With a number of charming seaside villages, sprawling black sand beaches and mirror-like lakes that dot its golden landscapes, Sandoy is surprisingly often overlooked.
Though you could easily lose days exploring the island, for those short on time, Sandoy also makes a perfect day trip from Tórshavn – just be sure to get an early start on the ferry leaving from Gamlarætt.
On arrival in Skopun, head up toward the northern tip of the island where you’ll find a pair of small lakes and spectacular views overlooking the islands to the north. An enormous blue mail box, one of the largest in the world, also makes a quirky stop in the village.
From here, head south past a handful of isolated country cabins toward the seaside village of Sandur hugged by slate-grey pebbled shores. Take some time to visit the church and local art museum before peeling out of town on the narrow, serpentine road to Skarvanes, a nail-biting drive that teeters on the cliff’s edge. These stark lichen-covered cliffs create a key foraging ground for hungry fulmars, which soar effortlessly overhead.
Further south and wrapped around yet another ashen beach, Húsavík is the prettiest and most intriguing village on the island. Decorating the foreshore, you’ll find a smattering of scruffy, grass-roofed cabins – the remnants of a historical farm of the Lady of Húsavík – camouflaged perfectly against the landscape.
Another cliff-hugging drive will lead you to Dalur, the island’s southern-most village set in a wide bowl of verdant green.
For overnighters with more time to spare, hiking is an excellent way to soak up more of the island away from its winding roads. Húsavík is an ideal jumping off point with hiking trails leading through the mountains to Skálavík and Dalur. Dalur is another perfect starting point with a rocky zigzag track leading along the islands peninsular and winding back to Skarvanes.
Take the ferry from Gamlarætt on the island of Streymoy to Skopun village on Sandoy. The ferry schedule is available here.
For more information about Sandoy or how to get there, contact Visit Sandoy.
Name: Sandoy, Skúvoy and Stóra Dímun
Location: South of centre of the Faroe Islands
Total land area: Sandoy: 125 km², Skúvoy: 10 km², Stóra Dímun 2,5 km²
Heights: Highest peak: Sandoy: Tindur 479m, Skúvoy: Knúkur, 392m, Stóra Dímun: Høgoyggj (396 m)
Climate: Average 3º-11ºC, winter-summer
Population: Sandoy: 1237, Skúvoy: 52, Stóra Dímun: 7
Language: Faroese. Danish has equal status in all official affairs
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Councils: There are 5 councils in the area: Skopun, Sandur, Skálavík, Húsavík and Skúvoy.
Main industries: Fisheries, farming and tourism.
Currency: Faroese króna (DKK)
Exchange rate: £1 = 8.57kr, US$1 = 6.82kr, €1 = 7.44kr (November 2016)
International telephone code: +298
Time: GMT (winter); GMT+1 (summer)
Electrical voltage: 220V; European two-pin plugs
Weights and measures: Metric
Public holidays: 1 January, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 25 April, Common Prayers’ Day (May), Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, 5 June, 28-29 July (Ólavsøka), 24-26 December, 31 December