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Until a few months ago I never thought that I would end up one day at the Faroe Islands.
Ok fine… you got me. Until a few months ago I didn’t know that the Faroe Islands even existed. And this is a big confession from a travel blogger!
I ended up on these islands by chance while I was on a cruise from Reykjavik to Hamburg. I was there to visit my friend Cinzia onboard and one of the ports of call was Tórshavn, the main city of the Faroe Islands.
The Faroe Islands belong to Denmark but they are a self-governing country. They are remote islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In fact it looks like they belong to a lost kingdom and here you have the feeling that time stands still.
Nature is unspoiled and locals are very attached to traditions. The big majority of people are of Scandinavian origin. I think I have seen more blue eyes in one day at the Faroe Islands than for the rest of my 30s around the world.
So now that you are here what can you do one day at the Faroe Islands?
If you have ever been in the North Atlantic area of Europe you have probably noticed a little animal that acts like the king of the ocean: the puffin.
In this part of the world you will find pictures of this animal everywhere. And we literally got madly obsessed with puffins!
After all how could you not fall in love with such a cutie?
So the first thing we do is looking for a puffin watching tour.
PUFFIN WATCHING TOUR.
Puffin watching tours at the Faroe Islands normally take place in Mykines or Vestmanna.
Mykines is a little island so probably if you are in Tórshavn and can only spend one day at the Faroe Islands then Vestmanna is the best option for you.
Click here for the bus schedule from Tórshavn to Vestmanna and the other way around.
Ours was a last minute decision so unfortunately we couldn’t find any tour available in Vestmanna that would let us get back on the ship on time. So we had to book a shore excursion from our cruise ship. In German. Don’t forget “in German” because this will be the key element for the outcome of our sighting. But I’ll get back to it.
We get on a bus from Tórshavn to Vestmanna and we are so excited to finally meet our feathered friends! In the meanwhile we enjoy a spectacular view from the bus.
After a half an hour drive we arrive at the little port of Vestmanna.
We get on a little boat and look for the best seats to spot our puffins! We can’t wait to see our new favorite animal!
Our tour guide names in German all the bird species that we encounter on our way but unfortunately we can’t understand a word so we just look at the stunning cliffs.
The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. But still no trace of our penguinish friends. We start getting a little upset.
The boat now is heading back to the port… no! It can’t be! We can’t believe it! We haven’t seen our puffins!!
Once we are off the boat we go to our tour guide looking like a 6 years old who just dropped her ice cream. “But… the puffins?”.
And with a great smile and attitude she goes: “Oh you haven’t seen them? There was an entire colony!”.
Ok. Fine. First breathe. Then.
POINT NUMBER ONE. Dear tour guide. We are on a puffin watching tour. I’m not saying that you have to be bilingual for 2 hours. But when you spot a puffin (which is where the tour takes its name from) maybe you can say a little something in English about it? Something simple like “look” or I don’t know “PUFFIN”??
POINT NUMBER TWO. Dear German tour buddies. A glimpse of enthusiasm when you spot the animal that you (we) paid €80 for? No? Not even a little?
I know. There are no words.
We leave Vestmanna with a bitter taste. It goes without saying that I don’t have any pictures of puffins to show you.
But one of our cruise ship friends, who maybe predicted this tragedy, got us a consolation prize: a stuffed puffin! Thank you Bryce!
So, if you give me that, this is my one and only picture of puffins that I could take for you:
WALK AROUND TORSHAVN.
Let’s forget for a moment about the puffins.
After our little boat trip we still have some time before getting back to the ship. So we decide to walk around Tórshavn.
Our first thought as soon as we get close to the town is: “Where the hell are we?”.
When looking at what locals are wearing we have the feeling that we traveled back in time (if it wasn’t for the ever-present iPhone of course).
But then we soon realize that we have ended up in Tórshavn during Ólavsøka, Saint Ólaf‘s Day. So people are simply dressed in their traditional local costume for the festival.
So we get into the colorful crowd and start walking around the village.
Tórshavn is a little town by the sea that includes Niels Finsens gøta, the main shopping street, and a cute little harbor.
And after our little walk we get back to the ship.
It’s now time to set sail and say goodbye to our islands with two glasses of white wine. And despite the puffin misadventures I must say that the Faroe Islands will always hold a special place in our hearts.