3 Years ago, when travel was less fraught with stress about border testing or flights being cancelled at the drop of a hat, we travelled to the Faroe Islands from the UK. At the time, there were no direct flights from London or anywhere in England – the only options were for a stop over in Copenhagen or flying from Edinburgh. We opted to fly with the Faroe Island’s own airline – Atlantic Airways from Edinburgh, where the flights taken less than 1.5hours into Vágar airport. Direct flights from London apparently started in March 2020 with another European airline but don’t appear to have resumed since most travel restrictions were lifted.
Getting to Edinburgh from Oxford where we live, was in itself a bit of a mission with 3 train changes totalling over 6 hours of travel (and some savvy split ticketing saving us a few hundred pounds!), however it’s still less time than it would take to travel to a London airport and transfer, also we had a day in Edinburgh and on the way back tagged on a couple of days in Glasgow.
If you’ve never been to Edinburgh, its very hilly. We walked up and down a lot of stairs.
We laughed at cheeky street names. We walked around Edinburgh castle. We checked out a few craft beer places, including one of the Innis & Gunn brewpubs. I&G tend to be looked down on by some craft beer ‘purists’ (snobs) for not being properly craft, whatever that means. They had decent food on, the service was good and they had an excellent tap list.
We stayed in a B&B in the old town which was definitely more ‘serviced apartment’ because there was no reception, so when we arrived for ‘check in’ 20 minutes earlier than we’d specified, we had to wait for someone to come from a few streets away to let us in. It was also on a street that students used to walk down from their digs for a night out and had no double glazing so it was quite noisy, the breakfast was a self serve from the kitchen of cereal, toast and the likes. Unfortunately Edinburgh is very like London where you’ll pay through the nose for fairly standard accommodation (we paid less for our rooms at the Glasgow Hilton, just for comparison).
The next day we had to be at the airport for around 2pm to we just had a bit of a wander around Edinburgh before getting the Airlink 100 bus to the airport which takes around half an hour, being an airport service meant it was a specially designed bus with loads of luggage space so no struggling to hold onto a suitcase on wheels, but it did fill up fast. Edinburgh airport is fairly small for a UK airport but it was busy, once we’d cleared security we had to be quick to grab a seat at one of the few bars/restaurants there. But before long we were on our plane and perusing the in-flight magazine, before descending through the mysterious looking clouds that seem to shroud the islands almost constantly.
After picking up some recommended duty free (like most Nordic countries, alcohol is heavily taxed and only available in bars/restaurants and state owned liquor stores with limited opening hours), we cleared customs very quickly and eventually found our way to the ‘Kiss & Fly’. I’ll admit I had no idea what this was and had to ask someone – its a short-stay drop off point, just time to kiss, and fly. Very cute and where were being picked up by our car hire company. I lie, I was nervous because I’d not even had to hand over my credit card details to make the reservation which seemed strange to me – but it was all fine. It’s worth noting at this point that the airport is approx 44 minutes (and 45km) drive from the capital Tórshavn, and we found that public transport didn’t align with flight timetables (basically no buses from the airport once we’d landed, until the next day), so if you’re not planning on hiring a car then you need to carefully plan around the bus timetables. I would’ve recommended our rental company but it seems they’re no longer trading, sadly.
Shortly after landing I had a message on my phone from our first night accommodation, saying that there had been a mix up and we were now staying at their hostel in Sandavágur – which was good news as I’d mistakenly thought I’d booked us in there anyway! And it was only 5km away from the airport.
The views from the hostel were breath-taking and there will be more of that later, there was also a hostel cat – what more can you want? (unless you’re allergic).