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The Stunning Landscapes of the Far-flung Faroes

Have you heard of the Faroe Islands? I hadn’t. That is not before I was in Hirtshals, Denmark heading to Norway about a little over a year ago. Hirtshals is a small town, basically in existence basically for fish and ferries. On the outskirts of town, there is a one-stop shopping and tourist information spot that everyone goes to.

While there I picked up a Smyril Brochure and discovered that you could take a ferry to Iceland. Like many people, Iceland had been on my list for some time so my interest was immediately peaked. To get to Iceland, though, you have to travel to Tórshavn in the Faroes Islands first. In fact, Smyril is a Faroese company, which is very apparent once you are on board.

Beautiful view of the ocean and the grass covered slopes of the Faroe Islands.

Faroe Islands Stopover On the Way From Iceland

Needless to say, we were hooked and taking a ferry, having our own car to explore around these out of the way places, was just too enticing a prospect. We booked, and over the summer Jim and I, along with hundreds of Europeans and adventurers, loaded up on the M/S Norröna and headed into the unknown.

Storm clouds gather above a fishing village in the Faroes.

You can either stop in the Faroes on your way to Iceland or on the return trip, and we chose the latter. On the way there, Tórshavn was completely fogged in. We could barely make out the red buildings of the parliament and the port. The fog gave the small city an even more exotic and almost perilous feel, which just pushed our anticipation to even higher levels.

Stunning ocean views from the road driving around the Faroes.

The Faroes are made up of 18 islands which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and many of the islands are too small for inhabitants. The bigger islands are accessed through a series of tunnels, bridges, and of course ferries. We visited four of the larger islands in our three days, and really would have liked to have done much, much more.

Old sod covered home.

Everywhere you go, sod-roofed and black-tarred buildings are the norm. Part of the old town in Tórshavn, this little neighborhood is a great place to walk around and see the small, very traditional houses.

Colorful fishing boats in Torshavn harbor.

Tórshavn’s port is probably one of the most beautiful I’ve ever walked around. It was captivating and colorful. The Faroes have an island arctic climate, which is often overcast or wet, so the bright colors are crucial for uplifting the locals spirits, I would think.

Coastal church in a village in the Faroe Islands.

As is true of most islands, the communities are largely on the coast with easy access to food and transportation, so his sight is a very common one. The churches are full of model ships, as well as other “good luck” symbols to aid the fisherman and keep them safe.

Sod roof covered church in the Faroes.

Having our own vehicle made it easy to get to many of the villages. There is a public bus, but of course taking public transportation always takes longer. All the villages have colorful houses, and of course there are fishing boats in the water, on land, everywhere.

Old wooden fishing boat perched on the shore.
Small picturesque fishing village.

Taking a boat trip is a must while in the Faroes, and the cliffs below are home to a variety of sea birds.

Natural sea bridge in the Faroes.

Sometimes you just have to go with your intuition. Looking at that brochure last year, I knew this would be the trip for us. Exploring far-off, unknown places, capturing windswept vistas and just meandering around through small towns is just the kind of trip that we love.

Looking down a grassy slope to a fishing villages nestled in a bay on the Faroe Islands.

Would you like to go to the Faroe Islands?  Would you take a ferry to get there?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Traditional red and white trim building on the Faroe Islands.
Several views from around the Faroe Islands.

Sophie @ Sophie's World

Saturday 7th of March 2015

We took the ferry to Torshavn 4-5 years ago. So gorgeous. Absolutely worth the slightly long ferry journey. Did you know the Faroes were awarded 'World's most beautiful island destination' by NatGeo?

Corinne Vail

Sunday 8th of March 2015

Sophie, Isn't that wonderful. Torshavn is a beautiful little city, so colorful!

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor

Saturday 7th of March 2015

This is one place I've always wanted to visit! Love the colors of the buildings!

Corinne Vail

Saturday 7th of March 2015

Ellen, It was not only beautiful, but the people were super friendly. I loved it!

Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

Sunday 2nd of November 2014

I really had no idea that you could take a ferry to Iceland until someone (you?) mentioned it last week. On a flat map, it looks so far away from everything. The Faroes are so pretty. I like the sod roofs and the bright colors. What an interesting place to drive around exploring at your leisure.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 2nd of November 2014

Michele, It really was. The Faroes were a great little getaway.


Friday 31st of October 2014

Hi Corrine, I have heard of the Faroe Islands, and after browsing through your photos, I would definitely visit if I was in the vicinity. I always love brightly colored houses. I think that has something to do with being from the East Coast of Canada. We go for color, too! Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

I love those sod covered roofs!

Corinne Vail

Saturday 1st of November 2014

Nancie...I love color, too. I definitely get it! Thanks.


Friday 31st of October 2014

I had heard of the Faroes but had no idea there were so many islands in the group. The houses look like miniature play houses and the colours are so crisp and clean looking. I would definitely go there.

Corinne Vail

Friday 31st of October 2014

Jan, Crisp and clean are very good adjectives to describe the Faroes. It was a very relaxing place to visit for a few days. I hope you do make it there.