Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Mykines: The World’s Most Unspoiled Island


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Bernete Loya




Welcome to Mykines, a hidden gem tucked away in the North Atlantic Ocean. This remote island, known for its pristine natural beauty and untouched landscapes, is often hailed as the world’s most unspoiled destination. With its rugged cliffs, lush green meadows, and rich biodiversity, Mykines offers a truly authentic adventure for nature enthusiasts and explorers.


Situated in the Faroe Islands archipelago, Mykines is a small island measuring just 10 square kilometers. It is located approximately 10 kilometers west of the main island of Vagar. Despite its diminutive size, Mykines captivates visitors with its dramatic terrain and picturesque scenery.


What sets Mykines apart from other travel destinations is its commitment to preservation and sustainability. The island has managed to maintain a delicate balance between protecting its natural resources and welcoming visitors to experience its charms. As a result, Mykines remains a pristine paradise, untouched by mass tourism and commercialization.


With its majestic cliffs towering over the wild North Atlantic Ocean, Mykines is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The island is home to a remarkable variety of bird species, including puffins, guillemots, and gannets. These feathered inhabitants nest in the cliffs, creating a mesmerizing spectacle during the breeding season.


Beyond its avian residents, Mykines boasts an abundance of diverse flora and fauna. The island’s meadows are carpeted with vibrant wildflowers, while its rugged coastline is dotted with seals and other marine creatures. Exploring Mykines feels like taking a step back in time, immersing yourself in the untamed beauty of nature.


Mykines also holds significant historical and cultural importance. The island has a rich Viking heritage, with archaeological sites dating back centuries. Ruins of old settlements and stone walls stand as silent reminders of the island’s past. Additionally, Mykines is known for its traditional fishing villages, where you can witness the timeless practices of the local community.


In this article, we will delve deeper into the wonders of Mykines, exploring its geography, biodiversity, historical significance, cultural traditions, and accessibility. Join us on this virtual journey as we uncover the secrets of Mykines, a place where adventure and preservation merge harmoniously.


Location and Geography


Mykines is uniquely positioned in the heart of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago that lies between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is the western-most island in the Faroes, offering a secluded and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Despite its remoteness, Mykines is easily accessible from the main island of Vagar via a 45-minute boat ride.


As you approach Mykines, you will be awe-struck by its striking cliffs that rise dramatically from the sea. These towering basalt formations create a breathtaking backdrop for the island’s lush green meadows and rolling hills. The rugged coastline is dotted with sea caves and natural rock formations, providing a haven for marine life.


Mykines is not only visually stunning but also geologically fascinating. The island is characterized by its volcanic origin, with evidence of ancient volcanic activity visible in the form of lava cliffs and rock formations. Walking along the island’s trails, you can witness the remnants of volcanic eruptions that shaped the landscape millions of years ago.


The highest point on Mykines is Knúkur, a majestic hill that offers panoramic views of the island and the surrounding ocean. Standing atop Knúkur, you will feel like you are on top of the world, with the vast expanse of the Atlantic stretching out before you.


Despite its small size, Mykines boasts an impressive coastline that spans over 30 kilometers. The rugged cliffs are a haven for bird species, providing nesting sites for thousands of seabirds. These towering precipices, such as the famous Lómrabjarg, offer unparalleled opportunities for birdwatching and photography.


Mykines is blessed with an abundance of natural wonders, including captivating waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs and empty into the sea. The stunning landscapes, with their contrasting colors and textures, make Mykines a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts seeking to connect with the awe-inspiring power of the natural world.


From its unique geographical location to its awe-inspiring landscapes, Mykines is a destination that will capture your heart and ignite your sense of adventure. Whether you are seeking tranquility, wildlife encounters, or simply a break from the ordinary, this unspoiled island is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of nature.


