- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Known for its beautiful, unspoiled landscape, with verdant pastures giving way to rugged, steep cliffs, the Faroe Islands have a storied past, though the details of the archipelago’s early history remain mysterious. The first settlers may have been seventh-century Irish monks seeking solitude on these islands, far removed from any continent. Their isolation ended in 800 AD with the arrival of Norse farmers, and Norwegian colonization continued throughout the Viking Age. Today, many of the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands, now a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark, are descendants of Norwegian Vikings and speak Faroese, a descendant language of Old Norse.
You can have two days to explore this seldom-visited archipelago made up of 18 rugged islands located about halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The mighty North Atlantic is omnipresent wherever you go, with no place on the Faroe Islands farther than 3 miles (5 km) from its shores. The sea has always dominated life on the Faroes—throughout history as much as today: rich fisheries, magnificent ocean views, and thriving sea bird colonies make up this rare Nordic jewel—often referred to as Europe’s best-kept secret.
Spend a day exploring the outer islands of the archipelago, separated by narrow sounds and fjords, and delight in their surreal landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and rock formations. See green valleys engulfed by steep mountains, protecting picturesque villages with colorful turf-topped homes. Wind, weather, and sea conditions will influence and shape your activity options, but of course, always keep your eyes out for marine and bird life, especially the iconic Atlantic puffin.
Your second day in the Faroes will be dedicated to the capital city of Tórshavn, where the Vikings established their government in 825 AD. One of the world’s smallest capitals, the picturesque Tórshavn has a relaxed vibe and a number of historical and cultural sites. Meander the maze of narrow laneways of the Old Town, admiring the quaint wooden houses with traditional sod roofs and white-paned windows. If you’re looking for more action, a hike to historic Kirkjubøur not only unlocks some of the country’s best medieval history but also rewards you with sweeping views over the southern islands of Koltur, Hestur, and Sandur. Or perhaps you prefer to wander the charming harbor, filled with cafés, pubs, and old warehouses, and simply gaze out at the sea while sipping a latte.