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Sailing Around The Faroe Islands


by Annemarie Pantoja



Welcome to the enchanting and breathtaking world of the Faroe Islands. Nestled in the heart of the North Atlantic Ocean, this archipelago is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its untouched natural beauty, rugged coastline, and vibrant cultural heritage, the Faroe Islands offer a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking an escape from the ordinary.


The Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, consist of 18 volcanic islands. Despite its small size, this remote paradise is known for its dramatic landscapes, including soaring cliffs, rolling hills, and cascading waterfalls. It’s a place where nature reigns supreme, with thousands of sheep roaming freely and the sound of crashing waves providing a soundtrack to your adventure.


The Faroese people, with their warm and welcoming nature, add to the charm of these islands. With a population of under 50,000, the tight-knit community values their traditions and cultural heritage. Visitors are often mesmerized by the locals’ pride in their Viking roots, their traditional music and dance, and their culinary traditions, which include specialties like ræst (fermented lamb) and skerpikjøt (wind-dried mutton).


Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for outdoor thrills or a serenity seeker yearning to disconnect from the chaos of daily life, the Faroe Islands have something to offer everyone. From hiking through stunning fjords and exploring hidden caves to birdwatching in one of the largest seabird colonies in the world, there is no shortage of activities to engage in.


As you set sail around the Faroe Islands, you’ll be captivated by the ever-changing landscapes and the sense of tranquility that surrounds you. Each island has its own distinct character and allure, inviting you to explore its rugged coastline and discover its hidden treasures.


Join us as we embark on a journey through the rich history, awe-inspiring geography, vibrant culture, and exciting tourism opportunities that make the Faroe Islands a truly remarkable destination. Get ready to set sail and create memories that will last a lifetime!


History of the Faroe Islands

The history of the Faroe Islands dates back more than a millennium, with traces of human settlement discovered as early as the 4th century AD. The islands were first colonized by the Vikings, who arrived from Norway in the 9th century. These seafaring warriors established the foundations of the Faroese culture and left a lasting impact on the islands’ traditions and way of life.


For centuries, the Faroe Islands were under the control of various Nordic powers, including Norway, Denmark, and even Scotland. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the islands gained more autonomy and gradually became a self-governing territory within the Danish Kingdom.


Throughout its history, the Faroe Islands have faced numerous challenges, including harsh weather conditions, isolation, and economic struggles. Yet, the Faroese people have demonstrated resilience and perseverance, relying on their natural resources, such as fishing and sheep farming, to sustain their way of life.


The islands have also played a significant role in the whaling industry, which was once a fundamental part of Faroese culture and economy. Today, whaling is limited to small-scale traditional hunts, reflecting the delicate balance between preserving age-old traditions and respecting environmental concerns.


In recent years, the Faroe Islands have experienced a resurgence in tourism, attracting visitors from around the world who seek to explore its pristine landscapes and immerse themselves in its unique culture. The tourism industry has brought new opportunities for the islands’ economy, while also posing challenges in terms of sustainable development and preserving the islands’ natural beauty.


Preserving and celebrating the Faroese cultural heritage remains a top priority for the islands’ inhabitants, who proudly showcase their traditions through various cultural events and festivals, such as Ólavsøka, the national holiday of the Faroe Islands.


As you navigate the waters around the Faroe Islands, you’ll have the opportunity to delve into its rich history and connect with the spirit of the Viking past. From ancient ruins and historical sites to museums and cultural exhibitions, the islands offer a fascinating glimpse into their storied past.


Join us as we unravel the layers of history that have shaped the Faroe Islands into the captivating destination it is today and explore the cultural tapestry that makes the islands truly unique.


Geography and Climate

The Faroe Islands, located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Norway, are a geological wonder. Comprising 18 main islands, the archipelago is characterized by its dramatic landscapes, steep cliffs, and majestic fjords. Each island boasts its own distinct topography, from the rugged mountains of Stromoy to the pristine sandy beaches of Suduroy.


