Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth

Tripoto
Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar
Day 1

A group of 18 volcanic islands about which majority of the people doesn't have any idea about its existence and were been never heard of until they recently got highlighted for their barbaric act of slaughtering the pilot whales and white side dolphins.

These islands are secluded from the mainland Europe and are located in the North Atlantic Ocean somewhere between Iceland, Norway and Scotland. This tiny dot on the map is the peace loving country named the Faroe Islands. Appearing lately on travellers radar's, this untouched little country has seen rise in visitors over the past half decade.

You can reach here either by air or by ocean. There are daily flights flying from Denmark to the only airport which was built during the WW II by the British. Apart from this there are weekly flights from Iceland, Norway, Scotland and seasonal flights coming from Paris, Barcelona and New York. The ferry service is also available from Denmark and Iceland to the Faroe Islands.

Faroe Islands is self-governing nation under the external sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark and hence Danish is the 2nd official language and Faroese being the 1st. No need to worry about the language barrier as majority of the people can converse in English. Danish krone is also legal tender apart from the Faroese Krone which is not an independent currency but a version of the Danish krone. The name Faroe Islands is derived from Faereyjar, which means sheep islands in Faroese, as the population of sheeps outnumber the human population of just around 55,000

Unpredictable and highly changeable weather can upset one's stay in the Faroe Islands. During my stay in the Faroe Islands, I have experienced snowfall,  sunshine and rain within a time span of few minutes. It is always pleasant to stay in luxurious hotels but it is recommended to stay in homestays and B&B's as you can get good taste of the local lifestyle and the warmth and the friendliness and generosity of the locals and ofcourse it is cheaper than the hotels.

Mykines

Photo of Faroe Islands by Sachin Salgaonkar

Smyril line ship entering the Faroe Islands

Photo of Faroe Islands by Sachin Salgaonkar

Faroe Islands

Photo of Faroe Islands by Sachin Salgaonkar

View from one of the B&B in Vágar

Photo of Faroe Islands by Sachin Salgaonkar

Ohh. You'll are waiting for me to write about the tourist attractions? Well, it begins even before you step your foot on this beautiful country. If the skies are clear, you will have nice view of the islands from the aircraft, so make sure you grab a window seat. Let me alert you on the cross wind landing of the flights most of the time due to windy conditions may get the chill out of you. Not to worry at all as this is a regular situation and the pilots are trained and have good experience in controlling the plane. For me it was a good experience in itself. You will be able to breathe fresh and clean air of Scandinavia once you hop off your plane. Don't forget to breathe deep.🙂
Apart from the airport, island of Vágar also hosts most of the tourist attractions. It is unfair to say this as the whole Faroe Islands is a tourist attraction in itself as you cannot take your eyes off the beautiful mountains which are either green or white during the summer and winter respectively. You can explore the Fjords in a rental vehicle or by traditional Faroese boat. The waterfall in Gásadalur which falls directly in the Atlantic Ocean is a must see for any visitor. Another attraction is the beautiful lake above the ocean. You require to trek for around 40 minutes to reach to a point to get a mesmerising view of this lake. There is an entry fee of 200 Danish krone per head to this place.

Gásadalur Waterfall

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Lake above the Ocean

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Puffins

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Puffins

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

The puffins are found on the west most island of Mykines. While most of the islands are connected by bridge or under ocean tunnels, only few are not connected, of which Mykines is one. You can take a ferry from Sørvágur to reach Mykines. During the summer you have the option to take a helicopter ride to Mykines which I strongly recommend. Although there are B&B's available on Mykines for your overnight stay, one day trip is also possible. You can take Helicopter from Vágar which departs at 10:15 AM and arrives at Mykines after a 10 minutes ride. And you can take a boat ride back to Vágar in the evening. Boat ride needs to be pre booked online.
Tip: If incase you wish to take a helicopter ride, kindly schedule it during your early days of visit as most of the time the trip is cancelled due to bad weather and as there is only one helicopter operational which can accommodate only 12 pax per ride and it runs mostly full.
Note: Booking for helicopter opens just a week prior to the departure date. Round trip is not available if the return is on the same day. Prices for the helicopter ride are mentioned on the official website of Atlantic Airways.

There are only few restaurants in Vágar, so make sure you get there before it gets full as they are crowded during the weekends. Tórshavn which is the capital city of the Faroe Islands, houses around 22,000 of the population. Public transport within the capital is free of cost. Apart from this 24 hours cab service is also available. The name Tórshavn is derived from the Greek God of lightning - Thor, whereas havn means harbour- Thor's havn. It is the most happening place in the entire country with luxurious hotels, eateries, the only shopping mall, discs and nightclubs. Variety of festivals are hosted during summer in most of the weekends, Ólavsøka being the most celebrated and is the Faroese National Festival which is celebrated every year on 28th and 29th of July and the entire country gathers in the capital wearing their ethnic dress to celebrate it. Well, the ethnic dress is very interesting as it is takes around 3 to 4 years to get it done. The youths starts to collect the buttons, shoes and other stuff which are used to decorate the dress which are mostly gifted by parents and relatives on the occasion of birthday, feast and Christmas. The more decorated the dress is, the more expensive it becomes. And it costs around 30,000 to 40,000 DKK and is not available readily in the market.

