With only 20,000 inhabitants, Tórshavn is not just one
of the world’s smallest capitals, but also one of the most
charming ones. This dynamic city, with its creative, inno
va tive and highly educated population, is the political
and cultural hub of the Faroes, and, fond as they are of
their traditions and cultural legacy, local residents are also
keen to embrace emerging global trends. All this means
that Tórshavn offers a fascinating mix of Faroese cultural
history and all the amenities you would expect to find in a
modern 21st century capital. The city is a melting pot of old
and new. To take in its contrasts, explore Tórshavn starting
from its oldest area down by the harbour, Tinganes, where
little grass-thatched houses stretch along narrow meandering
alleys then stroll up towards the mountainsides, you
will find that the residential neighbourhoods grow younger
and trendier as you ascend.











With only 20,000 inhabitants, Tórshavn is not just one

of the world’s smallest capitals, but also one of the most

charming ones. This dynamic city, with its creative, inno

va tive and highly educated population, is the political

and cultural hub of the Faroes, and, fond as they are of

their traditions and cultural legacy, local residents are also

keen to embrace emerging global trends. All this means

that Tórshavn offers a fascinating mix of Faroese cultural

history and all the amenities you would expect to find in a

modern 21 st century capital. The city is a melting pot of old

and new. To take in its contrasts, explore Tórshavn starting

from its oldest area down by the harbour, Tinganes, where

little grass-thatched houses stretch along narrow meandering

alleys then stroll up towards the mountainsides, you

will find that the residential neighbourhoods grow younger

and trendier as you ascend.

Set in beautiful surroundings embraced by mountains on

the one side and looking out onto the ocean on the other,

Tórshavn holds myriad exciting experiences and attractions

in store. The bright multi-coloured houses have led visiting

journalists to describe the city as one of dreamlike beauty,

which could have been taken straight out of a fairy tale.

Skansin, the Fort of Tórshavn, was built in 1550 to protect

the city from pirates. Today it is hard to imagine how the

little watch house and the delicate decorative canons could

have saved the city and its residents from pillaging. Fortunately,

there is no longer any need for guards patrolling

Skansin, nowadays you are more likely to encounter couples

on a romantic stroll and children running through the

grass or straddling across the canons, which are unlikely

to ever be heard again.

Tinganes is the old historic area of Tórshavn and, along

with Reyni, makes up Tórshavn of old. These neighbourhoods

once made up the hub of commerce in the Faroes

and, although the city has grown exponentially since then,

they remain central to life on the islands, as the superbly

preserved charming red and black grass-thatched buildings

are today home to the Faroese Government. And this

is more than just an administrative quarter, there is still life

in the narrow cobbled streets where sights and sounds testify

to the lives of the families, who still call this enchanting

outpost of history home.

Tórshavn’s landmarks include a number of statues, new

as old, each with their special story or significance, most

were created by local artists – a testament to the creativity

and fondness of art the Faroese people. A walk from the

harbour up towards the Nordic House will take you past

a number of them: head up from the harbour through the

town centre, past the old red theatre, then turn into the

park along Havnará (Tórshavn river), cross through the

local park to the National Gallery of the Faroe Island on

its other side and then head for the Nordic House. On this

walk, right behind the theatre you will first encounter the

statue of Hans Andrias Djurhuus, who was born and bred

in the city and in the early 20th century wrote songs and

stories that became central to the Faroese identity. When

you cross the road and turn onto the river path, you face a

fierce dragon rising out

of the stream,

it was



created by



who is known


for sculpting magic out

of glass. A bit further along you

will spot one of the multi-talented

Faroese author William Heinesen’s

iconic fantasy women. In the heart

of the park, you will find the memorial

to sailors lost at sea and when

you reach the National Gallery, you

will be welcomed by the bronze

works sculpted by Hans Pauli

Olsen that grace the Gallery’s

surrounding. The National Gallery

of the Faroe Island is home

to the world’s largest collection of

Faroese art, it is estimated to hold

a total of 2600 pieces, most of them

Faroese. A visit provides an excellent overview

of Faroese art history with works by artists such as

Mikines, Ruth Smith, Ingolvur av Reyni, William Heinesen,

as well as younger artists, including Hanni Bjartalíð and

Edvard Fuglö, to mention a few of the renowned artists

whose work is on display here.

