Faroe Islands – a group of islands, part of Denmark

Faroe Islands

For savvy travelers looking for a break from big cities and bustling resorts, the Faroe Islands are an ideal destination. Located in the Norwegian Sea, the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, between the Scottish islands and Iceland, the archipelago attracts with its beauty even experienced travelers.

The local nature is extraordinary: gorges, lakes, numerous waterfalls, fjords, graceful cliffs – all charming at first sight. There are practically no trees, but you can endlessly admire the snow-capped peaks of the mountains, towering over the lands of the archipelago. The highest point of these places is Slattaratindur Peak, located on the island of Esturoy, which is 882 meters above sea level.

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Video: Faroe Islands

Highlights

The Faroe region is an internal autonomy of the Kingdom of Denmark, independently governing almost all matters, excluding the topic of defense and foreign policy. The archipelago includes 18 islands, of which 17 are inhabited. Of the 48 thousand local residents about 20 thousand live in the capital or in the suburbs.

The official languages on the islands are two – Faroese and Danish. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants are native speakers of Faroese, which is a mixture of the West Scandinavian dialects and is widely used in almost all spheres of life.

Climate and weather

The Faroe Islands are situated at the heart of the warm Gulf Stream, thus causing a constant off-season with 280 rainy days per year. Although the islands seem to have no seasonal boundaries, the climate is mild. Monthly average temperature ranges from 0 ° C to + 4 ° C in winter and from +11 ° C to +17 ° C in summer. The rainy season falls in September – January, and then the archipelago is covered with fog, not allowing the sun rays to penetrate to the surface.

Thanks to the warm sea current the water on the islands has almost the same temperature – +10 ° C – all year round, creating all the conditions for the development of fisheries.

Nature

Holiday in the Faroe Islands is a recreation in the bosom of nature in its pristine form. Because of private strong winds the islands are mostly treeless, sometimes you can find mountain ash, maple, conifers. Much of the territory of the islands is occupied by peat bogs, meadows, as well as mountain ranges.

In their free time fauna lovers can diversify their leisure on the islands to observe colonies of seabirds, seals, whales and dolphins.

There are a huge number of sheep on the archipelago. The latter were once brought to the local hills by the Celts. The local endless pastures attracted the sheep, and today there are two sheep for every resident.

Attractions

The Faroe Islands are most comfortable to visit during the summer months when there is little precipitation and warm weather.

Excursion program on the Faroe Islands is varied: visit the capital Torshavn, small villages, bird markets, boat trips in the coastal waters.

The capital of the islands, Torshavn, lies in a most picturesque area. The main part of the city protrudes over the fjord, which offers an amazing view of the wild mountains and steep cliffs. It’s very quiet here, with only the central square and the piers, where work is in full swing. The streets away from the center tend to be small and cramped.

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The main attraction of Torshavn is Munkastovan monastery, built in the XV century, surrounded by a stone wall. Munkastovan is one of the few buildings that escaped the great fire of 1673. Another building that also survived the fire is the royal storehouse of Leigubun.

Inquisitive travelers will be interested in a trip to the Historical Museum, which has a collection of ship models, household items of local residents, fishing gear and farming tools from Viking times to the present day, as well as items of religious value.

Take a walk through the Vidarlunn Park and visit the Museum of Art and enjoy the magnificent examples of sculpture and painting.

Fygloi, the “island of birds”, is named for its majestic cliffs, populated by millions of seabird colonies.

North of the settlement of Skarvanes is the beautiful sea cliff of Tretlkonufingur (“the finger of the troll woman”).

At the end of July (the 28th and 29th), the Faroese celebrate their main holiday, St. Olaf’s Day. During these days, the usually reserved locals throw a real riot of emotions. The festival is named after Olaf II, who, as King of Norway, introduced Christianity in Scandinavia and began to fight against paganism.

Traditionally, celebrations include rowing competitions, horse races, dance and religious processions, and art exhibitions.

Cuisine

The inhabitants of Faroe Islands owe their national menu to the harsh climate of the islands. Local dishes traditionally consist of meat and fish. Faroese specialties such as sheep’s head, whale fat and skorpiket (dried lamb) are a must for gourmets. And for lovers of traditional cuisine, local restaurants will be happy to serve roast lamb. Tourists have a chance to try the exquisitely stuffed with sweet pastry tupik (a kind of birds), which are served with sweet berries and potatoes. The ubiquitous rhubarb will also be new to many.

Alcoholic beverages are officially allowed on the islands from the age of 18. Light beer is sold everywhere, but a strong dark beer, soft drinks and wine – only in the state monopoly stores in major cities and restaurants with a license.

We recommend the Merlot in the center of Torshavn and Glasstovan at the Feroyar Hotel. The latter has a wonderful view over the city.

Lunch at a local restaurant will cost a tourist on average $ 30, at institutions of higher level – $ 45-50, excluding alcohol. You can eat at a local cafe much cheaper.

