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Faroe Islands

Main attractions

Landscape in Hvalba, Faroe Islands
Landscape around Hvalba village / Arne List, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Faroe Islands are far from the mainland Europe - but constitute an integral part of European cultural realm. Islands are incredibly tidy, with top-notch infrastructure and... with breathtaking, pristine natural beauty. May be no other country can offer such fabulous Nordic nature together with historical architecture - even Norway.

Highlights of Faroe Islands are:

  • Cliffs and sea stacks. Faroe Islands have numerous sea cliffs which rise more than 300 m tall - and the fantastic Enniberg Cape rises 754 m tall! Cliffs are inhabited by thousands of sea birds and are a part of Faroe history and traditions.
  • Historical architecture. From time to time here come nightmarish storms which destroy the historical buildings - but Faroese people have developed much skills and created local style of architecture which is adapted to the local climate. Islands have one of the oldest inhabited houses in the world - Kirkjubøargarður, which was built in the 11th century.

Natural landmarks

Enniberg Cape, Faroe Islands
Enniberg Cape - 754 m tall sea cliff / Erik Christensen, / CC BY-SA 3.0

Sea cliffs

  • Beinisvørð - Suðuroyar. 470 m tall sea cliff.
  • Enniberg Cape - Norðoyar. 754 m tall sea cliff, second tallest in Europe. Inhabited by a large bird colony.
  • Eysturhøvdi precipice - Norðoyar. 345 m tall precipice at of Svínoy, rising from the sea.
  • Eystfelli cliffs - Norðoyar, Fugloy. Up to 448 m tall, vertical cliffs.
  • Mykines bird cliffs (Vestmanna birdcliffs) - Vága. Up to 600 m tall sea cliffs. On the steep northern side of the island are located bird cliffs which are inhabited by many thousands of birds, mainly puffins and gannets.
  • Precipices near Trollanes - Norðoyar, Kalsoy. More than 500 m tall, nearly vertical seaside cliffs.

Sea stacks

Drangarnir, Faroe Islands
Drangarnir / Erik Christensen, / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Búgvin - Eysturoyar. Tallest sea stack in Faroe, 188 m tall.
  • Drangarnir (Dragonir) - Vága. Amazing sea stack with natural arch in it.
  • Risin and Kellingin - Streymoyar. Two legendary sea stacks, respectively 75 and 73 m tall, one with a natural arch in it. According to legends these stacks are petrified Icelandic troll and his wife.

Waterfalls

  • Bøsdalafossur - Vága. Beautiful, approximately 30 m tall waterfall, directly from a lake into the sea.
  • Fossá - Streymoyar. One of the best known and largest waterfalls in Faroe. Height - 110 - 140 m, two vertical cascades.

Other natural landmarks

Lítla Dímun, Faroe Islands
Lítla Dímun island / Erik Christensen, / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Álvagjógv - Streymoyar. "Elf gorge" - dramatic, several hundred metres deep gorge ending in the sea. Thousands of birds are nesting here.
  • Lítla Dímun sheep - Suðuroyar. Small island surrounded by steep cliffs. Despite of its small size and vertical cliffs, this island has been inhabited by sheep since the Neolithic Age. Unfortunately the native sheep has been eliminated and now here live Faroese sheep, which traditionally are collected from the island once per year.
  • Rinkusteinar - Eysturoyar. Two enormous rocking stones, which are rocked forth and back by the sea waves.
  • Varmakelda - Eysturoyar. Warm spring, healing effects are attributed to its water.

Man made landmarks

Churches

Funningur Church, Faroe Islands
Funningur Church / Erik Christensen, / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Christianskirkjan - Norðoyar, Klaksvik. This church was constructed in 1963, in Old Norse style, using many ancient construction techniques and design elements. Church has excellent acoustics.
  • Funningur Church - Eysturoyar. Wooden church with turf roof, built in 1847.
  • Haldarsvik Church - Streymoyar. Picturesque octagonal church, built in 1856. Altarpiece of this church is adorned with Apostles who have faces of known Faroese people.
  • Hvalvík Black Church - Streymoyar. The oldest wooden church in Faroe, built in 1829. This is the oldest of traditional black churches.
  • Magnus Cathedral - Streymoyar. Ruins of Gothic cathedral, which was built around 1300 and never completed. This is the largest and most interesting medieval building in Faroe Islands.
  • Porkeri Church - Suðuroyar. Wooden church with turf roof, built in 1847. Contains a collection of donations by seamen who survived dangerous storms.
  • St. Olav's Church - Streymoyar. The oldest church in use in Faroe Islands, built in the 12th century.
  • Tórshavn Cathedral - Streymoyar. Historical church building from 1788, largely rebuilt in 1865. Altarpiece is made in 1647.

Houses

  • Kálvalíð - Vága. One of the oldest buildings in the Faroes - small building built into hillside with just one window in it.
  • Kirkjubøargarður (Roykstovan) - Streymoyar. One of the oldest inhabited wooden houses in the world, built in the 11th century.
Street in Tinganes, Faroe Islands
Street in Tinganes / Arne List, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Other man made landmarks

  • Graves of Havgrímur in Hov - Suðuroyar. Old Viking graves, the only chieftain burials in Faroe. Located in the site of paganic altar.
  • Nordic House (Norðurlandahúsið) - Streymoyar. Major cultural centre, constructed in 1983. House has amazing design - it was built to resemble an enchanted hill of elves, with a roof of turf.
  • Norðoyatunnilin - Eysturoyar and Norðoyar. Longest tunnel in Faroe Islands, 6 300 m long and up to 150 m below the sea level. This two lanes wide tunnel was constructed in 2006.
  • Sandavágur runestone - Vága. Runestone from the 13th century. Inscription tells that Norvegian Viking Torkil Onundarson was the first settler in current Sandavágur.
  • Skansin - Streymoyar, Tórshavn. Historical fortress, built in 1580 by Magnus Heinason to protect the islands from Scottish pirates. Expanded in 1780 and later.
  • Tinganes (Old Tórshavn) - Streymoyar. Historical centre of Faroe Islands, location where the Faroese parliament (Ting) started to meet in 825. Now this is charming old town with old wooden buildings from the 16th and 17th century. Some wooden houses still have turf roofs.

List of described attractions by regions

Faroe Islands is self-governing country under the sovereignty of Denmark. Islands are divided into six regions (sýslur).

Eysturoyar
Norðoyar
Sandoyar
Streymoyar
ArrowFossáWaterfalls
Suðuroyar
Vága

Map of Faroe Islands

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