Road Trip the Faroe Islands with this 5-Day Itinerary

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Sheep in the road, Road Trip Faroe Islands
It’s clear who’s boss on a Faroe Islands Road Trip! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

A country like none other, the Faroe Islands sit in the remote North Atlantic Ocean halfway between Iceland and Norway and just north of Scotland’s Northern Isles. The country is comprised of 18 rocky islands adorned with sea cliffs, sea stacks, towering mountains and tiny villages.

Connected by a series of bridges, sub-sea tunnels and car ferries, Faroe Islands travel by road trip is the absolute best way to experience the wonders of this land. The country’s population includes roughly 55,000 humans and 70,000+ free-roaming sheep. As a result, the only traffic jams you’ll encounter on your road trip adventure are the ones caused by the woolly locals. Could there be a better road trip? Absolutely not!

Mulafossur Waterfall, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Mulafossur Waterfall on Vagar Island. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

First Day Itinerary – Vágar to Tórshavn

Why wait to start your Faroe Islands road trip? Pick up your rental car at the Vágar Airport then hit the road on the island of Vágar and start exploring. A 15 minute drive north on Route 45 brings you to the small village of Gasadalur. Accessible by car via a mountain tunnel or on foot with a hike along the old Postman Route from the town of Bøur, this picturesque village is home to Mulafossur Waterfall. A must-see on the Faroe Islands, Mulafossur Waterfall cascades more than 100 feet into the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Keep an eye on the surrounding cliffs in the summer months. You may get lucky and spot a few puffins.

Retrace your drive on Route 45 to Sørvágsvegur/Route 22 in Sørvåg then continue to Route 11 towards the capital city of Tórshavn. But before leaving the island of Vágar, work in another natural wonder with a stop at the Faroe Islands’ largest lake, Sørvágsvatn – or the “Hanging Lake.” An optical illusion makes Lake Sørvágsvatn appear perched high above the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll get a good stretch to your legs on this 2.5 to 3-hour hike, but it’ll be worth it to see this marvel of nature.

When your exploration is complete, follow Route 11 to Tórshavn. Crossing through your first of many sub-sea tunnels, you’ll reach the island of Streymoy – the largest of the Faroe Islands. Views continue to spread out before you as you follow this 45 minute drive to Tórshavn.

Road to Torshavn, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Road to Torshavn. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Second Day Itinerary – Tórshavn to Tjørnuvík

Today’s road trip itinerary leads you through historic sites and fantastic landscapes. Before you head north along the eastern edge of Streymoy island, venture west on Route 12 for a fifteen minute drive to one of the most important historic sites in the Faroe Islands in Kirkjubøur. Wander through the 11th-century ruins of the Magnus Cathedral. Visit Saint Olav’s Church – the oldest church in the Faroe Islands. And check out the turf-roofed homes in the village.

Saint Olav’s Church in Kirkjubøur, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Saint Olav’s Church in Kirkjubøur. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Departing this intriguing area, follow Route 12 in the direction of Tórshavn before heading north on Route 10. When you reach Hvalvik, veer left on Route 53 to experience the picturesque village of Saksun. Situated at the edge of a lagoon surrounded by mountains, this tiny village is home to 11 residents and countless waterfalls. At the water’s edge, a captivating white church with turf-topped roof adds to the village’s charm.

Drive back to Route 10 and continue north passing the Fossa Waterfall en route to the remote village of Tjørnuvík. Believed to be one of the original villages settled by Vikings, this stunning village overlooks sea cliffs and the continuous waves of the North Atlantic Ocean attract surfers. The narrow, steep drive into the village is both breathtaking and terrifying. Be sure to watch for sheep – who don’t seem to be afraid of any road, no matter how steep!

Sea Cliffs as seen from Tjørnuvík. Note the mountainside road in to the village! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Return to Tórshavn and spend some time exploring the Faroes Islands’ capital city. Don’t  miss the city centre’s old town known as Tinganes. Vikings chose this as their parliament in 850 AD. Today you can still stroll along ancient cobbled streets flanked by tiny wooden houses painted red and topped with turf roofs.

Road to Gjógv, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Road to Gjógv. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Third Day Itinerary – Explore the Island of Eysturoy

Get ready for more adventure and a few white-knuckle drives for today’s road trip. You’ll only cover about 100 miles, but oh the sights you’ll see. And sheep, of course!

Head north again along Route 10 about a 34 minute drive to Hvalvik. Just beyond Hvalvik, Route 10 leads you east through the sub-sea tunnel connecting Steymoy to the island of Eysturoy. Pick up Route 62 driving toward the top of Eysturoy before veering east in the direction of Gjógv. This road takes you through jaw-dropping landscapes at high elevations. Snow is possible and sheep are guaranteed. As you meander along the somewhat narrow and at times terrifyingly steep roads, you’ll be treated to views of Slættaratindur – the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands.

Sitting at the edge of the sea, Gjógv bears the name of its beautiful 656-foot sea-filled gorge. Continuing the drive south on Eysturoy, be sure to detour to visit another not to be missed village. Funningur sits at the edge of the stunning Funningsfjørður Fjord. Highlights of this sheep-filled village include a peaceful stream that runs through its center and a traditional turf-roofed wooden church.

To add to your road trip adventure, the sub-sea tunnel that connects Eysturoy to Streymoy leads you around the world’s only underwater roundabout! Settle one more night in Tórshavn before you venture to the Northern Islands.

