The Faroes was the most fascinating stop on our Nordic trip. It's a tiny country of 50,000 people with its own distinct language and culture. Just a few islands between Iceland and Norway at 62°N, a Viking outpost. The terrain is mostly mountains and fjords that go straight into the sea with so little flat land that gardens are built on beaches and giant holes are gouged out of the hard rock to make room for buildings. It's the most remote place I've ever travelled but it's also firmly modern European with a workable (if nutty) airport and good roads. Really cool place and while there's almost nothing to do I can totally recommend it for visitors.
The main thing we did for our three days in the Faroes was drive around. The road system is great thanks to tunnels built between the islands in the 90s. The whole place is astonishingly beautiful. There's no trees but everything is covered in rich green sod, including the roofs. The sparse settlement makes for plenty of natural landscape; when there is a village it's just more picturesque.

The only town of any note is Tórshavn, you'll want to stay there for a short visit. We had a fine stay at the Hotel Torshavn but if I were doing it again I'd stay at the Hotel Føroyar; a bit out of town but beautiful and also home to a terrific restaurant. There's not much to do in Tórshavn but there's almost no services elsewhere; we could barely find a place serving lunch in the rest of the country!

I'm not sure what sustains the Faroes as a country. Fishing is the big industry and there's some hope of oil. Their wool and knitting are also famous (see the Faroe Knitting blog). There's a little tourism, particularly campers and hikers but I imagine that only works for a couple of months a year. The joy is visiting some place remote and beautiful. After our quick visit I started thinking how pleasant it would be to spend a month with some good books and an Internet connection.

Lots more photos on Flickr
  2011-08-07 18:58 Z