The 18 islands forming the Faroe Islands create an epic adventure that’s unlike anywhere else in Europe. Although it’s easier to reach the archipelago than ever before, it feels like you’ve stepped foot on another planet. The mountainous islands present unbelievable views of the Atlantic Ocean, and you can visit remote villages rarely seen by outsiders.
When you first enter the Faroe Islands, deciding what sights to visit first can be an overwhelming task. To help you plan your trip, we’ve gathered our favorite things to do in the Faroe Islands. We could list dozens more unforgettable places to visit but narrowed the list to what we think are the 10 most iconic sights in the Faroe Islands.
From stunning hikes to Faroese culture, you’ll get a taste of everything the Faroe Islands have to offer at these locations. If you’re unsure where to begin your vacation, start with these incredible Faroe Islands sights. Filling out the remainder of your itinerary will be a breeze from there. We promise!
Map with jaw dropping sights in the Faroe Islands
1. Tórshavn & Tinganes
As the capital and largest town in the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn is a natural place to begin any trip around the country. The settlement sits on Streymoy Island and gives you a taste of traditional Faroese culture. You’ll find art galleries, boutique shops, historic landmarks, and museums. If you have time, stop by the Nordic House to watch plays, concerts, and other live events.
For history buffs, don’t leave the capital without wandering the old town of Tinganes. The peninsula divides the area into two harbors, and its cobblestone walkways reveal charming turf-roofed houses. This is where you’ll find the Faroese Parliament, one of the world’s oldest parliamentary meeting places.
Elsewhere, Tórshavn Cathedral is the country’s second oldest church, and the Skansin fortress once protected Tórshavn from pirate raids in the 16th century. The capital also makes a convenient launching pad for boat tours or an enjoyable day of sea kayaking around the nearby islands.
2. Lake Sørvágsvatn
Lake Sørvágsvatn is the country’s largest lake and might be one of the most recognizable sights in the Faroe Islands. Known as the “Lake Above the Ocean,” the lake’s puzzling optical illusion continues to bewilder tourists. Less than 10 minutes from the airport, this can be your first stop if flying to the Faroe Islands.
To reach the iconic viewpoint of Lake Sørvágsvatn, you can hike from the trailhead starting from the town of Miðvágur towards the Trælanípa sea cliffs. The coastal trail is often muddy, and you should wear waterproof boots to protect your feet.
It seems that the lake hangs hundreds of feet above the Atlantic, but your mind is playing tricks on you. In reality, the lake and ocean are roughly the same sea level, and it’s the sharp cliffs that make it appear otherwise. Follow the path until you see the Bøsdalafossur Waterfall spilling from Lake Sørvágsvatn into the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Gásadalur & Múlafossur Waterfall
The scenic village of Gásadalur sits on Vágar Island and is surrounded by some of the tallest peaks in the Faroe Islands. Colorful houses rest near the cliffside, and green fields dot the landscape beneath the mountains. Standing at 722 meters, Árnafjall creates a beautiful backdrop for those seeking solitude around the village.
While exploring the area, don’t miss the sight of the Múlafossur Waterfall tumbling against the rocky cliffs and into the ocean. The Múlafossur viewpoint presents jaw-dropping views of the village and is one of the most famous sights of the Faroe Islands. You can admire the waterfall from the edge of the cliffside, and a nearby pathway gives you an incredible vista of Mykines in the distance.
4. Fossá Waterfall
Fossá is the tallest waterfall in the Faroe Islands and definitely one of the sights to add to your Faroe Islands itinerary. Staring at the base of the two-tiered cascade is simply majestic. Standing at 140 meters, the waterfall gently tumbles down the cliffside and trickles beneath the roadway. Since Fossá sits beside the road on the northern end of Streymoy Island, it’s one of the more accessible things to do in the Faroe Islands.
You can reach the lower level of the falls with just a brisk stroll along a rocky path for unbelievable photos. The flow will vary based on the amount of rainfall, and the waterfall’s width increases during rainier forecasts.
There’s also a trailhead that leads to the upper-tier but requires a scramble to reach the cliffside. Not many tourists venture down the path, and you’ll gain stunning images behind the falls and blooming wildflowers.
5. Kallur Lighthouse
We did lots of hiking in the Faroe Islands, and our favorite was the one to the Kallur Lighthouse. For avid trekkers, this should be towards the top of your list of must-see Faroe Islands sights. Standing at the lighthouse feels like you’re on top of the world and is arguably the most dramatic view anywhere in the Faroe Islands.
