The Faroe Islands is an archipelago of 18 islands located about halfway between Iceland and the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. There are regular flights to the Faroes from various European cities, or you can take a ferry from Denmark or Iceland with Smyril Line. The Faroes feel like an entire world of their own and getting there is half the fun with some incredible scenery to enjoy on the journey there.
Getting to the Faroe Islands by plane
Flying is the most convenient way to get to the Faroes. Vágar Airport, located on the island of Vágar, is the archipelago's only commercial airport. Atlantic Airways and Scandinavian Airlines are currently the only airlines that operate flights. You can fly direct to Vágar from several European cities throughout the year including Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Bergen, Paris and Edinburgh. If you're travelling from further afield, you'll need to fly via one of these destinations.
There are more flights in the summer months (June-August) from other European destinations like the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Crete, Malta and Mallorca.
From Vágar Airport, you can either rent a car, take a public bus or jump in a taxi to the main island of Streymoy where the capital city of Tórshavn is located.The drive to Tórshavn takes around 40 minutes.
Getting to the Faroe Islands by boat
Travelling to the Faroes by boat might not be a great option if you're on a tight schedule (or if you’re prone to seasickness) as the journey takes around 35 hours. You can take a ferry to Tórshavn on Smyril Line's M/S Norröna. The service travels between Hirtshals in Denmark and Seyðisfjørður in Iceland via Vágar. There are two weekly departures in the high season (July-August), and one crossing per week throughout the rest of the year.
You can travel as a foot passenger or bring your vehicle. The ship has a cafeteria serving up Scandinavian specialities, a gourmet restaurant, a cinema, a shop and a swimming pool. Despite the considerably longer journey time, taking the ferry offers amazing scenery, especially as you approach the islands. If you’re really lucky, you may even spot a whale from the deck.
Getting around the Faroe Islands
Tunnels and bridges connect the main islands so you can travel around easily if you have a car. If you want to go to the other islands, you’ll need to take a public ferry which is relatively easy and cheap to do.
Three subsea tunnels connect the seven largest islands (Streymoy, Eysturoy, Vágar, Suduroy, Sandoy, Bordoy and Svínoy):
- Vágatunnilin – connects the western island of Vágar (Airport) to the island of Streymoy
- Norðoyartunnilin – connects the northern island of Borðoy (Klaksvík) to the island of Eysturoy (Leirvík)
- Eysturoyartunnilin – connects the island of Streymoy with the island of Eysturoy.
All main highways are paved, but there are gravel roads in some of the more remote villages so ensure you take extra care when driving. Driving is on the right side of the road and you'll need to pay a toll to use the subsea tunnels. There are no toll pay stations at the tunnel entrances, so you must pay at one of the following petrol stations within three days of the journey:
- Effo – Kollafjørður
- Effo – Gundadalur
- Effo – Klaksvík
- Magn – Klaksvík
- Magn – Gøtudalur
- Effo - Leirvík
- Magn – Miðvágur
If you’re not taking a car, it’s still easy to get around thanks to the islands' public transport network. Ferries connect most islands, and buses connect most of the main villages once you’re on land. One of the great things about taking the bus in Tórshavn is that it's free. However, you’ll need to work around departure times, which might not be ideal if you’re pushed for time or battling the rain (which is very common as it rains a lot here).
There's also a helicopter that services the Faroe Islands. It's used mainly by locals to get around or to deliver goods, but you can sometimes do a single trip if it's not too busy and there's a spare seat. Tickets are cheap, but there are only 12 seats so make sure you book in advance.
Our Faroe Islands trips