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 offers spectacular views and awe-inspiring nature.

Most people enjoy the island on a guided day tour where local tour guides take travellers along rolling green summer hills and all the way to a remote located lighthouse. Travellers spend a day in Mykines to enjoy the astonishing vistas while recharging their mental wellness.

Mykines island
Mykines island seen from Vágar island. Photo by Kah-Wai Lin.

Mykines is blessed with rich birdlife and unbelievable nature. The island offers tranquillity and ultimate relaxation in breathtaking surroundings. A day tour to Mykines is on many travellers’ bucket list when visiting the archipelago in the summer months.

Most visitors arrive to the island by boat. The only village on the island is located a short uphill stair walk from the small harbour.

Puffin Faroe Islands
Puffins attract people to Mykines in the summer from May to August. Photo by Kah-Wai Lin.

Everyone who enjoy 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.

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 Faroe Islands in the bright summer months.

1. When to visit Mykines

The island of Mykines as seen from Mykines Lighthouse on Mykineshólmur islet. Photo by Smelv on Shutterstock.

The first thing you need to know about Mykines is when to visit the island. If you want to spot puffins then make sure to visit Mykines between 1 May and 31 August. This is the Mykines puffin season. The puffins come to Mykines in early May and leave again early September. The number of puffins on Mykines peaks in July.

There are only 14 people living on Mykines island throughout the year. They have access to the mainland by private boat and helicopter all year round. Daily boat rides are only available from May to August.

Travellers can rent a private boat if they want to visit Mykines in the non-tourist season between 1 September to 30 April. It’s a great landscape experience and you will truly feel the remoteness of the island.

May is the most risky 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 takes some 80 passengers. The ferry sails to Mykines in the morning at 10:20 and pick 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 Sørvágur located only a stone’s throw from the airport on Vágar island. The ferry departs from the harbour in Sørvágur.

If you want to go to Mykines on your own between May and August, you can book a private Mykines boat tour or go for a public Mykines ferry ticket. Due to the island’s popularity, tickets are selling fast. Therefore, if you want to secure yourself a trip to the awe-inspiring island when you are in the Faroe Islands, we recommend you to book the boat ride as soon as you have decided to come to the Faroe Islands.

Whether you take a smooth private boat, the public ferry Jósup or the helicopter, remember to book your ticket beforehand. Most travellers take a boat to Mykines.

Car Parking for Ferry to Mykines

There is a large parking area just beside the ferry that sails to Mykines. If you arrive in Sørvágur in your own vehicle, simply park your car at the parking lot by the harbour in Sørvágur. Parking is free.

If you take the private boat tour to Mykines, you will embark the boat in the Sørvágur boat marina next to the beach in the village. If you want to take the public ferry, Jósup, then head to the petrol station EFFO in Sørvágur. Once you have passed the petrol station, you will get to the parking area 100 metres afterwards. Here you will see the ferry Jósup. You can park in Sørvágur as long as you like.

The Mykines Ferry

The boat Jósup sails to Mykines from 1 May to 31 August.

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 metres.

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 ju.hrozian on Shutterstok.

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

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

Then there is a private boat tour to Mykines with more flexibility. You can join a morning tour or an afternoon tour.

Helicopter 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 the puffin island, you will jump on-board the helicopter run by the public company Atlantic Airways which 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 12 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 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 with the 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 covered in puffins. Puffins on the hills is a wonderful sight.

When you have reached Mykines, you want to go for the hike to the lighthouse. We recommend all visitors to Mykines to hike all the way to the lighthouse at the far end of the isle Mykineshólmur. There is a 250 DKK fee to be paid in order to hike in the outfield. You can pay the fee at the trailhead.

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 lenght of the trip to Mykines Lighthouse depends on the number of stops you take 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. Respect the puffins in Mykines

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

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 are born, the puffins are carrying sand launch to its young. It is important for the puffins being able to carrying 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 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 metres above the North Atlantic Ocean. The crossing is simple and safe.

From its highest point at 133 metres, 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 an epic scenery to enjoy your packed lunch.

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 Victoria Ostapova also known as @vialma 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. 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. You will have a great view towards Djúpidalur on your hike back to the village.

While you are waiting for a boat to bring you back to the main islands, you can enjoy the beautiful settlement in Mykines and 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 charming puffin. The Faroese word for puffin is Lundi.

When stepping onboard 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 very few people who have visited this truly special place on earth.

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.

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