Faroe Islands was one of the remote islands that was on my list of places to visit for a long time and ever since I saw a picture in National Geographic Magazine of Gásadalur I dreamed of going to this place. After checking some blogs I found out that it's one of the safest places for women to travel alone to, so I got really excited: very few people, a lot of nature and safe. It sounded like the perfect place to visit for a first time solo woman traveler and her photography gear.
HOW TO GET TO FAROE ISLANDS
First I thought it would be really difficult to get there, but after a bit of research I soon discovered that it actually isn't. First of all Faroe Islands is part of Kingdom of Denmark and it's a self-governing archipelago. It is located halfway between Norway and Iceland and they have their own airline called Atlantic Airways that flies to Copenhagen and back every day. Getting to Faroe Islands from Helsinki was quite easy: take a plane to Copenhagen, wait a few hours and then take a plane to Vágar Airport. The waiting time was longer than the actual flight times, as it takes only 2h 30min from Copenhagen to Faroe Islands. Flights from Copenhagen were pretty expensive on FlightScanner and Momondo, but I managed to get a 250 € ticket on Atlantic Airways pages directly. Also I had to book both flights separately because it was actually cheaper, so had to make sure I have enough time between the flights to get my luggage and check-in again.
RENTING A CAR IN FAROE ISLANDS
I didn't think too much about the car rental before I actually booked the flights and a place to stay, but after I started checking the car rental prices I realized that this is gonna be a bit more expensive trip than I was planning. Normal car prices were 3-4 times more expensive than in other places in Europe and I actually wanted an automatic car. I only had one option for a car that had automatic gearbox and it was around 700 €/week. It was a big car, which I didn't need, but I couldn't really choose anything else. Manual gear cars were around 500 €/week. With all the toll fees and gas I ended up paying around 850 € just for the car, which was the same amount of money as the flights + place to stay. Anyway, in the end the car was totally worth it and I didn't regret it at all.
ENJOYING FAROE ISLANDS
Everything they said about this place is true! Peace and quiet, lots of grass, few people, lots of sheep and great photography opportunities! My trip was at the end of May and I was reading that the weather can be unpredictable and it rains like 80% of the time. The whole week I was there I could barely see a cloud! I got a bit of rain once when I took a ferry to Vestmanna Cliffs, which went a bit to the open sea, but otherwise all sunshine! For hiking purposes it was awesome, however from a photography point of view not that awesome. Pictures look so much better when there is something going on in the sky, so a lot of pictures that I took during the day don't have the "WOW" effect that clouds add to a picture. Anyway, I was grateful for the sunny weather and took advantage of it to the max! The whole time I was there I felt like I was in a dream world. There was absolutely no time when I was bored by myself or felt alone or scared. The people you encounter on the hiking trips share the same interests as you: photography and nature, so it's really easy to engage in conversations. You maybe encounter one person in 3 kilometers, the rest of the time you are all alone. You hear the wind, the birds, the sea, the sheep and your own thoughts. The local people are also surprisingly friendly, they all speak English and are happy to talk to you and guide you.
Here are all the places that I visited and photographed during my week stay. The order of the places is chronological and not based on favorites. If I would have to choose, the most awesome places for me were Gásadalur, Mykines and the road along Funningsfjørður fjord that leads to Gjógv village. Enjoy!
1. Gásadalur and Múlafossur Waterfall
As I mentioned above, Gásadalur was my dream place, so I went there almost every evening at sunset to photograph the landscape and spent several hours every time. Turns out it's a popular place among photographers, so there were around 7-8 photographers every evening hoping to get the best picture of the famous Gásadalur. Immediately after the plane landed and I got my car I went to this awesome place and the picture below is my first pictures I took in Faroe Islands.
In reality it's windy around there and the Múlafossur Waterfall doesn't look as smooth as in all the pictures you see online. It looks more like in the picture below.
I know it's still beautiful, but if you are looking for those kind of landscape photographs that you see online make sure you bring your high density filters and steady tripod!
Nólsoy is a really small village on an island with the same name located about 10 min away by ferry from Tórshavn. I was planning to spend about 2 hours here, however I ended up spending 10 hours instead.
After having a nice lunch in the small village I went hiking and I met the friendliest local that took me to all the places around the small island. He was checking his sheep (that happen to run freely everywhere) and he was a huge nature fan! Thanks to him I saw puffins, red-throated loons and skuas. Can't shake the fact that he was about 55 years old and he was sprinting like a goat and I barely could keep up with him. Anyway, thanks to him I got to see the awesome sunset and took some really nice pictures of the place.
If you want to enjoy peace and quiet with no humans in sight this is the right place for you!
3. Saksun, Streymoy
The road to this place is really small and beautiful and the little houses with grass on the roof are just adorable!
4. Vestmanna Cliffs
When we left from Vestmanna village by ferry, the water looked calm and it was sunny. When we got out into open water things changed really fast and our trip got cut short. Almost all my pictures are blurry, but it was a nice place to see either way.
This was such a magical place and I will definitely return! It is a birder's paradise and a dream come true!
Read more about Mykines in "One evening with the puffins, Mykines, Faroe Islands"
6. Hike around Lake Sørvágsvatn
Besides pictures being a bit boring and burned, there is another downside to the nice sunny weather that I experienced: there are no waterfalls and the lakes are smaller. Nevertheless, this was an awesome place to see!
7. Oyggjarvegur road to Tórshavn
Instead of taking the fastest road that goes mostly through tunnels, try taking Oyggjarvegur road that goes through the clouds and offers spectacular views.
8. Tórshavn, the capital of Faroe Islands
I went here on Saturday evening and to my surprise it was really crowded! Make sure you make a reservation to a restaurant if you want to have a nice dinner.
I was planning to visit Kalsoy on my last day before departure. Unfortunately I arrived 2 minutes late and I missed the ferry. The next ferry would have been in the afternoon and I wouldn't really have time to go to the lighthouse and back before I would need to leave the island.
Everything turned out great anyway because I discovered the most beautiful road in Faroe Islands and the cutest little village!
10. Funningsfjørður and Gjógv on Eysturoy island
The road to this place is really beautiful and I don't know why it isn't in the top most beautiful places to see in Faroe Islands. You drive along Funningsfjørður, which is a fjord that starts from a village with the same name and ends close to Funningur village. I actually managed to see Kalsoy island from the village of Gjógv.
I hope you enjoyed my pictures of Faroe Islands and that you have a good plan where to go when you visit. I think I could have stayed there a lot longer because there are plenty of places that I didn't see.
Faroe Islands is the best place for landscape and bird photography and you really get to enjoy the nature and relax. I will surely come back!
Fun fact about Faroe Islands: people population 50 000 and sheep population 70 000.