The Faroe Islands: Tunnels, Energy and Life

The Faroe Islands has the #2 longest sub-sea tunnel, is #7 in life expectancy and is on schedule to run on 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Thanks to Audio/Video Architect Shawn Neal for telling me about this awesome documentary.

You can stream it for free on YouTube by clicking the embed above or here:


  • My Rating: 93/100
  • IMDB Rating: na
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na

My Review

Hey, let me tell you about the Faroe Islands – you won’t believe what they’ve been up to!

They’ve got this incredible network of undersea tunnels connecting their islands.

Can you imagine driving through a tunnel beneath the ocean? It’s wild!

The Faroe Islands Tunnel Roundabout

And get this, inside one tunnel (the Eyesturoy Tunnel) there’s an undersea roundabout. They call it the “jellyfish roundabout.”

If you want to jump right to Jellyfish Roundabout part of the documentary, it’s at 8:48 here:

How cool is that?

The undersea roundabout is located 72.6 meters below the surface of the fjord.

The roundabout is a sight to behold, featuring stunning metal artwork by Faroese artist Tróndur Patursson.

The 80-meter piece combines human silhouettes and mesmerizing light effects. It creates a unique and captivating experience for drivers.

The roundabout also serves as a junction, with three tunnel branches extending from it: one to Saltnes (2,153 meters), another to Strendur (1,625 meters), and the main branch to Hvítanes (7,460 meters).

The Eysturoy Tunnel (aka Eysturoyartunnilin), is a true marvel of engineering.

It connects the islands of Streymoy and Eysturoy, crossing the southern part of Skálafjørður.

And it has cut journey times from more than an hour to just 16 minutes!

With a total length of 11.238 kilometers, the Eysturoy Tunnel is currently the second-longest sub-sea road tunnel in the world.

The Ryfylke Tunnel in Norway is the longest (14.4 kilometres (8.9 mi).

The Sandoy Tunnel is another impressive feat.

It opened in December 2023 and is the longest single tunnel, measuring 10.8km from end to end. I can barely run that far without getting winded!

The Eysturoy and Sandoy Tunnels cost around €180 million each, but hey, they’re being paid for by tolls, and the loans should be paid back by 2040.

That’s some smart financing if you ask me.

If you’re planning to drive through the tunnels, make sure you:

  • have a Faroe Islands tunnel pass
  • check the Faroe Islands tunnel toll
  • and take a look at the Faroe Islands tunnel map (so you can see how much of the archipelago you’re driving under!

Safety is a top priority.

For example, with the Jellyfish/Eysturoy Tunnel, no incline is steeper than five percent.

And the lowest point being 189 meters below the water’s surface.

The deepest point in the Faroe Islands is 190 meters below sea level, and it’s located in one of these tunnel pump rooms.

The construction of the Faroe Islands tunnels is a testament to human ingenuity and determination.

Now, you might be wondering how they built these tunnels.

Well, they used a method called “drill and blast,” which has been around since the 1800s.

It’s tried and true, I suppose.

Oh, and don’t worry about leaks – they’ve got pumps and pipes in place to handle that….though the leaks do happen.

But the best part?

Over 90% of the Faroese population is now connected by road, thanks to these tunnels.

Faroe’s Renewable Energy

And that’s not all – the Faroe Islands is also killing it in the renewable energy game.

They’ve got lakes, rivers, tidal waters, and strong Atlantic winds, making it an ideal spot for renewable power.

They’ve been using hydroelectric plants since the 1920s, and in 2023, more than half of their electricity came from renewable sources.

Their goal is to be completely renewable by 2030.

The Faroe Islands’ energy sector is setting an example for the world to follow.

Vestmanna is like the renewable energy capital of the Faroe Islands, with a hydro plant and wind farm.

They are also testing out what they call “tidal dragons”, which are these kite-like devices that generate electricity from tidal flow.

The first utility-scale tidal dragon is being installed near Vestmanna, and the larger ones can generate 1.2 MW of power.

That’s enough to power a small town!

Life on the Faroe Islands

Life in the Faroe Islands is pretty unique. It’s one of the most isolated communities in Europe, with a population of less than 55,000.

Fishing is their main gig, accounting for 90% of exports and 20% of GDP.

Tórshavn, the capital, is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, with only 14,000 people.

Life on the Faroe Islands is a unique blend of tradition and modernity, with a strong connection to the sea and the land.

But the tunnels have changed life on the Faroes.

Before the Sandoy Tunnel, pregnant women had to go to Tórshavn two weeks before their due date to be close to the hospital.

But now, with the tunnels, commuting and access to healthcare is so much easier.

It’s considered one of the safest countries in the world.

And the decision to build the tunnels was made with everyone’s benefit in mind. That’s pretty rare for big infrastructure projects.

The Faroe Islands ranks #7 in life expectancy (82.6 years), thanks in part to the high quality of life and access to healthcare.

The Faroese people live a relaxed life, with easy access to fishing and hiking in the mountains.

And growing up there?

It’s considered great for kids. I mean, who wouldn’t want to grow up surrounded by all that natural beauty?

While the Faroe Islands gay life may not be as vibrant as in larger cities, the community is welcoming and accepting.

So, there you have it. The Faroes is doing some incredible things with their tunnels and renewable energy.

It’s a small place making a big impact. A great model for the rest of us to follow!

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly

Chief Maniac, Daily Doc