UNSPOILED, UNEXPLORED, UNBELIEVABLE
TO most people the Faroe Islands are a completely unknown country. This is not strange as on most world maps the Faroe Islands are not even there. And if they are, they are marked by two or three small dots hardly visible to the naked eye.
This also means that it can be difficult for tourists – who are looking for a new destination – to imagine the versatility of what is on offer in the Faroe Islands.
Best islands in the world
The Faroe Islands are often described as the unknown jewel in the North Atlantic Ocean.
A few years ago the American travel magazine National Geographic Traveller summoned over 500 travel experts to participate in a survey to find the best island community in the world. The survey was based on integrity of place and on what makes a destination unique. 111 different islands were rated and the Faroe Islands topped the list as the number one island destination in the world. National Geographic Traveller says that the Faroe Islands are Authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so.
Although the Faroe Islands are situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, the islands are only 2 hours away by plane from continental Europe – and when you arrive you find yourself in a world that is completely different from what you left behind.
The Faroe Islands are characterised by an incredibly fresh and clean air, green, green grass that even grows on the roof tops of people’s houses, dramatic landscapes with steep mountains, fjords, a rich bird life, cosy villages with colourful houses and clean and tasty water – a country where the views are always breathtakingly beautiful.
The smallest capital in the world
Tórshavn may be the smallest capital in the world, but it still has 4-star hotels, excellent restaurants that serve food based on local produce like fish, lamb, birds, seafood and herbs, a thriving music scene with live concerts all over the islands and design shops that sell products rooted in traditional Faroese knitting by local designers that are internationally acclaimed.
Instead of tearing down the old part of town, Reyni, the small houses with their characteristic grass roofs, white framed windows and black wood have been carefully restored and today they are the homes of young families with children. Also Tinganes where the Government sits is an important landmark in Tórshavn with its red buildings and grass roofs.
The Faroe Islands have a well-developed infrastructure with good road connections, subsea tunnels and bridges tying the main islands together and helicopters and boats that serve the outer-lying islands. This makes it easy for tourists to visit all parts of the islands and to experience the contrast between the capital and the outer-lying villages, where people to a large degree still live off the land on small islands and villages with only a few inhabitants.
Especially the island of Mykines – all the way to the west – is a true bird paradise with thousands of puffins, gannets, guillemots and other seabirds. It is possible to get quite close to the birds either by boats that do excursions along and under the majestic bird cliffs or by walking in nature. In addition to the seabirds the Faroe Islands’ remote location functions virtually as a magnet for birds that migrate over the North Atlantic Ocean.
There is nothing like a hiking trip in beautiful and dramatic landscapes where you can enjoy the tranquillity and breathe the fresh air. You do not have to go far to experience outstanding and unspoilt nature and on the routes you will also experience many interesting places connected to Faroese history and traditions.
Climbing up on the top of a mountain on a beautiful sunny day is an exceptional feeling that you never get tired of. It might be a bit hard to reach the top but the green grass all around you, the bird song, the ever present sheep, and the magnificent view when you reach your goal are great rewards.
With a view over the ocean, other mountains and the nearby island you truly have a moment of tranquillity and a sense of being part of nature.
Further information is available at www.visitfaroeislands.com