Ólavsøka

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Faroese ethnic dress

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Ólavsøka

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Ólavsøka

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Ólavsøka

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn Harbour

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

View from one of the B&B in Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Festival

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn Fort

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Faroese food

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Nightclubs

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Fjords

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Fjords

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Faroese Church

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn harbour

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Faroese Church in Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Faroese houses

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Fish Festival

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Fish Festival

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

While the use of drones are allowed in most of the area, I suggest you to go through their drone policy as violations will result in a penalty of 5000DKK. Aerial view of the island is mind blowing and I don't have words to express its beauty.

Tip: Do not plan your travel during long weekends and during holidays as almost the whole country goes standstill and you might be left to starve since the eateries are also closed. Or you can keep yourself well stuffed with food. Staying in a B&B that has cooking facilities comes with a plus point in this situation.

To walk on black sand of the lagoon in Saksun a fee of 75 DKK is required to be paid at the gate, and it enables you to get a picturesque view of sunset at the lagoon. You can visit Gjogv, Funningur and Runavik, which is the biggest town on the island of Eysturoy. The island of Eysturoy has the highest point in the whole Faroe islands which is around 800 mtr from the sea level and is located in Eiòi and it is very  much fun and adventurous to scale to the top of it, which I did on the longest day of the year just to see the midnight sun which was partially visible due to thick fog covering the top of the mountain. Next island is Bordoy and has the 2nd biggest city of Klaksvik in the whole Faroe Islands with around 15000 population. Don't forget to visit Mikladalur on the Kalsoy island.

Don't forget to pack a rain proof cold weather jacket and warm clothes as it is cold throughout the year the average temperature in summer is around 13°C. It gets warm only if you don't open the door or the windows of your house during a sunny summer day. Trekking shoes are recommended as there are many trekking and hiking trails all around the Islands. Tap water is free and is rich in minerals and clean to drink, so don't hesitate to top up your water bottles at any restaurant or eateries. It is one of the safest country to visit as the crime rate is nearly zero.
Car rentals are also available to make your commute around the country easier.

Coming to the food, Lamb meat is the preferred by the Faroese people, apart from this, beef and pork is very popular and are a part of most of the  recipes. Fish and chicken are also available. You can get the authentic taste of the best Salmon in the entire Europe right here in the Faroe Islands. Any meal is incomplete without meat in the Faroe Islands and hence it is difficult to find any veg meals. Well, if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, kindly instruct the waiter well about your requirements. McDonald's and Pizzeria might come for your rescue here.

Accommodations and eateries:
Hotel Hafnia, (Lunch buffet) - Recommended
Hotel Tórshavn,
Hotel Klaksvik,
Hotel Vágar,
Barbara Fishhouse, - Recommended
etika  sushi, - Recommended
Cafe Zorva(Indian food available), - Recommended
Seven(Chinese restaurant), (Lunch buffet) - Recommended,
Amarant,
Pizza 67, (Lunch buffet) - Recommended
No. 1 pizza, - Recommended
Kafe Kasper, - Recommended
Sirkus Bar,
Irish pub,
Joe Pizza.

Sørvágur

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn harbour

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Saksun

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Oldest house in the Faroe Islands

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Torshavn

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Atlantic Airways Helicopter

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

View of Mykines from helicopter

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Etika Sushi

Photo of Faroe Islands: Last heaven on Earth by Sachin Salgaonkar

Now coming to the barbaric act of slaughtering of
whales and dolphins, it is carried out since past few centuries. During that time, there was no source of food to the islanders as it is difficult to produce veggies as it is windy here and no tree is able to hold the ground because of the high speed winds. Hence the people had to depend mostly on sheeps, birds and seafood for their meals. During the winter the climate gets a little bit harsh, so this people used to hunt the dolphins and whales and prepare themselves for the upcoming winters. Mind you, the daylight here during the winters is just for 4 hours a day.
The hunting of dolphins and whales is not only done for their meat but also oil is extracted from them which is used for cooking and other household uses. Ok. Now as per my opinion, I think that they should stop it or at least control it so that not many are killed, considering that these species are on a verge of extinction. And as the world is getting closer day by day, one can get food from other places on earth in real quick time. This means that people does not have the need to store stuff for the winters anymore as it is available throughout the year.

Takk fyri (Thank you in Faroese), pronounced as Taak-fee-raa.
Signing off from the Faroe Islands - probably the last heaven on earth. 🙋‍♂️

2 Comment(s)
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Looking forward to more content like this..keep going brother
Mon 09 09 19, 20:41 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank you brother
Mon 09 09 19, 21:57 · Report
Nicely done
Mon 09 09 19, 20:41 · Reply · Report