On this 8-day fly-drive get under the skin of the Faroe Islands, experiencing both the traditional and modern culture of this isolated archipelago and, in particular, learning about, and of course, indulging in Faroese cuisine.
Lamb and fish are the main-stays of the diet and as you drive through the islands you will see that nearly every house has a meat-drying outhouse attached to dry meat for use throughout the winter months.
In more recent years a number of restaurants have opened which have embraced the traditional techniques and ingredients to create truly modern dishes.
In between your culinary experiences you will have the freedom of the open road to explore this beautiful country, where the lush green mountaintops end in precipitous cliffs falling into the sea, turf-roofed houses can be seen throughout the islands and there is abundant wildlife where you can hope to see puffins, guillemots, razorbills, oystercatchers and out to see watch gannets plummeting from height to catch fish.
Photo Credit: Sunset on west coast of Streymoy island @Alessio Mesiano
Arrive in Vagar and collect your rental car and check-in to the nearby Hotel Vagar. Take a drive to the remote village of Gasadalur, sat on a cliffside at the end of a valley. There is an iconic waterfall and if it is open the Gasadalsgardurin cafe is a good option for some light refreshments.
Overnight at the Hotel Vagar or similar.
Today head towards Eysturoy, first heading through the under-sea tunnel to Streymoy. On Streymoy, we suggest visiting Saksun, perched at the end of a long valley above the Pollurin tidal lagoon before continuing on to Tjornuvik, one of the islands' most picturesque villages, surrounded by towering mountains on three sides and the sea on the other. Drive to the village of Søldafjørður to a local home Gardahus, which means Garden House. Meet with Lena and walk around her beautiful garden. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch on this unique home visit. After lunch continue to the village of Gjógv. Culture evening at Gjáargarður with faroese food and dance (drinks not included) (B,L,D
Overnight at Gjaargardur Guesthouse in Gjógv or similar
Today head off to explore the Northern Islands. The sub-sea tunnel between Eysturoy and Bordoy has been decorated with lights by famous Faroese artist Trondur Patursson, and the first stop is the town of Klaksvik which is dominated by the impressive Christianskirkjan church (if you visit be sure to go to the basement to see the art installation). From Klaksvik it is a short drive to the island of Kunoy with some beautiful walking trails, or to get the ferry to Kalsoy, known for its many legends. If you are looking for a bite to eat we can recommend the Cafe Frida in Klaksvik. We recommend reserving a table at Gjáargarður. (B)
Overnight at Gjáargarður Guesthouse superior (Gjógv)or similar
From Gjogv drive to Torshavn for a 4-night stay. On the way perhaps visit the bird cliffs at Vestmanna. A boat ride out of the fjord will turn to head along the foot of these spectacular cliffs, rising vertically out of the sea to a height of up to 650 metres. The cliffs are home to nesting puffins, guillemots and razorbills and this trip is often a highlight of any visit to the Faroe Islands. In the evening enjoy a 6-course chef's choice menu at the Barbara Fish House, tucked between the turf-roofed houses in the historical part of Torshavn. (B,D)
Overnight at Hotel Hotel Føroyar or similar
Today explore the city of Torshavn. Wander the narrow streets lined with turf-roofed houses, where the Parliament is still based. In the harbour watch the local fishermen bringing in the day's catch and Torshavn is also home to the fascinating national museum, an intriguing art gallery and the Nordic House, a cultural centre which is often home to exhibitions and concerts. This evening enjoy a set menu at ROKS, sister restaurant to Ræst and KOKS. Set in an ancient, turf-roofed building it has a rustic, laid-back ambience and lovely staff. The set menus reflect the bounty from the surrounding waters, dine on the freshest of langoustines and mussels. (B,D)
Overnight at Hotel Hotel Føroyar Deluxe Sea View (Tórshavn) or similar
Why not head over to Vestmanna for a memorable "Hook and Cook" experience. Combine a classic deep sea fishing trip in Vestmanna with a culinary experience. Suitable for keen anglers and beginners alike, the captain will advise you on how to catch fish from the waters between the islands Vágar and Streymoy. After around 4 hours on the sea, the captain will fillet your fish ready for the chef back at the marina restaurant "Fjørukrógvin". The chef will then cook your fish for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Please ask a Faroe Islands travel specialist for details if you wish to add this to your itinerary.
In the afternoon perhaps visit nearby Kirkjubour, one of the most important cultural centres in the Faroe Islands and home to the ruined St. Magnus' Cathedral. The farm here has been run by the same family for 17 generations. In the evening if you are still feeling hungry, there are lots of places to eat in the town centre, from casual cafes, to pub food and more formal restaurants. We can recommend the new tapas restaurant Katrina Christiansen but there is plenty of choice. (B)
Continue your exploration of the islands. We can recommend the short passenger ferry across to the island of Nolsoy, whilst it is only 20 minutes on the boat it feels a world away from Torshavn, with an altogether slower pace of life - even by Faroese standards. There is a museum depicting life on the island in one of the old houses, and underneath Maggie's cafe (a nice stop for some rustic fare) you can learn about local hero Ove Joensen who rowed single-handedly to Copenhagen, and see the boat in which he did it. Leading from the village are walking trails with views across the islands to one side and out to the open sea to the other. In the evening spend your final evening with a 5-course dinner at Aarstova, one of the best restaurants in the islands, famed for its Faroese lamb. (B,D)
Return your car to the airport in time for your flight back to the UK. (B)