While I used the ferry some ten years ago to visit the Faroe Islands, I was really flattered to fly to the territory in September 2023. The only aviation gateway to the islands is Vagar Airport (FAE), how the Faroe Islands airport is officially named. Maybe one of the most exotic international airports in all over Europe – thus, it is a perfect opportunity to share my experience with you.
Vagar Airport (FAE) – Location & Transport
Not too surprisingly Vagar Airport is located on the island of Vagar. The location is finally defined by the geological conditions on the Faroe Islands. There is no major city around. Apart from a hotel and a cafe, there are no services in direct neighborhood of the airport. The closest city is Sorvagur in the West of the airport, which is rather close. Many people rather know Midvagur in the East, as the village is featuring the last gas station before the airport if you travel in from Torshavn. The driving distance from the capital is roughly 50 minutes. You have to cross a toll tunnel.
The typical way to get around on the Faroe Islands is a rental car. Alternatively, you may take a taxi, which is currently fixed at 250 DKK (roughly 33 Euro), but may be a shared service. There is also a bus which is running several times a day. The trip to Torshavn is 90 DKK.
Vagar Airport (FAE) – Connections
The connections from Vagar Airport (FAE) have steadily increased in recent past. The “classic” flights are the ones taken by the local airline, Atlantic Airways, to Copenhagen (CPH) and Keflavik (KEF). However, they nowadays connect to several destinations in Norway, to Edinburgh (EDI) and even to Paris (CDG). In summer, SAS is additionally running services to Copenhagen (CPH). They regional carrier Wideroe is also doing some Norway flights in summer. In later 2023, Atlantic Airways also introduced a limited weekly service to New York Steward International Airport (SWF), located North of New York City.
There are also some “sun flights” by Atlantic Airways to Barcelona (BCN), Palma (PMI) and Gran Canaria (LPA). Vagar Airport also has a heliport for Atlantic Airways helicopter service. There are flights to Mykines and many other destinations on the Faroe Islands.
Arriving at Vagar Airport (FAE)
The airport is having one 1800 meter long runway. Thus, you typically use the runway for landing, turn around at the end and taxi back to the terminal. There are two gates, which are used as arrival gates as well as departure gates. Gate 1 may also serve passport controls, if necessary. Flights to Denmark and Schengen countries, however, don’t require passport controls (my flight also departed in Copenhagen as Schengen flight). You disembark through stairs and walk inside the airside waiting lobby. Thus, the duty-free (see below) works as a departure duty-free as well as an arrival one. Especially grabbing some alcohol before you head to the luggage claim is rather popular. There is one belt for the luggage. The luggage processing at Vagar Airport (FAE) was surprisingly fast, given the size of the airport and the A320 plane used for my flight.
Departing from Vagar Airport (FAE)
The departure hall at Vagar Airport (FAE) is rather spacious. There is also a cafe with a nice view of the runway. I would rather recommend over the airside one – just because the one after security is rather packed. Atlantic Airways is offering self-check-in and luggage labeling machines. However, there is also staff, which was very helpful and friendly.
Quite a significant amount of the space of the airside part of the terminal (I am tempted to say: the major part) is occupied by the duty free area. As said above, the store is also very popular among arriving passengers. After you passed the rather effective security control, you first run into very stereotypical products like international perfumes. There are some local gems as well in the rear of the store. The tobacco section also features snus, which is banned in the European Union outside Sweden. You may also do a pre-order and grab it at one of the lockers.
On top of the duty free store, there is also a cafe-alike facility. The food looked really nice and has also been very popular, especially among the locals. The remaing parts are benches and waiting areas. When I arrived, there were two planes about to depart in less than an hour and the area was packed. Even with one flight being served, the waiting area of the airport does lean to be close to its capacities. If you catch one, there are different options from rather cozy seats to work desks on bar stools. There are also some power outlets. The large windows offer a nice view of the runway and the surrounding. Like at arrivals, you walk from the terminal building to the plane and board it via stairs.
Vagar Airport (FAE) – Services
There is free WiFi in the terminal. Apart from an Atlantic Airlines office, there is also a tourist information (landside) which is also selling some very basic souvenirs. There is no lounge or similar service.
Vagar Airport (FAE) Approach Views
I just loved the approach to the airport in East direction (runway 12). We flew along the island of Tindholmur, right above the Sorvagsfjordur fjord and the city of Sorvagur, before we touched down at the runway. Even with some typical Faroese clouds in the sky, the view was lovely.
Vagar Airport (FAE) – My View
On the one hand, Vagar Airport (FAE) is a charming place, which feels rather modern. On the other hand, the airside section simply feels too small. This is majorly due to the huge duty free area, which feels a bit too ambitioned from my side. Of course, the people love to use the last tax-reduced supermarket before they fully arrive at the Nordic islands. Nonetheless, it just feels too stressful in this part of the airport, which lead to a significant decrease of my rating.
Here are my postings related to the Faroe Islands: