The Faroe Islands will have a new direct flight from London
The Faroe Islands, a windswept archipelago of 18 islands in the sea between Iceland and Norway, will be easier to access thanks to a new direct flight from London that’s set to begin this summer. Travellers previously had to fly via Copenhagen, and a previous route from the UK capital was cut in 2014.
Interest in these remote islands has skyrocketed in the last few years. Camera-carrying sheep helped put the Faroe Islands on travellers’ maps in 2016 as part of a campaign to add the incredible countryside to Google Street View. Google did take notice and brought a Google Trekker camera that allowed locals and visitors to continue adding the islands to the search giant’s maps.
The Faroe Islands made headlines again last year when they were ‘closed’ to tourists for a weekend, except those who signed up for the ‘Faroese Maintenance Crew’ to create new walking trails, viewpoints and wayfinding signage as part of a voluntourism project. The visitors were compensated with accommodation and food for three nights.
Home to otherworldly landscapes of jagged cliffs and epic waterfalls, the Faroe Islands have a clear appeal to travellers looking to get off the grid and be immersed in nature. But with tourism on the rise, as much as 10% more in recent years, the islands must maintain the fragile balance between the wilderness that attracts visitors and harming it with overtourism and development. The Faroe Islands are home to about 50,000 people and welcome about 100,000 visitors.
‘For us, tourism is not all about numbers’, Guðrið Højgaard, director of Visit Faroe Islands, said in a statement in 2019. ‘We welcome visitors to the islands each year, but we also have a responsibility to our community and to our beautiful environment, and our aim is to preserve and protect the islands, ensuring sustainable and responsible growth’.
The flights will run between 23 June and 11 August, and tickets have just gone on sale on Atlantic Airways, the islands’ national airline. The route will operate on Tuesdays from London Gatwick Airport, departing at 11.50am and arriving at 2pm. Fares cost from £85 one way.