Hotels

Upon arrival to the islands you can stay in the capital three-star hotels “Torshavn” or “Streim” or more comfortable “Hafnia” and “Feroyar”, In all hotels, tourists are offered rooms with amenities, shuttle service to / from the airport, free Wi-Fi throughout the area. The cost of accommodation is quite high – from $120, but there are seasonal discounts.

A more budget option would be guest houses and hostels. The most popular are Skansin and Bládýpi, but you need to book rooms in them several months in advance. There are also mini-hotels that work on the principle of “bed and breakfast”. Prices start at $80 and vary depending on the time of year.

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For travelers who prefer recreation in nature, there are camping sites located in specially designated areas. In the Faroe Islands there is a very strict attitude to order, so vacationers in tents are required to keep clean and thoroughly clean when leaving.

Entertainment and Recreation

There are many varieties of fish in the local waters, so fishing is very popular among locals and vacationers. By the way, the local law allows to take out of the country any fish longer than 30 cm, which has long been prohibited in most European countries.

The Faroe Islands are interesting for wreck-divers: you can find shipwrecks in local coastal waters. Near the island of Nolsoy it is interesting to watch the underwater life of seals.

Nightlife lovers can spend time in the capital clubs Rex or Eclipse. The latter is open to visitors no younger than 18, but no older than 25.

Shopping

Of Faroese souvenirs the most interesting are the numerous woolen products, pottery and wooden crafts.

Because of the fairly harsh climate the islanders revere woolen clothes. Here you can always buy a fashionable sweater, gloves or hat at attractive prices.

Most stores are open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. to 5:30 to 6 p.m. On Fridays, many stay open until 7pm. On Saturdays, the opening hours are 9 a.m. to 12 noon, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays are usually a holiday.

Transport

In the Faroe Islands, there is a well-developed bus route network and ferries go between islands. In the capital there are local buses in red with four routes, which you can use to get to almost all parts of the city. The waiting interval is half an hour in the morning and afternoon – increases to one hour in the evening. Blue Bygdaleiðir buses are the connecting transport of the islands. Maps of routes and schedules of passenger transport are available at the kiosks Steinatún.

The best way to get to the islands themselves is by plane. The only international airport Vagar is located on the island of the same name near the village of Sorvagur. Tourists to travel around the islands can rent a car. In order to rent a car, you must have an international driver’s license, a credit card and be over 20 years old. Rental rates start at $60 per day.

Communications

The standard of mobile communications on the islands is GSM. There is also an analog version, but it is almost superseded by the digital format.

Local mobile operators – Foroya Tele and Kall P / F. Roaming in their networks is available to subscribers of major mobile operators in Russia.

Travelers can purchase local cell phone SIM cards at Teleshops, hotels, post offices and gas stations.

A sufficient number of pay phones (credit card and coin-operated) also operate in Faroes. When calling abroad, you need to dial 00, the national code, and the number you wish to call.

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You can use the Internet in Internet cafes. Most hotels provide a wireless connection on their premises.

Security

Traveling through the islands, you can not worry about the safety of your property – the level of crime is extremely low here. In order not to spoil your vacation, it is enough not to leave personal belongings unattended, do not take with them large sums of money, be polite to the locals and do not abuse the night walks. If necessary, the police are always ready to help.

If you need medical assistance during your trip, you can be sure that it will be provided at the highest level. The central hospital is located in the capital city and has excellent medical facilities.

Business

Registering a business in the Faroe Islands takes only a few days. The most common forms are joint stock company, suitable for large companies, and limited liability company. In order to start a business here, you need to have a legal address on the islands. Another condition – a resident of the Kingdom of Denmark as one of the participants in the case.

The minimum authorized capital for the joint stock company is approximately $ 85,000, for a limited liability company – about $ 20,000. For registration, you will also need a draft memorandum of association, articles of association and an application.

Foreign companies can enter the Faroese market by opening branches. The head of the branch must also be a resident of the islands or Denmark.

In terms of taxation, business law and accounting standards, the Faroe Islands offer optimal conditions for the development of companies. Legal regulation of business is similar to Danish and adheres to EU standards.

The main business on the archipelago is concentrated in the service and fishing industry.

On local investment sites one can find proposals for entrepreneurs willing to invest in new ways of developing the fishing industry. At the same time, the Faroese are very interested in high-tech businesses that are able to offer environmentally friendly solutions for productions.

Real Estate

Acquisition of real estate abroad is rightly considered one of the most promising and long-term investments. The Faroe Islands can become an excellent place for both temporary and permanent residence. They are especially attractive to people who like comfort and privacy, seeking order. Offers on the real estate market are varied – from a small studio apartment to a solid large house. The prices are quite attractive. A house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large surrounding area will cost about $ 130,000.

However, those who have decided on such a deal need to keep in mind that the local banks do not give a mortgage on the housing in the absence of a residence permit. In addition, the local law for the acquisition of the property by a foreigner requires a permit of the Ministry of Justice.

