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 spend a couple of nights here, but the more southerly islands are the focus of our holiday. We start on the "airport island" of Vagar taking advantage of a new facility offering a boat trip down the lake and 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 Midvagur 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.
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 final base will be the picturesque village of Gjøgv in the north of Esturoy from where we'll take a day trip to neighbouring island of Kalsoy. And, of course, we'll visit the ancient ecclesiastical centre of the Faroe Islands aet Kirkjubøur with its photogenic farmhouse, its cathedral and its delightful small church.
Travel is with Atlantic Airways from Stansted 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 1210 hours, arriving in the Faroe Islands at 1435 hours where our driver and local guide, John Esturoy, will be waiting to meet us and drive us to Torshavn, stopping en route in the small village of Kvivik , the oldest settlement in the islands with its remains of Viking houses. We may also visit where we visit the ancient ecclesiastical centre of Kirkjubøur before continuing to Torshavn where we'll have dinner before catching the ferry to the most southerly of the Faroe Islands, Suðuroy. It will be a late night, but the two-hour ferry journey is comfortable and relaxing and, of course, it will be in daylight. Hotgel Tvøroyri will be our base for the first two nights of our holiday.
Days 2 & 3
There are two very definite parts to Suðuroy – the north and the south! We'll explore both, wandering along shorelines and exploring small villages where there are tiny museums in the most unlikely places, each telling the story of life as it was until relatively recently. Suðuroy has some of the most dramatic scenery in the islands and we'll drive right down to the southern tip and as far north as the road will take us. On our last night we'll have dinner in an historic building hosted by the owners who have some fascinating stories to tell. We then board the ferry where we have comfortable en-suite cabins. She doesn't sail until 6 a.m. but this saves us having to get up at some horribly early hour!
Having breakfasted on board the ferry, we'll have a walk around the old part of Torshavn with its turf-roofed houses and attractive harbours. A visit to the museum is a must, and then we'll have a light lunch before heading north across the island of Eysturoy and through the tunnel which connects it with Bordhoy and the Faroe Islands' second largest town, Klaskvik. Here we stay in Hotel Klaksvik for two nights.
Today we take the ferry from Klaksvík to the dramatically beautiful and relatively isolated island of Kalsoy which has a population of just 150 and, of course, plenty of folklore, including the legend of the Seal Woman (or Selkie). In the morning we'll have a two-hour gentle walk before boarding yet another boat for a trip around the bird cliffs and lunch on board. We return to Gjógv for dinner and overnight.
Our destination today is the airport island of Vágar but we'll be taking the most of the day to get there. We'll explore the northern part of Eysturoy and the neighbouring Streymoy before returning to Torshavn for a late lunch and the chance for a bit of retail therapy or general exploration. In the late afternoon we head off to the airport island of Vágar, 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 Mikines. We the retrace of steps, stopping in Midvágur where we'll a little time in the little museum which has been formed from the old pastor's house. We'll call in at the church with its beautiful baptismal font and then visit “Barbara's House” made famous in a film back in the 1990's. 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 the itinerary can be changed without notice at the sole discretion of Island Holidays or your tour leader.