Destinations

Your travel guide to one of the world's smallest capital cities

In Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, there's plenty of charm to be found. That, and access to the islands’ otherworldly natural beauty.

By Emma Holland
Houses and views in Tórshavn.

What to see

Make Tórshavn your base and drive (or get a lift) across the 18 major islands along scenic winding roads past verdant valleys, countless waterfalls and roaming sheep. There are many hiking trails to choose from: one of the most popular is to Sørvágsvatn lake – it's an easy walk to reach surreal views of the lake, which appears as an optical illusion perched atop steep cliffs and the sea. For a more challenging trek, follow the old postal route from Bøur to Gásadalur (population 18) for views of the tiny cliffside village and the picturesque Múlafossur waterfall, which cascades into the sea.
In the summer months, catch the daily ferry from Sørvágur to Mykines to spot large colonies of nesting puffins. Hike the narrow trail to the lighthouse for birdwatching and epic panoramic views out to sea.
visitfaroeislands.com
Múlafossur waterfall. Photo: Trevor Pinchin

Where to shop

Fashion label Gudrun & Gudrun is the champion for luxe, sustainable knitwear. Designs are mostly hand-knitted in the homes of Faroese, Jordanian and Peruvian women, and all Faroese yarn comes from sheep used for meat to ensure no wastage. Stop by the shop to stock up on warm knits for your stay.
13 Niels Finsens Gøta, gudrungudrun.com

Where to stay

Housed in an old Commodore's home on the shore is Hotel Havgrím. The design of the 14 rooms is inspired by the fjord with deep blues and nautical maps. In some rooms, large windows look out to the sea and sky. The hotel is powered by energy sourced from geothermal boreholes, and breakfast has a strong focus on local produce.
14 Yvir við Strond, hotelhavgrim.fo
Hotel Havgrím.

Where to eat

Barbara Fish House
This Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant, located in one of the city's oldest buildings, transports diners to 16th-century Tórshavn. At Barbara Fish House, the atmosphere is cosy, and the menu highlights the region's seafood. Expect the likes of monkfish ceviche, blue mussels and grapefruit, or lemon sole with capers, rosemary and brown butter.
4-6 Gongin, barbara.fo
Koks
An evening at Michelin-starred Koks starts with an apéritif in its fermenting shed. Next, diners are taken on a short, bumpy drive to the restaurant, located in an 18th-century farmhouse. Executive chef Poul Andrias Ziska's 20-course menu focuses on ingredients sourced from the surrounding landscape, and might include dishes such as lamb leg, fermented in the salty sea air; mahogany clam with sea herbs; or daisies, rhubarb, and a grass gel made from the restaurant's turf roof.
Frammi við Gjónna, Leynavatn, koks.fo
Mikkeller
The newest outpost of experimental Danish brewer Mikkeller is located in a 500-year-old wooden house. A chalkboard above the small bar lists the 16 craft beers on tap, and Mikkeller & Friends cans and bottles range from IPAs and blondes to barley wine ale. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and if you're hungry, a short menu from Barbara Fish House next door is available to order in.
2 Gongin, mikkeller.fo

Getting there

Multiple airlines fly from Australian capitals to Europe. The national Faroese airline, Atlantic Airways, flies direct from Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Paris to Vágar.
atlanticairways.com
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  • undefined: Emma Holland