Colorful green landscape of the Village of Saksun located on the island of Streymoy, Faroe Islands
Saksun Village, Streymoy Island
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Idyllic Escape

Faroe Islands Vacations

Scandinavian Delight

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing state under Danish rule and in large part, operate autonomously. They're made up of 18 islands, with just one uninhabited, and have a population of approximately 53,000. The Faroese do not consider themselves Danish and take pride in their identity, language, flag and traditions. The islands are home to people from all over the world. You'll chance upon Danish and Swiss residents and also Hungarians and Thais, among others.

The largest Faroe island, Streymoy, is home to the capital Torshavn, the most popular place for guided activities. The Vestmanna Bird Cliffs's rich birdlife, the fishing epicenter of Klaksvík, a hiking tour to the historic Kirkjubøur commonly feature on itineraries. A walking tour of Torshavn is just as delightful, taking you into Tinganes, home to the Prime Minister's Office, and local homes, where you can sit down to an authentic Faroese dinner.

The tiny village of Tjørnuvík in Streymoy is nestled in a deep valley. It offers views of the famous sea stacks of Risin and Kellingin. Saksun, a remote village of 10 residents, is set high above a tidal lagoon and offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains. Sakun to Tjørnuvík is a popular hiking trail, with cairns along the route to guide you.

On a hike of the Mykines island, you'll spot clownish puffins on steep cliffs. Suduroy treats you to awe-inspiring views of cliff sides and the remote islands of Litla Dimun and Stora Dimun. A hike between Oravik and Vagur will take you through mountains and colorful villages.

At a Glance
CurrencyFaroese Króna (DKK)

Remote Beauty

More holidaymakers visit the Faroe Islands than its entire population. The lure of dramatic landscapes, historic villages, unique architecture, impressive birdwatching, and Viking artefacts is difficult to resist. Guided and self-guided tours to the well-connected, extremely safe islands allow you to focus on sightseeing and activities.

Gasadalur village and Beautiful waterfall, Vagar, Faroe Islands, Denmark

The Culture

The language of the Faroe Islands is Faroese, a derivative of old Norse which Norse settlers brought when they settled here. Most of the settlers were not from Scandinavia but descendants of Norse settlers in the Irish Sea. Faroe translates to Sheep Islands, which is fitting given how the sheep outnumber people in the islands. Providing wool and meat, sheep are integral to the Faroese way of life. Fish also meets locals' nutritional needs and aquaculture is an important economic activity in the Faroes.

Lutheran Christianity is the dominant religion in the Faroe Islands. Dance is at the heart of local festivals. The Faroese round dance is a mediaeval round dance consisting of movement, rhythm, storytelling, and song. Participants hold hands to form a circle and move to the singing or chanting of the leader. The songs revolve around local legend and lore.

To observe an interesting Faroese cultural facet, look at the roofs of homes. They're not covered with tiles or slate but layers of green grass. Most homes have turf roofs not only as a tradition but also for the effective heat insulation the natural material provides.

Much of Faroe Islands' culture is derived from old Norse traditions, including the rather infamous whale hunt called grindadráp in which pilot whales are herded into shallow bays to be beached and killed. The evidence of whaling on the islands dates back to the early days of the Norse settlement (800-900 AD) during the Viking era. The grind is a non-commercial activity; each hunter receives an equal portion of the whale meat and blubber. Occasionally, some portions may be sold to local hotels and restaurants. 

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