Challenging our perception of island life one moody sky at a time, uncover the natural wonder of the Faroe Islands.
This article originally featured in The Journal Issue No.12. View online here.
Few places showcase nature’s splendour better than the Faroe Islands. Untouched and untamed, its appearance on most travel wish lists is evidently few and far between. Located in the North Atlantic between Iceland and Norway, the 18-island archipelago continues to be on of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Home to wind-battered coastlines, winding fjords and picturesque cities that stack up against the world’s best, this is the islands like you’ve never experienced before.
WHEN TO GO
Unpredictable at the best of times, Faroe Islands weather can shift from sun and calm seas to moody skies and rain in the space of an hour. Visit between May and July when the days are longer and the weather’s most stable.
HOW TO GET THERE
Despite its isolation and other-wordly ambience, the Faroe Islands are remarkably easy to get to. Direct flights from Scotland, Iceland and Norway take less than one hour’ coming from Denmark will take around two. A ferry service also operates from Iceland and Denmark with frequency changing each season.
Boasting an enviable hilltop position with panoramic views of the striking landscape and capital city of Torshavn, Hotel Føroyar provides the perfect refuge after a day of adventuring. Disguised under a quintessentially Faroese grass roof, the interiors are an expert blend of natural sensibilities and contemporary comforts. All rooms let the surrounds do the talking with muted colour palettes and oversized windows offering vistas that stretch across the capital as far as neighbouring islands.
The first Michelin-starred dining destination on the islands, Koks Restaurant boasts the best of local, seasonal ingredients. The menu is wild but fresh, contemporary yet traditional, and promises an unmatched foray into the world of Faroese food culture.
For the more audacious diners, Torshavn-based restaurant Raest pays homage to the of the islands’ traditional culinary practices: fermentation. Appropriately named, raest literally translates to fermented and describes the local process by which meat and fish are hun in sheds to air dry in cool, salty conditions. Simple but refined, each dish packs an ‘umami’ punch.
A natural wonderland of adventure, head to the westernmost island of Mykines for hiking trails that weave in and around the rolling moorlands, steep cliffs and unspoilt terrain. most popular is the trek from the solitary (and only) village to the lighthouse at the tip of the islet. Jaw-dropping views are a given and if you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the Atlantic puffins.
Visit the quaint cliffside village of Gasadular. Once only accessible by boat, helicopter or a challenging climb, the construction of a tunnel in 2004 opened up the isolated community to visitors travelling by car. Set amidst towering rocky mountains and lush green terrain, a drive to the small hamlet also comes with views of one of the world’s most majestic waterfalls: Mulafossur. Stretching along the cliffside, Lake Sørvagsvatn is fairly underwhelming when passing roadside but wander uphill for striking views from above and you’ll understand what all the fuss it about. Perched atop deep caves, from certain angles the lake looks as though it towers hundreds of metres above sea level–a photo-worthy optical illusion and incredible natural wonder.
Located at the northern end of the island of Streymoy sits the whimsical seaside village of Saksun. Lying at the foot of the fjord with a lagoon at its doorstep, the tranquil retreat is home to fewer than 20 inhabitants, a tiny white-washed, grass-roofed church, and a dual-purpose farmhouse-history museum.
Interested in an escape to the Faroe Islands? Get in touch with our travel managers who can assist with everything from flights and accommodation, to full itineraries that include restaurant reservations and local experiences.