Mykines island is probably on every travel guide to the Faroe Islands. But why is this special place so challenging to get to, and is it even worth the effort? Well, it’s definitely a destination that comes with many if’s and but’s, and possible cancellations. When booking a trip to Mykines, you need to be well prepared, or you risk never stepping foot on this beautiful island at all. Here are the 7 things you must know before booking a trip to Mykines.
1. Book the ferry at least a month in advance
If you travel to the Faroe Islands during summer, make sure you book the ferry tickets at least a month before your chosen date of travel. I suggest you do this even if you aren’t 100% sure if you want to go or not. Better safe than sorry!
If you happen to travel here outside of summer, you might need to spend the night on Mykines, since the ferry only goes there and back once a day.
The ferry tickets to Mykines can be booked here.
The ferry to Mykines goes from Vagár island’s main city, Sørvágur. The ferry departs daily and if you plan to take a day trip to Mykines, then make sure to book the earliest one there at 10:20 am and the latest one back at 17:05 pm. The journey from Sørvágur to Mykines takes about 45 minutes, but it could take a little longer if the waves are rougher.
Mykines ferry price
A one-way ferry ticket to Mykines for adults costs DKK 60 per person ($10). The tickets are fully refundable if the ferry is canceled due to weather. In case you cancel the trip yourself up to 48 hours before your trip, they will refund you the amount you paid, excluding the transaction costs. If you simply wish to change dates, just make sure you get in touch with the ferry company and they will change it for you if it’s up to 48 hours before departure.
2. Book the helicopter to Mykines 7 days before the departure
Helicopter rides on the Faroe Islands are government-subsidized, which probably make them the cheapest in the world! However, the locals use helicopters as a means of public transportation, so you will have to act early, and fast, since the tickets are very limited.
The helicopter tickets to Mykines can be booked here.
See the fare conditions here.
But there are a few catches you should know about when booking the helicopter to or from Mykines.
You can not book a return ticket from Vagár to Mykines by helicopter. You can only book one way and for the other way, you’ll have to take a ferry. The last helicopter departs from Mykines at around 15:22 pm, so I suggest you fly to Mykines and depart back with a ferry to make the most of your time on the island. The helicopter runs 4 days a week, so make sure you keep that in mind when booking the ferry.
The tickets only start selling 7 days before the departure. I suggest you set a reminder and book your desired date right away when they become available. There are only 12 seats/tickets available so you have to act fast.
Mykines helicopter price
One-way helicopter ticket to Mykines from Vagár for adults costs 145 DKK ($23) and the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Since the ride is quite short, you won’t have a very scenic ride, but it’s definitely a more fun way to travel to Mykines than taking a ferry!
You can cancel your booking up to 24 hours before departure and get your ticket refunded. I suggest you buy the return ferry ticket first, and then 7 days before the date, book the helicopter and get the refund for one ferry ticket. It’s much safer to have both though, in case one gets canceled.
If you want a longer scenic ride, then you could opt to take a helicopter to another island further away and then take the bus back. The ticket prices vary depending on the trip length, but it’s still the cheapest helicopter ride you’ll ever get!
3. You need to pay a hiking fee
The hiking fee for Mykines costs DKK 250 per person and you pay it in advance online, here. It’s via the same website as the ferry tickets.
Save paper and avoid printing your ticket. Instead, save the hiking ticket to your phone, since you might need to show it as you start the hike out of the village.
4. You do not need to book a guide
A little while ago, tourists were not allowed to hike to Mykineshólmur without a guide. Since this didn’t really work out, they now allow the hikes to be done without a guide.
I was in touch with Mykines visitor center and they sent me the handy map below. The hike to the lighthouse is moderate, 6km long and takes around 3 hours both ways. On the brochure here, you can find the detailed hike description, number 13.
5. Travel to Mykines from Vagár island
It’s best to travel to Mykines when you are already on Vagár island and at the start of your trip to the Faroe Islands. This way you avoid the extra 100 DKK tunnel fee and the 45-minute drive from Torshavn, for example.
The trip to Mykines is notorious for cancellations due to bad weather. And since you have no priority for getting next-day tickets or similar, you will probably not be able to go at all in case your trip gets canceled. Some days there are extra ferries, but they cost a lot more and make the trip less worth the effort.
So, to avoid disappointment, have a plan B on Vagár island for the day you plan to be on Mykines.
6. You can see puffins outside of Mykines
A lot of people go to Mykines for the sole purpose of seeing puffins. And you are guaranteed to see them in summer – lots of them! However, if you only want to see puffins and don’t need to see a swarm of them – you’ll be able to see them in lots of different spots around the islands.
The closest we got to them was in Gásadalur sunset viewpoint here, Gjógv and Trøllanes. And then a few in different places during the trip as well. Puffins like to be near the sea and cliffs, so anywhere like that just pay extra attention to during summer.
You can also see them on the island Skúvoy, the ferry there departs from the island Sandoy.
Please, do not go too close to the birds. We were always at least 5 meters away from them, observing them from a distance. Bring a zoom lens if you wish to photograph them up close.
7. Be prepared for the Mykines lighthouse hike
Good waterproof hiking boots, a waterproof and windproof jacket, and layers are your best bet for the trip to Mykines.
If you’re a photographer, bring a zoom lens, at least 200mm. Do not even bother with a drone, you are not allowed to fly it on Mykines. I also bought a rain cover for my camera and I think that’s a good idea if you plan on having your camera out a lot.
So, is visiting Mykines really worth it?
In my opinion, a trip to Mykines is only worth it, if you have extra time to do it. There are lots of beautiful places on the Faroe Islands and Mykines is by far the most unpredictable one. If you don’t want to be anxious over your trip there being cancelled due to bad weather, then I suggest you go somewhere else instead. If you don’t mind cancelled plans and have extra time on Vagár island, then book the trip and see what happens – you don’t have much to lose anyway!
Traveling to Mykines during summer 2021
We visited the Faroe Islands in 2021 and travel was still not normal during the summer. There were lots of obstacles in order for us to do the trip to Mykines and here is a little list of everything that went wrong (so you won’t feel as bad in case your trip gets cancelled).
- The bridge to Mykinesholmur was closed the entire summer due to renovation. That means the hike to the lighthouse was not doable and the only place you could spend time on was around the village.
- They still decided to charge the 250 DKK hiking fee, despite the bridge being closed (a decision the landowners made). Which was very hefty, considering you are then only paying this fee to go up the road to see puffins. Not worth it since you can see puffins in many different locations too.
- The only way you could go on a helicopter ride there was to make sure you are fully vaccinated or taken the 4th day after arrival test that the Faroe Islands wished visitors to take.
- Ferry tickets were bought up for every day we could plan our trip there (yep, we were too late).
We definitely got a little unlucky with our trip to Mykines, but I hope these 7 things you must think about before you book a trip to Mykines will help you plan accordingly and not miss out as we did. I hope you found the article helpful and let me know in the comments below in case any of the facts have changed.