Mykines – Faroe Islands

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Puffin landing
There’s not a better day trip in the Faroes than a visit to Mykines. Continue beyond the airport on Vágar Island to the port of Sørvágar. A ferry shuttles across to the one settlement on the island, the 17km trip takes about 40 minutes and costs about US$10. I was one of three passengers.

Mykines ferryEn route we passed the Faroes iconic island Tindhólmur. It would be a slightly oval shaped cone, grass-covered and rising steeply (everything in the Faroes rises steeply) to a knife-edged ridge. Except somebody has taken a knife to that knife-edge ridge and neatly chopped one side of the island off. So the green slope on the north side rises to the ridge and then the island simply disappears. From the south side it’s a sheer rock face. Surreal.

From the island’s one tiny car-free settlement you can walk west to the extreme western end of the Faroes. En route you cross a footbridge over a deep channel and pass a lighthouse before emerging on a headland above two sea stacks which are the only nesting place on the Faroes for gannets. There are plenty of other seabirds around the island, but the big attraction is the prolific puffin population These small birds with their brightly coloured beaks fill the northern hemisphere penguin gap.


Apart from at the Galapagos Islands, right on the equator, penguins are strictly a southern hemisphere bird and puffins are a bit penguin-like, except they can fly. With whirring wings so they look rather like a children’s toy with the speed turned up high.

Mykines village

A day on Mykines not long enough? There’s the friendly little Kristianshús hostel and café ready to look after you.