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Faroe Islands

For such a small nation, the Faroe Islands really packs a punch with great food, awesome scenery, adventurous hikes, a creative music scene and ancient ruins. Read more...

The Faroe Islands are 18 small islands halfway between Norway and Iceland and home to dramatic and breathtaking scenery. An autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands have a lot to share with the adventurous traveller, from ancient historical sites to beautiful nature.

For nature lovers, the Faroe Islands are ideal with many hikes and amazing sights to see. The landscape is rugged and treeless with Arctic alpine plants, wildflowers and heath dominating. Walking opportunities abound, such as at Gjogv with a gorgeous natural harbour and the island's longest canal while at the Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn lake the Bøsdalafossur waterfall cascades 35m directly into the Atlantic Ocean. The small villages of Tjornuvikic and Saksun are charming, surrounded by high mountains and a natural fjord, with a large lagoon emerging as the tides change.

Toshavn is the capital, surrounded by mountains, with the world's oldest court dating back to approximately 825, the times of the old Norse. The cultural centre of Kirkjubour is home to a Middle Ages church and ruins of the St Magnus cathedral, as well as a 900 year old wooden log-house, Roylestovan, considered to be the oldest of its kind in the world. A day trip out of Torshavn to the nearby island of Nolsoy is well worth your time, with the world's largest colony of storm petrels and a small quaint town where no cars are allowed. Better yet, around midsummer when the days are long, Bentours can organise a night tour out to the island, where the noise of the birds is astounding.

For birdlovers, an excursion to the cliffs of Vestmanna is a must. With 700m cliffs and deep grottos that you can sail into, visitors can see puffins, guillemots and fulmars. Klaksvik is the second biggest town with an old Nordic style church that inspired many more across Scandinavia, while Leirvik is home to old Viking ruins.

Although geographically small and isolated, the people of Faroe speak their own unique language (Faroese) and have a proud gastronomy culture, serving up local delicacies such as fermented lamb, roast puffin and wind-dried fish. Although not immediately appealing in description, food has immense importance to the Faroese as they use traditional age-old methods of preparation, such as ræst - meaning fermentation. This is the process of drying fish and meat outdoors, with the climate and weather conditions effecting the final taste. Warmer temperatures spoil the taste while cool temperatures will prevent fermentation and too much wind will leave it tasteless.

But never fear, for the less adventurous amongst us, Torshavn has a large array of restaurants of various cuisines as well as a (surprisingly) active music scene. There is a jam packed calendar of music events throughout the year from opera to Viking Metal, but the most popular are in the Summer, Summartónar and G!, where thousands of people congregate to hear local and international artists.

For a true taste of all that the Faroe Islands have to offer, take our self drive Faroe Islands Explorer package on the islands' exceptionally well maintained roads and tunnels. Alternatively, explore Torshavn on the short Taste of the Faroe Islands package, with day trips to your top points of interest.