The forgotten Faroes are just a short flight from the UK, yet they’re way off the standard traveller’s radar. Adrift in the frothing swells of the north Atlantic, this mysterious 18-piece jigsaw puzzle of islands is at once ancient and very modern. Multicoloured cottages and grass-roofed wooden churches add focus to the grandly stark, treeless moorlands. Timeless networks of cairn-marked footpaths crisscross craggy layer-cake mountains. But even the tiniest once-inaccessible hamlets are now linked by a remarkable series of road-tunnels. And even as you bob around the dramatic fjords on a 70-year-old wooden sloop, your mobile phone is never likely to lose its signal.
The Faroes are a paradise for fell-walkers and ornithologists who accept the pyrotechnically unpredictable climate. Designer-mown by shaggy sheep, fields are blissfully bouncy under-foot. Pastures gleam with the greener-than-green hue of divine billiard tables. Peeping puffins, dive-bombing skuas and wheeling fulmars glide over dizzying chasms. Wave-battered headlands end in plunging cliffs that are as breathtaking as the wild winds that threaten to blow unwary hikers off them. Streymoy is the biggest island of the group, and home to the capital Tórshavn, as well as dramatic scenery galore and the unmissable bird cliffs of Vestmanna. While the Southern Islands aren't quite so dramatic in terms of landscape, islands like Suðuroy and Skúvoy are appealingly low on tourists and high on friendliness.
The proud, stoical Faroese character has been forged from Viking blood, Christian piety, Scandinavian openness and an awe for the humbling nature that’s all around. Few communities this small are so alive with art and the Faroes’ incredibly vibrant music scene is nothing short of astonishing. So even if the weather proves uncooperative, this self-assured little demi-nation is likely to surprise and delight even the most cynical traveller.
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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Faroe Islands.
Bird SanctuaryVestmanna Bird Cliffs
The magnificent boat tours to the wild Vestmanna bird cliffs of northwestern Streymoy are probably the highlight of a visit to the Faroe Islands. When the…
The excellent Føroya Fornminnissavn is split between two sites in the Hoyvík suburb, 3km north of centre. The main site at Brekkutún 6 beautifully…
The excellent Føroya Fornminnissavn (Historical Museum) is split between two sites in the Hoyvík suburb, 3km(1.86mi) north of central Tórshavn. The main…
Kirkjubøur was the episcopal centre of the island in medieval times. Today it's just a scattering of chalet-like wood-and-stone houses. St Olav's Church,…
Viðarlundin, a wonderfully wild park where trees and sculptures mingle, leads to the bright and airy Listasavn Føroya. Its excellent collection of Faroese…
On Nólsoy Island, carless Nólsoy village isn't especially picturesque but makes a strikingly peaceful contrast to bustling Tórshavn, whose Tinganes…
The city's tiny but charming historical core is Tinganes, a little peninsula delightfully jumbled with pretty turf-roofed cottages and historic red…
Beyond the desert of asphalt that surrounds the modern transport terminal lie the turf-softened bastions of the ruined Skansin Fort. It's topped by a…
ArchitecturalStorm Petrel Colony
Around an hour's walk from Nólsoy village, a storm petrel colony is claimed to be the world's biggest. They're best observed at dusk. Guided bird tours…
Moored in the harbour are two beautiful antique wooden sloops, Westward Ho and Norðlýsið . On summer Tuesdays and Thursdays the Norðlýsið offers fishing…
The church Havnarkirkja has a distinctive clock tower that peeps above a photogenic row of colourful row of old wharf buildings (Undir Bryggjubakka).
The child-friendly Náttúrugripasavn has an informative geological section, a minuscule botanical garden and a gigantic whale's skull.
Intimate private galleries, including Focus, are great places to peruse and potentially purchase Faroese art.
Lydersen is a private gallery where you can admire (and potentially purchase) Faroese art.
Glarsmiðjan is a private gallery good for perusing and purchasing Faroese art.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Faroe Islands.