The Faroe Islands, a collection of 18 islands in the north Atlantic, are undeniably inspiring and romantic.
A truly magical place, where waterfalls tumble from hillsides to winding roads, mist settles quickly and mysteriously on rugged hilltops, and grass-roofed houses dot the otherwise vast vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see; so unspoilt, the Faroe’s are like nowhere else on earth.
Although situated halfway between Iceland and Norway, the Faroes never freeze and therefore are partial to a milder year-round climate than you may expect. It is, however, one that is notoriously fast-changing, renowned for experiencing a sense of four seasons in the space of one day. This means that there is the chance to experience a forever-shifting landscape: of bright bursts of sunshine that make the waters sparkle, tumultuous clouds of grey that provide moody inspiration, and refreshing rains that keep the rolling hills green and verdant.
There are many aspects that make a visit to this far-flung archipelago unique and special, all within a location where there are almost double the number of sheep to people!
– Discover the emerging foodie scene. Traditional ways of preserving and preparing food are being celebrated through the emergence of an array of high quality restaurants that celebrate all things Faroese. Be it KOKS, the hillside, award-winning restaurant that is at the fore of the new movement, boasting the artistry of distilling taste and smell from the Faroese landscape and combining them in exquisite dishes, orÁarstova in the capital of Tórshavn, where huge hunks of Faroese lamb are served the traditional way, in cosy, wooden surrounds. There is also the alternative of visiting the homes of locals to eat with them, in a new movement known as Heimablídni, or ‘home hospitality’, a truly unique experience that provides the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the friendly Faroese culture.
– Hiking amongst a fairytale landscape. There is a breathtaking vista at every turn in the Faroe Islands, with roaring waterfalls plunging to the edges of roadsides, ragged rocks jutting from sea to sky, and tiny grass-roofed houses dotting the misty hilltops. Wander alone or hike with a guide and discover endless photo opportunities and scenery that is sure to instil a sense of wonderment at its sheer natural beauty.
– More than 1 million puffins. The Faroe Islands is one of the primary breeding grounds for Atlantic Puffins, with the island of Mykines especially, a bird paradise. See these friendly birds in their natural surrounds, hopping from the grassy hillocks that form their breeding holes, multi-coloured bills stuffed with nesting materials and food.
– A unique culture. Although within the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands are very proud of their own, special history, culture and traditions. The Faroese language has its roots in Old Norse from the Viking ages, and this is not the only reference to this compelling era, with ancient settlements, longhouses and stories of Viking times abounding. Many aspects of the landscape are also linked to witches, giants and elves, making this a mystical and magical locale to visit.
– The thriving music scene. Music forms a huge part of life in the Faroe Islands, with numerous festivals and intimate concerts taking place in an assortment of venues each year. From in the living rooms of locals to sandy beaches, sea caves and sweeping valleys, there is something for everyone. Check out the internationally-acclaimed G! Festival, where stages are built on the beach and the football pitch, right under the windows of houses, or the unusual HOYMA, which takes place at ten different local homes on one evening.
– Take on an active adventure! Whether it is repelling over precipices, diving beneath the currents to discover hidden grottoes, horseriding through gurgling streams and rugged wildernesses, or taking to the sea on a boat trip that offers a new perspective on the huge rock formations that take one’s breath away.
Daily flights to the Faroe Islands (London to Vágar Island, via Copenhagen) operate year-round and cost from £368 pp return. Twice-weekly direct flights to the Faroe Islands (Edinburgh to Vágar Island) operate until mid-December and cost from £199 pp return. Visit www.atlantic.fo for further information.
Choose from a selection of hotels, guesthouses, cottages, self-catering apartments and campsites in the Faroe Islands.
Visit www.visitfaroeislands.com for further information.