Culture & Travel27 August 2023
If you haven't come across the Faroe Islands yet, it's high time you filled in this gap! Nestled between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands consist of 18 volcanic isles and constitute a politically autonomous region with ties to Denmark. Rapidly gaining popularity as a favored Northern European travel destination, particularly among music enthusiasts who might be familiar with the area due to its hosting of five live music festivals annually. Moreover, for those seeking adventure, these islands boast captivating features such as steep cliffs, hiking trails, waterfalls, and the invigorating coastal winds.
There's also a treasure trove of attractions awaiting discovery for those keen on active Instagram use. For instance, islands adorned with distinctive aesthetics like seagulls and grass-roofed houses are bound to catch the eyes of photography aficionados. These and numerous other elements provide ample incentive to get to know and explore the Faroe Islands! Let's venture forth and discover the rest of this captivating country together!
A Hidden Gem Away from the Crowds
No need to worry about large crowds (at least not for the moment). With a population of approximately 50,000 in total, these 18 islands provide a serene escape when compared to their Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden and Norway, or the bustling tourist hub of Iceland. In fact, there are twice as many sheep here as there are people. Back in 2016, the Faroe Islanders came up with a unique concept: they fitted sheep with cameras to contribute to Google Street View, and they affectionately named it "Sheep View 360".
A Cozy Capital: Tórshavn
The warm and inviting capital, Tórshavn, also happens to be the largest city in the Faroe Islands, boasting a population of 13,083. Nestled behind a harbor along the eastern coast of Streymoy Island, the city covers 66.8 square kilometers and encompasses eighteenth-century churches, several museums, a quaint Old Town, and a picturesque collection of colorfully painted houses. This makes the capital a true cultural and historical epicenter of the region. The Faroese term for "home hospitality" is "heimablídni", and you'll experience it both here and throughout the rest of the island.
Nature's Unique Splendor: Drangarnir
The country's landscapes are a treat, typical of volcanic islands, featuring mountains embraced by the winds, waves crashing against rugged cliffs, and formations like Drangarnir, from which the two seas between Tindhólmur and Vágar derive their names.
Pinterest-Aesthetic Waterfalls: Mulafossur
Whether you're scrolling through a travel board on Pinterest or searching for "Faroe Islands," chances are you'll stumble upon Mulafossur Waterfall, the most shared attraction on these islands. As the waterfall cascades down the rocky precipice of Vagar Island into the roaring ocean, with the verdant hills of Gásadalur village as a backdrop, it looks like a scene straight out of fantasy literature.
Landscapes Resembling Middle-earth: Saksun
Beyond Mulafossur, one of the most iconic landscapes in the country is the village of Saksun, perched on the northwest coast of Streymoy. This village seems to belong to the Shire with its quaint charm. The hamlet and its mid-nineteenth-century church are nestled beside a lagoon shaped like a natural amphitheater, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the surrounding mountains.
Haven for Seagulls: Mykines
If you're keen on witnessing some of the world's most adorable birds, Mykines Island is the place to be. Only 14 people call this westernmost part of the Faroe Islands home. During the summer, this small island, with its rugged terrain and steep cliffs, becomes a haven for thousands of baby puffins, attracting bird enthusiasts from far and wide.
Cliffs Comparable to Moher and Na Pali: Vestmanna
Excursions to the Vestmanna bird cliffs on Streymoy Island are among the most sought-after exploration routes in the Faroe Islands. These boat tours offer a jaw-dropping view of the towering rock walls, soaring about 600 meters above the Atlantic waters. Adorned with seaweed-covered sea stacks, enigmatic caves, and a vibrant array of birds that paint the landscape with vivid colors during the summer, these trips provide an unforgettable experience. Trøllkonufingur, which translates to "Troll Woman's Finger," is yet another famous landmark in the area. Situated on the southeastern side of Sandavágur, this 1,027-meter monolith impresses with its majestic stature.
How to Get There?
You can access the islands by air or sea. If you're planning to reach the Faroe Islands by air, you'll need to make a stopover in Denmark, as there are no direct flights from Turkey. Commencing your journey from Istanbul, you'll first need to fly to Denmark and then proceed to the Faroe Islands. The nearest airport to the Faroe Islands is Vágar Airport (internationally known as FAE Sorvagur). If your destination is the Faroe Islands, you'll have to cross via Denmark regardless of your starting point. The flight duration can vary based on your departure city. For example, the flight from Copenhagen to Vágar Airport takes roughly 2 hours. Turkish citizens traveling with a maroon passport are subject to a visa requirement for the Faroe Islands. You'll need to apply to the Danish Consulate to obtain the necessary visa. While a Schengen visa generally allows entry into Denmark, it's insufficient for the Faroe Islands; you must acquire the appropriate visa by specifying your intention to visit the Faroe Islands. Holders of green passports are exempt from these procedures.
Alternatively, transportation by ferry is available from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and the Shetland Islands. Routes such as Hirtshals, Denmark, and Seydisfjordur, Iceland offer passage to Tórshavn, the island's capital. Remember to verify the prevailing travel regulations and visa requirements on your travel date. Additionally, don't forget to check the weather conditions and flight schedules prior to your journey.