The Faroe Islands, formed by volcanic activity 30 million of years ago, are located northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway and are not far from the southern end of the Arctic Circle. They are a self-governing community within the Kingdom of Denmark.
The Faroe Islands comprise 18 rocky and volcanic islands, characterised by steep cliffs, tall mountains and narrow fjords, Europe’s best kept secret. These small islands are connected by road tunnels, ferries, causeways and bridges.
It seems that the Irish hermit monks arrived in the sixth century and are now thought to be the earliest settlers of the Faroe Islands.
The Faroe Islands is now a cultural melting pot with 77 nationalities, with a population of only 48,000 and around 10 times more puffins than humans. Even sheep outnumbers humans nearly 2:1.
The Faroese language is most similar to Icelandic but English is also widely spoken, especially among the younger people.
If you are a nature lover that love adventures then Faroe Islands is your place. Astonishing landscapes, incredible wildlife, steep cliffs, hiking trails, waterfalls and rocky coastlines, oh my, a paradise.
A wonderful thing is that you don’t need to worry about crowds for now, so you can enjoy the trails along misty mountain peaks, where you can see enormous colonies of puffins, guillemots, fulmars, storm petrels and to not forget about the sheep. Due to their huge number, in 2016, the Faroese even turned to these trusty residents to serve as a four-legged tourism board, strapping cameras to some of the sheep to capture footage for Google Street View.
Shire-like village of Saksun on the northwest coast of Streymoy is the most iconic landscape in the country. The hamlet and its mid-nineteenth century church sit in a natural amphitheater above a lagoon, with views of mountains stretching in every direction.
Cliffs for me are everything and Faroe Islands has a lot of cliffs. One of the most popular excursion is the boat trip to Vestmanna bird cliffs, a rock wall that rise almost 2,000 feet above the Atlantic waters on Streymoy Island. You can enjoy the impressive sight of moss-speckled sea stacks, dark grottoes and thousand of birds that nest here during the summer.
Even though the Faroe Islands are remotely located in the North Atlantic Ocean, reaching the islands is much easier than most people think. They are only a short flight from Europe. Two airlines fly to the Faroe Islands: Atlantic Airways and Scandinavian Airlines. Flights from Reykjavik (Iceland), Edinburgh (Scotland) and Bergen (Norway) to the Faroe Islands with Atlantic Airways are only one hour long, and flights from Copenhagen (Denmark) with either Atlantic Airways or Scandinavian Airlines last only two hours. There are between three to four direct flights from Copenhagen to the Faroe Islands each day, depending on season.
Beside flying you can also reach the islands by ferry from Iceland and Denmark.
The climate is subpolar oceanic climate, windy, wet, cloudy and cool. Considering their high latitude, the islands are not as cold as you might expect, with average temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius in winter and 11 degrees Celsius in summer. The weather is changing so quickly and frequently that a well-known Faroese saying is “If you don’t like the weather, wait for five minutes.”
From hotels, hostels, camping, summer houses, bed and breakfast, there are plenty of options for everybody’s taste.
Most islands are connected by an excellent infrastructure of roads, bridges and subsea tunnels, so exploring the Faroe Islands’ beautiful landscapes by car, camper van or motorcycle is a popular way to get around. It’s simple, easy, flexible and you can do it at your own pace.
Your most likely company out and about will be the sheep and the birds.
The single most important industry of the islands is the fishing, providing more than 97% of the total exports, exporting to all six continents. Surprisingly, the second largest industry is tourism.
Through the centuries, the Faroese people have defied the harsh nature and living conditions. Enduring today is a nation in which the living standard is one of the highest in the world, a ravishing natural experience in a society with advanced infrastructure and digital networks.
Centuries of relative isolation have resulted in the preservation of ancient traditions that to this day shape life in the Faroe Islands.
A strong sense of local community and an active outlook as a globalised Nordic nation, the unique mixture of traditional and modern culture is what characterises the Faroese society.
Faroe Islands, a fairytale landscape, covered by a blindingly green grassland that carpet the islands from the base up to the highest mountains. Unrivalled natural beauty!