The Faroe Islands are one of the most remote places on Earth. With steep mountains, dramatic cliffs, lush green countryside and waterfalls that fall directly into the ocean – it’s like a fairytale setting in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 islands and more than 750 islets located between Norway, Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean, boasting a rich Viking history, a seemingly endless number of walks and hiking trails, and lots of quaint harbours and villages to explore. It is a sailor and hiker’s dream destination.
Things to Do in the Faroe Islands
While the Faroe Islands are remote, there are a ton of things to do and see, and we’ve put together a list of 25 of the top things to do in the Faroe Islands.
1. Explore the Capital City of Tórshavn
Tórshavn is one of the smallest capital cities in the world. It is more of a quirky town than a city though with cobbled streets and colourful, sod-roofed buildings that date back to the Viking Age. Tórshavn also has several restaurants and cafes where you can sample traditional fare like Skerpikjøt, wind-dried mutton, and ræst kjøt, fermented meat, definitely a must for every adventurous foodie.
2. Enjoy the Best Food in the Faroes at KOKS and ROKS
Speaking of food, KOKS is the star of Faroe Islands dining, literally. Situated 24 km north of Tórshavn, KOKS is the Faroe Islands’ first and only Michelin-star restaurant, offering a 17-course tasting menu. Tórshavn local, Paul Andrias Ziska heads a brigade of 9 international chefs to create culinary magic with local ingredients.
With its scenic view over a lake, the restaurant serves only 30 diners a night and is only open from April to September each year. However, if rustic dining is more your palate, why not try the restaurant’s sister eatery, ROKS for traditional seafood dishes with a twist?
3. Visit One of the Oldest Parliament Sites in the World
Back in Tórshavn, the historic district of Tinganes with its bright red buildings is the seat of the Faroese Parliament. The district is one of the oldest governmental sites in the world, where local Viking chiefs held ‘ting’ (assembly or parliament) to discuss important matters, make decisions about governance, and resolve disputes.
4. Catch a Live Performance in Norðurlandahúsið
For a dose of culture, catch a live performance at Norðurlandahúsið in Tórshavn. This modern cultural centre with impressive architecture and a miniature Stonehenge in the car park, regularly hosts top-notch plays, concerts, conferences and exhibitions. Stock up on some snacks before and after a performance at its small cafe.
5. Celebrate Local Traditions at the óLavsøka (St Olav’s Day) Festival
One of the most prominent cultural experiences in Tórshavn is the annual Ólavsøka (St Olav’s Day) Festival held in July. The festival is in honour of King Olav the Holy, who died in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. During the festival, locals from across the Faroe Islands gather in colourful traditional Faroese costumes for a lively weekend of cultural, musical, and sporting activities, including the intense national rowing race.
The festivities culminate on Sunday at midnight in the town square with traditional Faroese ballads and the enchanting Faroese chain dance. It is a truly captivating experience of local traditions.
6. Catch a Glimpse of Faroese Art
The National Gallery of the Faroe Islands, Listasavn Føroya, is a vibrant celebration of contemporary artistic expression. Located in Tórshavn, the museum showcases a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and installations created by Faroese artists like Samal Joensen-Mikines, considered to be the greatest Faroese painter of all time, as well as contemporary works by Hansina Iversen, Sigrun Gunnarsdóttir, and the modern pop art by Edvard Fuglø.
7. Learn About Vikings at the Faroese Viking Museum
The history is a colourful one. First inhabited by adventurous seafaring Irish monks in the 6th Century, the Islands are most famous for its Viking inhabitants who arrived from Norway in the 9th Century and established a more permanent presence and developed Faroese society. The Faroes Viking Museum in Tórshavn celebrates the Norse legacy showcasing artefacts, models, and displays that bring Faroese seafaring traditions and cultural history to life. It is well worth a visit.
8. Hike to Kallur Lighthouse on Kalsoy Island
The Faroe Islands are known for their spectacular hikes. One of the most famous hikes is to the Kallur Lighthouse on Kalsoy Island, one of the most iconic, and Instagrammable, sites on the Faroe Islands. Accessed by a scenic 20-minute ferry ride, the hike takes less than 2 hours there and back with breathtaking views. Beyond the views, this candy-striped lighthouse also gained cinematic fame in the James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’ and includes (spoiler alert) James Bond’s headstone nearby.
9. Learn About the Legend of the Seal Woman, Kópakonan
According to the myth, Kópakonan could transform from a seal to a human. She married a farmer from Mikladagur but was trapped between her two forms when he interfered with her transformation. Heartbroken, Kópakonan cursed the village, bringing misfortune to the fishermen. A 2.6-meter-tall statue in Mikladalur commemorates this tale, symbolising the cultural heritage of the Faroe Islands and the tragic love story between the Seal Woman and the farmer.