Biodiversity and Wildlife


Mykines is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, as the island is home to a diverse range of species that thrive in its untouched and pristine environment. From its bird colonies to its marine life, Mykines offers a unique opportunity to witness nature in all its glory.


One of the most iconic inhabitants of Mykines is the Atlantic puffin. These charismatic birds with their colorful plumage and oversized beaks nest in the cliffs and meadows of the island. The cliffs are teeming with puffin burrows, providing a mesmerizing spectacle during the breeding season. Watching these charming creatures fluttering around and diving into the ocean is an unforgettable experience.


Alongside puffins, Mykines is a haven for other seabirds such as guillemots, kittiwakes, and gannets. These species also find refuge in the sheer cliffs and rocky outcrops that line the coast. The cacophony of bird calls and the sight of thousands of birds swooping and nesting in harmony is a sight to behold.


Mykines is also home to a variety of migratory birds that visit the island during certain times of the year. These include species like the black-tailed godwit, redwing, and whimbrel. Birdwatchers will be thrilled by the chance to spot these rare and elusive avian visitors as they rest and refuel on their long journeys.


While birds steal the spotlight on Mykines, the island’s waters are equally rich in wildlife. Seals can often be spotted lounging on the rocks or swimming in the crystal-clear sea. These graceful creatures epitomize the untouched beauty of Mykines and have become a symbol of the island’s commitment to conservation.


Looking beyond the avian and marine life, Mykines boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. Its meadows and cliffs are a haven for colorful wildflowers, including heather, daisies, and buttercups. The island’s rugged terrain is also home to a variety of mosses and lichens, which lend an otherworldly beauty to the landscape.


Mykines’s commitment to preserving its biodiversity extends beyond wildlife. The island is also home to rare plant species that have adapted to the harsh coastal conditions. The unique flora of Mykines contributes to its overall ecological richness and adds to the enchantment of exploring this unspoiled paradise.


With its impressive range of bird species, marine life, and diverse plant life, Mykines is a sanctuary for those seeking an authentic wildlife experience. Whether you are an avid birdwatcher, a nature enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of the natural world, Mykines will leave you in awe of its rich biodiversity.


Historical Significance


Mykines is steeped in history, and exploring the island offers a glimpse into the past. The Faroe Islands have a rich Viking heritage, and Mykines is no exception. Traces of ancient settlements and structures can be found scattered across the island, reminding visitors of the island’s historical significance.


Archaeological sites on Mykines date back centuries, offering a window into the lives of early settlers. The remains of stone walls, dwellings, and burial sites provide valuable insights into the Viking era. Walking among these ruins, visitors can imagine what life was like for the island’s early inhabitants, and the challenges they faced in adapting to the rugged environment.


One notable historical site on the island is the Viking church. Located on the southern part of Mykines, the church is an impressive stone structure that stands as a testament to the island’s past. It served as a gathering place for the community and played an essential role in their spiritual and social lives. Today, the church has been restored and is a cultural landmark for visitors to explore.


Mykines’s connection to its Viking roots goes beyond the physical remnants of old settlements. The island is also proud of its strong seafaring tradition, which has been passed down through generations. Fishing has been a way of life on Mykines for centuries, with the sea providing sustenance and livelihood for the local community.


The fishing villages on the island, such as Mykines Hólmur and Mykines Bygd, provide a glimpse into this traditional way of life. Colorful houses dot the landscape, a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of the islanders. Visiting these villages is like stepping back in time, as you witness firsthand the traditions and customs that have shaped the island’s history.


Mykines’s historical significance extends beyond its Viking heritage. The island has also played a vital role in the development of navigational technology. In the 19th century, the Mykines lighthouse was constructed on the western tip of the island. This iconic beacon guided sailors through treacherous waters, saving countless lives and contributing to maritime safety in the region.


Exploring the historical sites and learning about the island’s Viking past is a captivating experience. Mykines’s rich heritage and cultural traditions make it a destination that offers not only natural wonders but also a deeper connection with the past.


