The Faroe Islands is a small country and getting around is easy
All of the islands are connected by a public transport system. Most islands in the Faroe Islands are connected by tunnels and bridges, making it effortless to travel by vehicle to all corners of the country. The road infrastructure in the Faroe Islands is excellent, ensuring a comfortable and safe journey regardless of weather conditions. All major highways are paved, but some roads, to the smaller villages, are still gravel roads.
Travelling between islands
The two largest islands, Streymoy and Eysturoy, are connected by a bridge, Sundabrúgvin. Since 2002 a sub-sea tunnel connects the island of Vágar with Streymoy and since 2006 a sub-sea tunnel connects Borðoy to Eysturoy. These are toll tunnels and you have to pay when driving from Streymoy to Vágar and from Eysturoy to Borðoy.
Road causeways connect Borðoy with Viðoy and Kunoy. The other main Islands Sandoy and Suðuroy have excellent car-ferry connections to Streymoy, making motoring in the Faroes easy and pleasant. M/F Smyril has up to 3 dayly departure from Tórshavn to Tvøroyri on the island Suðuroy. The ferry M/F Teistin has around 8 daily departures from Gamlarætt ferry port to Skopun on Sandoy island. Gamlarætt is located on the west coast of Streymoy, not far from Tórshavn and near the villages Kirkjubøur and Velbastaður. M/F Ternan has around 5-7 daily departures from Tórshavn to Nólsoy. M/F Sam has up to 7 daily departures from Klaksvík to Syðradalur on Kalsoy island. M/S Ritan has around 3 daily departures from Hvannasund on Viðoy island to the islands Svínoy and Fugloy in summertime, less in wintertime. The ship Brynhild has 2 daily departures in summertime from Sørvágur on Vágar island to Mykines island.
Strandfaraskip Landsins, the Faroese public transport service, publishes an annual timetable (Ferðaætlan) containing details of all ferry and bus schedules. The time table for the inter-town buses and the ferries can be obtained at the tourist information offices. When using a car ferry please note that it is not possible to make advanced bookings. You should be at the pier no later than 20 minutes before scheduled departure, and on Friday and Sunday evenings it is advisable to be ahead of time if you want to secure a place for the car.
Sub-sea tunnel fares
Vehicles up to 3500 kg and up to 6 m, 100 DKK. Vehicles over 6 m and/or total weight over 3500 kg, 300 DKK (Please note: rates may change). The price stated is for a return trip. You are only charged when driving from Vágar in Vágatunnilin, and driving from Klaksvík in Norðoyatunnilin. You should not pay your fare any later than three days after using the sub sea tunnel. You may pay at any petrol station on the islands. Otherwise an invoice will be sent to the car owner.
Driving is easy with an excellent network of well maintained tarmaced roads and tunnels. The numerous road tunnels in the Faroe Islands mean that drivers of large vehicles must plan their routes by finding out in advance which tunnel they can enter. Driving is on the right and most road signs follow international standards. Headlights must be on when driving and the use of seat belts is required. The speed limit is 80 kph (50 mph) outside towns and villages, and 50 kph (30 mph) in the towns and villages. The consequences for speeding are severe. Sheep graze freely on both sides of the main roads, so they will cross at their own will.
Parking in the towns of Tórshavn, Klaksvík and Runavík is restricted. Parking discs must be displayed in the lower right hand corner of the front windscreen showing the time you parked your car. These display discs are available at no charge from banks and the tourist offices.
More and more people are choosing to explore the Faroe Islands from the saddle on their bicycle. It’s no wonder why, considering the spectacular beauty one can see from the roads, mountains and valleys. Both in urban and rural areas, bike paths are uncommon. In most cases, cyclists will have to share the road with motor driven vehicles. Note also that there are many tunnels in the Faroe Islands, and in some cases these can be quite dark. Though the islands are far from flat, most gradients are gentle. Be prepared to cycle on gravel roads in some places, as not all roads are paved.
In some cases the distance from one urban area to the next is quite considerable. It is important you make sure to bring appropriate equipment for basic repairs, as well as extra tubes and tires. Maps, GSP and communication equipment are also important.
Bikes can easily cause damage to the terrain, so make sure to stay on path. Remember to always consider the environment. Also, it’s always a good idea to give someone your travel itinerary in case of an emergency.
Passenger road transport is run by private companies, but is coordinated by a public body.
The inter-town bus system (Bygdaleiðir), has together with the public ferry company established a coherent and well-developed public transport system which takes in all settlements on the islands. This means that there are bus services to all places - maybe not often, but every day!
Bygdaleiðir´s buses are in the colour of blue. Transport is quite expensive, so check for student discount or multiple-ride-cards. Students as well as children and pensioners are eligible for discounts on fares provided they show a student or pensioner identity card. Strandfaraskip Landsins offers a Travel Card either for 4 or 7 days with which you can travel on all buses and ferries (Mykines not included). It is well worth its price if you are planning to get around the islands by public transport. Read more about timetables and the travel card on ssl.fo.
The capital Tórshavn offers a local bus service (Bussleiðin) with four routes that reach most area of the town which is free. The red coloured-buses operate every half-hour during the day through out the week and hourly on weekday evenings. The buses don´t operate on Saturday or on Sunday evening which can be inconvenient for tourists. Route maps and schedules may be obtained on the buses, at Kiosk Steinatún in the centre of town, or at Kunningarstovan, the local tourist information in Tórshavn.