Back to the Faroe Islands.

After our stay in Iceland we have finally returned to the Faroe Islands. Because of the route that the Symril Line ferry takes (Iceland - Faroe - Denmark - Faroe - Norway) we must now spend three nights on the Faroe Islands before leaving for Norway.

I think a summary of "Iceland for Campervans" is in order (in no particular order).

Iceland is a wonderful place to take a robust campervan. We stayed for six weeks and we felt that was about right, if you have lots of time. Three weeks would be OK - just. Anything less and you will need to come back. Of our six weeks we had two weeks of dreadful, wretched weather, two weeks of reasonable weather and two weeks of glorious, magnificent weather, all mixed up. (It is said that Iceland does not have weather, just samples.) But be warned, we met people who were on a return visit to Iceland because it rained every day on their previous visit!

Roads: We covered a total of 6,500Km, most of it on tarmac or good dirt roads. To access the "highlands" you do need a 4x4 campervan, but with a conventional campervan there is still lots to see. Roads are very well signed, even in the highlands. Places of interest (even places of very little interest) have detailed sign boards in English. There are plenty of fuel stations, except in the highlands.

Driving: Although some guide books suggest that Icelandic drivers are reckless we had no problems and saw no evidence of poor or drunk driving. In fact everyone seemed both patient and careful. Seat belts are compulsory as are dipped headlights at all times. One of the interestingly translated pieces of literature we were given on arrival also said the the use of cell phones whilst moving was compulsory! But we didn't.

Camp Sites: Iceland has lots of excellent camp sites. The commercial ones charge about $7.00USA per person per night. Many towns have free or very low cost camping and wild camping is easy and safe. Most fuel stations can be used to fill up with water.

Costs: Diesel is cheap, after you have paid the "diesel surcharge" (at least by UK standards). Food is expensive. Restaurants are very expensive. Alcohol is prohibitively expensive and hard to find. Although you are not officially allowed to bring food into Iceland most people in campervans do and nobody we talked to had a problem. Supermarkets are well stocked and everywhere takes credit cards. Indeed there are unattended self-service fuel stations that only take credit cards (you need your credit card PIN to use them). Note that some fuel stations have a two tier price structure with self-service pumps being up to 10% cheaper than attendant service pumps a metre away.

GSM Cell Phones: European GSM phones work in all towns and most villages, but not in the "highlands".

English: Is widely spoken, most tourist related signs and literature are in English. Most young people speak English well. Most museums have signs in English.

Documentation: Since leaving the UK (in the Shetland Islands) we have not even waved our passports or vehicle papers at anybody. Nothing.

Tˇrshavn in the fog.Although most of our three days on the Faroe Islands were very foggy, for a brief period the fog cleared somewhat and we had wonderful views of Tórshavn. Note the splendid wooden buildings and grass roofs in Tinganes.

Even so, after Iceland the scenery of the Faroe islands is (we think) bound to be a bit of an anticlimax.

Stephen Stewart.

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