Set in the North Atlantic halfway between Iceland and Norway, the windswept cluster of the Faroe Islands are unsheltered, remote, and absolutely breathtaking. This otherworldly landscape has mountaintops wreathed in clouds, dark soaring cliffs plunging over 2,000 feet into the ocean, and emerald moorlands dipping into valleys painted with brightly-colored villages and ringed by black-sand beaches. On this cultural and hiking adventure, we pair wonderful hikes with the welcoming Faroese people for an unforgettable journey in the “Land of Maybe.”
On Mykines and the Vestmanna Cliffs, we’ll witness the unforgettable phenomenon of thousands of nesting seabirds, including puffins, soaring along the edge of cliffs. Our hikes bring us across wild, grassy hillsides alongside the hardy sheep that outnumber the human residents 2:1, and we'll walk in the footsteps of postmen who had to cross rolling mountains to deliver the mail. We’ll hike to the top of Slættaratindur, the islands’ highest mountain (weather permitting, of course!), visit turf-roofed traditional houses in Saksun and Kirkjubøur, and in the islands’ last working mill, watch wool being transformed into delicate yarn. The fish is outrageously fresh, and we’ll have the chance to sample traditional Faroese fare including skerpikjot, wind-dried lamb, and drink beer from the island’s oldest brewery. Finishing in Tórshavn, Europe’s smallest capital, we’ll wander past the colorful wooden buildings of Old Town and watch the scene at the lively marina where local fishermen sell their day’s catch.
Our overnights are in cozy hotels and a charming guesthouse where we’ll get to experience traditional Faroese singing and their unique chain dancing. Along the way, you’ll be entertained with island legends and Viking history, and spend time with knitters, cooks, beer makers, artists, and farmers—all of whom have a story to share. The important things in life are not forgotten by the islanders, and our wonderful veteran Trip Leader, Skye McDonald, is thrilled to share these mystical lands with you!
This was such a fabulous trip in such a beautiful country. I loved the exercise and I loved so many of the cultural events—visiting the artist, the brewery, the old farmhouses, the churches, Oliver's boat trip. It was just great.
— Vicki V., Baltimore, MD
Vágar Island / Mykines Island / The Postman’s Walk
Arrive on Vágar Island and head out for our Welcome Dinner cruise on Vatnio (“The Water”), the largest lake on the Faroes, which brings us to Bøsdalafossur waterfall, which plunges a hundred feet over rugged basalt rock before crashing into the sea. Weather permitting, we’ll visit Mykines, the most westerly island of the Faroes—and a photographer’s and ornithologist’s heaven—for a hike up the moorlands to see puffins preening themselves on grassy tussocks and standing on the cliff edges ready to launch themselves out to sea. We’ll also visit a red-topped lighthouse, a great vantage point to see gannets nesting on the southern sea stacks. If the weather is unsuitable for the boat ride to Mykines, we’ll hike the Postman’s Walk, a steep trail where postmen crossed over the mountain between villages to deliver mail three times a week before a tunnel was built in 1993. The path zigzags upwards, revealing views of the sea stacks of Granganir and distant Mykines.
Vestmanna Bird Cliffs / Eysturoy Island / Meet local artist / Hike Slættaratindur
We cruise to the famed bird cliffs of Vestmanna, which soar a thousand feet above the sea. Wind and weather have sculpted this remarkable northern coastline into columns of craggy arches, sea stacks, and grottos, and are home to thousands of nesting birds like guillemots, razorbills, and puffins—not to mention daring sheep that feed on near-vertical grassy patches along the cliff face. In Eiði, on the northwest tip of Eysturoy island, we’ll meet a local artist in her light-filled studio that looks across the water towards Slættaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroes, and weather permitting, we can hike to the top!
Föroya Bjór Brewery / Borðoy and Viðoy Islands / Wool Mill / Hike Tjørnuvik
After a visit to the oldest brewery in the Faroes, we’ll hike up the steep slope of Villingadalsfjall, revealing spectacular views of five islands. Known for centuries for the quality of their wool and fine knitting, the Faroese people take pride in this ancient craft, and we’ll get a chance to see how these sweaters are made at the islands’ only working wool mill. Next, we’ll traverse the mountainside above the village of Tjørnuvik, with its brightly-colored houses set in a jade-colored landscape. This evening, enjoy a celebratory dinner with traditional Faroese chain dancing and song.
Hike Kirkjubøur / Tórshavn / Depart
Our final hike brings us to Kirkjubøur, one of the oldest island settlements, and to a high moorland with great views west to Hestur and Sandoy islands. We’ll get a fantastic overview of the history from a former custodian of a Bishop’s residence as we enjoy a cup of tea and home baked cake. In Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands’ small yet vibrant capital (and Europe's smallest capital city with just 20,000 inhabitants!), we'll explore their Old Town and lively marina. Our Farewell Dinner is in a family home, featuring many ingredients produced locally and on the family's farm, accompanied by local beers and maybe a taste of Faroes schnapps to round off our adventure. Depart on Day 8 or extend your adventure to Iceland, Scotland, or other parts of Europe.