Welcome to the Faroe Islands, home to mist-shrouded mountains and sheep-grazing moors. We’re not sure what’s more colorful, the local folklore or seaside cottages. Romantic getaways, solo trips, and family vacations are all perfect for this safe and scenic best-kept secret destination. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting the Faroe Islands.
Where are the Faroe Islands?
The Faroe Islands are an autonomous nation of Denmark located in the North Atlantic Ocean roughly between the northern tip of Scotland and Iceland. The archipelago has 18 islands made of volcanic rock. The terrain is rugged, with towering mountains and high cliffs that are battered by the chilly surrounding seas.
How to Get to the Faroe Islands
Getting to the Faroe Islands is easier than you think! Though remote and relatively undiscovered by international travelers, the islands are accessible by plane or boat. You can fly here from several major European cities, including Reykjavik, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, and Paris. Another great way to get to the Faroe Islands is by boat. Get in touch with your inner Viking and set sail aboard a ferry offered by Smyril Line. This convenient ferry travels to and from Denmark and Iceland, stopping in the Faroe Islands. Why not see multiple destinations during your vacation?
Where to Stay on the Faroe Islands
One of the best parts about visiting the Faroe Islands is picking a place to stay. The islands have a few traditional hotels as well as hostels for budget-minded travelers. There are also delightful guesthouses and cozy inns. Feeling adventurous? Camping is a great way to fully experience the craggy climate.
Things to Do in the Faroe Islands
From extreme outdoor sports to a Nordic culture steeped in history and tradition, there’s much to discover once you arrive at the Faroe Islands. Whether you rappel from the highest peaks or strike up a conversation with one of the friendly locals, the most memorable experiences may surprise you.
Embrace Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities are one of the best ways to enjoy the Faroe Islands. Hiking is the simplest way to explore, with waterfalls abound. Rent a bike and take it on the ferry with you for easy island hopping. Surfing and diving are popular water activities, or test your angling skills on a fishing charter. Adrenaline junkies enjoy extreme sports like climbing, cliff jumping, and speed boating. If you prefer to stay ashore, horseback riding and birdwatching are also fun things to do.
Get to Know Faroe Islands’ People
It’s not entirely clear who first inhabited the Faroe Islands, but evidence of original settlers dates back to 300 A.D. Vikings arrived several hundred years later and named the area Faereyjarhave, modernized to Faroe Islands, which translates to “sheep island.” Today, the population of roughly 50,000 people is still outnumbered by sheep. The people speak Faroese, a derivative of ancient Norse.
The Faroese directly reflect the unique land they inhabit. Unyielding to the harsh elements, the people here are warm, inviting, and profound. Reverence for tradition is balanced with progressive and sustainable lifestyles. For instance, the oldest inhabited wooden house in the world is in the Faroe Islands and 50% of all electricity comes from renewable energy sources. Faroese folklore maintains a strong presence in the lively arts and music scenes. Seafood is a religious experience that heavily influences everything from Faroese cuisine to the economy.
Recently, the Faroe Islands earned the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2021 Community Award. This honor is given to destinations embracing responsible tourism practices that enhance and support local communities.
In the Faroe Islands, the people are as impactful as the natural beauty. Prepare to slow down, connect, and reflect during your trip to Europe’s hidden gem that’s hidden in plain sight.