Two days ago, I arrived home from one of the best trips in my life; my fourth trip to the Faroe Islands. My friend Katrine and I had been planning this trip for a long time, and had a full itinerary for our 18 days on the islands. We wanted to go camping and hiking for two weeks and then spend 4 days in the capital, in order to see everything that Katrine wanted to see and a few new places that I hadn’t been to either. Like most things in life, our trip to the Faroe Islands didn’t go as planned.
The Faroe Islands are called “The Land of Maybe” and that’s not without reason. The first day went according to the plan, but after that, the weather messed up our plans and forced us to change it. We both thought that this would probably happen, and I think now that it was for the better. Instead of camping for two weeks, we camped for 8 days on 5 different islands and spent the remaining 10 days in a borrowed house in Tórshavn and took day trips from there instead.
Despite the changes, we had an amazing time exploring 12 islands, four of which were new to me, hiking almost every day, spotting wildlife, meeting new friends, visiting old friends, enjoying the charming capital and seeing the islands from above for the first time.
We first went to the bird island of Mykines, where we went on two hikes surrounded by exotic birds to the mountain of Knúkur and the islet of Mykinesholmur, before spending the night at our first campsite. We then went to the island of Vágar, where we saw the famous waterfall near Gásadalur with three other travellers, and then went to visit the family of Katrine’s good friend Andras in Sandavágur, where we stayed for two nights. Andras took us around the island and showed us places that I hadn’t seen before, including the magnificent Bøsdalafossur waterfall and the dramatic cliffs surrounding it. This was my favourite place on the entire trip.
We heard that there was a festival going on in Klaskvík, the second largest city on the Faroe Islands, over the weekend, so we decided to go there to check it out. We didn’t do much partying, but we did enjoy the special atmosphere that occurs when thousands of Faroese people come together in a small town to party. We spent the daylight hours exploring the Northern Islands; we hiked out to the northernmost point of the Faroe Islands, Enniberg, which was a challenging yet beautiful hike; we roadtripped through Kalsoy with two new Belgian friends; we took advantage of a great weather day to climb the mountain of Klakkur, which offered stunning views of Klaksvík and the surrounding islands; and we got rescued while trying to reach the abandoned town of Skálatoftir on the island of Borðoy.
On our last night in Klaksvik, the heavens opened and the wind became almost as strong as the storm I had experienced in Skála 1,5 years earlier. We dreaded getting back to our tent, as we were almost certain that it would be flooded, and sure enough, it was drenched. We quickly moved all of our stuff into the campsite kitchen, where we spent the night, before escaping to Tórshavn, where we had been lucky enough to borrow a house from Andras’ lovely family. We spent the next few days exploring the capital, having one of the best nights out ever (the Faroese really know how to party!), and taking day trips to Kirkjubøur, Saksun, Tjørnuvík, Gjógv and Vestmanna, where hiking was once again on the agenda.
Our last four days on the Faroe Islands were some of the most exciting ones. After spending over a week in the capital, it was time for some more island hopping, but this time by helicopter! For the first time in my life, I explored the Faroe Islands from above and it was a magnificent experience. Our first destination was the tiny island of Koltur, where only two people are living. We camped there for the night and explored this rather unknown corner of the Faroe Islands. The next day, we had a 1-hour stopover on the beautiful island of Stóra Dímun, which is home to only one family of 10, before arriving at our final destination with the helicopter on the quiet island of Skúvoy. Skúvoy was the most difficult island to be a tourist on, but despite the frustration of finding a camp spot and a public toilet in the beginning, we had an amazing time exploring the tiny village and the northern part of the island.
The next day, it was time to make our way back to Tórshavn, which took us through the island of Sandoy, where we spent a few hours exploring, before arriving back at the house on the best weather day yet. We spent the day soaking up the sun outside and talking about all of the amazing adventures that we had just had. Our last full day on the Faroe Islands was a foggy one, but this didn’t stop us from exploring one of my favourite islands, the island of Nólsoy, located just across the fjord from Tórshavn.
Despite the ever-changing weather and the fog that seemed like it had come to stay, I didn’t want to leave the next day. It’s the same every time I visit the Faroe Islands; I’m never ready to leave when the time comes. There is still so much more to explore, so many unknown places to see and so many mountains to be climbed. I can’t wait for the day that I’m able to move up there for good and go on adventures like these every day. The Faroe Islands is where I belong, I know that now for sure, it’s where my heart is and will always be.
One thing that made this trip as amazing as it was, was the Faroese people. We hitchhiked almost everywhere we went, and we never stood there for more than 10 minutes before a friendly person would stop to pick us up. Several people even drove us further than they were going, just to be helpful, as they knew it would be difficult for us to get a ride to some of the more or less abandoned places that we wanted to visit. We were extremely lucky and grateful for experiencing the incredible hospitality of the Faroese people. By hitchhiking around the islands, we met some amazing human beings, all with their own story to tell.
There are so many stories to be told and so many pictures to be shown. I don’t think I’ve ever snapped as many pictures in such a short amount of time as I have on this trip – just about 4500 to be exact. I loved every minute of our trip and I’m excited to begin sharing the stories on the blog over the next few months. Once again, the Faroe Islands delivered, and reassured me that this is the place where I belong.