10. Visit the Town of Klaksvík
Explore Klaksvík, the second-largest town in the Faroe Islands, located on Borðoy Island. Known as a fishing centre, it offers guesthouses, hotels, restaurants, and shops against a backdrop of stunning scenery. Notable attractions include the harbour’s Pyramid Mountain, the Norðoya Fornminnasavn museum, and Christian’s Church with a 4,000-year-old baptism receptacle, or discover Viking ruins at Úti í Grøv on the town’s edge. Klaksvík is a hub for Faroese fishing and boasts numerous trawlers and vessels along the quayside. Enjoy a leisurely stroll in town and grab a coffee and a light bite at Fríða Kaffihús.
11. Check Out the Views at Hvíthamar
Easily accessible and incredibly beautiful, Hvíthamar offers breathtaking views atop the hill above Funningur village. A brief 10-minute uphill hike from the Gjáarskarð mountain pass leads to this stunning viewpoint. From Hvíthamar, you’ll enjoy panoramic vistas of Funningsfjørður Fjord and the surrounding mountain peaks, with a chance to spot the towering Slættaratindur Mountain on clear days. The winter view, adorned with snow-covered mountains from November to March, adds a magical touch to this enchanting spot. The snow-covered mountains during the winter months between November and March add a spot of magic to this usually uncrowded spot.
12. Visit the Witch’s Finger at Sorvágur
Explore the Trøllkonufingur hiking trail in the charming village of Sandavágur, home to the iconic Trøllkonufingur, loosely translated as “witch’s finger”, a rock formation named after an old Faroese legend.
Legend has it that it’s the finger of a witch who attempted to throw the Faroe Islands to Iceland but turned to stone at sunrise and fell into the ocean. Starting just above the village, the trail is a flat 3-kilometre out-and-back hike along a sand and gravel path. Despite the dark legend, the picturesque journey offers beautiful views, especially at sunset.
13. Climb the Highest Mountain in the Faroe Islands
At 880 metres above sea level, Slættaratindur, meaning “flat summit”, is the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands. Standing tall between the villages of Eiði, Gjógv, and Funningur in the northern part of Eysturoy, Slættaratindur has spectacular views of the Faroe Islands Archipelago, especially on a clear day.
Getting to the summit takes about 4-hours up some pretty steep routes, but you don’t need any technical climbing skills. Just remember to take lots of water and a snack to enjoy while taking in the breathtaking views.
14. Hike to the ‘Hovering’ Lake
Sørvágsvatn is the largest and arguably the most beautiful lake in the Faroe Islands. It’s a 7.2km hike to get to it though, but despite the distance, the hike is relatively easy, and the rewards are well worth the effort.
Nestled on Vagar Island, Sørvágsvatn’s unique positioning gives it the mesmerising illusion of hovering over the ocean. The popular trail encircles the lake, culminating at the stunning viewpoints of Trælanípa and the cascading Bøsdalafossur waterfall. It’s important to note that this trail traverses private land, and in recent years, the landowners have implemented a fee for hikers to access and enjoy this captivating natural spectacle.
15. Visit the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs
Birders (and non-birders) delight! A trip to the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs is one of the most highly recommended activities on the Faroe Islands. Located along Streymoy’s west coast, these towering cliffs and sea stacks provide a habitat for diverse bird species, including guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, and, if you’re fortunate, puffins.
Navigating north along the coastline, you’ll have an opportunity to witness tens of thousands of birds soaring above, creating a mesmerising spectacle.
16. Take a Hike at Drangarnir
The Faroe Islands are covered in incredible scenic hikes and the hike to the Drangarnir sea arch is no different. Here two striking sea stacks stand against the dramatic peaks of Tindhólmur islet. At 12km, the hike is one of the longer day hikes in the Faroes and since the trail passes through privately owned land and a crucial wildlife breeding area, a guide is mandatory.
17. Go Surf Viking Waves
Where there are waves, there are bound to be surfers riding them, and the Faroe Islands are no different. One of the most popular surf spots is at the picturesque village of Tjørnuvík, one of the oldest settlements in the Faroe Islands with a rich Viking history. The Faroe Islands Surf Guide has everything you need – from wetsuits and boards, as well as lessons for beginners. After an icy session, grab a bite at their cafe or calm your ice-cream headache in the relaxing hot tub.
The high season for surfing is from August to May, and they offer other wavey activities like paddleboarding during the low season from May to August.
It’s important to note that while surfing in the North Atlantic can be extraordinary and special, it is no Newquay and surf conditions can be unpredictable (flat to downright dangerous) and surf forecasts unreliable. Because of this, they don’t rent gear without a local surf guide and recommend a guide even for experienced surfers.
