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Faroe Islands

Getting around

The national transport company Strandfaraskip Landsins (343030; www.ssl.fo in Faroese) publishes a complete timetable (Ferðaætlan, Dkr10) of all ferry, bus and helicopter services available from tourist offices and Tórshavn’s Farstøðin transport terminal. The same outlets sell SL Visitor Travelcards giving unlimited travel on all buses and inter-island ferries (Dkr600/900 for four/seven days). Certain services offer small discounts to students or for 10-trip multitickets.

Note that ‘x’ on a timetable means ‘weekdays’.

Boat

Apart from Tóshavn-Suðuroy (adult/student/pensioner/car DKr 75/35/35/55) all domestic vehicle ferries cost adult/student/pensioner/car Dkr35/15/15/55. They run even in fairly poor weather. The passenger-only boats especially to Fugloy via Svínoy (adult/student/pensioner Dkr35/15/15) and to Mykines (adult/student/pensioner Dkr60/30/30, from May to August) are much more weather dependent. Pay on the boat or connecting bus.

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Bus & tram

Bus

Bygdaleiðir long-distance bus timetables are sensibly coordinated with ferry services, and combined bus-ferry tickets can be purchased once aboard. Read timetable footnotes very carefully: although buses serve virtually every hamlet, rural services might run only on summer weekdays and even then only if you’ve pre-booked. If you’re the only pre-booked passenger you might find that your ‘bus’ is actually a taxi (albeit charging standard bus-fares).

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Car & motorcycle

On the bigger islands, driving allows you to see vastly more of the Faroes’ appealingly remote villages and valleys in a short time.

Hire

Small hire-cars typically start at Dkr500/2500 per day/week including partial insurance. The minimum age is 20 and you must have held a driving licence for at least one year. Add Dkr150 for airport pick-ups (Dkr800 with the rental company SLP!)

Main Tórshavn rental companies:

Avis Føroyar (313535, outside office hr 217535; www.avis.fo; Staravegur 1-3, 8am-5pm Mon-Fri) Only 100km per day free mileage.

Bilútleigan (317865, heima.olivant.fo/~carrent/) Car delivered to you within Tórshavn.

Flogfelag Føroyar (340000; www.ff.fo; Hoydalsvegur 17) Hertz agents. Prices rise in summer. Unlimited mileage.

SLP (357300; www.ognir.fo; Á Hjalla; 8am-4pm Mon-Fri) Reasonable deals for weekly rentals but inconveniently located, 5km from Tórshavn.

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Air

At only Dkr85 to Dkr360 per journey, scenic rides in a 9-seater helicopter (tyrlan) are the Faroes’ greatest travel-bargain. Book early by phoning Atlantic Airways (341060; 8am-4pm Mon-Fri) then pay (cash only) on departure. Beware that bad weather can cause cancellations and stops are skipped when nobody has pre-booked.

On each operation day (three weekly, or four in mid-summer) helicopters depart from Vágar airport, hopping in quick succession to all other heliports (except on Sunday when Froðba is missed out). The order of stops varies. Most days choppers start with a return hop to Mykines then proceed to Koltur and Tórshavn. Then they do two loops, southern (SkúvoyStóra Dimun–Froðba) and northern (Klaksvík–Svínoy–Kirkja–Hattarvík–Klaksvík) before returning from Tórshavn to Vágar. On Wednesday and Sunday the southern loop is first but on Sunday there’s no visit to Froðba. On Fridays the northern loop is first and the day finishes with an extra Mykines return. On midsummer Mondays an extra service runs similar to the Friday route but without the initial trip to Mykines.

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Bicycle

Surfaced roads, minimal traffic, light summer nights and stunning scenery all make riding a bicycle (súkklur) a tempting proposition. However steep hills, wind, rain and fog argue against it. Road tunnels are cyclists’ greatest hazard. Many are freakily dark, others potentially life-threatening due to carbon-monoxide build-up – best avoided.

Good front and rear lighting, extra reflectors, wind- and waterproof-clothing are essential. If things get rough you can pop your bike on certain buses for Dkr30. Mountain bikes can be hired in Klaksvík.

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