A unique archipelago of volcanic islands located in the tumultuous North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are unlike anywhere else we’ve visited. The Faroe Island’s dramatic coastlines, mountains, and valleys look hard to reach but are actually very accessible, via a modern network of roads and tunnels. Still, the landscape here is almost untouched and it’s easy to get completely off the beaten path. The Faroe Islands have the perfect conditions to experience some of the greatest adventures.
We spent ten magical days exploring the Faroe Islands in October. Curious what the best travel time is to visit the Islands? Check out here the best travel time! Road-tripping to remote parts of the islands we hiked, cycled, and kayaked. We slept in a different place every night and were lucky to see the northern lights more than once.
If you’re an adventurous traveler and have ever wondered if the Faroe Islands are worth visiting, the answer is yes!
1. Cycling adventure in the Faroe Islands
We visited the Faroe Islands at the end of our Iceland trip, during which we had already cycled more than 3000km. We should have been sick of the sight of our bicycles yet we couldn’t wait to jump back onto them! Cycling is a great way to see the Faroe Islands. On a bicycle, you can stay close to nature and cover a lot of distance in a short time.
Mountains, fjords and lush valleys make up much of the landscape across the Faroe Islands. The landscape is hilly and the weather is very changeable which means cycling isn’t always easy. But we find the most challenging cycling rewards us with the best views so don’t be put off!
The Faroe Islands doesn’t have a network of bicycle paths but it does have well-paved, quiet roads. The islands are connected to each other by a bridge, tunnel, or a ferry so you can get anywhere you want to go on two-wheels providing you factor in rest and overnight stops at reasonable intervals.
If you are not an experienced cyclist or you only have a short time to see the Faroe Islands, we recommend joining a guided cycling tour. This tour takes you from the island’s capital Tórshavn, along the coastline towards Oyggjarvegurin to the mountain pass of Norðradalsskarð. 225 meters above sea level you can rest your legs as you enjoy one of the most magical views the Faroe Islands has to offer.
There are parts of the Faroe Islands that are difficult to access on two wheels and for these adventures we use two feet, instead! Hiking in the Faroe Islands is an unforgettable experience. There are dozens of hiking trails to choose from. Spend a day conquering a mountain or spend a few hours taking a gentle stroll; even a short hike on a slight elevation opens up the landscape in surprising ways.
The Faroe Islands tourism website offers a useful downloadable hiking guide with 23 routes laid out. We’ve also written our own guide to the 5 most incredible hikes of the Faroe Islands which includes our advice on the best time to hike and how to prepare for a hike.
Our favorite hike took us on a dramatic 2-hour loop to the Kallur lighthouse on Kasoy island. On Vagar island we tackled a light hike to Lake Sørvágsvatn, a harder trail to Villingadalsfjall and a 20-mile, hardcore trek “Á Hálsi við Sandavág Slættanes Fjallavatn Gásadalur” across this gorgeous island.
We also recommend taking a boat to Mykines Island to see thousands of puffins nesting on the dramatic cliff edges. And on Eysturoy, the hike from Saksun to Tjørnuvik takes you through classic Faroese villages and landscapes.
Like cycling, hiking in the Faroe Islands can be challenging but it’s well worth the effort. Prepare diligently and carry your own back-up navigational tools in case your phone GPS fails. We always carry our Spot Gen 3 which is capable of sending an S.O.S. signal. We also recommend taking advantage of the Faroe Islands “Safe Travel” leaflet. Fill in your details and leave the leaflet in your hotel or on your car windshield so people will know if you don’t return on time.
3. Rappelling adventure in the Faroe Islands
If you’ve never tried rappelling before, a trip to the Faroe Islands is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! Rappelling in the Faroe Islands is the most exciting (and quickest!) way to get from the top of a cliff to the bottom. The Faroese people are experts at rappelling, having scaled steep cliffs for generations to access bird eggs and errant sheep.
Visitors to the Faroe Islands must rappel with the proper safety equipment. And unless you’re very experienced in this extreme sport, we recommend you rappel as part of a guided group on Eysturoy Island.
Starting at Æðuvík village, the rappelling instructor takes you to Tinghella where your heart-stopping rappel will take place! The instructor will teach you how to safely descend a sheer cliff face for 25 meters, looking down into the ocean crashing beneath you. At the bottom of the cliff, you can also see the Fossdalsfossur Waterfall.
Rappelling is one of the most invigorating and rewarding activities you can do on the Faroe Islands. It’s also an unusual way to see parts of the island only a few humans ever see!