Last, but not least, the Nordic House experience begins

before you even reach it, as you approach you will find that

it is reminiscent of an enchanted elven hill shrouded in

mystery. Although it hosts a wide variety of events yearround,

everything from concerts to plays, lectures and

exhibitions, it is an oasis of tranquillity and most certainly

a place worth visiting, be it for refreshments at the café, to

catch an exhibition or just to experience the architecture

and soak up some Nordic culture.

The Nordic House cafe is not the only place we would recommend

that you get a bite. Tórshavn offers a whole range

of dining experiences, there are a number of cosy cafes

serving light meals, particularly in the town centre, you

could dig into a succulent fish and seafood buffet at Hotel

Hafnia, or take lunch in style at the converted harbour

warehouse Öström, where you can also acquire arts and

crafts from local artisans, for contemporary fusion cooking

try Faroese sushi at Etika, or, for an extraordinary culinary

experience, head up to restaurant KOKS, which was

nomi nated as Restaurant of the Year by the Danish Dining

Guide (Den Danske Spiseguide) in 2013.

Tórshavn is at the heart of the Faroes and it is very well

connected. The capital is an excellent basis from which to

explore even the remotest corners of the archipelago. Travelling

is easy, so why not head out to the imposing islands

where the most amazing experiences and surprises await

you. All you have to do is seize the opportunity to explore

this modern society steeped in tradition and set in majestic

surroundings in the middle of the North Atlantic.












The village Kirkjuböur is the place in the Faroes where

you will find the most remarkable relics of the past. During

the Middle Ages the village was the cultural and religious

centre of the Faroes and part of the Catholic Church of

Norway. The seminary in Kirkjuböur was the first and only

one in the Faroes up until the reformation in 1538. King

Sverri of Norway grew up here, where he also attended the

seminary and was ordained.

Today there are around 80 inhabitants in Kirkjuböur,

which is a 15-minute drive from Tórshavn. Kirkjuböur

boasts three buildings, in particular, which no visitors

to the Faroes should miss: the Kirkjuböargarður estate

farmhouse that is currently home to the 17th generation in

the Patursson family. The oldest part of the house is the

formal reception room, Roykstovan, it dates back to the

11th century and currently functions both as a museum

and to welcome

guests on special

occasions. St. Olaf’s Church,

the local parish church (from

around 1200) is the only medieval

church, which is still in use in the

Faroes. Last but not least, there are

the imposing ruins of the Magnus

Cathedral, which was built around

the year 1300.
















On your way to Vestmanna you will pass both Leynar and

Kvívík, two beautiful villages with each their landmarks.

The village Leynar tapers off down a rolling mountainside

surrounding one of the most picture-perfect sand beaches

in the Faroes with a breath taking view of the islands Koltur

and Vágoy. This is a very popular spot among young

people and families with children.

Having passed Leynar, turn off the main road and down a

rather steep and narrow approach to reach Kvívík. Kvívík

boasts a Viking excavation site, indicating that it is one of

the oldest settlements in the Faroes. The site is near village

church, which was inaugurated in 1903 and its charm

makes it well worth a visit. The village is very pretty, so

take your time for a stroll along the river and explore it.

If you follow the road further North from Kvívík, you will

reach Vestmanna, one of the larger villages in the Faroes,

located on the northwest coast of Streymoy. Vestmanna is

the starting point for excursions to the awe-inspiring bird

cliffs and grottos known as Vestmannabjörgini. In high

season there are several daily departures for the bird cliffs,

this is a popular excursion, both among international and

local visitors. The boats sail along the mountainside and

up to the cliffs themselves, which face the Atlantic sea

head on, before heading through narrow straits and into

deep grottos formed by the crashing waves over millions

of years, to bring you close to the 600-metre-high vertical

wall of rock where thousands of seabirds breed. In these









can but feel at

one with nature, part of

it, and you will understand why

a deeply rooted respect for the

forces of nature permeates Faroese

culture. Nature has its way of making

an impression and visitors to

Vest manna björgini often return to the

quayside in Vestmanna feeling both

uplifted and cleansed. You should

probably get a few pictures to

remember the bird cliffs by and

perhaps impress friends and

family back home.



