Faroe and Iceland - Facts and Information
Accommodation in Faroe
Where we stopped and why
Self-catering in a flat in Tórshavn and thoughts on shopping and everyday life in Faroe

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First principles and choice
One of the first questions we asked ourselves when planning our time in Faroe was whether or not we wanted to stop in one location or more than one. Given the size of the country and the fact that we wanted to self cater it seemed most sensible to choose just one location.

Our decision on self-catering was mainly due to the complete flexibility it would give us in terms of time, access to laundry facilities etc, and partly due to costs. We had decided that we would spend our time on the road linked islands of Streymoy, Vágar and Eysturoy. We had hoped for a trip on the ferry to Bordoy as foot passengers but that opportunity was lost when the new tunnel opened so we drove there instead. We decided not to attempt the other islands due to time, dire warnings about getting stuck on them due to sudden bad weather - and the fact that some involved open sea crossings that could be frisky. The geography of Faroe is such that a truly 'central' location would be difficult to find and choice of accommodation was limited outside Tórshavn.

Researching accommodation in Faroe led us to book a property at Fútalág 32 a little way north-east of the town centre. This worked well. The accommodation consisted of a ground floor flat below the owners' house which was comfortably furnished with a good kitchen area and under-floor heated shower room. We had shared access to the family washing machine and, as seems common in many houses in Faroe, there was a washing line under cover by the door. The area was very quiet with convenient parking. The only problem was that when we arrived we could not work out which door our key fitted.

Shoes
In Faroe, as in many parts of Scandinavia, it is customary to remove shoes when entering a house.

Shopping
Tórshavn town centre is very small and has few shops, those that are there being somewhat scattered. However a few minutes' walk north of the centre is the SMS Shopping Centre on R.C. Effersøersgøta. Its rather forbidding exterior hides 26 shops and fast food outlets and has Miklagardur, the towns main supermarket at the lowest level of the building. Miklagardur is a very good supermarket with good vegetable, dairy, fish, deli and bakery counters. One advantage of SMS was that parking there was unrestricted and free. There was also a Bónus supermarket on Hoysvíkvegur, a cut-price store its opening hours are relatively restricted and we did not use it.

We did most of our shopping at Miklagardur so know relatively little about other shops. The larger settlements have small supermarkets. The medium sized settlements have stores which have a reasonable range of groceries but are often limited in terms of bread and vegetables. Shops are closed on Sundays, though petrol stations and kiosks are open.

Money, language and phones
Faroe has its own currency (and prints its own króna notes) which is tied to and interchangable with the Danish krone. We found that credit cards were widely used and accepted without difficulty. However one smaller store could not get UK based cards to be recognised so carrying some cash is advisable. Incidentally pension age in Faroe is 67, so you don't get geriatric discounts until you are that age.

Many Faroese speak excellent English. On a very few occasions we found people who did not but there was always someone close at hand who did. The only time there was a problem was at the Hoyvíksgardur Open Air Museum where the attendant in the farmhouse spoke no English at all and there were no English versions of information.

Mobile phone coverage seemed good, although the nature of Faroe's geography will doubtless mean there are several dead spots.

More information
A number of worthwhile web sites are shown on the external links page for Faroe.

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