The Faroe Islands
Remotely clustered in the North Atlantic Ocean, a rugged archipelago of eighteen mountainous islands erupt out of the ocean in imposing basalt cliffs.
The Faroe Islands, sandwiched between Nordic neighbours Iceland and Norway, offer vast, untamed and spectacular landscapes that are immediately impressive and undeniably compelling.
Travellers are often made small by the grandiosity of the natural environment; the daunting sea cliffs, the unforgiving waves that ripple against the coastline, the lush green valleys surrounded by steep mountains.
Days are lived as nature intended: without strife, without fuss, and always subject to the weather. Left in relative solitude since the first settlers arrived in the fourth century, the Faroese today exhibit a vibrant culture distinctly their own.
Beyond fishing and shepherding, to be Faroese is to be creative and diverse. Gifted chefs cook world-class cuisine. Artisans create masterpieces with wool and fabric. Architects build. Artists paint, and musicians sing – with amber voices that crack in all the right places, against jazz and heavy-metal infused folk music that merges the past and present, and over the invasive drum beats of electropop and indie rock.
The Faroese, a population of over just 50,000 people, are endearingly hospitable and gentle in their manner. Love for their homeland is deep and honest. They are quiet natured, peaceful, and exercise a strong sense of community. Hospitality is innate; their doors are always open.
The Faroe Islands, translated directly as “sheep islands”, is a self-governing nation under the external sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Culture is the seat of Faroese pride, with its independent language, flag and traditions. In a generation, with the help of the prosperous fishing trade that accounts for approximately 20 percent of GDP, the Faroese have come into a cradle of affluence, seen to some degree in the widespread use of technology and well-established infrastructure that connects the 18 islands by roads, bridges and subsea tunnels, making it effortless to travel around the country. This, along with first class telecommunications and highspeed internet, provides a superb base for maintaining the economic, social and cultural sustainability of communities all around the country.
Although the islands exude the sense of a mysterious land far away, they can be reached by air in only two hours from continental Europe.