4. Road Tripping
We spent ten days in the Faroe Islands and road-tripped for all of it. Renting a car is the best way to get around the Faroe Islands for a few reasons:
- You can make the best use of your time and see as many of the islands as possible on your own schedule.
- You can access harder to reach hiking trails, cycling routes, and scenic spots by car. Some travelers make the capital Torshavn their base and day trip to other locations from there. Having a rental car meant we could sleep in a different part of the Faroe Islands every night.
- The infrastructure of the Faroe Islands is impressive. The main islands are connected by bridges and tunnels (which are very fun to drive!) and the roads are well maintained.
- We visited the Faroe Islands in October when the weather was unpredictable. We enjoyed some sunny days but it was mostly cold and there were occasional rainstorms. If the weather becomes too unpleasant you can always dry off and warm up in the car!
We rented our car from autoeurope and enjoyed a great service. Road tripping in the Faroe Islands is not a budget travel experience and a car will cost around €565 ($650) for one week. That’s before fuel costs which are quite high as well. However, road tripping is absolutely the best way to explore the Faroe Islands. To help you plan your trip we’ve also put together a post on our Faroe Island itinerary, suitable for 3, 5, and 8-day trips!
If you don’t want to rent a car there’s also an option to do a full day highlights tour around the Faroe Islands. With a maximum of 8 participants you hit the road in a comfy Van and enjoy all the spectacular views while someone else is driving you.
When you think of global surfing destinations, the Faroe Islands doesn’t exactly spring to mind. Yet, the endless coastlines and turbulent weather of the Faroe Islands actually creates small pockets of great surfing opportunities. Surf shops have popped up in recent years and guided surfing is available in a few locations.
But be warned that surfing in the Faroes Islands is very different from surfing on the beach in California! For one, the North Atlantic waters are a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle and so are very cold. Watersports are not recommended in the Faroe Islands without a full cold water wetsuit and a sturdy constitution. The waters around the Faroe Islands are also prone to violent ocean swells and storms. Only experienced surfers who are closely monitoring the weather should risk surfing without a group.
The Faroe Islands tourism website offers a safety guide for surfing so be sure to download it before you think about jumping on your board.
6. Kayaking adventure in the Faroe Islands
Kayaking in the Faroe Islands gives you a completely different perspective on the landscape. You can explore lakes, rivers, and parts of the coastline in a simple kayak, either as part of a group or alone. Getting out on the water guarantees you’ll get off the beaten track and experience the peaceful natural beauty the Faroe Islands are known for.
We went kayaking on Vagar Island where you can take a special route that passes the freshwater Lake Leitisvatn – famous for being a lake that hangs over the ocean – Trælanípa Cliff, and Bøsdalafossur waterfall.
It’s always fun to take part in group activities, and this kayaking excursion follows the same route but with the added safety of a guide. It’s also convenient to kayak alone as there are lots of places where you can rent a kayak and a life jacket.
Sea kayaking can be more challenging. A different style of kayak is needed when kayaking in the sea compared to a river or lake due to sea currents and waves. Sea kayaking tours take place around Tjørnuvík, to the sea-stacks of Drangarnir and other locations.
Fishing on the Faroe Islands is more than a fun pastime, it’s a way of life. Without their beautifully-crafted boats and rich fishing grounds, the earliest Faroese settlers couldn’t have survived. Today, the Faroe Islands fishing culture is still going strong to support local cuisine.
The Faroe Islands are all coastline – you’re never more than 5km from the sea – so there are endless opportunities to fish. You can fish from a boat or from the shore and there are many places to rent a rod and gear. Most visitors try deep-sea fishing or fly-fishing.
There are tons of fishing excursions operating all over the islands. This fishing trip in Hvannasund takes you back in time as you set sail on a traditional Faroese boat. Sailing up the eastern coastline of Viðoy, you can bird-watch and take photographs of the arctic terns, puffins, and guillemots seen in this area. You’ll try your luck off the coast by Viðareiði and anything you catch you can take away with you to eat! Set up a BBQ or ask a local seafood restaurant if they’ll cook up your catch.
By now you should be totally convinced that the Faroe Islands are worth visiting! There is no better place to try these seven adventurous activities in a dramatic landscape that’s barely touched by tourism. Have you been to the Faroe Islands or tried any of these adventurous activities elsewhere? Send us a comment below to tell us more.
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Thanks for checking out our top 7 most adventurous activities in the Faroe Islands. Hopefully, this has provided the information you need for an epic adventure in the Faroe Islands. If you have tackled any of these adventures before, or if you have a question, please leave a comment below.
Are you ready to discover more about the Faroe Islands? Check out our Faroe Islands page to read all our articles.