THE FAROE ISLANDS | NORTH ATLANTIC SEA
“Men áirnar og havid”
“But the rivers and the sea…”
In 2013, I saw a photograph of a cliff on an ocean with a waterfall descending mysteriously out of a cave from the side as well as a lake calmly mid level on a mountain in the middle of the water. The landscape new and mysterious, where could this be? I discovered all this beauty is found on the 18 archipelago of The Faroe Islands. Situated in the north Atlantic Sea, The Faroe Islands are surrounded by Iceland to the west, Norway to the east and Scotland to the south. Vast ocean views, villages, valleys and magnificent landscapes surprise and bewilder any visitor to this magical place. Five years later, I made the once wished upon idea into an adventure. I experienced The Faroe Islands with my own eyes and cannot describe the majestic beauty of these islands.
From waterfalls to quaint towns, the Faroes provide beauty at every turn. If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime experience, travel to this remarkable and unique place.
Of the eighteen islands that compose the Faroe Islands, Streymoy is the largest. Over half of the population reside on the island due to Tórshavn, the country’s capital. On the first day, I explored Tórshavn by walking through town and was greeted by warm locals who shared stories and pride about the beauty of their lands.
Vestmanna Sea Cliffs | Streymoy
After walking through Tórshavn, I hopped onto a bus north to Vestmanna. The public transportation system of The Faroe Islands is very well organized and supported by the government. There was a scheduled sail to the Vestmanna Sea Cliffs that afternoon. Before joining the boat, I enjoyed a hearty, traditional Faroese soup at the tourist center and museum (the museum is on the second floor) – plus a cup of coffee for extra warmth. More on The Faroes cuisine here: CUISINE
Prior to seeing the Vestmanna Sea Cliffs, the boat passed a ghost town, literally. Slættanes is an abandoned town with the last inhabitants living in these homes in 1965. The boat slowly sailed past the village while the morning mist lifted.
Bøur | Vagar
Before landing in Gásadalur, there is a town called Bøur. With a population of 75, the population has slowly grown from its ancient roots since 1350AD. On the way to Gásadalur, I was fortunate to have a guide that was knowledgeable about the histories of Gásadalur – and he also had a wonderful sense of humor, he mentioned that all the sheep can pronounce the town of “Booouuur.”
Gásadalur has a population of 18 – the same number of islands within the Faroe Islands. Prior to 2006, those who live in Gásadalur and the postman (who made a trek three times a week, rain or shine to the village) had to hike close to 2 miles over a steep and windswept mountain. Let’s not mention the sheep that call those trails their own. Now, Gásadalur is a paradise within reach, after 2006, a subsea tunnel was blasted through the mountain – there is now a one lane tunnel that provides access to those who live in Gásadalur and those who just wants to set their eyes on paradise.
Tórshavn loosely translates into “Thor’s Harbour” in Faroese and historically was the neutral meeting place of The Norse since 1825 AD. Although it is said the Celtic monks were probably the first settlers of the Faroes, it was the Vikings that created parliament. The peninsula, Tinganes, Faroese for parliament point, was thus created. Being the capital of the Faroes, it has the highest population of all the islands, more than half of the 50,000 Faroese reside in Tórshavn or its neighboring towns. There are homes that still stand at 500 years old with the traditional turf roofs – it’s quite windy on the islands, they need sturdier roof tops. Traditionally, locals welcome you with a cup of coffee and, if you’re lucky – a trampoline. They don’t expect you however to enjoy both simultaneously.
Vestmanna sea cliffs are on the northwest side of Streymoy, Faroe Islands. It is only accessible by boat.
Bour is a village before reaching Gasadalur on the island of Vagar, Faroe Islands. It is accessible by road.
Torshavn is the capital of the Faroe Islands, it has the most inhabitants of 27,000 people. It is located south and a bit to the east on the island Streymoy.
Vagar is where the airport is located, from there, any point of the Faroes is accessible by public transport or helicopter.
Copyright 2020 EIGHTHREE MEDIA
Copyright 2020 Erica Hilario