Tips for the tourist

Travelling to the islands – not a pleasure not cheap. The price level here is high enough and equal to the average European. However, when leaving the country tourists can get a VAT refund with a receipt from the store, which operates under the Tax Free system. Appropriate signs are present at the entrance to the store. To qualify for a tax refund, the amount of a single purchase must exceed $48.

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Tipping is not accepted on the islands and is usually included in the bill.

Fishing is permitted only in certain waters on the basis of a license sold at the tourist offices. If the tourist intends to bring fishing gear with him from home, it must be sanitized before arrival on the islands. Instructions for fishermen can be found in the tourist brochures. In streams and creeks, the fishing season is open from May 1 to August 31, in the sea all year round.

When traveling should not forget about the local changeable climate. On vacation it won’t hurt to have warm clothes and a few pairs of comfortable shoes for moving over the hilly terrain and trips to the sea.

Vaccinations are not required before your trip. The telephone number of the emergency service is 112.

Visa Information

To get a visa you should apply to the Consular Department of the Danish Embassy in Moscow at 9, Prechistensky lane.

Applicants must provide a visa application form, 2 photographs, passport (valid for at least three months after the expiry of the requested visa) with a copy, a national passport with a copy, hotel reservation confirmation, reference from work (school), insurance policy, covering all risks (the insurance coverage should be at least 30 000 €), a bank statement or traveler’s cheques (50 € per day of stay).

You can find more information about the package of documents at the Consular Section on weekdays from 9:00 to 16:00.

Faroe Islands

Country Population 48 228 Faroese Territory 1,399 sq km located on the continent Europe Faroese capital Torshavn Money islands Krona (DKK) Domain area .fo Country phone code 298

Hotels

The Faroe Islands is an overseas territory of Denmark, so hotels are clean, comfortable and expensive. There are a few hostels, decorated in typically Scandinavian style. Even in the most inexpensive hostel you will be comfortable, pleasant and warm. It is possible to rent an apartment or room from locals through airbnb or similar services.

Climate of the Faroe Islands:: mild winter, cool summer. Usually overcast. Foggy, windy.

Attractions

Faroes is 18 islands, 17 of which are inhabited by people. Each island is special, with its own nature and traditional way of life of local residents. On all the islands, there are almost no trees, but this is not a disadvantage of scenery. On the contrary: green at any time of year, the hills and the amazing color of the sky captures the imagination. Many travelers who have been here, notice a special kindness of the locals, beautiful nature and good ecology.

Terrain of the Faroe Islands:: Rocky, some low peaks. Almost everywhere there are rocks along the entire coast.

Museums

The Historical Museum of the Faroe Islands in the capital Torshavn is the main one in the country. It contains unusual handicrafts of the locals, arts and crafts, household utensils, household items of fishermen and sailors. Because of its modest size, the museum has a homely and pleasant atmosphere.

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The Nordic House is a free space with lectures, film screenings and temporary exhibitions. There is a free space to work. In the summer there are interesting events for tourists.

The Faroese Art Museum has paintings and sculptures by local painters. In the summer, the museum also works as a theater venue.

The Faroe Islands has resources like: : Fish, whales, hydropower, possibly oil and gas.

Leisure activities

On the islands you can fish: it is a fruitful and exciting activity. You have to buy a license at the tourist office. Hiking conditions are also excellent: walking on rocky promontories combined with the cleanest air (the island has an excellent environment, there is virtually no industry) is always pleasant and healthy.

Tourist organizations in the Faroe Islands position recreation in the country as an opposition to the noisy and polluted megapolises. In their view, this is one of the few natural oases, where you can still breathe the fresh air, enjoy the silence, try an unusual local cuisine from organic products and listen to the folk music.

Transport

You can reach the islands from Russia by plane, having made a connection in Denmark or Norway. Most islands are connected by bridges or underground tunnels. But there are remote islands, where you have to take a ferry. Red buses in the capital are free.

Standard of Living

The Faroe Islands are located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Norway and Iceland. Formally it is Danish territory (like Greenland), but in fact the Faroes are subordinate to themselves (except for foreign policy issues). They are not part of the European Union, not wanting to accept the European quotas for fishing. The way of life of the population is distinctive and traditional.

According to National Geographic magazine, Faroes is the best island for traveling. Even though the climate here is not very good (+15 in summer and it rains all the time) and the mainland is a thousand kilometers away, the locals are great patriots. They catch fish and raise livestock. Faroes is the richest island in the world.

Like all Scandinavian countries, the Faroe Islands are one of the safest places in the world. Police officers walk around with gas cans, and crimes here occur once in 10 years and become a real sensation. They don’t steal cars here because there’s nowhere to go. Tourists are treated kindly here. The locals speak good English and are always ready to tell you something. As in other Scandinavian countries, in Faroes everything is very expensive.

Cities

The capital city is Torshavn with 12 thousand people. It looks something like Reykjavik, though much smaller than its Icelandic counterpart. The city has a mixed atmosphere: sometimes it feels like a port, sometimes you still feel like you’re in the capital, and sometimes it feels like you’re in a remote Scandinavian village.

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