The Faroe Islands is an autonomous territory which falls under the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroes are not part of the European Union (EU) and this is worth noting if you are planning to travel there (i.e. be sure to have your passport ready). The Faroes are about halfway between Norway and Iceland. The islands are relatively small and very sparsely populated (as of 2020, their population is approximately 52,000). The rugged nature is perfect for hiking enthusiasts, however, the climate is unpredictable and it’s best to visit during the summer. The islands ask for fees to hike many parts and doing a decent amount of planning beforehand is a good way to prepare to make the most out of a trip to such a spectacular place. The must-visit of the islands is Gasadalur (above) and its famous waterfall, Múlafossur. Make sure to bring your hiking boots to these islands! Do not skip on this.
It is worth noting that climate change threatens all places around the globe. There is so much to enjoy about more remote places which are less touristy such as The Faroe Islands. Please, make sure to consider the carbon footprint that you are making while you travel. This is to say, there are ways to be conscientious of how you consume and what actions you take. This awareness and intentionality helps you actively work to be a part of protecting the environments you occupy. This is more important than ever as carbon emissions are a major issue.
A fun fact about the islands includes that the population has a greater number of men than there are women, which has been inspiring more women from around the world to go and live there. I have linked below a documentary about this topic which has been noteworthy recently.
The Faroe Islands are for nature lovers and these landscapes are some of the most breathtaking in the whole world.
Official website resource for hiking: www.hiking.fo
Official website resource for driving tolls: www.tunnil.fo
These islands are unforgettable, so make sure you make the most of a trip here!
Facts about the Faroes from the History of the Faroe Islands website:
Viking age settlers establish their free state
The name Føroyar (Faroe Islands) is derived from old Norse and means Sheep Islands, a name given by the Viking age settlers arriving from Norway in the 9th century. The medieval culture and organisation of the Faroe Islands was clearly Norse in origin and form, and they established their Althing (parliament), later named Løgting, at Tinganes in Tórshavn. Tórshavn still is the capital city of modern days Faroe Islands, and it claims to hold the oldest parliament in the world.
Special status under foreign Monarchs
Viking age Norwegian kings long aspired to gain control over the Faroe Islands, but for many years the Faroese managed to fight them off. However, by the latter half of the 12th century the Faroe Islands eventually became firmly attached to the Kingdom of Norway.
The Faroe Islands joined Norway into the dual monarchy with Denmark in the late 14th century. When this union was succeeded by a Norwegian-Swedish union in 1814 the former Norwegian territory of the Faroe Islands remained under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark. Due to, among other factors, remoteness vis-à-vis both Norway and Denmark, the Faroes Islands always maintained a special jurisdiction along with their distinct language and culture, guarded by the ancient Løgting.
The royal trade monopoly long stood in the way of development. When it was abolished in 1856 an export oriented commercial fishing industry rapidly developed in the Faroe Islands kickstarting the development of a modern market economy and population growth.