Puffin Guide to Faroe Islands

Mykines | The Complete Guide

By Verified Expert

How do you arrange a day tour to Mykines? Can you get close to puffins on the island? During which period can you visit Mykines? Is there a Mykines ferry? Here is your complete guide to Mykines island.

Mykines is the westernmost of the 18 far-flung Faroe Islands. The island is the home of thousands of puffins and offers spectacular views and awe-inspiring nature.

A day tour to Mykines is on many travellers’ bucket lists when visiting the archipelago in the summer months. Most people enjoy the island on a guided day tour with a local tour guide. Experienced local guides take adventurous travellers along rolling green summer hills and all the way to the remotely located lighthouse. Travellers spend a day in Mykines to enjoy the astonishing vistas while recharging their mental wellness.

Mykines island. This is the only village on the ave-inspiring island. Photo by Mads Fyllgraf.

Mykines is the best place in the Faroe Islands for watching puffins up close. The island is blessed with rich birdlife.

Most visitors arrive at Mykines by boat from the neighboring island Vágar. The only village on Mykines is located a short uphill stair walk from the small harbor on the island.

Map for mykines

Everyone who enjoys being close to nature will find pleasure and adventure in this popular attraction in the Faroe Islands. Mykines is only accessible to some 20.000 visitors a year. There are only 14 permanent residents on Mykines island.

A trip to Mykines is one of the best things to do on a summer vacation in the Faroe Islands. The island is truly unbelievable and is one of the main reasons to visit the Faroe Islands in the bright summer months.

1. When to visit Mykines

The island of Mykines is home to the largest puffin colony in the Faroe Islands. Photo by @tjbetrippin on Instagram.

The first thing you need to know about Mykines is when to visit the island. Mykines is open to travellers between 1 May and 31 August each year. This is also the Mykines puffin season. The puffins come to Mykines in late April and leave again in early September. The number of puffins on Mykines peaks in July.

May is the riskiest summer month to visit Mykines, as the sea is often rocky during this month and travellers sometimes find themselves stuck on the island. The sea around the island is usually most calm in June, July, and August.     

2. Getting to Mykines

The Mykines public ferry
The Mykines public ferry takes some 80 passengers. The ferry sails to Mykines in the morning at 10:45 and picks up people again at 17:00 in the afternoon. Note that it is a rolling boat ride every now and then!  Photo by Faroephoto.

The best way to get to Mykines is by boat from the village of Sørvágur located only a stone’s throw from the airport on Vágar island. Boats to Mykines depart from the Sørvágur marina daily from May to August.

If you want to go to Mykines without a tour guide between May and August, you can book the easy private Mykines shuttle boat. The boat comes with a reduced travel time.

Mykines shuttle boat
The Mykines shuttle boat. Photo by Mads Fyllgraf.

Alternatively, you can go for a Mykines ferry ticket and arrive at a slower pace. Due to the island’s popularity, boat tours to Mykines are selling fast.

Those who want to be sure to visit the awe-inspiring island should book a boat ride as soon as possible. Actually, booking Mykines should be the first thing to do once you have decided to come to the Faroe Islands.

The North Atlantic puffin is the main attraction on Mykines. You will find plenty of them on the island from early May until late August. Photo by @tjbetrippin on Instagram.

One very good piece of advice is to experience Mykines on one of your first days in the archipelago. The sea conditions can be challenging. All boat tours are canceled every now and then, especially when the wind comes from a western direction.

So just to emphasise how important this is for your chance to actually get to Mykines, we will repeat the advice. Make sure to do Mykines as one of the first things when in the Faroe Islands. This makes it more likely for you to be rebooked for an alternative day if the weather does not allow for Mykines on your initial booked day.

Whether you take a smooth private boat or the slower public ferry, remember to book your ticket beforehand. Most travellers head to Mykines in the morning and return to the mainland in the afternoon.

Car Parking for Ferry

When you are in Sørvágur, head towards the boat marina. You will see the village’s sandy beach in a western direction. Take the road along the waterfront and you will have the beach on your right-hand side. A minute later, you will arrive at the marina when turning right. If you arrive in Sørvágur in your own vehicle, you are welcome to park your car along the pier. There are some marked parking lots here. You can park here as long as you like. Parking is free.

All sea transfers to Mykines depart from the boat marina in Sørvágur. The public ferry, Jósup, used to sail from a different location half a kilometer further down the road near the gas station EFFO in Sørvágur.

