The Faroe Islands: a lost paradise acclaimed by even National Geographic magazine

Walter Raymond

An archipelago lost in the middle of the North Atlantic, more than 1,000 Kilometers from Denmark, formed by 18 mountainous islands with bucolic landscapes.

The archipelago, more than 1,000 kilometers away from Denmark, consists of 18 mountainous islands with pastoral landscapes, historic architecture, and perfectly preserved nature.

Faroe Islands

The increasing appetite of exclusive travelers that wish to visit places not frequented by mass tourism has led to discovering places like the Faroe Islands, situated in the middle of the North Atlantic 1,310 kilometer from known territory (Denmark). The archipelago is composed of the 18 islands with oceanic climate and average yearly temperatures of 0.3ºC in January and 11ºC in August.

The islands offer travelers untamed nature, untainted air, and an aesthetic culture located amongst impressive landscapes and picturesque fishing villages along the coast.

Its climate is exacting, with strong and persistent winds that never cease at any moment. The gray sky is as common as the dense fog that emerges and invades everything for hours at a time. The roar of the ocean that beats upon the high cliffs is always in the background. Very few would think that this would be the description of a place chosen by high-end tourism. Nonetheless, the number of high-end travelers that pay a visit grows by the day.

The favorite islands of National Geographic Traveler magazine experts

Everything is gray or green in the Faroe Islands. The prairies, intensively and uniformly green, spread out in soft waves from the edges of the cliffs to the less abrupt coasts of the south-eastern region. Flocks of sheep walk by in total freedom, and now and then the typical constructions of sod-covered roofs appear. The friendliness with which visitors are met is another one of its distinctive qualities. In a survey done by National Geographic Traveler magazine about the island communities of the world, the Faroe Islands received the best ratings for its nature conservation, its historic architecture and its lifestyle. The islands offer travelers untamed nature, untainted air, and an aesthetic culture located amongst impressive landscapes and picturesque fishing villages along the coast.

Faroe Islands

It is said that the first inhabitants of the islands set out to find peace and privacy there. It’s presumed that they must have arrived somewhere in the sixth century and that they were hermits that had arrived from Ireland, escaping from worldly temptations. They enjoyed the isolation for two-hundred years. But as all happiness comes to an end, the Vikings dropped anchor in the ninth century. Two centuries afterwards, the Norwegians showed up and, after that, the Danish, who have remained there since. Nordic cultures have been leaving their mark and give the islanders a common history and a distinctive lifestyle.

Reaching the islands

The Faroe Islands enjoy an almost entirely independent political system, even though they’re attached administratively to Denmark. Somewhere around two and five weekly flights connect them to Denmark, English, Iceland, and Norway. During the summers, there’s an additional, direct flight from Barcelona, Spain. There is also access by sea. In ferrying from Denmark, it takes about 30 hours to cross the sea. The islands of the archipelago are well connected through ferries and modern road networks, bridges, and underwater tunnels. Typically, people rent a car to get around. Few more than 50,000 inhabitants share this archipelago.

Faroe Islands

Unexpected fame

The wool that’s produced on the islands is of excellent quality. The old-fashioned, hand-woven sweaters were really the thing that got them noticed. Everything started with the famous Danish TV series, The Killing. The main character wears a variety of sweaters that captivated the show’s followers. Gudrun Ludvig, the owner of the local company Gudrun & Gudrun and manufacturer of these sweaters, said in a report that in his collections he combines traditional and contemporary designs. “The first ones are a concession to our history. In the Faroe Islands, the fishermen’s wives wove sweaters for their husbands with personalized motifs, and when they would go to wait for them at the harbor, they would immediately recognize them from far away. The second ones are more innovative with risky cuts and vibrant colors that seduce buyers from Italy, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Another reason to visit the Faroe Islands.  ■

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