Faroe Islands

From Hitchwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Flag of Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
Information
Language: Faroese, Danish
Capital: Tórshavn
Population: 48,500
Currency: Faroese króna (DKK)
Hitchability: Good.png (good)
Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots
<map lat='61.9' lng='-7' zoom='8' view='4' height='500'/>

The Faroe Islands are situated in Northern Europe, roughly equidistant between Iceland, Scotland, and Norway. They're officially part of Denmark and consist of 18 islands, 17 of which are inhabited. The major islands are Streymoy, Eysturoy, Borðoy, Vágar, Suðuroy and Sandoy. Each island is different and has its own "feel" to it.

Get in

There's ferries from Denmark and from Iceland to Tórshavn; they don't seem to be hitcheable, but buying a ticket to the Faeroes and then just going all way might work (except that then you miss the islands, of course). There is boats calling in at Scrabster, Scotland, on most week-ends, and there's stories of hitchhikers getting a ride.

General Tips

The Faroe Islands are a great place to hitch-hike. The flow of traffic changes during the day and the week, the must busy time is Saturdays around noon and Sunday afternoons. Since many people on the Faroe Islands work as sailors and fishermen thus working one month-shifts, you'll probably come across many single males driving around in mid-day on working days.

For those times when there aren't any cars, the scenery is so amazing that it's nice to walk. If you decide to walk along the road without hitching for a few hours, be prepared for drivers to stop and offer to give you a ride. Note that it's not recommended to walk through the tunnels, it's even illegal to go by foot through the underwater tunnels.

Nearly everyone speaks English, but you will likely encounter drivers on in the more isolated places who speak only Faroese and Danish. If you speak another Scandinavian language, their Danish is really easy to understand. You really need to leave your worries about safety behind in the Faroes. No one has any ulterior/sinister motive for picking you up − they are just genuinely nice and helpful people. Crime in the Faroes is limited to kids breaking windows, with maybe two or three exceptions in the last 5 years or so.

File:Suduroy.JPG
Faroese road on a hot summer day.

Transportation in the Faroes

There are cars, buses, and ferries. Buses go to lots of places, their price depends on factor such as going through the underwater tunnels or not etc. Check out timetables at www.ssl.fo . They can come in handy, especially in remote places that may have 2 buses coming and going per day, but maybe not even a single car (see info on Trøllanes below under the Kalsoy section). All red buses in the capital Tórshavn are free of charge. In many other places, you might find out after a long wait at a bus stop that you have to call the bus company several hours before, if you want to take the bus! You can't hitch on the ferries of course − you pay. It's not expensive. There are also many tunnels connecting towns and islands. Except for the newest ones, they are generally one lane and without lights. They are very scary and dangerous to walk through − avoid at all costs!!

File:DSC 1152.JPG
Gutuater was given tea, biscuits, an endless chat and a ride after a totally random encounter with the father of the Faroese modern language Jóhan Hendrik Poulsen in Kirkjubøur in June 2009
.

Islands

Streymoy

Streymoy is the most populated island in the Faroes. The capital, Tórshavn, is in the southeast of the island, and one of two cities (as far as I know) where you can get (free) public internet access − just go to the library. I can't remember street names, but because of how small all the towns are, it only takes a little common sense to figure out which road you need to wait by for cars. There is a roundabout outside of Kollafjørður (which still is in the municipality of Tórshavn, the way west leads to Vágar, and the way east leads to Eysturoy and beyond. You're very likely to end up here at some point since there is also a harbour in Kollafjørður, so many company cars go here.

Hitching on Streymoy is generally very easy. Saksun, in the north of the island, is beautiful and probably the hardest place to get to/out of on the island. I waited for about 2 hours and several cars, all of them French and Dutch tourists.

Eysturoy

Eysturoy is also very easy to hitch-hike. The area of easter Eysturoy with villages like Runavík, Leirvík, Gøtu and Fuglafjørður lies on/very close to the main road between Tórshavn and Klaksvík. Hitch-hiking anywhere on this road should not render waiting times more than 15 minutes unless you try to get a ride during the night.


Going to the beautiful towns of Eiði, Gjógv, Funningur is recommended, please be aware though that Eiði and Gjógv are connected by a smaller mountain road, and that Gjógv especially is a very small village, getting away from there might take a while. If you look for nice views, a hot tip is to first go to Gjógv from the east, then up to Eiði. The view from Mt. Slættaratindur over Streymoys eastern shore is quite amazing.

Borðoy

I was really just in Klaksvik, the 2nd biggest city in the Faroes. There are 5,000 people, and you can use the internet for free at the library. If you walk to the harbor from the library there are ample places to leave your rucksack if you want to explore the town.

Kalsoy

Kalsoy is a lonely, emotional island, long and thin with three tunnels linking the only four towns. The only way to get there is the ferry from Klaksvik.

I hitched twice on Kalsoy. Upon arrival, I walked for a few hours and the second vehicle picked me up and took me to the northernmost city Trøllanes. I slept there, and missed the only bus that went out that morning. Advice: take the bus, or you will end up walking through a 2km-long tunnel. There are lots of tunnels in the Faroes and there generally aren't any lights. Long story short, it was VERY hard for me to get to the ferry, because there is hardly any traffic at all on Kalsoy. Finally I got a ride − a trucker who was heading for the ferry himself. Neither of these men spoke English, so be prepared to practice your Danish if you hitch Kalsoy.

Kunoy

Kunoy is equally difficult to hitch-hike (as Kalsoy), but again, it's just a question of there being barely a trickle of traffic.

Viðoy

I only went to Viðareiði, and it was really easy to get there from outside Klaksvik. It's a "big" town, of around 300+ people. Getting out of Viðareiði could be a challenge, but I got lucky and met a Norwegian couple on vacation.

Vágar

Vágar is incredibly easy to hitch to and within; there's a lot of traffic. But if it's a nice day have someone let you off before the Streymoy-Vágoy tunnel and walk 5 minutes to the Leynar beach − it's spectacular! Vágar is where the Faroes' only airport is.

File:HHForoya.JPG
Gutuater hitched a ride with two local girls in Suðuroy.

Suðuroy

Suðuroy (litterally "South Island") is fairly big and different from the other islands (they even speak a different dialect). The traffic is poor, as the transportation of cars to and from the island limited. But people are friendly and like on other islands, chances to be picked up are high in spite of the few cars. The road network is not so good, so you can't really drive around the island.

Hitchwiki user Gutuater was there during the holiday called Jónsøka and the interior of the island seemed to be uninhabited; but he found two 17-years-old schoolgirls that had nothing to do and drove him around. The beach town of Fámjin with the lake up the hill is a spectacular destination (it was very hot and he wanted to take a swim in the lake, but the water was ice cold!!).


Flag of Denmark Regions of Denmark