location in the North Atlantic and the high mountains, this natural paradise is not as easy to travel to as many other countries in Europe. We did a lot of research beforehand. We would like to share our tips and experiences about traveling on the Faroe Islands with you to make your travel planning easier.
Here is our experience report on the Faroe Islands with many helpful tips on travel, rental cars, driving, ferries, cell phones, travel time and accommodation:
Table of Contents
Location and facts about the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are a group of islands in the North Atlantic. The total of 18 islands lie between Norway and Iceland. The name Faroe Islands - Føroyar in Faroese - means sheep islands. A very fitting name, because we met sheep everywhere during our vacation in the Faroe Islands. The islands belong to Denmark, but have an autonomous administration and, like Greenland, are an equal nation in the Kingdom of Denmark. In contrast to Denmark, the Faroe Islands are not a member of the EU. Therefore, unfortunately, the EU roaming tariffs do not apply either, but more on that later.
- Population: about 50,000 people (called Faroese or Faroe Islands)
- Language: Faroese, but you can usually communicate well in English
- Currency: Faroese krone, linked 1: 1 to the Danish krone (DKK), the Faroe Islands print their own banknotes, but use Danish coins. Danish banknotes are also accepted. You can pay conveniently in the Faroe Islands with your debit card or credit card. It's common everywhere, we didn't need any cash on our trip. You can see the current rate on e.g. oanada (1 euro = 7.5 DKK).
- Telephone code: +298
- Time zone: UTC, daylight saving time UTC + 1, the Faroe Islands are one hour behind our Central European time
- Capital: Tórshavn
- Entry: for German citizens, an identity card is sufficient to enter the Faroe Islands. A passport is not necessary. You can find current information at the Federal Foreign Office.
Faroe Islands How to get there: plane or ferry?
The easiest way to get to the Faroe Islands is through Copenhagen. From there there are the most and cheapest flights to the Faroe Islands. The national airline of the Faroe Islands is called Atlantic Airways and the airport is on the island of Vágar. We flew with Atlantic Airways for about 135 euros per person from Copenhagen to Vágar, including luggage. Of course, there are also other airports for your journey to the Faroe Islands. In addition to Copenhagen, there are also direct flights with Atlantic Airways from Reykjavik on Iceland, Edinburgh in Scotland or Barcelona in Spain.
As an alternative to the plane, you can also choose the ferry for your journey to the Faroe Islands. It takes longer, but it's the only option if you want to bring your own vehicle. There are connections from Smyril Line from Hirtshals in Denmark or from Seydisfjördur on Iceland. The ferry port called on the Faroe Islands is Tórshavn. You can find more information on prices and timetables on the official website of the ferry company.
Out and about in the Faroe Islands
You can hardly pass a rental car on your holiday in the Faroe Islands. There is of course also public transport: buses, ferries and helicopters. Most of the ferries are car ferries, so you can usually take your car with you to the other islands.
If you don't want to rent a car, you can also travel to the Faroe Islands by public transport. The bus network also covers smaller places. However, most buses don't run very often and of course you won't get to all the remote places. So you should plan a lot more time. To use public transport for several days, you can get a travel card. This is valid for either 5 days or 1 week.
Faroe Islands Travel Card prices for public transport: 7 days adult 700 DKK, 5 days 500 DKK, children 7-15 years pay half
Car hire in the Faroe Islands
Unfortunately, rental cars are very expensive in the Faroe Islands. For a week in May 2019 at 62 ° N we paid around 500 euros, in summer during the main travel season it is even more expensive. By the way, an off-road vehicle is not necessary, most of the roads are paved and in good condition. Side streets are sometimes very narrow, so a smaller car is more of an advantage.
We recommend the Buttercup Routes, marked in green on the free Faroe Islands map with a yellow flower symbol. These streets are often side streets or even dead ends with particularly beautiful views. Almost all roads on the Faroe Islands are panoramic roads, after all, you almost always have a sea view and a view of imposing mountains.
Driving and tolling in the Faroe Islands
Driving in itself is not difficult in the Faroe Islands. As with us, there is right-hand traffic and you have to wear seat belts. The speed limit in places is 50 km / h, outside 80 km / h. The light must also be switched on during the day. You should pay special attention to the sheep when driving in the Faroe Islands. The fluffy four-legged friends populate all the islands and are often allowed to move around freely. Especially on side streets, they like to be in the middle of the street. And then look at you puzzled when you want to stop by.
Another special feature of driving on the Faroe Islands are the many tunnels. Two of them are long submarine tunnels, namely the tunnel between Vágar and Streymoy and the tunnel between Eysturoy and Bordoy. Both of these tunnels are subject to tolls. The fee is 100 DKK and is only payable one way. Either you pay the tunnel toll at the end of the journey directly to the rental company or at the next gas station after driving through. There are also information signs by the tunnels. These tunnels have two lanes, are well lit and easy to drive through. The situation is very different with the single-lane tunnels, of which there are particularly many on the North Islands. However, these do not cost any toll. Tips for beautiful places that you shouldn't miss on your road trip through the archipelago can be found in the article Faroe Islands attractions.
Update: In December 2020, a new underwater tunnel was opened in the Faroe Islands, the Eysturoyartunnilin. It connects the capital Tórshavn on the island of Streymoy with the island of Eysturoy and thus significantly shortens the journey time. In the middle of the tunnel there is a roundabout, the first underwater roundabout in the world. Coming from Tórshavn, you can either continue to Runavík or Strendur.
Tips for driving through the single-lane tunnels
The single-lane tunnels in the Faroe Islands are a bit of a challenge. Most of them are narrow, low, and not lit up. One direction has right of way. There is a more or less narrow alternative bay about every 100 meters to avoid it. Even if you have right of way, it is exciting to watch the first time whether the oncoming vehicle catches an alternative bay in time. Because correctly assessing distances in the dark tunnel also needs to be practiced first. And on the way back you have to avoid yourself. If there is a lot of traffic, this can lead to alternative bay hopping. After a few tunnels, we develop into professionals and, like the locals, blind when swerving so that the oncoming vehicle is not blinded. But don't worry, if you find the single-lane tunnels a bit spooky, the Faroe Islands also have enough normal roads and two-lane tunnels to explore most of the islands. But a little adventurous spirit is also part of a holiday in the Faroe Islands!
Ferry trips in the Faroe Islands
Traveling by ferry is also an integral part of a holiday in the Faroe Islands. You can only get to some of the islands by ferry. This includes, for example, the island of Nólsoy across from Tórshavn or Kalsoy, one of the northern islands. Similar to the main roads, the ferry routes in the Faroe Islands have numbers. The fares are the same for most connections and always apply for the outward and return journey. A car (<5 meters) with a driver costs 160 DKK, an adult 40 DKK. As with the buses, children only cost half as much. This price applies to the ferries to Fugloy, Svínoy, Kalsoy, Nólsoy, Sandoy and Skúvoy. To the much more distant island of Suðuroy you currently pay 80 DKK per adult and 225 DKK per car with driver. Another exception is the car-free island of Mykines, the crossing there costs 60 DKK and must be booked in advance. You can find the current ferry prices under this link. With the exception of Mykines and the car ferry on route 60 to Sandoy, the ferries can unfortunately not yet be booked by tourists.
Overview Faroe ferries with numbers and islands
All ferry routes are also shown on the official Faroe Islands map. You can get this card free of charge at the airport, at the tourist information offices and in some hotels. On the ferry side, prices and timetables often only contain numbers or place names, which is why we have created an overview including island names here.
Ferries in the North Islands:
- 56 Klaksvík - Syðradalur (Bordoy - Kalsoy)
- 58 Hvannasund - Svínoy - Kirkja - Hattarvík (Vidoy - Svínoy - Fugloy, no car ferry)
Ferry to Mykines in the west:
- 36 Sørvágur - Mykines (Vágar - Mykines, no car ferry)
Ferry connections to Streymoy and the southern Faroe Islands:
- 7 Tvøroyri - Tórshavn (Suduroy - Streymoy)
- 60 Skopun - Gamlarætt (Sandoy - Streymoy)
- 61 Gamlarætt - Hestur (Streymoy - Hestur)
- 66 Sandur - Skúvoy (Sandoy - Skúvoy, no car ferry)
- 90 Tórshavn - Nólsoy (Streymoy - Nólsoy)
Another way to get from A to B in the Faroe Islands is by helicopter. However, since these are actually intended for the locals and should not be used by tourists if possible, we will not go into further detail here.
Faroe Islands tip for mobile phones & SIM cards
Important for your vacation on the Faroe Islands: Since the Faroe Islands, unlike Denmark, do not belong to the EU, there are high roaming charges. If you can get any network at all. However, many accommodations have free WiFi. If that is not enough for you, it is advisable to use a local SIM card. We had the prepaid starter kit from Føroya Tele. It costs 97 DKK and includes 2 GB of data and 25 DKK phone credit. You can get the starter kit with the Faroese SIM card at the information kiosk at Vágar Airport.
Weather & best time to travel Faroe Islands
In principle, you can vacation in the Faroe Islands all year round. Due to its location in the Gulf Stream, there is never any sea ice there. The average temperatures are between 3.5 ° C in winter and 12 ° C in summer. In wind-protected corners, however, it can also get significantly warmer. In general, you have to expect rapidly changing weather on your trip at any time of the year. During our vacation in the Faroe Islands at the end of May, we had clouds and fog, as well as sun and bright blue skies, as well as snow and hail. So be prepared for anything.
If you want to meet the cute puffins like us, you should plan your Faroe Islands trip between mid-April and mid-August. If you travel to the Faroe Islands in winter, you should keep in mind that there is relatively little daylight there.
Catering: restaurants and supermarkets
All larger places on the Faroe Islands also have well-stocked supermarkets (for example Bonus), so that you can cater for yourself. A sensible and inexpensive alternative, especially for us as vegetarians. Since growing vegetables is not so easy in the Faroe Islands, a lot of meat and fish is traditionally eaten there. But there are also a few pizzerias and cafés with vegetarian food. The choice is quite large, especially in Tórshavn. You can find a food guide for vegetarians at Julie en Voyage. By the way, you can drink the tap water on the Faroe Islands without hesitation. Tip for coffee drinkers: coffee is often much cheaper at petrol stations. It comes from the machine, but we found it to be drinkable.
Accommodation in the Faroe Islands
Since the accommodation on the Faroe Islands is very limited and not exactly cheap, it is definitely worth planning and reserving accommodation in good time. Apartments are of course available for self-caterers. We stayed in a small Airbnb apartment in Fuglafjørður for most of our vacation in the Faroe Islands. The apartment was not only totally cozy, but also unbeatably cheap for Faroe Islands. With 3 people we only paid 60 euros per night there. You can also find some hotels on booking.com. For example, we spent one night in the Hotel Runavík, which is also highly recommended, but without cooking facilities. An overnight stay with locals on Mykines is a special experience.
So, these were our tips for your trip to the Faroe Islands. Do you still have questions? Then please let us know in the comments.
Travel inspiration for the Faroe Islands and Europe's beautiful north
Disclosure: We spent a week in the Faroe Islands in May 2019. 3 nights accommodation & rental car was covered by Visit Faroe Islands. Our personal opinion remains unaffected, after all, Travelinspired is about authentic travel reports.
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