The Ferry

The boat ride to Mykines is a nature experience in itself. There are beautiful sights along the route to Mykines from Sørvágur. First, you will sail out of the Sørvágsfjørður fjord. At the end of the fjord, you will sail along the Drangarnir sea arch and the Tindhólmur islet, weather permitting.

When you have been in the boat for half an hour or so, you will see the cliffs of Mykines. Basalt columns rise here to some 60 meters.

Because it looks rather like an ancient spruce forest, it has been given the popular name of Steinskógir – the stone forest. You can see these formations from the boat when approaching Mykines.

You will arrive in Mykines in a small bay surrounded by tall basalt cliffs. From the landing-place, a steep staircase leads up past the old boathouses and green meadows to the village, or bygd, which lies snugly in a green hollow with a river running through it. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy a fine section of turf-roofed houses.

It adds to the tranquillity in Mykines that there are literally no cars at all! It is a fantastic feeling walking on a car-free island.

Ferry schedule Sørvágur – Mykines

There is only one settlement on Mykines island. Most houses are sod-roofed. Photo by Mads Fyllgraf.

The public ferry to Mykines departs from the boat marina in the village of Sørvágur each morning at 10:45 AM and at 16:20 PM from 1 May to 31 August. The return ferry departs from Mykines at 11:05 AM (this departure is only relevant if you are staying overnight on Mykines) and at 17:05PM.

There is a bus connection from Tórshavn at 09:05 AM for the 10:45 AM ferry departure. The bus departs from Sørvágur to Tórshavn again in the afternoon at 18:20 PM for the Mykines ferry departure at 17:05PM.

Take a look at this Mykines shuttle boat for more flexibility. You can join a morning tour or an afternoon tour.

By Helicopter

A helicopter ride to Mykines
A helicopter ride to Mykines takes 11 minutes. The tour starts from Vagar Airport. Photo by Polina Kuzovkova known as @p_kuzovkova on Instagram.

The helicopter ride to Mykines departs from Vágar Airport. If you take a helicopter to puffin island, you will jump on board the helicopter run by the public company Atlantic Airways. This is the only helicopter company in the Faroe Islands. The helicopter departs from the airport once a day, three times a week. There is an extra fourth departure in June, July, and August according to the helicopter timetable to Mykines.

There are 14 seats in the helicopter. Note, that you can only go one way by helicopter when visiting Mykines. So you will either take the boat to Mykines from Vágar and then the helicopter back to Vágar or the opposite way around.

It takes 11 minutes in a helicopter from the Vagar Airport to Mykines. You will fly above stunning landscapes along the route. If the sky is clear, you will spot the famous Múlafossur waterfall from your seat.

Alternatively, you can book a private tour by helicopter. This is the only option to do a Mykines helicopter roundtrip. You will be charged a minute rate when renting a helicopter. The minute rate when renting the helicopter in the Faroe Islands is 1,106 DKK (VAT included). So a roundtrip in a rented helicopter departing from Vágar airport to Mykines costs 24.332 DKK (VAT included).  

3. Hiking in Mykines Faroe Islands

The sloping side of the hill is covered in puffins. Puffins on the hills are a wonderful sight and they attract people to Mykines in the summer from May to August. Photo by @tjbetrippin on Instagram.

When you have reached Mykines, you can go for the hike to the famous lighthouse. We recommend all visitors to Mykines to hike all the way to the lighthouse at the far end of the isle Mykineshólmur.

The path to Mykines Lighthouse on Mykineshólmur is closed throughout the summer season of 2023. You are unable to enter the Mykineshólmur islet in 2023.

There have been a fee taken by landowners in recent years. You will pay nothing as long as you hike uphill to the edge of the island. The hike form the village and to this edge is just under 500 metres (0,3 miles). You will see lots and lots of puffins on the public path free of charge.

The path to the lighthouse
The path to the lighthouse is closed in 2023 due to a landslide in the area. Photo by Oda Andreasen.

Start your hike from the village up the hill. On your way to the lighthouse, you will spot thousands of puffins everywhere.

The hike to the lighthouse will take you between an hour and a half to two hours. The length of the trip to Mykines Lighthouse depends on the number of stops you make on the way.

There are thirty species of birds nesting on Mykines, but no other bird is as numerous as the puffin. All along the western part of the island, the ground is completely excavated by their burrows.

The puffins sit in front of their burrows and do not seem to be worried by people walking on the path close to them. You will see puffins in all directions.