Surrounded by sea cliffs and lush fields, the lighthouse sits high above the rough seas of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll spot sheep and vast birdlife while hiking to the lighthouse and gain nearly 1,000 feet of elevation. When you reach the cliffside, the sharp drop gives you a breathtaking vantage of the rugged landscapes around the island.
The lighthouse sits on the northern tip of Kalsoy Island and requires a ferry ride to reach the trailhead. Get an early start when visiting during the summer since the ferry gets extremely busy this time of year. Before hiking to the lighthouse, check the forecast since it will be too dangerous on windy, foggy days.
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Mykines is the westernmost island in the archipelago and among the most popular things to do in the Faroe Islands during the summer. Renowned for its untouched nature and incredible birdlife, Mykines is the ultimate puffin watching experience in the Faroe Islands.
Puffins and other bird species can only be spotted on Mykines from May to September, and these bright summer months offer ferry rides for tourists. The ferry operates from May 1st until mid-October, but you should book tickets well in advance since they often sell out. You can also reach Mykines by helicopter during the offseason for complete solitude on the island.
The boat ride to Mykines is just as spectacular as the island since you’ll sail through the Sørvágsfjørður fjord, past basalt cliffs, and see lots of birdlife. You won’t find any cars on the island, and the lone settlement has traditional Faroese turf-roofed houses. Although you’ll have to pay a fee, hiking to the lighthouse gives you a true sense of the island’s remoteness.
And you’ll see puffins everywhere while hiking during the summer!
While sailing to Mykines, you’ll gain remarkable views of Tindhólmur and its jagged landscapes. Have your camera ready since the uninhabited islet is one of the most unique formations and sights in the Faroe Islands. Tindhólmur is defined by its five peaks towering above the sea with the highest point resting at 262 meters.
The names of the peaks are Ytsti, Arni, Lítli, Breiði, Bogdi and they can be translated to Farthest, Eagle, Small, Broad, and Bent. Majestic birds soar around the rugged mountainside, and lush greenery glistens beneath the sunlight. Every angle of the five peaks captures breathtaking images that you won’t find anywhere else.
Situated beside a tranquil lagoon on Streymoy island, this remote village feels like you’ve stepped foot into a fairy tale. The settlement lies within a sea inlet and is surrounded by steep mountains. Residents live in grass-roofed houses and use the lagoon as a natural harbor.
Driving to this idyllic setting is among the top things to do in the Faroe Islands while using the capital as your base. The final stretches of the drive include a single-track road that cuts through a valley engulfed by sharp mountains. You’ll pass Lake Saksunarvatn and find hiking paths that lead towards the lagoon and up the mountainside.
The traditional Faroese farmhouses are a beautiful sight, and cascading waterfalls flow against the rocky landscape. A hiking path leads you up the mountains and towards the waterfall, but the trail can become slippery. Make sure you pay close attention to the signs in the area and stay on designated paths at all times to avoid trespassing on private property.
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Suðuroy is the southernmost island and often overlooked by tourists, but don’t ignore this hidden gem. The weather can be extremely unpredictable, and reaching the island requires a ferry, but the journey to Suðuroy is worth it. Dramatic sea cliffs, sparkling fjords, scenic lighthouses, and unique villages await after a two-hour boat ride from Tórshavn.
Not many Faroe Islands itineraries will include Suðuroy, but the desolation is what makes it stand out. Standing at the Akraberg Lighthouse feels like you’ve reached the end of the world and the village of Sumba has a charm all its own. Rising nearly 500 meters, Beinisvørð are the island’s highest sea cliffs and a hotspot for rich birdlife.
Hvannhagi will be a thrill for hikers, and the area has some of the rarest geologic features in the Faroe Islands. The steep pathway gives you spectacular views of Lítla Dímun, the smallest and only uninhabited of the main 18 islands.
10. The Northern Lights
One of the highlights of our October road trip around the Faroe Islands was witnessing the Northern Lights. We’ve been fortunate to see the aurora borealis several times during our travels, and the Faroe Islands are one of our top places to see the Northern Lights in Europe.
The Faroe Islands are close enough to the Arctic Circle for dramatic differences in sunlight throughout the year. During the fall and winter, days are short enough to give you the opportunity for a spectacular show with the right conditions. There are no enormous cities, and the lack of light pollution provides stellar images of the night sky.
Winter days are only about five hours long, and this offers ample time to see the Northern Lights with the right conditions. When the forecast calls for clear skies, our favorite spot for Northern Lights hunting in the Faroe Islands is Viðareiði. The coastal village is the northernmost settlement in the archipelago and a natural base to search for the Northern Lights.