Faroe Islands day 4: shopping in Tórshavn…and goodbye

Tórshavn harbour
Our last day was not a full day, with our flight leaving from Vagar airport at 2.35 pm. After sleeping in we hit the streets of Tórshavn with one mission: to purchase a real Faroese wool sweater. As we waited for one particular store to open – Guðrun & Guðrun – whose sweaters we had seen through the window each time we went to the grocery store. The trip was a success and Laetitia bought a beautiful cream sweater (which then proceeded to shed all over the car and her coat!)

Statue in The Tórshavn.
The Tórshavn Cathedral.

As we left Tórshavn for the airport we decided to drive to/through the last of the villages we hadn’t been to/driven through on Streymoy: Velbastaður, Syðradalur, and Norðradalur (this place is so tiny it is just a few houses.)

Laetitia in her new sweater with the village of Velbastaður in the background.

A curious sheep in Norðradalur.
And then, just like that, we refueled, drove through the undersea tunnel one last time, dropped off the rental car, and said goodbye!

Read about our first three days here:

Practical tips for visitng the Faroe Islands

A village on the island of Streymoy.

Getting there
From New York we flew Norwegian Air to Copenhagen (487 USD return), and from Copenhagen to the Faroes we flew Atlantic Airways (204 USD return). The airport in the Faroe Islands is located on Vagar island.

Accommodation
We stayed at Hotel Hafnia, located in the historic part of the capital Tórshavn, about 45 mins drive from the airport.

Connectivity
On Saturday morning, we purchased local sim cards from the mobile phone store located close to our hotel. Sim cards cannot be purchased at grocery stores or gas stations like in some countries. The cost: Sim card with some talk time + 5GB of data = 200 DKK (apx. 28 USD).

The entrance to one of the single lane two-way tunnels.

Car Hire and Driving
We rented a car from Avis at Vagar airport. We rented an SUV but there is no off-road driving in the Faroes so a sedan would have been just fine.

In the Faroes you drive on the right-hand side and the roads are generally in excellent condition. On some of the smaller islands or to reach more remote villages/towns the roads are often single-lane two-way so you need to be careful and ensure you make use of the small passing spots effectively. There are also single-lane two-way tunnels around the islands…these require caution if you’ve never driven through them, but there are plenty of spaces to pass inside. It can be tricky to judge how far away a car is that has right of way, so my advice is rather be safe than sorry and use the nearest passing spot to you. Also try not to get caught in a large group of cars because the passing spots only fit 3 or 4 cars and I witnessed people having to reverse to make it to the previous spot (not fun!).

In terms of navigation I relied on Google Maps but after 24 hrs you have a pretty good sense of where you’re going and you’ll probably find yourself driving the same roads. One thing I like to do is to download an offline map in my Google Maps so I don’t have to worry about whether or not I have internet.

On the ferry leaving Klaksvik for Kalsoy island.

To get to Tórshavn on the island of Streymoy, from Vagar airport you will drive through an undersea tunnel…there are two undersea tunnels in the Faroes (the other is on the way to Klaksvik) and the cost is 100 DKK. You only pay the tunnel fee one way and you can pay at the local petrol/gas stations: Etto and Magn. When you pay you’ll get special toll slip (we didn’t have to show this to anyone!).

Over the 4 days we drove apx. 800 kilometers and we paid around 400 DKK for Petrol/Gas (apx. 57 USD).

Read more about driving in the Faroe Islands here.

Ferry to Kalsoy
If you take the ferry from Klaksvik to Kalsoy, for the car + 2 passengers the cost was 200 DKK (apx. 28 USD). We took the 10 am ferry but cars are advised to arrive at least 15 min early to get in line as the ferry only fits about 8 cars. On our way there we were only 2 cars but on the way back there were 5. You buy the ferry ticket on the ferry and the ferry schedule is available here.

Boats in Torshavn harbour.

Food
on our first night (Friday) we arrived in Torshavn a little too late to grab a meal at a restaurant, but no fear the Pizza King down the road was open and we wolfed down a pizza for 85 DKK. The rest of our dinners on the Faroe islands were not takeout and quite a bit more pricey at around 390-500 DKK per person. On Saturday night we ended up eating at our hotel restaurant because we hadn’t made a reservation, so remember to book restaurants for Fri/Sat and even Sunday well ahead of time.

On Sunday we dined at Áarstova, and on Monday, our last night, at Barbara Fish House (which was probably my favourite). Also, something to note is that the menus are not very extensive, there are usually three or maybe four options for mains and I don’t recall any being vegetarian or vegan.

For lunches, based on my experience in Iceland last year we figured it would be best to take some simple snacks and ingredients for sandwiches in the car. In the small villages on the Faroes there didn’t appear to be any stores or food places, although maybe this is a bit different in the summer. Thankfully, the grocery store near the Hafnia hotel opens early and stay open pretty late (and it is even open on Sundays) and you’ll be able to get snacks, bread (yummy), ham, cheese, fruit, etc.

View from a high point on Streymoy island.

Language
Everyone we met on the island spoke great English (the official languages are Faroese and Danish).

Clothing
If you look at the weather forecast for the Faroe Islands you’ll see that there isn’t a drastic difference between summer and winter temperatures. It does rain a lot so it is really important to have waterproof outer layers. It is also a good idea to wear multiple layers that you can add/remove as necessary – I often went from short sleeves to a sweater and snowboarding jacket in the space of 30 mins. Also, don’t be freaked out if you wake up and it is raining outside your window, chances are the weather will change five times during the day, especially if you drive somewhere else.

Read about what we did during our four day stay here: