The charms of the Faroe Islands, the challenging crossing to Vatnajökull and the magnificent southern coast of Iceland as a reward. 600 miles, 10 days.
The plan is to spend a few days in the Faroe Islands, and then head out on the high seas, three-hundred-mile dash to Iceland. Once we get there, it would be a round trip through some of the fjords to the east. Unique and breathtaking, though at some point challenging, journey is upon us!
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Tórshavn → Kirkjubour, 10nm
We depart from Tórshavn, or “Thor's Harbor” in Danish, the capital of the Faroes, and head to Kirkjubour. It’s a southernmost village on Stremoy and is rich in history. Former king of Norway Swerre was born and raised here. Did you know that Kirkjubour is home to some of the oldest houses on the globe? Kirkjubour Yard (King's Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses in the world! St. Olaf Church - the oldest church in the Faroe Islands, still active today.
Kirkjubour → Mykines, 30nm
Before the big passage to Iceland we may have to wait for fine weather, but getting bored is off our list. On our way are gorgeous Múlafossur and Bøsdalafossur waterfalls: they just fall off the island into the Atlantic Ocean. It's a pure wonder. And then we head to the close-by Mykines island. In the Holmur Lighthouse area, we can have lunch while enjoying a fabulous view of the rocky shore. Mykines is also called Puffin Island, so it’s a perfect place to go crazy for the puffins, who love to be near the sea and cliffs here especially in summer time.
Mykines → Jökulsárlón, 290nm
From the Faroe Islands we put to sea and make a 2-3 day crossing to Iceland.
Here a different story begins.
On a plateau off the east coast here is an Icelandic largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Glacial water drains into the ocean everywhere. For instance, the place in the first pic is Diamond Beach near Jökulsarlon, the largest glacial lagoon in Iceland.
The lagoon has a breathtaking view and looks like a ghostly procession of glowing blue icebergs. Jökulsarlon is the deepest natural lake and the lowest point below sea level in Iceland.
If luck is with us and the weather is good, we may try to stop and take shelter right by the river.
Jökulsárlón → Vestmannaeyjar, 135nm
Our next step is a walk along the coast of Iceland to the Southwest. From the water we will be able to witness the basalt cliffs and columns near the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach. And striking views of the huge icy mountains are certainly here for us as well! Next stop is Vestmannaeyjar with its authentic fishing community. Vestmannaeyjar is the largest chain of volcanic islands off the southern coast of Iceland. By the way, the youngest of these islands, Surtsey, is only 59 years old. Surtsey island got its name in honor of Surtr, a mythological race of Norse giants. It is among the few other islands that have emerged from the sea in modern human memory.
And of course we’ll pass by Elliðaey island, a home to the loneliest house in the world. There’re many rumours and stories around this house: some claim it to be Bjork’s house, others suggest that it is the lair of one grim billionaire in a zombie apocalypse. But the truth is as simple as ever: bird watchers and scientists exploring the island have rested and stored their gear in this house, and now it's available for rent on airbnb.
Vestmannaeyjar → Grindavik, 75nm
Grindavik is another fishing port, but on the ‘mainland’ Iceland. And just 5 kilometers away is perhaps the most attractive tourist spot in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon. Why not swim in the natural hot volcanic pool? Blue Lagoon is also surrounded by Lava Caves and the most impressive lava flow, and the road that connects the lagoon to Grindavik runs through it.
Grindavik → Reykjavík, 60nm
Reykjavík, or ‘Smoke Cove’, is a final point of this stage. The city gets its name from the steam ("smoke") from the hot springs. More than half of the country's population lives here, and the climate is surprisingly warm for a city located at a latitude of 64°N. Reykjavik has a lot to offer, including a warm welcome after all the adventures we have experienced since leaving the capital of the Faroe Islands.
🛬 Vágar [FAE]
🛫 Keflavík [KEF]