The Faroe Islands
Torshavn, Suduroy, Eysturoy, Kalsoy and Vágar
Gloriously remote and a world apart, the Faroe Islands lie in the North Atlantic half way between Shetland and Iceland. Here the islands' 49,000 inhabitants live amidst dramatic mountain and cliff scenery, politically tied to Denmark but with the kind of independent streak essential to living in such a remote environment.
These are islands where the past and the present sit comfortably side by side. The Faroese are proud of their heritage and maintain their traditions in language, in music, in dance and in national dress. These islands are different. Where else would you find a sheep grazing on the roof of a house? Where else would you find some young men going in to the sea to scuba dive to recover from a heavy night? Where else would you find an international opera star performing at a concert alongside school kids playing pop music?
The capital of Torshavn is an attractive and bustling port with a superb "old quarter" with its little wooden houses with turf roofs and a tangible history and we'll also visit the ancient ecclesiastical centre of the Faroe Islands at Kirkjubøur with its photogenic farmhouse, its ruined cathedral and its delightful small church. On the southernmost island of Suduroy we'll spend two days exploring this scenically dramatic island which has its own atmosphere - and the original Faroese flag. Our next base is in the north of the islands where we stay in Klaksvik, the islands' second largest town with a busy port. From here we'll take a day trip to neighbouring island of Kalsoy and then spend the next day exploring Esturoy before returning to Torshavn for a spot of retail therapy or exploration. Our last base is on the "airport island" of Vágar where we take a boat trip down the lake and have a short walk to a dramatic waterfall. We'll hear the story of Barbara and visit her house and also the priest's house in Midvágur and we'll hope for good weather to enjoy one of the finest views in the islands over to the remote bird island of Mykines.
Travel is with Atlantic Airways from London Gatwick and on the islands we'll travel in a comfortable small bus using ferries and tunnels to connect us to the different islands we visit.
Our Atlantic Airways flight leaves London Gatwick at 12.10 hours, arriving in the Faroe Islands at 14.35 hours where our driver and local guide, John Esturoy, will be waiting to meet us and drive us to the northerly village of Gjøgv on the island of Eysturoy. This will be our base for the first three nights of our holiday.
Days 2 & 3
Our plan over these two days is to visit the northern isles of the archipelago of the Faroe Islands to include Bordoy, Viðoy and Kalsoy. We'll visit the islands' second largest town, Klaksvik, now connected to Eysturoy by subsea tunnel, where we will hope to have an opportunity to visit the impressive church. From here we'll drive north on one day taking in the various islands with their spectacular scenery and what one of last year's clients described as “natural serenity”. The other day we'll hopefully take a ferry to the island of Kalsoy which has a population of just 150 and plenty of folklore. Each evening we'll return to Gjøgv for dinner and overnight.
Today we leave Gjøgv and head for Torshávn, the islands' capital, where we'll be staying in Hotel Hafnia for two nights. We'll be taking our time with a relaxed drive to our lunch stop in a super private home with a lovely garden to enjoy. After lunch we'll continue to Torshávn where, having checked into our hotel, we have a guided walk around the old part of town with its turf-roofed houses and attractive harbours.
Having been up in the far north, today we head to the far south and the island of Suðeroy. We'll be hoping for good weather to take advantage of the super scenery to be enjoyed du ring the 2-hour ferry crossing. The island itself is totally different in atmosphere from where we've been so far and has many attractions including spectacular cliff scenery and some incredible geological features. We'll hope to gain access to the church where the original Faroese flag is on display.
Having checked out of our hotel, we take a shorter ferry ride today takes us to the little island of Sandoy where we'll spend the morning exploring. After lunch we return to Stremoy to visit Kirkjøubur which was once the ecclesiastical centre of the Faroe Islands. Here we'll look at the church and the ruined cathedral as well as going into the farmhouse museum which gives a fascinating insight into what life was like on the islands. And then it's time to drive to the airport island of Vágar where we'll stay at the airport hotel for the last two nights of our holiday.
This morning we'll explore the island with a local guide, driving to the most westerly point and the village of Gásadalur from where, with luck, we'll have some spectacular views over to the remote island of Mykines. We then retrace our steps, stopping in Midvágur where we'll visit the excellent World War II museum and the church with its beautiful baptismal font. We'll return to the hotel for lunch and then take a boat trip on the nearby lake which was an important site for landing "float planes" during the 2nd World War. The converted catamaran on which we'll travel carries just 12 passengers and is completely covered so that you are protected from the elements. At the end of the lake is a wonderful walk to a dramatic waterfall and we'll have plenty of time to get there and enjoy the scenery and the atmosphere. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning we'll check out of the hotel and walk the short distance to the airport (our luggage will be taken by vehicle) to give us some fresh air before the journey. The flight leaves at 0900 hours, arriving back in Gatwick at 1125 hours, giving plenty of time for onward journeys.
Please note that this is intended as a guide only and can be changed at the sole discretion of your tour leaders. This is particularly important in the Faroe Islands where the weather can vary from island to island and we adjust our plans to get the best wherever possible.