10 Essential tips for your trip to the Faroe Islands

Written by a local

If you're dreaming of an off-the-beaten-path adventure, the Faroe Islands should be at the top of your list. Tucked away in the North Atlantic Ocean, these islands offer a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural charm.

As local hosts of the Múlafossur Cottages in Gásadalur, we see many tourists on a daily basis. We are so aware of the questions visitors often have and the mistakes they sometime make. So, before you embark on your journey, here are 10 essential things to get you prepared for the adventure of a lifetime:

1. As ABBA would sing: “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY…”

The local currency is the Faroese Króna which is on par with the Danish Krone (DKK). This means you can use both Danish and Faroese cash in shops and restaurants/cafes. Credit cards are widely accepted, but we’d argue it's a good idea to carry some cash, especially in rural areas where, locals might be selling a cup of coffee and waffles on their doorsteps.

2. Multilingual locals

While Faroese is the official language, most Faroese residents also speak Danish and English. However, learning a few Faroese phrases can be a fun way to connect with locals: 

  • ’Takk fyri’ means ‘Thank you’ 
  • ’Góðan dag’ means ‘Good day’ 
  • ’Hvussu gongur?’ means ‘How are things?’ 
  • ’Gott kvøld’ means ‘Good evening’ 
  • ’Manga takk’ technically means ‘Many thanks’ but is mostly used as a post-post dinner ‘Thanks for food’.

Another thing to note is that most of the food is imported from Denmark - which means the packaging of products in shops is Danish! This makes it a bit easier for you, should you need to check the contents of the item in question, as you can just use Google Translate.

    3. The land of maybe

    You truly cannot talk about the Faroe Islands without mentioning the ever-changing weather. Packing layers is a must, no matter the season. Be prepared for rain, wind, and snow, even during the warmer months. Ensure you have warm clothing, waterproof gear, and sturdy footwear to keep you comfortable and dry.

    4. “Hit the road, Jack”

    Renting a car is a popular option for island exploration, and one we’d recommend - if you can afford it. Public buses and ferries are available, but infrequent and limited. Renting a car will give you the freedom to explore the islands in your own time, at your own pace.

    The normal driving speed in the villages is 50km/h or less, and the country road speed is 80km/h. Keep in mind that roads can be icy, narrow and winding, and on some of the smaller islands there are some very dark and small tunnels that will make you question how they could possibly be legal. Finally, the Faroe Islands first and foremost belong to the sheep (only partially kidding), and they will just walk right in front of cars, as if they own the place. So please, always drive with caution.

    5. Puffin paradise

    A unanimous wish of travellers coming to the Faroe Islands, is to see the puffins on the western-most island Mykines. We get it, it is a magical place! It is important to note that puffins only occupy the islands in the summer months, from June to August. You will not be able to see them any other days of the year. It’s also worth noting that we’ve been so lucky to see the return of a few puffins in Gásadalur, on the cliffside by the famous Múlafossur waterfall, only ten minutes from the Múlafossur Cottages that can be rented on this website.

    6. Please don't get stuck on a mountain (Yes, it does happen)

    While the Faroe Islands are generally safe, we urge everyone to exercise caution while exploring, as the terrain can be rugged and weather conditions can change quickly. Let your local host know where you’re going, and spend some time discussing the trip with a guide or read up on helpful websites. Bring snacks, a fully-charged phone and enough layers, should rain or fog appear out of nowhere! There is a reason the English called the Faroe Islands ‘The Land of Maybe’ during the English occupation during World War 2. The weather has a mind of its own, and you’re rarely prepared for what’s to come. Embrace it!

    7. "50DKK for a piece of cake???"

    We know… we know… The Nordics have a reputation being expensive… The Faroe Islands are unfortunately not the exception. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make the journey! Many have managed just fine on a low budget. Just be aware that if money is tight, you might want to book a place where you can cook yourself, rather than go to a hotel where you’d have to eat out every day. There are many grocery shops located around the islands, so you’ll be in good hands.

    8. Get planning

    Popular spots like Mykines island should be arranged in advance, as ferries get booked quickly and permits might be required. Research your chosen destinations and activities well before your departure. We'd recommend you read this helpful article that outlines all the most useful websites. Please also note, that certain locations such as Drangarnir sea stacks, the Lighthouse in Kallsoy, and Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn now have fees attached to it.

    9. So many options, so little time

    There are a range of hotels, guesthouses and cottages to choose from on the Faroe Islands - we’d recommend choosing your accommodation with care and booking in advance, especially if you’re visiting during peak seasons. Many choose to base their stay on one of the larger, central islands connected by subsea tunnels, and make day trips from there, rather than feeling a bit stuck on an island that’s tricky to travel from. Alternatively you can split your time between different locations, and include a short stay in the vibrant capitol Tórshavn. If you do choose to stay on one of the smaller islands, that’s only available by ferry, please make sure to plan ahead and include extra time before your flight leaves, in case bad weather causes ferry cancellations.
    Múlafossur Cottages are located only 15 minutes from the airport, 50 minutes from Tórshavn, and only a short drive from some of the most epic natural attractions the Faroe Islands have to offer. It is therefore a perfect base to plan your trips from in the morning, and the ideal sanctuary to retreat to after a busy and beautiful day, full of discoveries and experiences.

    10. “Wait… Why is everything closed?”

    We’re so lucky to have a vibrant and growing culinary culture on the Faroe Islands - especially in the capitol Tórshavn. But we always recommend that you check cafes’ and restaurants’ websites and/or Facebook pages to make sure that they’re open on the day, before you head out the door. Better even to book a table where possible. There are many national holidays on the Faroe Islands, which means that even shops close down for half/full days. Most shops/restaurants/cafes are also shut on Sundays, and some completely shut down during off-peak season. Petrol stations are normally a safe bet though, so keep an eye out for those.

    BONUS TIP: Say 'SKÁL' (it means 'CHEERS’)

    Like some other Nordic countries, the grocery shops on the Faroe Islands do not sell normal alcoholic drinks. You have to venture to one of the six Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins shops in the country to get access a wider range of alcohol, or visit local pubs and restaurants. However, considering that you’ll either be arriving by plane or ferry, we suggest that you purchase your drinks in the Duty Free shops that are on the ferry and at the airport. It’s cheaper, and they often have a great selection.