After the sailing trip, we recommend

a visit to the SagaMuseum, which you

will find above Restaurant Fjörukrógvin.

This is the Vestmanna wax museum and getting to experience

such a vivid rendition of Faroese history is quite a

rare treat. Lights, sounds and even scents come together to

bring history to life. As you stroll through the landscapes

and among the wax figur ines, the history of the Faroe

Islands is whispered into your ears through the headset,

bringing you closer to history itself.







Vágar island is home to the biggest lakes in the Faroes

and Sörvágsvatn takes pride of place as the island’s main

road follows its shores. A walk along the lake out to the

Bössdalafossur waterfall is as lovely as it is leisurely

and richly rewarded – the view from this spot can be

either dramatic or tranquil, depending on the strength

of the currents and the power of the surf. The headland

Trælanípan, whose name – literally slave headland –

marks a sinister chapter in Faroese history, lies south of

the waterfall and is easily accessible on the walk around

the lake. Local lore has it that when slaves caught for

steeling sheep or similar offences were sentenced to

death, they were executed by a push over the promontory’s

edge and into the sea from Trælanípan’s summit.

The walk up Trælanípan is not strenuous and once you

reach the summit, try to lie down right out by the edge

and look straight across the ocean from the 146-metre

high promontory, time will come to a halt and the incredible

view of the islands will become a life-long memory.

The tiny village Gásadalur is now connected by a road

through a tunnel to the rest of the islands, but up until

fairly recently the inhabitants had to trek over the mountain

to the village

Böur before






their journey

by car, bus or

boat like everyone else.

Steep mountains in a stunning

landscape cradle the little hamlet

with its beautiful view over

Tindhólmur. Here life is lived at a

completely different pace and tranquillity

descends as you emerge

from the tunnel and enter this

idyllic setting. You can still

choose to hike to Gásadalur

over the mountain along the old

postal route, the view of the village

and ocean beyond when you

reach the summit you is remarkable.












Mykines island is the westernmost outpost of the Faroes.

This island is known for its teeming birdlife as it attracts

hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, which nest

here in summer. Mykines is also home to the only gannet

colony in the Faroes, which in itself makes it quite the attraction,

but the charming little puffins with their colourful

beaks are probably the island’s main lure, possibly because

they are usually happy to pose with their beaks full

of fish.

Sailing to Mykines takes just under one hour and is one

of the best ways to see Tindhólmur up close. Tindhólmur

is a steep cliff islet just off Vágoy. Once the boat reaches

Mykines itself, it sails along the bird cliffs on the south

side of the island, before dropping anchor in the village.


You should absolutely take the

trip out to the islet Mykineshólmur

with its lighthouse, which

will bring you across the hanging

bridge connecting it to Mykines.

It is an easy hike, but, although the

hanging bridge is completely safe,

it can be a bit of a challenge for

those who fear heights as it

stretches across a 35-metre

deep gully with the heaving

Atlantic at the bottom.





and other attractions in the area





The most photographed village in the Faroes is probably

Gjógv, which is located in the northernmost part of

Eysturoy. In order to reach Gjógv you will have to cross

a high mountain ridge from where you will see a large

green valley with striking mountains on both sides. At

the very bottom of the valley, the colourful houses are

dotted around a beautiful crystal-clear river with a little

dam where children play all summer. But the village is

best known for its natural harbour. Gjógv means gorge in

Faroese and it is precisely in the great gorge cutting into

the landscape that the natural harbour is located. Take

all the steps down into the gorge, down to the harbour

and take in the immense power of nature in surroundsound.

The coastal area where the village is located is low,

however, eastwards, towards Múli, and onwards around

this headland to the southeastern coast, the coast rises

steeply from the sea. In the other direction, a deep valley

stretches down towards the village and almost parallel to

it, across the ridge, you will find another of nature’s gems,

Ambadalur valley. The hike to Ambadalur is one of the

most popular in the Faroes and is rewarded with the view

of the tallest freestanding cliff column in the Faroes called


There are two roads to Gjógv and, to make the most of the

trip, you could take one on the way to the village and the

other when you depart. If you are out exploring in your

own vehicle, you should make the most of it and do the

whole itinerary with Funningur, Gjógv, Slættaratindur,

Risin and Kellingen, Tjörnuvík and Saksun. This would

be a full day-trip leaving you with lasting impressions of

magnificent landscapes and lots of fresh air.

