Craving a far-flung fairytale destination chock-full of enchantment? Head to the Faroes: eighteen wild Nordic islands awaiting explorers who are looking to be challenged and charmed. Moody weather, jagged sea cliffs, and worn fishing cabins emote all kinds of allure in this unlikely storybook spot. It’s a place so impossibly beautiful that it’s hard to believe it’s real. I assure you, this place is not imaginary, but it is, without a doubt, otherworldly.
It’s not all about looks, though. The locals are the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet, inviting you into their warm homes for food, drink, music, and lively conversation. They’re happy to share the magic of their islands while making you feel like family.
Not convinced? Here are 11 eye-candy images for proof:
Climb to Impossibly Perched Lighthouses
A painted lighthouse in a location so remote and untouched that it must have magically dropped from the sky, right? The Kallur Lighthouse is small on size, but big on cinematic quality. Dramatic surroundings, jagged cliffs, and unbelievable isolation contribute to a scene that feels almost fake. Located on the island of Kalsoy, this lighthouse has seen every type of weather imaginable and is host to a mind-blowing 360-degree view.
Pro tip: A must-see if you can stomach the sheer drop-offs that surround it, and, as always, it’s encouraged to hike with a guide for safety and navigation.
Explore Nature’s Most Magical Infinity Pool
Lake Sørvágsvatn is the largest lake in the Faroe Islands, sitting on the island of Vágar. This fantasy-like spot can be reached by an easy hike. The end result? Nature’s most magical infinity pool. The lake toes the edge of the ocean, creating an absurdly cool visual that will stay with you for a long, long time time.
Stroll Storybook Villages
Picture this: quaint Nordic villages poised on cliffsides next to a temperamental sea. Dreamy, right? The village of Gjov on the island of Eysturoy is well-known for the narrow split of ocean that drives into the village center. You can easily reach Gjov by car, and be sure to wander aimlessly around the tiny town (while being respectful of the fact that people do live there year round, of course).
Hike to Impossible Peaks
Your Faroe fairytale comes to fruition with the romantic landscape of Vidareidi, and trust us when we say that this northernmost village in the Islands delivers wholeheartedly. You’ll have to take winding roads, multiple bridges, and a few tunnels to reach this tippy-top settlement on the island of Vidoy; a field trip most worth it. While you’re there, explore the edge of the world on foot, where waterfalls accessorize steep land giants that contrast the moody Atlantic waters. It’s also possible to embark on a tough hike up the resident mountain, Villingardalsfjall, however, it is highly recommended to do so with an experienced guide for safety reasons.
Witness Waterfalls Flowing Into the Ocean
There’s something incredibly dreamy about waterfalls barreling into the ocean. Lucky for us, the Faroe Islands have loads and loads of them. This iconic show-stopper spilling into the sea is perhaps the most famous place on the Faroes. You can reach Gasadalur on your own with a car rental, and it’s on the same island as the airport, making it a great first stop! You can also hike to the village via “The Postman Trail” if you feel like stretching your legs. Hiking with an experienced guide is always encouraged in the Faroes due to the rapidly changing elements.
Fun fact: when it’s extra windy (quite often), the waterfall shoots upwards.
Drive Cartoon-Style Roads
This scene from the village of Nordradalur proves that cartoon roads might have been based on the Faroes. On the island of Streymoy, you can reach this quiet hamlet with a short 20 minute drive from Torshavn. Make sure to take in the scene at the top of the curved road before traversing on down to the tiny village with big scenery. It’s nestled in unspoiled nature between mountains and seaside, with the neighboring island of Koltur waving hello across the way.
Pro tip: Visit this spot at sunset for optimal viewing pleasure.
Witness a Magical Sunset
This legendary sunset scene can be viewed in person on the beach in Vidareidi after exploring the rest of the northernmost village in the Faroe Islands. Perched on the sea cove’s rocks with cliffs, mountains, waterfalls galore, and only the sounds of nature to be heard, you’ll feel like you snagged a front row seat to the edge of the world. Quite possibly, you’ll even have the whole show to yourself. All that’s left to do is wait for the sunset unicorn to come prancing by. Kidding.
Discover Gorgeous Churches
This church is in the village of Saksun, near the northwest coast of Streymoy. Here, history prevails and charm levels easily reach 12/10. The simple architecture lends way to the ridiculous backdrop and spectacular views, and is gorgeous it its own right. Witnessing a blush-colored dusk highlight the exterior of the postcard-perfect church and poufs of cloud stretching across the fable-like terrain is something from a dream.
Soak up Moody Weather
The moody weather will keep you on your toes and delight its way into your heart. With the elements changing on a dime, you never know what you’re going to get, and honestly, that’s part of the fun (as long as you’re prepared for anything). Just know that if it’s raining sideways and slapping you with gusts of wind, you can wait five minutes and be rewarded with sunshine, rainbows, and ponies— quite literally.
Grab Lunch in a Turf Roof Home
These turf treasures are in the village of Saksun. The village itself is home to about a dozen inhabitants, a cute cafe, and a tiny shop that is much more accessible thanks to a tunnel built in 2004. Oh, and a smattering of those picturesque turf houses that will have you wondering: who mows them?