Adventure Islands Faroe Islands Hiking Nature & Wildlife

Ultimate Adventure Day Out – on Mykines, Faroe Islands

Written by Kirstie Pelling

The Ultimate Adventure Day Out

The Faroe Islands managed to lay on one of the best days out we have ever had as a family. It began with a helicopter ride, continued with a walk to a far flung lighthouse down a sheer, puffin studded cliff and ended with an adrenaline filled spin on the waves. The sun shone throughout, we had coffee, cake and two ice creams, and none of it broke the bank. I’m not sure about the kids but I’d sell my granny to do it all over again.

Boat arriving on Mykines, Faroe Islands

Boat arriving on Mykines, Faroe Islands

Will it be a speedboat?

“Will it be a speedboat?” asks Cameron. “I really hope it’s a speedboat.”

Today has already exceeded all our expectations, but I can’t imagine the story ending with my son getting the chance to play James Bond. I prepare him for the arrival of a clapped out public ferry.

And then a speed boat turns up. That’s The Faroes for you.

The Faroe Islands from the sea

The Faroe Islands from the sea

A perfect day trip to a perfect island

I predicted the helicopter ride from the islands’ main airport (on Vagar) to the beautiful tiny island of Mykines would be  one of the highlights of our Adventure Islands trip. But even I wasn’t prepared for the view from the window of the chopper. While Hannah seems to have disappeared into her voluminous headphones, I’m practically sitting on the shoulders of the pilot and co-pilot, craning my neck so I don’t miss anything as we take off over the sea. To say that it shimmers in the morning sunlight is the understatement of the century. Through the cockpit window the islands are emerald, the ocean’s azure and the sky is puffed with chalkdust.

Helicopter over the Faroe Islands

View from helicopter heading to Mykines

Arrival by helicopter

The flight is exciting yet fleeting, and as the crew start making preparations to land, I wonder if they’ve forgotten to look up. Because we seem to be travelling at some speed towards an almighty chunk of rock. It’s a BIG ROCK! But then the chopper swings round, the solid cliff is broken and a green valley starts to emerge. This immediately leads to a tiny settlement with the recognisable Faroese turf roofed houses and a helicopter landing pad that looks a little out of place in this   traditional, sleepy place.

The village on Mykines

Looking down to the village on Mykines. Population: about a dozen.

A tiny village

The village is home to just over ten people. With nine of us in the helicopter we  almost double the figures just by touching down. There are no roads here, and no cars, just dirt tracks, a 19th century church, a stream trickling down the hillside, sheep and birds and my family, wandering contentedly in the sunshine.

The village on Mykines

Wandering through the village on Mykines

A bridge over the Atlantic?

After crossing a couple of hills, we drop down on foot towards the sea on a path that resembles a Krypton Factor challenge. I did the Via Ferrata in Honister recently, and this is way more terrifying! The path is cut into the cliff and you are well aware that the guide rope won’t stop you from tumbling down if you slip on the mud. We move slowly towards the choppy North Atlantic, via a noisy hillside with millions of puffin burrows. We stop to watch their endless flights in search of food before tackling the footbridge known as Atlantarhavsbrugvin – ‘Bridge over the Atlantic.’

Bridge across the Atlantic Mykines

Where else but Mykines can you find a bridge across the Atlantic?

A walk to the lighthouse

We are now on a small islet to the north of Mykines and our finishing point is a lighthouse that warns all ships land is upon them after many miles at sea. Two freestanding rock stacks form a ‘gannetry’ – home to a vast crowd of the black and white birds and surrounded by crashing surf.

The gannets are also incessantly feeding and we start to feel hungry ourselves. Many of our big journeys have traditionally finished with a lolly at a lighthouse, but this time we only have mints in our pockets, so we improvise. In the past we have consumed our celebratory confectionery at lighthouses in John O Groats in Scotland, Finisterre in Spain, and Ninety Mile Beach in New Zealand. But awesome as these spots all were, it’s really hard to beat the beauty of this moment. We lie on the lush grass for a picture as the gannets dip and dive around us, the sun warms our faces and the wind cools our backs.

Lighthouse Mykines Faroe Islands

Relaxing at the lighthouse near Mykines. Faroe Islands

A speedboat finish

We pick our way back over the cliffs in time for an ice cream at a tiny guest house before our ‘James Bond’ finish. The boat rounds into view and slams on its brakes in the tiny harbour, before speeding out again past sea caves and puffin colonies. I try to think of a day out that beats this one and I can’t. Speed boats, helicopters and iconic buildings; it’s all here, with a notable absence of traffic, people or commerce. And it’s got puffins. While some might find choppers and speedboats just a bit too ‘showbiz,’ who could resist  the bright orange beaky smile of a puffin in paradise?

Heading back to Vagar by boat

Heading back to Vagar by boat there’s still more to see

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.


  • Wow. I’m honestly not sure what else to say but wow wow wow. That would have been an amazing day. The Faroe Islands is somewhere I’ve always dreamed of going. What a way to see it. Love the tradition of a lolly at a lighthouse. What a simple idea but a great tradition. I may have to steal it!

  • Hi,

    We are planning a holiday trip next summer to Faroer and Iceland with our three children. I wonder how you arranged this daytrip (helicopter, speed boat). Can you inform me on that?


    Harm Janssen

    • Hello!

      The day trip to Mykines can be organised with help from the tourist office in Torshavn or independently. It is easily disrupted by weather so you need some luck with the arrangements.

      The helicopter is a public service run by Atlantic Airways. The timetable is here. The flight to Mykines goes from Vagar airport and is not every day. Also it is subject to weather disruption so you have to schedule, book and pray for good weather. You can get to Vagar airport by bus or private taxi from Torshavn.

      The speed boat (ferry) is also a public service and daily. Schedule varies during the year and is subject to change with the weather. It goes between Mykines and Sorvagur on Vagar. The harbour in Mykines is small and in a cove with steep sided cliffs so not easy to enter in rough seas. Timetable is here. The boat goes back to Vagar to the harbour at Sorvagur which has bus connections to Torshavn or you can arrange private hire.

      You may need contingency plans in case the weather changes and you cannot get back the same day! But that is part of the adventure that is The Faroes.

      Hope that helps and you can research from there.

      Best wishes


  • […] After his triumph at securing a photograph of a man mowing a rooftop lawn, Stuart gets grass on the brain. Every time we hit a village he goes in search of a grass roof to snap. It’s clear the tourist board are missing a trick. For generations of middle age men, this could be bigger than whale watching, bird spotting, puffin hunting or helicopter hitching. […]

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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