18. Visit the Highest Waterfall in the Faroes
A visit to the Faroe Islands will not be complete without a visit to the majestic Fossá Waterfall, the tallest waterfall in the Faroe Islands. Situated near Haldarsvik village on the island of Streymoy, this impressive waterfall boasts twin cascades that plummet approximately 140 metres directly into the sea. The Faroese term “Fossa” translates to ‘river with waterfalls,’ and the falls are especially spectacular after periods of heavy rainfall.
19. Visit the Picturesque Village of Gjógv
Nestled on the northeast tip of Eysturoy, the picturesque village of Gjógv invites visitors to explore its natural harbour, cradled by imposing cliffs. The village derives its name from a 200-metre-long gorge that extends northward to the sea. Renowned as one of the world’s finest natural harbours with a rich fishing history. Admire the gorge from above, or walk down into the harbour for a different perspective. From May to August you can even spot puffins in the Ambadalur Valley, just outside of town.
20. Get a Pic of a Puffin on Mykines Island
While plenty of seabirds can be spotted on the shores of the Faroe Islands throughout the year, many people visit the islands specifically to witness the beautiful puffins. Puffins inhabit the islands from May to September and they are found all over the islands. One of the best places to see these quirky creatures is on the island of Mykines. Here you can walk along scenic paths or take a guided tour.
While you can get close to the puffins, it’s important to respect their environment and keep your distance, don’t disturb the nests, and don’t fly drones too close to these seabirds.
21. Explore Eysturoy Island
Eysturoy is the second-largest island in the Faroe archipelago, with a wealth of things to see and places to explore. Visit the charming traditional villages of Eiði, where the iconic Risin og Kellingin sea stacks rise majestically from the North Atlantic, and Gøta with its turf-roofed houses. Hike along coastal paths and capture the breathtaking views of fjords that wind through the rugged landscape. Eysturoy Island is a glimpse of everything that makes the Faroe Islands so special.
22. Visit the Fishing Town of Klaksvík
From the second largest island to the second largest town in the Faroe Islands, Klaksvík. Located on the island Borðoy in the northern part of the archipelago, Klaksvík is the fishing heart of the Faroe Islands with many trawlers and other vessels moored in its harbour. The town is a blend of old and new and provides an interesting glimpse into the progress of Faroese society. Klaksvík has many eateries and coffee shops, with Fríða Kaffihús a favourite among coffee lovers.
23. Enjoy the Calm in Nólsoy
If you feel like a bit of peace and quiet away from the touristy hustle and bustle of Tórshavn, head to the tiny village of Nolsoy, a short 20-minute ferry ride from Tórshavn. With only about 250 residents, there isn’t a lot going on in Nolsoy, which makes it perfect for a quiet stroll around town looking at the beautiful traditional houses and striking murals, visiting the small church, or if you’re feeling adventurous (and fit) a 14 km hike up to the Nólsoy lighthouse with some incredible views.
The hike is only worth it on clear days though and when the fog rolls in, you can grab a bite at the visitor’s centre where you can enjoy home-made waffles with rhubarb jam and cream, or relax in the centre’s sauna. A visit to Nólsoy will leave you fully recharged for the rest of your Faroe Island adventure.
24. Visit the Medieval Village of Kirkjubøur
Kirkjubøur is a small coastal village on Streymoy Island, just 15 kilometres outside of Tórshavn. It is one of the oldest villages in the Faroe Islands and while it is small, there are lots to see in this historic village, including the well-preserved ruins of Magnus Cathedral dating back to the 1300s, the 900-year-old farmhouse and museum Roykstovan, Ólavskirkja, the Parish church built in 111. Besides a slice of history, the village also offers some spectacular views of the nearby islands of Sandoy, Hestur and Koltur.
One of the best ways to explore the surroundings is to hike the historic route between Tórshavn and Kirkjubøur, or simply rent an e-bike in Tórshavn to give your feet a bit of a break.
25. Drive the Eysturoy Tunnel
The villages in the Faroe Islands may be small and full of traditional wooden houses, but the Faroe Islands also boast some more modern engineering marvels, including the Eysturoyar Tunnel that connects two of the Faroe Islands’ two most populous islands, Streymoy and Eysturoy. This 11-kilometre-long subaquatic tunnel features the only undersea roundabout in the world, brightly lit by lots of neon lights. If you don’t have a rental car, simply catch a taxi from Tórshavn on Streymoy or Strendur and Runavík on Eysturoy.
Note that you will have to pay a toll fee both ways, either online or at a nearby petrol station.
These are just 25 of the top things to do in the Faroe Islands and there are many more. One of the most exciting ways to get there and explore the islands is by sailing yacht, with popular sail and hike trips around the archipelago offering unique perspectives, incredible hikes and much more.
The Faroe Islands is an amazing place with breathtaking beauty, perfect for nature lovers, active adventurers or travellers looking for something different. It belongs at the top of every bucket list.