The Faroe Islands, a mysterious location that is often confused for remote islands near the Antarctic or vaguely described by lesser travelled tourists as ‘somewhere off the coast of Portugal.’ The reality is that the Faroe Islands are eighteen small islands between Iceland and Norway, closer to the northern tip of Scotland than anywhere else. Since the 6th century the islands have been inhabited by Irish monks and Viking settlers and most recently, a whole lot of sheep. Nowadays, the Faroe Islands are governed by Denmark and have some 50,000 occupants but it is the extreme landscape that captivates traveler’s hearts. From the sharp blackened cliffs to glacial valleys, narrow fjords and peaks that jut out of the North Atlantics surface, the Faroe Islands look like something out of a children’s fairy tale.
The area is a well kept secret by experienced outdoor adventure enthusiasts, with the rugged territory, small harbor villages and crisp sea air offering more than its fair share of adventure of outdoor lovers. All of this aside, the Faroe Islands has a startling good infrastructure that makes it easy to move between islands and experience each area for its wild and rugged beauty. And the eclectic mix of modern and ancient buildings and traditions is a feast for tourists.
Puffins and other sea birds choose the unspoiled Faroe Islands as a place to nest; for birdwatchers and nature lovers the area offers unsurpassed viewing of some of the most interesting bird species in the world. Boat trips can be arranged to Vestmanna or Mykines for an unforgettable bird paradise trip, leaving even those not that interested in birds speechless.
Hiring a car or motorcycle to tour the islands is a must with the roads extremely well maintained, most curve and wind through fjords and emerald green landscapes scattered with grass roof homes. Hiring a vehicle from the Vagar airport allows travelers to take a short drive to Tindhólmur, a dramatic rock that slices through the ocean like a massive shard of glass. The Gásadalur waterfall is not too far from the main airport as well, ice cold water pours over a sea cliff in a scene fit for any mystical tale.
Further away Saksun, a settlement on the main island offers views and the ability to walk up to Slættaratindur, an 882m high mountain that has some of the best sightseeing in the world. Not far from Saksun is the Giant and the Witch, two huge rock stacks that beguile the mind of travelers.
For those wanting a completely remote experience, Stóra Dímun is as far out of touch as one can get. A two square kilometer micro island is inhabited by seven people who live in a farmhouse on the island. Access is only available via helicopter or boat with supplies being brought in three times a week from the main island. In the summer months the small schoolhouse is converted into self catering accommodation allowing those who want to escape everything to stay a while.