PureTravel Says: “The Faroe Islands are a group of 18 islands off the coast of Northern Europe, between the countries of Iceland, Norway and Scotland. Although rugged and rocky and at times stormy, these islands are a fascinating visit to a part of our world many never see. You’ll enjoy summer festivals filled with celebrations by the locals, like Summartónar or Ólavsřka. You can take exciting sea trips to view many of the over 300 species of birds and other flora and fauna. You’ll never have a lack of things to do. Get a sense of traveling back in time to Nordic days of adventure at the Faroe Islands.”
History & Culture – The Faroese culture comes to life at the Nordic House which supports and promotes the Nordic and Faroese cultures in this region. It opened in 1983 in Tórshavn, built to resemble an enchanting hill of elves. If visiting in the summer, there are many festivals taking place commemorating this wonderful land and friendly people. The favourite national holiday is Ólavsřka, beginning on the evening of the 28th of July and running until the 31st. It memorializes the death of Saint Olaf and is held in Tórshavn. You will see rowing competitions art exhibitions and witness the famous Faroese dance. A contemporary music festival is also held in summer, the Summartónar, and in July you can attend an open-air music festival in Gřta, G! Festival.
Wildlife, Flora & Fauna – Bring your binoculars to enjoy the spectacle of birds flying around the sea cliffs, and over the warm waters off the Faroe Islands. With the rich foods found in these waters, you’ll glimpse large flocks. See guillemots up on the cliffs and nesting kittiwakes. The plant life on these islands is dominated mostly by Arctic and alpine plants, grasses and wild flowers. You can also watch the Grey Seals off the shores, and do some great whale watching, spotting Short-finned Pilot Whales and sometimes Killer Whales.
Boat Trips – Take a sailing trip around the islands, enjoying the grottoes and take a small motorboat to shore to see some beautiful stone cathedrals. The bird cliffs at Vestmanna have become very popular. You can also take boat trips from Sandoy to cliffs teeming with birdlife at Skúvoy. Take an excursion around the mysterious island of Lítla Dímun or head for the highest sheer headland in Europe, Enniberg.
Fishing – The Faroe Islands offer much in the way of fishing, with lakes and streams in abundance. You will find brown trout, lake trout and salmon. On the coast you can also catch sea trout and salmon. For trying your hand at some great fishing go to the lake on Streymoy called Leynarvatn or go to Sandsvatn on Sandoy. The islands of Eysturoy and Vágar also have good fishing. Walk from the nearby village to the two remote lakes, Fjallavatn and Hviltkinnavatn on Vágar. They are in a scenic area surrounded by green mountains.
A good time to visit the Faroe Islands is between June and August when there generally the best weather conditions. You’ll catch the Ólavsřka festivities if you are there in July.
- Don’t be surprised when you find yourself engaged in long conversations with the local fishermen, as they are very friendly.
- The weather can be unpredictable so always be prepared, even in summer.
- Stamps are of particular interest to collectors as not many get mail from the Faroe Islands.
- Ensure your fishing tackle is clean and disinfected before you arrive on the islands.
- Take a sailing trip to Vestmanna to view the bird cliffs.
- In August, be sure to attend the music festival, Summarfestivalurin, in Klaksvík.
- For a visit to a beautiful natural gorge and harbour, visit Gjôv on the island of Eustroy.
By Julie Bowman
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