The Faroe Islands are a collection of eighteen islands located approximately half way between Iceland and Norway and boasting a landscape blessed with outstanding natural beauty. At just a short flight from the UK, the Faroe Islands are the lesser-known destination of choice for those seeking to escape the bustle of the modern world. Thanks to an impressive network of traffic tunnels there is nowhere on the 18 islands that is beyond your reach to explore and enjoy.
The remarkable Faroe Islands archipelago makes for an unforgettable travel destination. Its unassuming capital city, Tórshavn, is the most natural focal point, and it’s here you’ll find options such as the 106-room Hotel Føroyar (Oyggjarvegur 45), which has a natural grass roof, the three-star Hotel Streym (Yviri við Strond 19), a property that sits close to the ferry terminal, and the 57-room Hotel Hafnia (Áarvegur 4-10), right in the Old Town. Away from Tórshavn, Gjáargarður (Dalavegur 20) is a charming eco-friendly guest house on the island of Eysturoy – it offers bike rentals and is a good base for hiking and fishing.
Popular mementos from the Faroe Islands include knitwear, ceramics and even whale knives, and Tórshavn offers plenty of different options for those keen to pick up a one-off souvenir. Nomi (Hoyviksvegur 67) has a good choice of jewellery and other items, while Navia (á Trapputrøðni) sells Faroe Islands yarn and a wide range of related knitted products – if you’re looking for a quality jumper, you’ll be in luck. Elsewhere, music fans will be intrigued by TUTL (Niels Finsengøta 9c), which runs the leading record label on the islands – the store itself is a fantastic showcase for the little-known wonders of Faroese music.
Lauded by some as the latest frontier in the trendy Nordic food scene, the Faroe Islands offer some memorable dishes – and some memorable places in which to eat them. Koks (Oyggjarvegur 45) is perhaps the best known, based in the Hotel Føroyar and using ‘raw materials in the sea, along the coast, in the Faroese hills and in the air’. It’s very special. Also making waves is Áarstovu (Gongin 1), formerly the house of two poets and now serving up dishes such as braised Faroese lamb served with roots and langoustine bisque. Beer lovers will be pleased to know the islands also have two breweries.
The Faroe Islands are renowned for the otherworldly beauty of their landscapes, and there are few better ways to see them up close than through a 42km voyage on foot. It tracks the coastline for almost its entire length, and there are shorter races for those who don’t fancy the full distance.
Held across the Faroe Islands in museums, halls, churches and various other venues, Summartónar is an annual festival of classical and contemporary music. It runs for more than two months, bringing a hugely eclectic mix of local and international creative talent to the archipelago.
Faroe Islands Regatta
The islands’ distinctive wooden ships make for a traditional sight, and never more so than during their annual regatta from the north to the south of the archipelago at the beginning of July. It marks the start of Varmakelda, which translates as the Warm Spring Festival.
Dubbed ‘the wildest event on the festival calendar’ by sections of the UK press, G! enjoys an extraordinary location on a hill-flanked beach at Eysturoy and features a range of Faroese artists, overseas bands and DJs. Metronomy and Travis are among those to have appeared at the event in the past.
A colourful national day of memorable proportions, Ólavsøka is the main summer celebration on the Faroe Islands and sees a huge number of events and activities, most of them taking place in and around Tórshavn. They include live concerts, football matches, boat races, art exhibitions and traditional dancing.
This is a summer only destination