After my first visit to Mykines, I began to call it magic island. Sitting a few miles off the coast, it mysteriously looms in the distance and out of reach of anything considered normal. During my visits in the summer, there was often cloud cover just over the island, giving it Skull Island-esque feel. To boot, it is a bird watchers paradise, with Arctic puffins gallivanting around you as you trek. The aloof birds seem to not mind hikers, and are more concerned about their clumsy version of flight and fishing. The town itself only has ten year round inhabitants, but the stunning beauty and pristine nature of the island will make you want to escape from reality and live there as well. If there is one day trip you take in the Faroes, it should be this, and you REALLY need to plan for it. In fact, most sites will recommend a guide but you really don’t need one if you’re simply looking to get there, do the hike, and come back. If you want some extra in depth Faroese knowledge, then yes, you’ll want a guide.
I could go on and on about Mykines itself, and I’ll include pictures, but what I really want to discuss is simply getting there, because if you don’t plan ahead there is a good chance you will miss the boat, literally. First and foremost, there are two ways to get to Mykines. Scheduled ferry and helicopter.
Getting to Mykines by helicopter:
This is honestly the easiest way you could get there if you can get a jump on scheduling it. The problem is this: you can only book it seven days in advance, and you will have to stay on Mykines for a few days since the helo only comes 3 times a week. With that said, I would recommend it, as the price from Vagar to Mykines is only 25 dollars each way and there are places to stay on Mykines. So, if I were you, I’d really disconnect and plan on doing a 2-3 day stay on Mykines.
Flight schedule and booking can be found here:
Flights leave from Vagar airport and the 15 minute ride is dramatic and beautiful.
Getting to Mykines by ferry:
This is the traditional way to get to Mykines, and during the summer the ferry leaves daily. The schedule can be found here:
The summer ferry leaves at 1020 from Sorvagur, which can be found below. You’ll need to pre book your tickets for this, as the demand during the summer is very high. If you’re looking to do a day trip to Mykines, that same ferry will come to get you 1705 from Mykines.
A word of caution: the wind and sea POUND the island of Mykines. The ferry only takes 45 minutes of a clear day, but rougher days the ferry may go around the leeward side of the islands or, just not come at all. In fact, one day I’m unsure of how the ferry even made it into the port on Mykines without hitting the rock, and on the way out waves were so big that we would lose sight of the sun as the boat rose up above the waves. It was a little bit terrifying so just check the weather and wave forecast before you go here:
The port of Mykines is on the south side of the island, so if you see huge waves coming in from the south in the forecast, this could be an indicator that you won’t be in luck for getting the ferry there or back.
Another aspect of grabbing the ferry is that during the summer, there are extra services that are offered. The extra ferry times can be found here, as well as booking the regularly scheduled ferry:
Price is 60 DKK or 10 USD per person.
One final aspect of visiting Mykines, whether that is by air or sea, is that they have instituted a hiking fee of 100 DKK (17 USD) per person for hiking before 1100 and 1700. This is apparently to preserve the puffin and bird colonies, but in my opinion it’s a fee that people will pay because you’ve already traveled all the way there. The fee must be paid and you must have proof, and it is only payable here:
So, that’s kind of a lot right? For islands you thought that no one has heard of, it requires a lot of planning to actually get to do some of the things you might consider the most popular. I can only imagine the frustrations and difficulties that people will experience should the Faroe Islands see an increase in tourism.
Time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 5-6 miles
As far as hiking on Mykines itself, the hike is very self explanatory and only steep in the beginning and middle. Aside from that, it is a dreamy hike through thousands of goofy puffins. It only takes as long as it does because you are almost guaranteed to take a thousand puffin pictures. The end of the hike is a stunning lighthouse, pictured below, overlooking the vast and beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
Follow the trail along as marked, and be mindful of the gigantic cliffs! As cool as the puffins are, they won’t be cool if you go tumbling 500 feet into the ocean. Unless you can pop off an Instagram post in the 5 seconds it takes for you to impact, it won’t be worth it.
You’ll eventually come to a bridge that crosses the Atlantic ocean. Take some time to soak it in and just observe how powerful the ocean is below you. From there, the hike to the lighthouse and end of the world is straight ahead, you can see it for most of the hike. We stopped to take in the view and relax before heading back.
Once back into town, there is a small café, Mykines Stova (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1510679-d12514071-Reviews-Mykinesstova-Mykines.html) that has the essentials, but I’d bring snacks for the hike to have along the way. Most likely you’ll be waiting for the ferry anyways so you can stop in and grab a coffee. There are a few stores that you can grab souvenirs in throughout the town as well.
As mentioned, it isn’t worth going too far into depth about the hike on Mykines, only know that you should most definitely do it and that you need to plan ahead if you intend to go!
As always, I hope this is helpful is getting you ready for your Faroe Islands trip and please follow me @keithrhollis or @faroeislandstourist. Please leave comments, questions, additional info, etc below! Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures!