Get ready to discover one of Europe’s magical destinations that has yet to be bombarded by mass tourism. The Faroe Islands offer travelers a unique journey with unrivaled landscapes and authentic Nordic culture.
We had an amazing opportunity to spend 10 days driving around the Faroe Islands and loved exploring the archipelago. Surprisingly, it’s not a difficult country for a road trip due to recent infrastructure that has improved driving conditions.
After having an unforgettable adventure in the Faroe Islands, we’re excited to share our best tips and suggestions for your trip. Read on to learn more about the seasons in the Faroe Islands and find out the best time of year to schedule your trip.
About the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are a volcanic archipelago of 18 islands that are part of the Danish Kingdom. Situated between Iceland, Scotland, and Norway, the islands remain one of Europe’s last undiscovered gems. However, the popularity and number of visitors to the islands have increased in the past several years.
The local population is around 50,000, with nearly half of residents located in the capital of Torshavn. One of the biggest draws for tourists is its stunning scenery consisting of rocky cliffs, waterfalls, heathlands, and rugged mountains.
The islands are decorated with turf-roofed houses, is a bird watchers paradise, and is filled with hiking expeditions.
The best season to visit the Faroe Islands
The best time of year to visit the Faroe Islands will be dependent on the specific activities you wish to do. This is mainly due to the weather and the amount of sunlight the islands receive during each season.
The remote archipelago is filled with untouched landscapes that haven’t been explored by hordes of tourists, and the islands are a haven for nature lovers. However, the lack of sunlight during the winter months limits the amount of time you have in the outdoors.
Summer is a fantastic time for lots of fun activities like kayaking, bird watching, fishing, cycling, and horse riding. Although the Faroe Islands is known for letting you experience every season on the same day, the seasons with longer days will be more suited for outdoor adventures.
On the other hand, the seasons with shorter days can be an equally magical time of year to go to the Faroe Islands. Winter nights are devoid of the hectic crowds of summer, and you’ll be treated to astonishing views of the night sky.
Weather in the Faroe Islands
It’s important to understand that the weather in the Faroe Islands is extremely unpredictable throughout the year. You could experience snowstorms and clear skies on the same trip, and it’s crucial to be prepared for all types of weather conditions.
The weather can change drastically, and you might experience different seasons on the same day. For instance, a hike during a sunny afternoon could turn windy and frigid before you know it.
The best thing to do when you visit the Faroe Islands is to be patient whenever bad weather conditions arise. The weather will likely change in a few minutes, and you’ll be able to continue whatever plans you have for the day.
Make sure you always check the weather forecast and be prepared for a roller-coaster adventure when exploring the untouched landscapes of the Faroe Islands.
To give you a better sense of what the weather is like in the Faroe Islands, here’s a season-by-season breakdown.
Summer is the best time for outdoor activities due to long days, warmer temperatures, and less rainfall. Although the Faroe Islands are cloudy and wet most of the year, summer has the most pleasant conditions.
When you visit the Faroe Islands in June, there’s around 22 hours of daylight and just over two inches of rain the whole month. These are some of the longest, driest days of the year.
The temperature reaches its warmest in July but expect slightly more rainfall compared to June. The average temperature high in July is roughly 55°F (13°C), and there are around three inches of rain during the month.
If you visit in August, the weather in the Faroe Islands will remain mostly the same with days that never get completely dark. Temperatures stay around the mid-50s, but the amount of rain increases slightly as fall approaches.
The higher frequency of sunny days makes summer the most popular time for tourists to go to the Faroe Islands. There are tons of day tours to places like the Mykines, and it can sometimes be difficult to find accommodations and car rentals.
Fall is one of the shoulder seasons for the Faroe Islands and a good time to visit to escape the heaviest tourist crowds. The temperature gradually declines and there’s more rainfall this time of year.
September is the last month of the year to feel any remnants of summer, and some attractions even close to prepare for the colder, darker months ahead. The temperatures can still reach the 50s, but September has more rainfall than the summer months.
October is when the weather really starts to become dreary and can be extremely unpredictable. We’re speaking from experience since we visited the Faroe Islands by ferry this month and drove around the country for 10 days. The temperature was always cold, but there was a mixture of sunny and rainy, stormy moments during the days.
