To the page for the Faroe Islands of the Trento Bike Pages

Faroe Islands, a 3 day bike tour

By Henrik Sunden, Fri, 21 Feb 2003 12:49:53 +0100

The bike tour on the Faroe Islands was a logistical consequence of the means of transport (ferry) between Iceland and Norway on the way home from a three weeks tour on north Iceland. The ferry makes a tour to Denmark and returns to Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands before departing to Bergen, Norway.

Tórshavn harbour

19 July 2002, Tórshavn - Kirkjuböur - boat trip to Koltur - Kirkjuböur - Tórshavn - ferry to Suduroy - Öravík, 47 km , 700 m ascent.

Arrived by ferry Norröna from Iceland at 06:00. Visited Strandfararskip Landsins office at opening time 07:00 and tried to get a ferry tour to Koltur to visit latitude 62 degrees N, longitude 7 degrees W. There was no longer any ferry to Koltur, but the helicopter to Vágar airport took passengers to Koltur. I was also told I needed to speak to kóngsbóndi Björn Patursson, the only resident on Koltur, to have his permission for tenting on the island. I tried to phone him, but his line was busy all the time until the helicopter's office opened at 08:00. The helicopter company, with the bold name Atlantic Airways, told me the tour this Friday was fully booked, but the return flight on Sunday had one seat free. I could of course be at the helicopter pad at 14:15, to check if there was anybody that didn't come to the flight. It was good time until then to see if I could arrange with a private boat to Koltur, so I cycled to Velbastadur. In the little harbour there was a small rowing-boat with two pairs of oars. I cycled up to the village again and asked a man if I could rent the boat to go to Koltur, but he answered "Aer Du sindssyg, aer Du sindssyg!?", meaning Are You quite mad!?. The Hestfjördur has currents of 8 - 9 knots speed, and a safe motor boat is needed to cross it. I was recommended to go to Jóhannes i Kirkjuböur. I cycled to Kirkjuböur, after a while Jóhannes came in the VARDIN boat. He had no chance to go to Koltur, but his brother Pól Patursson and Pól's wife Gudrid would go, if we could start immediately, before the currents got stronger. So we went to 62N x 7W, which was about 20 m north of the northern shore of Koltur. Weather was fine, but at a few places there were a lot of waves, where currents collided. The tour cost me 400 DKK (about 55 USD).

I cycled back to Tórshavn and took the Smyril ferry at 19:00 to Drelsnes on Suduroy. A very beautiful trip. The sea was absolutely calm at some places. The ferry passed close to Lítla Dímun, an uninhabited solitary rocky island. In Drelsnes it was a short cycle trip to the camping site (rather a small hotel with a green patch behind it), where I put up the tent.

20 July, Öravik - Sandvik - Öravik, 43 km, 700 m ascent.

Up 06:30, cycled towards Hvalba. Got problems with the rear gearshift due to a loose locking ring. I didn't have the tool to fix it, so the problem was just temporarily solved with the pocket knife. Continued through tunnels to Hvalba and Sandvik. Remnants of some mining activity on the hillslopes. View South from Borgin Walked up to Borgin, 430 m, with a fine view of Lítla Dímun and most of south Faroe Islands. Cycled back to Tvöroyri. The Sandvik-Hvalba tunnel was uphill and narrow and several oncoming cars, not so fun.

Tried to get some food, but the Tvöroyri store was closed. Got some milk at the Statoil gas station just south of Drelsnes. Stayed overnight in Öravik.

21 July, Öravik - Akraberg - Öravik - ferry to Tórshavn, 72 km cycling, 1000 m ascent.

Sumba tunnel

Sunny and 17 degrees C in the morning. Cycled to Vágur and Sumba. 3300 m long two-lane tunnel north of Sumba. Despite Schmidt Nabendynamo, it was hard to see something in the tunnel due to the dark basalt. Continued to Akraberg lighthouse. Saw two great skuas flying over the cliffs. Cycled back to Öravik, then quickly to the 17:30 ferry to Tórshavn. Cycled the 1.5 km to the camping ground north of Tórshavn (along the shore) and paid 50 DKK.

22 July, Tórshavn 1.5 km.

Up at 04:30, rainy. Cycled to the ferry terminal and packed down the bike in the bike rucksack. Took 1.25 hours, very crowded place, had to work outdoors under a roof in light rain and wind. Not good for the bike. Left Tórshavn 08:30.

Some tips

The Faroe Islands have a maritime climate with clouds and rain many days. (Not so on this tour.) You need permission to put up a tent almost everywhere.

Currency is Faroese króna, which is issued only as bank notes. It is equal to the Danish krona in every respect and the coins are Danish. There is an Automatic Teller Machine in the Föroyabanki bank in Tórhavn center, close to the tourist office. Most roads are narrow but with hard surface. There are several long tunnels through very dark basalt. You can not see through the tunnels and good lights (especially front light) are necessary. Terrain is rugged. Ferry lines connect the islands. The ferry company Strandfararskip Landsins have their main office close to the Tórshavn harbour. Birdlife is extraordinary at several places, Mýkines is one of them. Ferry to Mýkines leaves from Sörvágur town on Vágar island, but has to be booked in advance. There is a long staircase from the boat harbour to the short road to Mýkines village, the only road on the island. Due to heavy waves, landing at Mýkines may be cancelled, so don't go there the last day on your stay on the Faroese Islands.

Henrik Sunden

Boliden, Sweden