If the far-flung capital of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, is too much of a metropolis for your taste, you could consider hopping on a ferry to the southern island of Suðuroy. The Smyril line goes twice daily from Tórshavn, landing in the tiny port town of Tvøroyri, where you’ll find a quiet community going about its day-to-day life all-but undisturbed. Tourists are few, and so the facilities are relatively undeveloped, but if you want to really get away from it all, you can’t do much better.
Stay: Hotel Tvøroyri
There are a couple of hotels and guesthouses to choose from, but the main one in town is Hotel Tvøroyri. It’s a neat, tidy and unpretentious place with basic rooms and a restaurant that wasn’t open for the duration of our stay, but must sometimes be. The bedrooms have views in all directions; to the east, you can see the mountains and the town church, and to the south, the harbour area. It’s a perfect base for a Suðuroy trip.
Eat: Café MorMor
This cosy café has reassuringly regular opening hours (11:00-18:00 weekdays, 11:00-18:00 Saturday, closed Sunday) for Tvøroyri. It feels like walking into a home from the past; you can see the couple who run the place working in the kitchen when you walk in, and there are several rooms to relax in with vintage decor like photos and paintings from the area, cosy armchairs and sofas, and a record player and vinyl collection. You can try fish soup, paninis, cakes and coffee, all reasonably priced.
Down by the harbour is Pubbin—a seaside bar that’s almost whimsically perfect in it’s own unique, shabby style. There are three Faroese beers to choose from on the taps, and modest meals are prepared in the small kitchen. We asked what kind of fish was being served, and were told by the friendly bargirl: “I don’t know, but it’s good.” She was right. If Wes Anderson ever needs an authentically remote fisherman’s bar to film a pivotal scene in, this could be the place.
Visit: Tvøroyri Museum
The town museum is in the grass-roofed old doctor’s office, so you’ll find antique medical instruments and prosthetic limbs mixed in with historical ephemera such as gramophones, furniture, clothing, and a map of the many Faroese shipwrecks that have occurred around the coast of Iceland.
It’s around 44km from Suðuroy’s northern town of Sandvík to it’s southern village of Sumba, and there are eight villages along the way. Each has something worth seeing. Sandvík has an intriguing seaside sculpture to look at, and a view of the uninhabited island Lítla Dímun. Fámjin has a church containing the first ever Faroese flag. In Hov, you’ll find the burial mound of a Viking king; in Vágur, there’s a museum dedicated to paintings of local artist Ruth Smith. But the star of the show is the Beinisvørð bird cliffs, which stand at a dizzying 470m. For context, Hallgrímskirkja is 75m. Find them at the highest point on the mountain road between Lopra and Sumba.
Read more about the Faroes here.