It’s no surprise that October is one of the rainiest months of the year, and temperature highs rarely eclipse the mid-to-high 40s. On the bright side, the shorter days allowed us to see the Northern Lights on our trip to the Faroe Islands.
When you visit the Faroe Islands in November, be prepared for less sunlight and even chillier days. The average temperature high is usually in the low-to-mid 40s, and there’s between five to six inches of rain during the month.
Although the weather is not as ideal, the fall can be an enjoyable time to visit the Faroe Islands. There are fewer crowds, which means there will be more accommodations available while you’re there. Many attractions are still accessible, and you can have a more personal experience despite the unstable weather.
Winter is for the hardiest of travelers who don’t mind being in the roughest weather conditions. Pack your heaviest winter gear if you go to the Faroe Islands this time of year. However, it can be one of the most ethereal experiences of your life roaming around the country during the brutal winter.
Depending on your exact location, you could see freezing rain or snow when you visit the Faroe Islands in December. Although the temperature rarely dips below freezing, increased wind and humidity makes it feel colder. You’re more likely to see rain than snow, and there is between five to six inches of rain this month.
January is the rainiest month of the year, and you can expect over six inches of rain. Combined with chilly temperatures in the 30s and 40s, it’s a miserable time for outdoor adventures.
Although the amount of rain decreases in February, don’t expect much variation in the temperature. The average temperature high is around the low 40s, but the wind still plays a factor.
Despite cooler temperatures and increased rainfall, winter in the Faroe Islands can have its fair share of mild days. Since the forecast consistently changes, it’s common to feel rain, snow, and sun at the same location all within a couple of hours.
Plus, long winter nights create the conditions for an epic night of stargazing or watching for the Northern Lights. Winter days are only around five hours long and this gives you plenty of chances for otherworldly night-time adventures.
Don’t expect much change from winter during the first several weeks of spring. This time of year remains cold throughout the islands, and the temperature rises at a snail’s pace before summer. Fortunately, days gradually become longer to give you more time to explore the outdoors.
If you go to the Faroe Islands in March, it will feel much like winter with temperature highs in the low 40s and similar amounts of rainfall. On average, March has over five inches of rain, making it one of the wettest months of the year.
April is slightly warmer and drier than March, but longer days make it possible for closed attractions to open again in preparation for the summer season. Make sure you bring layers since temperature highs are still in the mid-40s.
For travelers who go to the Faroe Islands in May, this is when you really start to notice sunny days again. The amount of daylight increases dramatically this month, and days are upwards of 19 hours long by the end of the month. However, temperatures are still chilly with average highs rarely eclipsing the high 40s.
Best time to see the Northern Lights
Best months in the Faroe Islands for Northern Lights = November – February
The Northern Lights are one of the world’s most spectacular natural phenomena and can only be experienced in a handful of locations. Given its northerly latitude, the Faroe Islands is one of those rare places where you can witness the lights with the right conditions.
If you wish to see the Northern Lights during your visit to the Faroe Islands, you must go the right time of year. There are some months where it’s impossible to see them, and you’ll be disappointed if you arrive then expecting the lights.
The extremely long days of the summer make it impossible to see the Northern Lights. May thru September would be a terrible time to visit the Faroe Islands if seeing the Northern Lights is high on your to-do list.
The short, gloomy nights of winter provide much better conditions to watch the dancing lights. November to February have the longest nights of the year in the Faroe Islands and give you the best chance to check this enchanting spectacle off your bucket list.
It’s important to remember that going to the Faroe Islands in the winter doesn’t guarantee a Northern Light sighting. Pay attention to the weather forecast for clear skies and high solar activity. The Faroe Islands are situated along the southern edge of the Arctic Circle, and the right conditions will usually provide a breathtaking show.
Whenever the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are high, venture outside the city and into complete darkness. You’ll have a better chance of a successful sighting by leaving Torshavn and heading to somewhere like Sornfelli.
Best time for bird watching
The Faroe Islands is one of the world’s best places to find colonies of birds migrating across the Atlantic Ocean. Over 300 bird species have been spotted on the islands, and they tend to cling to the dramatic cliff sides.
The untouched landscapes of the Faroe Islands are a fantastic environment for the birds to take shelter during the breeding season. Although the bird species spend most of their time living elsewhere, they flock to the islands every year to nest.
Some species you’ll find include ravens, crows, sparrows, plovers, and guillemots. The oystercatcher is the national bird of the Faroe Islands, and these black and white birds are normally found nesting on grassy heathlands. Make sure you don’t get too close to their nest or they’ll chase you away.
To see the migratory birds nesting on the islands, you have to visit the Faroe Islands the same time they do. Most birds arrive sometime in May and stay on the islands until August. That makes the summer the only time of the year to see the numerous bird species.
Best time to see puffins
Best months in the Faroe Islands for bird watching = May – August
Puffin watching has become a popular summer activity in Iceland, but the Faroe Islands are another fantastic place to find them. These beautiful creatures are called Lundi here, and they migrate to the Faroese coasts every summer like other migratory birds.
The best time to find colonies of nesting puffins is from May to August, but it’s possible to also see them in April or September. Puffins arrive in droves during the summer, and it’s believed that upwards of one million migrate to the Faroe Islands.
Most puffins flock to Mykines, the westernmost island of the Faroese archipelago. There are tons of day tours to the island, particularly during the pleasant weather conditions of July and August. Before you reach the colonies on the island, you’ll be able to hear these adorable creatures from afar.
Best time to see whales
Best months in the Faroe Islands for whales = June – August
When you go to the Faroe Islands, the topic of whaling will likely come up in conversation. If you’re not aware, the Faroe Islands is one of the few countries that still practice whale hunting. Animal rights activists fiercely condemn the practice, but locals are quick to defend what they see as a vital part of their local culture and food supply for hundreds of years.
We’re not trying to frighten you, but make sure you’re aware of the cultural beliefs surrounding the hunt that takes place in the Faroe Islands.
Locally, the hunt is referred to as the grindadráp or the Grind, and it normally takes place in July and August due to fair weather conditions. The practice is highly regulated, and none of the citizens earn a profit from whale hunting expeditions. The meat is divided amongst the participants, with the rest going to members of the village.
With that being said, the peak of whale season is from June to August, but it’s possible to see pods offshore from April to October. If you join any seafaring tours from the Faroe Islands during this time of year, there’s a decent chance you’ll come across different species of whales and dolphins.
Pilot whales are the primary species that you may come across in the North Atlantic waters of the Faroe Islands, but there is also a good number of small toothed whales. It’s estimated that the pilot whale population near the Faroe Islands is around 100,000, and you may see them from fishing boats or ferries.
Best time to go hiking
Best months in the Faroe Islands for hiking = June – August
The picturesque landscapes of the Faroe Islands were made for hiking, and there are lots of interesting treks on these remote islands. Hiking enthusiasts will be amazed by the stunning panoramic views from mountains and valleys overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean.
During our 10-day road trip around the Faroe Islands, we found lots of beautiful places to hike that never took a long time to reach with our rental car. Most of the incredible hiking destinations weren’t too far away, and we slept in a different place each night to get the most out of each day of trekking.
One thing to keep in mind is that the weather conditions are constantly changing in the Faroe Islands. If you plan on hiking in the Faroe Islands, it’s imperative to pack the right boots for the unstable conditions on some trails. Many paths can become muddy, and it’s important to have boots with good traction.
Vidoy, Vagar, and Streymoy are a few of the islands that have amazing hikes that take you through cozy villages, towards mountaintops, and give you incredible seaside vistas.
One of our favorite hikes was on Kalsoy Island, and it’s one of the country’s hidden gems due to the difficulty of reaching the island. The final destination is along the cliffside near the Kallur lighthouse, and you’ll be met with jaw-dropping views of the coastline.
With dozens of beautiful hikes to explore, you’ll want as much daylight as possible. Since summer days are over 20 hours long, this is the best time of the year to hike in the Faroe Islands. Plus, warmer temperatures and less rainfall will make hiking conditions more comfortable for you.
We love to hear from you
Thanks for checking out the best time to visit the Faroe Islands. Hopefully, this has provided the information you need to plan a wonderful trip to the Faroe Islands based on the activities you wish to do. If you have travel experiences from the Faroe Islands, or if you have a question, please leave a comment below.
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