Cultural Traditions


Mykines is not just a haven for nature enthusiasts; it is also a place where you can immerse yourself in the rich cultural traditions of the Faroe Islands. The island’s small population has preserved its unique way of life, allowing visitors to witness and participate in age-old customs and practices.


The Faroese people have a deep connection to the sea, and fishing has been a way of life for generations. On Mykines, you can witness the traditional methods of fishing that have been practiced for centuries. Local fishermen venture out into the ocean in small boats, using techniques passed down from their ancestors to catch their daily haul.


Visiting Mykines offers the opportunity to taste the flavors of authentic Faroese cuisine. The island’s restaurants serve up delectable dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, including freshly caught seafood. From traditional fish stews to smoked lamb, you will savor the unique and hearty flavors of the Faroe Islands.


Music and dance are integral parts of Faroese culture, and Mykines is no exception. The island hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, where visitors can experience the joy of traditional Faroese music and dance. These vibrant celebrations showcase the island’s community spirit and provide a glimpse into the cultural fabric of Mykines.


Art and craftsmanship are also cherished on the island. Local artisans create intricate works of art inspired by the rugged landscapes and natural beauty of Mykines. From handcrafted jewelry to ceramic sculptures, you can discover unique pieces that reflect the island’s artistic talent.


Traditional handicrafts, such as knitting and weaving, are also upheld on Mykines. The island’s inhabitants take pride in producing high-quality woolen garments and textiles using traditional techniques. You can find beautiful Faroese sweaters and other handcrafted items that make for meaningful souvenirs.


One of the most important cultural traditions on Mykines is the sense of community and hospitality. The islanders are known for their warm and welcoming nature, making visitors feel like part of the extended family. Whether you are staying in a local guesthouse or attending a traditional event, you will experience the genuine warmth and friendliness that define Mykines’s cultural traditions.


Exploring the cultural traditions of Mykines allows you to connect with the island on a deeper level. From immersing yourself in the traditional music and dance to indulging in local cuisine and embracing the genuine hospitality of the islanders, you will leave with a profound appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of this unspoiled paradise.


Access and Tourism


Mykines may be a remote and unspoiled island, but it is still accessible to those seeking an extraordinary adventure. Although its isolation adds to its charm, the island’s convenient transportation options make it easier than ever to explore its breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself in its pristine beauty.


The journey to Mykines begins by flying into the international airport on Vagar, the main island of the Faroe Islands. From there, you can take a short taxi or bus ride to the village of Sørvágur, where regular boat services operate to Mykines. The 45-minute boat ride takes you through scenic fjords and across the open ocean, providing a taste of the natural wonders that await you on the island.


It is important to plan your visit to Mykines in advance, as the number of daily visitors to the island is limited to preserve its fragile ecosystem. Booking your boat tickets and accommodation ahead of time ensures a smooth and stress-free trip to this picturesque island.


Once you arrive on Mykines, you can explore the island on foot. There are well-marked hiking trails that lead you through the rugged landscapes, providing spectacular views and encounters with the island’s wildlife. Whether you choose a shorter hike or a longer trek, walking is the best way to truly appreciate the untouched beauty of Mykines.


While the island is open to tourism, it is important to respect the fragile ecosystem and adhere to guidelines set by the local authorities. Mykines has implemented sustainable tourism practices to protect its natural resources and maintain its unspoiled state. Visitors are encouraged to stay on designated paths, dispose of waste responsibly, and avoid disturbing wildlife.


Accommodation options on Mykines range from guesthouses to cottages, providing a cozy and authentic stay on the island. Staying overnight allows you to experience the serenity of Mykines after the day-trippers have left, giving you a chance to fully immerse yourself in the island’s peaceful ambiance.


As Mykines is a small and close-knit community, interacting with the friendly locals adds a special touch to your visit. Engaging in conversations, learning about their way of life, and participating in cultural events will enrich your experience and create lasting memories.


Visiting Mykines offers a unique opportunity to disconnect from the fast-paced world and reconnect with nature. The island’s limited access and focus on sustainability ensure that your visit will have a minimal impact on the environment, allowing you to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of this hidden gem.


Conservation Efforts


Preserving the natural beauty of Mykines is a top priority for the island’s inhabitants and the Faroese government. The commitment to conservation is evident in the various initiatives and efforts in place to protect the fragile ecosystem and ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the unspoiled wonders of the island.


One of the key conservation efforts on Mykines is the strict limitation on the number of daily visitors. By regulating tourism, the island can maintain a delicate balance between welcoming guests and preserving the integrity of its natural resources. This approach ensures that the island’s fragile ecosystems, including its bird colonies and marine life, are not overwhelmed by human activity.


To minimize the impact on the environment, visitors are encouraged to stay on designated trails and paths while exploring Mykines. This helps protect the delicate flora and fauna from unnecessary disturbance. Signage is in place to guide visitors and provide information about the island’s ecological importance, fostering an awareness and appreciation for the need to conserve this pristine paradise.


The local community plays an active role in conservation efforts on Mykines. The islanders are deeply connected to their surroundings and take pride in preserving their natural heritage. Local organizations and initiatives focus on education and awareness-raising, ensuring that both residents and visitors understand the importance of responsible tourism and environmental stewardship.


The Faroese government has also implemented sustainable practices to reduce the environmental footprint on Mykines. This includes waste management systems, recycling initiatives, and the promotion of renewable energy sources. With a commitment to eco-friendly practices, the aim is to minimize the environmental impact and maintain the island’s unspoiled beauty for future generations.


Protecting Mykines’s marine life is another key focus of conservation efforts. The surrounding waters are home to a diverse range of species, and measures are in place to ensure the sustainability of fishing practices. Regulations and quotas help maintain healthy fish populations, preserving the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem.


Additionally, Mykines serves as a platform for scientific research and monitoring. Researchers study the island’s bird populations, biodiversity, and climate change impacts. This knowledge contributes to a deeper understanding of the island’s unique ecological systems and helps inform future conservation strategies.


Conservation efforts on Mykines are a testament to the island’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. Through sustainable practices, education, and responsible tourism, Mykines aims to ensure that it remains a pristine destination for generations to come.




Mykines, nestled in the North Atlantic Ocean, stands as a testament to the unparalleled beauty and unspoiled wonders of nature. This remote island, with its dramatic cliffs, lush meadows, and abundant wildlife, captures the hearts of adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. From its awe-inspiring landscapes to its rich Viking heritage and vibrant cultural traditions, Mykines offers a truly immersive experience that is both breathtaking and humbling.


What sets Mykines apart is its commitment to preservation and sustainability. The island’s limited access, regulated tourism, and emphasis on responsible practices ensure that its natural beauty remains intact. Conservation efforts, both by the local community and the Faroese government, protect the delicate ecosystems and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the island.


Mykines is a sanctuary for wildlife, with its cliffs inhabited by an array of bird species, including puffins and gannets. The island’s marine life, such as seals and other sea creatures, adds to the allure of its untouched waters. Lush meadows, vibrant wildflowers, and ancient ruins paint a vivid picture of the island’s history and cultural traditions.


Visiting Mykines offers a chance to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with nature in its purest form. The island’s breathtaking landscapes, invigorating hikes, and warm hospitality create an unforgettable experience. By exploring responsibly and respecting the delicate ecosystem, visitors can contribute to the conservation efforts and help preserve Mykines for future generations to enjoy.


Mykines is more than just a travel destination; it is a sanctuary of untouched beauty and a testament to the power of conservation. It is a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting our natural world. Let Mykines captivate your senses, rejuvenate your spirit, and leave you with a deep appreciation for the unspoiled wonders that exist in this remote corner of the earth.