Isolation is part of the appeal for the Faroe Islands. The archipelago of 18 islands sits some 200 miles off the coast of Scotland and roughly equidistant from Norway and Iceland, spread across 540 square miles of the North Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 80% of the population is connected by a network of roads and tunnels, mostly built in the past decade. Connecting to the rest of the country involves either ferry service or, even better, flying on the regularly scheduled helicopter service that serves as a lifeline to the smaller islands. And, thanks to the Danish government, those flights are heavily subsidized, making it a great way to explore the country on a short visit.
Officially the helicopter is not supposed to be used by tourists for round-trip flights. It is not 100% clear how well enforced that rule is but we chose to not press our luck, instead building an itinerary that combined a helicopter ride to Frodba on the southern island of Suduroy and a ferry return. We scheduled enough time for lunch and hiking making it in to a full day of exploring. And it was spectacular!
Ship OY-HIH is an Augusta Westland 139 fitted to carry 15 passengers. On a full flight that would translate into a tight squeeze; fortunately for us only seven were flying our day so window seats were easy to come by and space was plentiful. Our routing was advertised as two stops from Tórshavn, hitting the small islands of Skúvoy and Dímun en route to Froðba. No one booked the Skuvoy stop so we over-flew it, going straight to Dimun.
Actually, we probably adjacent-flew it as we stayed rather low for the entire trip, below the clouds that were hovering in the area. Eventually we circled around and landed, dropping off four of the passengers and all sorts of cargo on the tiny island that otherwise has no transportation connection to the outside world.
The second hop was much shorter but still offered stunning views of the islands and the sea. And then, some 30 minutes after we left Torshavn, we set down on Frodba. The return ferry trip (from TVØROYRI) took just under two hours and, while it was a beautiful ride, not nearly as much fun as flying in the helicopter. Also, the ferry terminal is actually on the other side of the inlet from the town of Tvoroyri, about 15-20 minutes walking.
Online booking with Atlantic Airways is relatively easy, with the caveat that it does not open particularly far in advance. The Frodba route only offers a 7-day advance booking window. But for ~$35 per person one way it is a spectacular way to see more of the islands very quickly and rather inexpensively.
More from this trip:
- Flightseeing the Faroe Islands by helicopter
- Visiting the DC-3 on Iceland’s Solheimasandur black sand beach
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