Funningur is located in the fiord Funningsfjörður, it is

a charming little village that has a beautiful traditional

church built in 1847 with tarred walls, grass clad roof and

a bell tower. The village is at the bottom of a valley and the

homes here follow along the river streaming down from the

steep surrounding mountains. From Funningur you travel

up along the mountain road to Gjógv.

Having visited Funningur and Gjógv the mountains beckon,

because this is where you will find the highest mountains

in the archipelago. Slættaratindur with its 882 metres

is the tallest and next to it towers Gráfelli with its 857

metres as the second tallest mountain in the Faroes. If you

take the mountain road from Gjógv to Eiði, you will drive

through the pass between Slættaratindur and Gráfelli. You

will already be around 400 metres above sea level here, so

the hike all the way up to Slættaratindur’s summit is not

as strenuous as it might otherwise seem. This is probably

also why so many can boast that they have been to the

summit of the Faroes where the view is dazzling. When

the skies are clear, the view from Slættaratindur’s summit

spans all 18 islands making up the Faroes – or almost at


Off Eysturoy’s northern coast you will spot the sea stacks

Risin and Kellingin. Legend has it that the giant, Risin,



and the

hag, Kellingin,

were on

a mission from Iceland

to steal the Faroes

and haul them up to Iceland.

Giants and hags are, of course,

creatures of the night and they

knew that they had to hurry before

the sun came up. Unfortunately for

them, they were so consumed by

their task this one night that they

did not reach shelter before the

sun’s first rays hit team and

turned them to stone. Since

then, the pair has stood there

gazing longingly towards their

home country. Eiðiskoltur, the

mountain where they fastened their

rope, still bears the mark of their work,

as the cliff cracked when they tugged on the

rope in their futile efforts.

Risin and Kellingin can be admired from both Slættaratindur

and Tjörnuvík, but the best vantage point is from the

road between Slættaratindur and Eiði. A telescope is available

there for you to take a closer look at these mysterious


Tjörnuvík in northern Streymoy is a pretty little village in

a cove girded by tall mountains; in fact, the mountains are

so tall that they block out all direct sunlight for a couple of

months every winter. Tjörnuvík has a large sandy beach

with a view over the sea stacks Risin and Kellingen off the

northernmost point of Eysturoy. Tjörnuvík is also known

for its musical heritage, here, villagers have remained

faithful to the old singing traditions and still sing hymns in

the old Kingo style.

Saksun is one of the archipelago’s great surprises. In

order to reach Saksun, you have to drive through a long

valley from the village Hvalvík. After driving past the

picturesque lake, Saksunarvatn, the village suddenly

emerges from the landscape. A deep ravine runs through

the village and you will have to stay on its right to reach

the smallest neighbourhood where there is a wonderful

little museum, Dúvugarður, which will allow you to catch

a rare glimpse of what life was like on a farm in the old

days. This is also where you will find the beautiful chalked

church with a grass roof clinging to the mountain rim. If,

on the other hand, you choose to turn left, the road will

take you through the village and from here you should

continue on foot into the immense stunning bay. There is

a sandy beach in the bay itself, and, when the tide is low,

you can walk out through the bay, along the beach, and

out towards the even larger sandy beach, which faces the

Atlantic unguarded. Do remember the tidal times, though,

as you will not be able to walk along the beach out through

the bay, or back again, when the tide is high.










Klaksvík is the second-largest city in the Faroes and

home to around a tenth of the country’s population.

Pyramid-like mountains encircle it with a wonderful

bay on both sides. Klaksvík is also one of the Faroes’

most important ports and trade is busy here. The local

residents are very engaged and they have a knack for

creating and hosting events that draw visitors from the

entire country – most take place in summer and many are

recurring annual events.

