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World > Europe > Faeroe Islands

Faeroe Islands Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation

With its population of around 48,000 people, 70,000 sheep and millions of seabirds, the Faeroe Islands are a group of 18 Nordic islands which are located between Scotland and Iceland in the subarctic region of the North Atlantic. Although not a member of the EU, the Faeroes have their own language, culture and national identity and make a refreshingly different holiday destination. They can be explored in a number of ways: perfect for hiking alone, in groups or with a guide, as well as sailing, horse-riding and while undertaking fishing expeditions. This is the place to come for some real fresh air, surrounded by the ocean and pristine, rugged landscapes punctuated by quaint, traditional settlements that are welcoming to visitors, though far from the typical tourist enclaves. In a recent survey, the Faeroe Islands came out on top out of a list of island getaway destinations including the Azores and Hawaii when marks were awarded for preservation of nature, historic architecture and local pride. They are at the forefront of international ecotourism, demonstrating not only a remarkably well-conserved cultural heritage, but also some amazing unique experiences for the environmentally-engaged visitor, such as the opportunity on the island of Koltur, to meet the farmer who will take them personally on a tour of the island while they learn first hand about the realities of farming on the Faeroes as well as sampling the tasty food produced as fruits of his labour.

Cliffs on the Faeroe Islands
Sunlight and shadow in the Faeroes

The Faeroe Islands have been an autonomous province of Denmark since 1948, and in many ways function independently, while maintaining close cultural and political links with Denmark as well as other Nordic nations such as Iceland, Norway and Greenland. Their early history is somewhat mysterious, but certainly involved settlement by the Irish hermits of Saint Brendan in the sixth century and later by the Vikings. It is thought that these settlers came from the outlying islands around Scotland rather than from Norway itself. Its official language, Faeraoese, is descended from the Old Norse language of the Viking Age. The Nordic House in the Faeroe Islands is the most important cultural institution in the islands, supporting and promoting the local culture since its opening in Torshavn, the island capital, in 1983. Its curious form is derived from the architectural concept which was based on an idea of creating an enchanting ‘hill of elves’, thus rooting it in Norse mythology. Local cultural events here and beyond range from (strictly regulated) whale hunts, the ‘grindadrap’, to the summer Summartónarmusic festival, the G! Festival in Gota in July, and the Summarfestivalurin in Klaksvik in August. The Faeroese music scene is very active: the islands have their own symphony orchestra and many choirs.

Your exploration of the islands will probably begin on Streymoy, the largest island and the location of its capital town. Here, you should venture to Kirkjubour to see the fascinating ruin of a cathedral, St Magnus, and the 12 th century St Olaf’s church. From the coast at Tjornuvik you will get magnificent views of the sea stacks off the neighbouring islands of Eysturoy, while at Saksun you should stop in at the museum and see the amazing natural lagoon. Hopping across to Eysturoy, you should take the superb scenic mountain road between Eldi and Gjovk as well as the roads to Elduvik and Oyndarfjordur. In the south of the island the landscapes are less dramatic, but the great variety in bird life around the lake near Nes does much to compensate for this.

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