The puffins are on the ground and they are swarming over you. This is an unforgettable sight.

4. Mykines Puffins

Puffin carrying fish to its young
Puffin carrying fish to its young. Photo by Kah-Wai Lin.

There are more puffins on Mykines than anywhere else in the Faroe Islands. While you are hiking up and down steep hills towards the islet of Mykineshólmur, remember to take care. Be very careful and respect the cute little puffins and their private life.

Puffins are nesting during early summer. And when the next generation of puffins is born, the puffins are carrying sand launch to its young. It is important for the puffins to be able to carry out their important task and return from the ocean with their catch.

The puffins are flying with small fishes in their beak. The catch is what will make the chicks into adorable grown-up puffins themselves.

5. Crossing the Mykines bridge

Mykines during winter
Mykines is stunning and safe to explore. Photo by Larry on Flickr.

At some point, Mykineshólmur becomes separated from the island itself by a deep, narrow cleft. This is the cleft of Hólmgjógv. A narrow cable bridge spans the cleft some 40 meters above the North Atlantic Ocean. The crossing is simple and safe.

From its highest point at 133 meters, Mykineshólmur slopes southwards. The smooth surface is covered in lush grass. There are numerous caves on the island’s north side.

6. The Mykines Lighthouse

When you have crossed the bridge, head directly towards the lighthouse on the western end. When you make it to the lighthouse at the end of the islet Mykineshólmur, it feels as if you made it to the end of the world. You are far away from everything.

Sit down for a moment and enjoy the sound of puffins and the waves. Now, if you have brought something to eat, this is epic scenery to enjoy your packed lunch.

This is part of the sight on your trip to Mykines
This is part of the sight on your trip to Mykines. Photo by Andrew Mayovskyy on Shutterstock.

Towards the east, there is a narrow ridge called Oddarnir. It is open to the Atlantic so that even a moderate wind from the west or south makes a constant surf, or brim as it is called, crashing against the cliffs. You will see Oddarnir on your walk towards the lighthouse and also on your way back to the village.

The weather here is quite unpredictable. The only thing you will know for sure is that the weather changes quickly.

There is a puffin guarantee in Mykines from May to August. Photo by @tjbetrippin on Instagram.

Sometimes you can stand by the lighthouse and see both Mykineshólmur islet and the entire Mykines island. At other times you might only experience fog and the view will be somewhat limited. But the puffins are still there and you will always experience their lovely presence.

In the old days, the island might be cut off for weeks, even months, at a time. It is said that the Mykines people talk so loudly because they need to be heard above the sound of the sea.

7. Back in the Mykines village

Boats to Mykines arrives here
Boats to Mykines arrives here. There is only one settlement on Mykines.

The Mykines coastline is steep and inaccessible with beautiful basalt formations. The island is surrounded by numerous holms and skerries.

The highest mountain is Knúkur (560 M). On its west side the mountain slopes steadily through the valley of Djúpidalur down to the valley of Mykines.

The village on Mykines island is worth exploring. Photo by Mads Fyllgraf.

You will have a great view of Djúpidalur on your hike back to the village. While you are waiting for a boat to bring you back to the main islands, enjoy the peaceful settlement in Mykines.

Take a look at the small river running through the village. You can also go inside the local café Mykinesstova which serves food and beverages.

The lovely small river on the island Mykines. Photo by Mads Fyllgraf.

If you want something truly special then go for an overnight stay on this Mykines Evening Puffin and Sunset Tour. Staying overnight on Mykines will definitely add to the uniqueness of the place.

When sleeping on Mykines, you will have the option to experience the puffins during the late evening hours. What an amazing experience that is.

​The charming puffin
​The charming puffin. The Faroese word for puffin is Lundi.

When stepping on board the boat again after a trip to Mykines, many visitors ask themselves: how can a place as beautiful as Mykines be so unknown by the rest of the world? You will feel lucky and thankful for being one of the very few people who have visited this truly special place on earth. Mykines is a great landscape experience and you will truly feel the remoteness of the Faroe Islands.

A day tour to Mykines is a journey to the edge of the unspoiled Faroe Islands. It is a journey to untamed nature and serenity. Make sure to visit Mykines when you are in the Faroe Islands during the summer months.

Other great attractions

Donald Trump in the Faroe Islands

Church in Saksun

5 Reasons to Visit Faroe Islands

Drangarnir and 4 other stunning sea stacks in the Faroe Islands