Sheep grazing in a road-side field on Eysturoy, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Driving to the end of the road on Eysturoy. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Fourth Day Itinerary – Detours En Route to Viðareiði

By now, you probably feel as if you’ve been exploring one of the most remote places in Europe – and you’re not wrong. But when you reach the Northern Islands, that Nordic remoteness is amplified. Perched at the edge of the island of Vidoy, Viðareiði is the country’s northernmost village. Located only about an hour’s drive from Tórshavn, the island of Vidoy seems a world away. But since the drive is fairly short, why not detour for more mind-blowing scenery along the way?

As you venture back through the sub-sea tunnel with the really cool roundabout connecting Streymoy to Eysturoy, exit on Route 15 southbound to what is literally the end of the road. A series of narrow roads lead through tiny villages and unimaginably beautiful scenery that you’ll likely have all to yourself. At the road’s end you’ll have a clear view of the tiny island of Nolsoy.

From there, make your way to Klaksvik located on the island of Bordoy. As the second-largest city in the Faroe Islands, Klaksvik makes an ideal stop for lunch and to pick up snacks or groceries. It’s also the place to catch the ferry to Kalsoy Island where the final James Bond movie, No Time to Die, was filmed. Hikers flock to Kalsoy to hike the trail to the Kallur Lighthouse. To experience this for yourself, drive to the west side of Kalsoy to the village of Trøllanes. From the trailhead in the parking lot, you’ll start the 2.4-mile loop trail to capture your own Instagram-worthy photos of the Kallur Lighthouse and epic views of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Rest up in the picturesque village of Viðareiði and get ready for your final road trip itinerary.

Kunoy Viillage on the Island of Kunoy, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Kunoy Viillage on the Island of Kunoy. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Fifth Day Itinerary – From Vidoy to Kunoy to Vestmanna

I’ll be honest, the captivating village of Viðareiði is hard to leave. Before you make your exit, spend some time walking around this lovely village. If you’re up early, catch a sunrise at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. As you venture back to Vagar Airport, consider these detours.

Crossing through the single-lane tunnel that connects Vidoy to Kunoy is an adventure in itself. Thankfully, this tunnel crossing is mandated by traffic lights – as long as you’re there before evening.

On the island of Kunoy, a short distance north of the tunnel, the tiny village (also named Kunoy) is worth a stop. A short trail off the main road leads to a small forest of birch and pine trees – which is rare in the Faroe Islands. The village chapel perched at the edge of the island is spectacular.

If time permits, when you reach Streymoy island, detour along the northwest coast for an unforgettable drive to the village of Vestmanna. The village is best known for its day trip boat tours to the Vestmanna Cliffs. But a recent discovery adds more depth to this community.  Archeologists discovered the ruins of a Viking farm confirming that Vestmanna has been inhabited for more than 1,000 years.

Ruins of a Viking farm in Vestmanna, Road Trip Faroe Islands
Ruins of a Viking farm in Vestmanna. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Where to Stay in Tórshavn

The capital city of Tórshavn makes an ideal base camp for the first few days of your Faroe Islands itinerary. If you prefer a hotel, Hotel Føroyar features 200 rooms and suites, two restaurants and a spa under its grass roof that blends into the serenity of the surrounding countryside. Guests of the hotel benefit from day trip packages to top attractions including a guided tour to the Mykines Island to spot the adorable puffins.

We chose to book a guesthouse through AirBnB for our Faroe Islands road trip. In Tórshavn we stayed at The Green Pearl. Sitting in a lovely neighborhood within easy walking distance of the city centre and the harbor, The Green Pearl delivered a bonus. Sheep graze in the park just outside of the residence and a mama sheep and her baby came to visit through our bedroom window every morning!

Where to Stay in Viðareiði

Who can resist spending a few nights in the northernmost village on the northernmost island of the Faroe Islands? We couldn’t. In Viðareiði  we booked a newly renovated 1905 cottage which provided all the amenities we could ever need along with an abundance of charm.

Tips for Booking Your Rental Car in the Faroe Islands

Landing at Vagar Airport, it’s easy to pick up a rental car. This small airport’s rental car counters are located just steps outside of the terminal. Here you’ll find several rental car agencies including popular US brands like Budget, Avis and Hertz. However, we chose to go with a local provider, We booked a lower rate than the advertised rates of the U.S. companies and received excellent customer service.

Unlimited mileage is included for all rental cars. Some companies include SCDW – super collision damage waiver automatically. Otherwise, you can add the coverage as an extra. With a substantial networks of sub-sea tunnels with tolls, be sure the toll charges are included with your rental car. If you neglect to do this you’ll be charged extra fees upon return.

When choosing your rental car keep a few things in mind:

  • Narrow one-lane tunnels and bridges are common, making a smaller vehicle the best choice
  • The main roads of the Faroe Islands are typically well-maintained making an SUV with 4WD unnecessary unless your road trip happens in mid-winter when snowfall is more plentiful
  • Substantial gas prices aren’t as painful in a smaller or even electric vehicle

International driver’s permits aren’t required in the Faroe Islands. Although the Faroe Islands’ age for driving is 18, most rental car companies require drivers to be at least 20 and others require drivers to be 21.

Cliffs and sheep grazing in a road-side view, Road Trip Faroe Islands
A frequent road side view! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Tips for Driving in the Faroe Islands

Just one: watch out for the sheep! As previously mentioned, sheep far outnumber humans in  the Faroe Islands. And they roam free on every island – which means they will be in the road. Slow down, take photos. They’ll get off the road…eventually!

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