To reach Klaksvík you have do drive through the subsea

tunnel connecting to it from Leirvík. Tunnels always have

an aura of mystery, particularly when they run under the

sea, but the artist Tróndur Patursson was given opportunity

to leave his mark on this particular tunnel, which

makes it a pleasure to drive under the seabed where the

artist has used light and colours to breathe life into the

tunnel’s basalt walls.

In Klaksvík we particularly recommend visiting the

beautiful park area Úti í Gröv, which is on the outskirts

of the city. This picturesque oasis has been a source of

inspiration for many creative souls and it is a lovely place

to enjoy a moment of stillness in beautiful surroundings

– and perhaps a packed lunch. Should you have forgotten

to pack lunch, no need to worry, you will pass Jórun’s

bakery – Bakaríð Jórun – on your way into Klaksvík, the

establishment is known for its scrumptious bread, excellent

sandwiches and divine cakes.

Christianskirkjan was the first church in Scandinavia to

be built in the Old Norse style; it is a stirring monument

to Klaksvík and not to be missed. The church was built

in 1963 and was considered highly unusual, as it did not

feature a bell tower. A bell tower was since added, but it

is detached, it was placed next to the church building.

Allow not history to die, reads a line from a famous

Faroese song and at The Northern Museum, which was

founded in the late 1960s, history is certainly kept alive.

The museum showcases household utensils, tools, fishing

gear and other effects from daily life in the old days.

The building where

the museum is located

was built for the local

Royal Danish




oly store

in 1838.

Adjacent to it

is another exhibition

in Apotekið, the Apothecary

Shop, which also looks the way

it did in the old days.






Klaksvík is the central hub of

the Northern Isles: Kalsoy, Kunoy,

Borðoy, Viðoy, Svínoy and Fugloy.

The Northern Isles are characterised

by towering mountains

on the eastern side the islands

taper down towards a jagged

coastline, which cuts the slopes

off into low cliffs, while the northern

side is characterised by rugged

majestic cliff promontories. The two

smallest islands, Svínoy and Fugloy,

can only be reached by boat or helicopter, while bridges,

dams and tunnels interlink Kunoy, Borðoy and Viðoy, but

you will need to catch the ferry to get to Kalsoy. If you

have made it all the way to Klaksvík, you really owe it to

yourself to explore the region. Viðareiði is an excellent

place to start; it offers unparalleled panoramas of Borðoy,

Kunoy, Kalsoy and Fugloy, because the village boasts

open ocean views both eastward and westward. Straight

north of the village stands the world’s tallest promontory,

Enniberg, with its imposing 750 meters. Viðareiði also

boasts one of the most beautiful and well-known rectories

in the Faroes.

Kunoy is, on average, the highest island in the Faroes.

The village, also called Kunoy, is beautifully scattered

across the island’s western side and is graced with a

view of neighbouring, Kalsoy, which, when the evening

sun casts its shadows across the island almost looks like

a gigantic Toblerone bar.









Sandoy is the fifth largest island in the Faroes and, along

with Suðuroy, makes up the large southern island pair in

the archipelago. Sandoy is considered the flattest island,

with broad valleys and many little lakes, low rounded

mountains and sandy beaches. The gently rolling mountains

make it appear greener than the other islands with

their more rugged craggy mountains. The island’s western

coast is steeper and has bird cliffs.

There are historical gems to be discovered in Sandoy. Visit

Húsavík, a little village dating back to the Viking ages, it

has two old quarters with many traditional Faroese houses.

In the middle of the village you will find the 13 th century

vestiges of a great homestead, which once belonged to the

rich and powerful lady of Húsavík, Guðrun Sjúrðardóttir,

who, legend has it, was a rather

ruthless mistress and businesswoman.

Near the ruins stands the

protected home of Jóannes á Breyt, Sandur

which is 130 years old and now

used as the local museum.

The village Sandur has a lovely

art museum with a fine collection

of modern Faroese art. A

visit to the Sandur Art Museum

is an absolute must on a trip to











The crossing to Suðuroy, which is the southernmost island

in the Faroes, takes around two hours from Tórshavn on

board the modern ferry Smyril. Do get out on deck during

the trip; sailing is the ideal way to take in the islands and

the ever-changing seascape. Go outside enjoy the rush of

fresh air and the spectacular views of the islands Nólsoy,

Streymoy, Hestur, Koltur, Sandoy, Stóra Dímun and Lítla

Dímun, which you get up close to on your travel south.

Suðuroy is unique in itself, not just culturally, but also geologically.

In contrast with the other islands in the archipelago,

which are mostly carved out of the top-most basalt

series, Suðuroy is made up of the lower and middle basalt

series with coal and columnar basalt. When the ferry sails

into the port of Tvöroyri, you will notice the impressive

sculptural columnar basalt, which looks almost like a piece

of Faroese art.

Suðuroy is characterised by fiords and beautiful beaches

on its eastern board and majestic summits on its western

board, there are not many places in the Faroes where you

can get as close to the mountains as you can in Suðuroy.

The roads will take you almost to the very edge of magnificent

bird cliffs and your gaze will be drawn towards dizzying

precipices as you drive past.

Let us begin all the way south, where you can drive along

the old village road between Lopra and Sumba and up to

the area called Hesturin. Here you will experience Beinisvörð,

the second-tallest promontory in the Faroes up close,

but do take note of the sign warning you not to get too

close to the edge. From here you will also have a beautiful

view of the mountains on Suðuroy’s eastern coast. Alternatively,

drive up to Eggjarnar and enjoy the view of the vertical

mountains, cliffs and skerries along the island’s coast.

You may have to steady your nerves, as the road is right

on the edge, but, if you make it, you are rewarded with a

panorama worth the whole trip to the Faroes.

After visited Hesturin, you could drive on to Sumba, the

southernmost island in the Faroes, which is known for its

beautiful surroundings. A little further on from Sumba, you

will reach the southern tip of the archipelago, Akraberg,

where a 1909 lighthouse still stands tall and World War 2

vestiges are a reminder of the role the Faroes played in the


As breathtaking as it may be, Suðuroy has more than its

natural beauty to offer visitors. In the village Vágur we

highly recommend a visit to the Ruth Smith Museum. Ruth

Smith was a seminal

Faroese painter and the

museum houses

a large col-




lection of

her work.

In Vágur you will

also find a restaurant

in an old converted warehouse,

Stóra Pakkhús, which is now

houses a whole range of events,

in addition to functioning as village

museum in summer. Fámjin

village church is where the original

Faroese flag, Merkið, is on display.

It was designed and sown by

Faroese students in Copenhagen

in 1919, but was only recognised

as the official Faroese flag

in 1940. The Faroese are very

proud of Merkið, it is a symbol

they identify with strongly and it is

celebrated every year on Faroese Flag

Day, April 25.





Tvöroyri is the cradle of Faroese industry and still displays

the traces of the great riches accumulated here in the 19 th

century. The Royal Danish Monopoly store from 1836

is nowadays used as a café, pub and museum. Why not

have a drink at the pub as you soak up some history in

this incredibly cosy building. A hike in the award-winning

Hvann hagi is a gift you ought to give yourself. The trip begins

at the end of Tvöroyri’s upper village road known as

Hválv urin. This is a demanding hike and it is not well suited

to those who may be afraid of heights. However, your

efforts to get here will be rewarded with one of the most

unique experiences in the Faroes – a haven where you

sense the greatness of nature and the smallness of man.

Hvann hagi is a secret treasure only accessible on foot. You

hike up the mountainside path and when you reach the

eastern side of Suðuroy, you will encounter a magnificent

view of the islands Stóra Dímun and Lítla Dímun. In order

to reach the lake at the bottom of Hvannhagi valley, you

follow a steep narrow path, which, though some may find

it challenging, is an incredible experience in itself.

Back in Tvöroyri you can drive further North through a couple

of tunnels to reach the exuberant village Hvalba, known

as the home of the only accessible coalmines in the Faroes.

And, further north, Sandvík, with its enchanting beach.


Browse, download, or order

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Smyril Line was established in 1982 and is today an

international company with offices in the Faroe Islands,

Iceland, Germany and Denmark. Whether you are looking

for a self-drive holiday or a complete travel package

with accomondation, MS Norröna is a good choice.


Smyril Line · Yviri við Strond 1 · FO-110 Tórshavn · Tel. +298 345900 ·

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