Travel Guides

Torshavn | Adventure Destination Guide

The capital of the Faroe Islands is a great starting point from which to explore this amazing country

Over the last couple of years, the small North Atlantic archipelago known as the Faroe Islands have developed somewhat of a reputation as the “hipster’s Iceland.” Torshavn, which means “Thor’s harbour” in the local tongue, is the country’s capital and can be found on the island of Streymoy (the largest and most populated Faroe Island).

If you’re on a mission to walk in amongst some of the planet’s most jaw-dropping terrain, and are looking for a base from which to launch said mission, then get yourself over to Torshavn asap. With a population of just 13,083, it’s by no means the biggest capital city in the world. In terms of being surrounded by interesting outdoor stuff however, it might just be one of the planet’s very best.

How To Get There

You’re going to need to fly or get a ferry if you want to visit Torshavn. The only airport in the country is Vagar Airport (Vagar is a 45 minute drive away from Torshavn). There’s taxis and a public bus (route 300) running between the airport and the city. You can also hire a car, something we’d recommend if you’re going to really make the most of this place.

To get there from the air, and this obviously changes depending on where in the world you’re coming from, you’ll most likely need to get a connecting flight. From London, your best option is to get a connecting flight from Copenhagen. The islands are a self-governing Danish territory, so there are regular flights to and from Denmark’s capital.

You can also get a ferry to Torshavn from Hirtshals in the north of Denmark.

Photo: Jack Clayton

Things To Do In Torshavn

There’s so many reasons to visit the Faroe Islands but, coming at it from an out and out adventure perspective, it’d be weird if we didn’t immediately start discussing the country’s spectacular terrain.

The hidden village of Gásadalur, located on the west side of Vagar island, is just under an hour’s drive away from Torshavn (it’s much closer to the airport so could be worth visiting either as soon as you land or on the way to catch your flight). Home to arguably the coolest waterfall in the world (Múlafossur – pictured above), it’s also dead near the ferry port which can take you to the Faroe Isand’s westermost island Mykines.

“The Mykines Lighthouse Hike Trail really is one for the bucket list”

The ferry to Mykines, home to thousands of puffins and the most picturesque lighthouse you will ever see, runs from Sørvágur on the island of Vagar. A one-way ticket on the ferry costs about £7 but, heads up, visitors must pay a hiking fee in advance (about £12). Because Mykines is a protected island, this fee helps to preserve the island for future visitors. A helicopter route, if you want to be a bit more bawler, is also available from Vagar Airport and is priced at approximately £17 per person one way. We should point out at this point that visitors to Mykines are only allowed between 1st of May and the 31st of August; something to consider before booking your Faroe Islands’ trip.

Despite how tricky it sounds to get there, the Mykines Lighthouse Hike Trail really is one for the bucket list. The entire route will take about three hours, and will serve you up some of the most epic, hard to beat, views of this or any other lifetime. This being the Faroe Islands, we’d strongly recommend taking a good waterproof and additional layers in your backpack as the conditions can get pretty gnarly. Oh, and before we forget, don’t forget your camera and be sure to have a solid pair of walking boots on your feet.

Pictured: Cliffs of Mykines. Photo: David Dvoracek

We’ll stop banging on about Torshavn and the Faroe Islands in a minute but one of our favourite things about this place is the turf-roofed houses. They’re everywhere here, including in Torshavn itself, but our pick of the lot would probably be the ones in the village of Bøur. Here, if the weather’s clear, you’ll get an unforgettable out-to-sea view on top of the vaguely surrealist grass on buildings package.

Focusing back on Torshavn itself, we’d recommend you spend a bit of time exploring the port and the extremely cool Steinprent workshop and gallery. If you fancy a walk, the 8.6km one between Torshavn and Kirkjubøur is an absolute must.

The Faroe Islands, and we can’t stress this enough, is a dream come true for lovers of the outdoors. If you want to properly get your teeth stuck into it, we’d recommend booking yourself on some excursions with Reika Adventures. They cater for small groups and individuals, and will show you exactly what this country’s amazing terrain has hidden up its green sleeve.

Where To Stay

With a nice view over Torshavn, and a luxury four-star feel, the Hotel Føroyar is worth a look. With prices starting around £90 per night, it’s not the cheapest option. However, after a day in the occasionally very brutal Faroese outdoors you might want to treat yourself to a little bit of comfort. Another option is the 62N Guesthouse City Centre with prices ranging between £60 and £75 a night.

Eating and Drinking

If you’re looking for a decent coffee in Torshavn, get yourself to Brell Cafe. They roast their own beans, don’t you know? Another nice cafe worth popping into is Paname Café (the adjoining bookshop will get bookworms wriggling with pleasure).

One way to round off a trip to the Faroe Islands, in a food and drink sense, is to get yourself acquainted with a local custom called “heimablídni.” A traditional Faroese way of doing things, it literally translates as “home hospitality” and pretty much boils down to paying someone to cook you a meal in their house.  For a delicious, admittedly very expensive, five-course Faroese meal in the Torshavn area we’ll nudge you in the direction of the dining with farmers Anna and Óli experience. You need a minimum of eight people to book a table but if you can round up a crew, have deep pockets (it’s just over £100 a person) and fancy treating yourself to fancy food in a fancy house… look no further.

Check out our other adventure travel destinations for 2020.

This destination guide was brought to you in association with outdoor fashion retailer Blackleaf.

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