Faroe Islands

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Faroe Islands

Postby troutmask » 14 Jan 2007, 1:40pm

I am planning a trip to the Faroe Islands this June. Any information about cycling and camping there would be greatly appreciated.


Postby ThomasDylan » 15 Jan 2007, 1:47pm

There's a whole hosts of links and tips here: http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25649-1148828,00.html

Enjoy the trip - and don't mention pilot whales. They get very touchy!


Postby Smudger » 16 Jan 2007, 11:21am

I think Josie Dew wrote a chapter on the Faroe Islands in one of her books - Wind In My Wheels I think it was, it might be worth a gander.

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Postby troutmask » 16 Jan 2007, 6:11pm

I read her book many years ago and seem to remember something, have to borrow a copy. I can say that the person at Smyril line who run the ferries (one Bjorghild Hakononardottir) has been really helpful. Finding the cheapest route and dates for travel etc.. Compared to trying to use CalMac it has been a dream.
Two people with bikes return ticket for a month stay comes to £305, which isn't bad. 10 hour journey out, 2 1/2 days return via a cruise down the Norwegian Coast!
I also understand that the island roads have a lot of unlit single carrige way tunnels, always fun on a loaded touring bike!javascript:emoticon('8)')

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Postby Ron » 19 Jan 2007, 12:02am

I did not get far out of Torshavn, too exhausted after Iceland. :wink: , but remember the new and largest hostel was up on the hill overlooking the town. I was fortunate to find a hostel within the town, although there was also a camp site, which was much handier for wandering round town. Other cyclists said good cycle lighting was essential for the tunnels, although there is not much darkness outdoors in a Faroese summer.
Alcohol very expensive. :cry:

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Postby Sares » 4 Feb 2007, 4:08pm

The Faroe Islands are amazing and I'm sure you will enjoy them. I was there for 10 days last September and we travelled to many of the islands. The scenery is truly spectacular. There are a few things to know about the islands in general, and by bike specifically.

1) Check ahead that the place you want to stay is open. Outside the main tourist season (July-Aug) many things are closed, and even those that are open according to the guidebook may not be.

2) There is a brochure of recommended cycle routes that the Faroese tourist board can send to you. (http://www.visit-faroeislands.com/Default.asp) However, they don't seem to have it anymore. I will try to scan mine & upload later.

3) There are lots of tunnels- these are often one lane with passing places, they are not lit (lights you can honestly see by are essential!) and some are very fumey. There are a number of tunnels that are not considered safe by bike, and having been through by bus they would be very unpleasant due to bad air quality. I wouldn't recommend trying anyway. They are often several kilometers long, and some go under the sea bed (these ones are lit though). There are rules as to who has right of way when you meet someone in the one-lane tunnels.

4) The reason there are lots of tunnels is that the mountains are very steep and it's important to be prepared for this. There are sometimes ways to bypass the unsafe tunnels by going over the top.

5) Some of the islands can only be reached by ferry or helicopter (depending on the season) and I don't think it would be difficult to get a bike on the ferry.

6) "A Giljanesi" hostel on Vagar Island near town of Midvagur has a campground and is open year-round. There are several other campgrounds scattered around and if you ask at the tourist office these can sometimes be used out of season. There is one just outside Torshavn.

7)Try to also take advantage of the walking paths from village to village. That's how the villagers used to get around and they are often very spectacular (but not necessarily cyclable and I don't think they allow off-road cycling there- the ground is very soft and it would cause some damage).

8) Take rain gear- it will rain. The weather is very changeable and the fog can come in quickly.

9) The ferry to the outer northern islands (Fugloy, Svinoy etc. ) is well worthwhile.

10) You can get a weekly bus pass which is good value if you use the buses a lot- it's no trouble getting around by bus and that is how they recommend getting through some of the worse tunnels. Apparently you can take bikes on the bus too although we didn't try it.

Anyway, hope this helps and if you have any other questions I can try to answer them.

As for pilot whales, we saw one being cut up for the families to take home. They didn't seem very defensive at all, and the B&B owner recommended that we go down to the harbour & watch.