Volcanic in origin, the Faroe Islands offer a diverse range of natural features. The islands are marked by a series of deep fjords and narrow straits, carved out by ancient glaciers and now serving as idyllic sailing routes. As you navigate these pristine waters, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of cascading waterfalls, towering sea cliffs, and lush green valleys.


The Faroe Islands are known for their unpredictable and ever-changing weather. The islands experience a maritime subpolar climate, characterized by mild summers and cool winters. The Atlantic Ocean’s influence provides a relatively mild temperature range throughout the year, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C (37°F) in winter to 11°C (52°F) in summer.


Rainfall is a common occurrence in the Faroe Islands, with the islands often shrouded in mist and fog. The lush, green landscapes owe their vibrancy to the frequent rainfall, which sustains the vegetation and contributes to the islands’ breathtaking beauty. It’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day, so it’s essential to come prepared with layers and waterproof clothing.


As you sail around the Faroe Islands, you’ll encounter an array of wildlife, both on land and in the surrounding waters. The seas teem with diverse marine life, including seals, dolphins, and numerous species of fish. Birds are also a prominent feature of the islands, with puffins, gannets, and kittiwakes nesting in the towering cliffs along the coast.


The unique combination of rugged landscapes, rich marine biodiversity, and ever-changing weather patterns make the Faroe Islands a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking and fishing to wildlife watching and photography, there are endless opportunities to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings.


Join us as we explore the geographical wonders and experience the ever-changing climate of the Faroe Islands. Whether you’re captivated by the dramatic cliffs or enchanted by the unpredictable weather, the breathtaking beauty of these islands will leave a lasting impression.


Culture and People

The Faroe Islands have a rich and vibrant culture that has been shaped by their remote location, Viking heritage, and close-knit community. The Faroese people take great pride in their traditions, language, and unique way of life.


The inhabitants of the Faroe Islands are known for their warm and welcoming nature. With a population of just under 50,000, the tight-knit community embodies a strong sense of camaraderie and solidarity. This close bond can be seen in the way locals support each other and work together to overcome challenges.


The Faroese language, known as Faroese, is a unique North Germanic language that has strong ties to Old Norse. While Danish is also widely spoken, Faroese remains the primary language of daily communication and a symbol of cultural identity. Hearing the melodic sounds of the Faroese language spoken in the villages and towns adds to the authenticity of the experience.


The culture of the Faroe Islands is deeply rooted in their Viking heritage, and this can be seen in their traditional music and dance. The Faroese chain dance, known as the “Føroysk Dansur,” is a captivating display of synchronized movements and rhythmic footwork. Traditional music, often accompanied by the distinctive sound of the Faroese fiddle, echoes through the valleys during festive occasions and cultural celebrations.


The Faroe Islands also have a rich storytelling tradition, with sagas and folktales passed down through generations. These oral traditions capture the history, myths, and legends of the islands, creating a connection between the past and the present. The tales of giant sea monsters, mystical creatures, and heroic deeds add an air of enchantment to the cultural fabric of the islands.


Local cuisine in the Faroe Islands is a reflection of the islanders’ resourcefulness and connection to the land and sea. Traditional dishes often feature ingredients sourced from the surrounding waters and mountains, including fresh fish, lamb, and traditional Faroese delicacies like ræst (fermented lamb) and skerpikjøt (wind-dried mutton).


The Faroe Islands also host a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Ólavsøka, the national holiday of the Faroe Islands, celebrated on July 29th, is a highlight. This event brings the entire community together in a festive atmosphere filled with music, dance, sports competitions, and traditional Faroese food.


Visitors to the Faroe Islands have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture by attending cultural events, visiting museums, and interacting with the friendly locals. Exploring the traditional Faroese villages, with their colorful turf-roofed houses and picturesque harbors, offers a glimpse into the islanders’ way of life and their deep connection to the natural environment.


Join us as we dive into the rich cultural tapestry of the Faroe Islands, experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the locals, and discovering the unique traditions that make these islands truly special.


Tourism and Attractions

The Faroe Islands may be off the beaten path, but they have become an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking to experience untouched natural beauty and unique cultural heritage. This remote archipelago offers an array of attractions and activities that cater to all types of adventurers.


One of the main draws of the Faroe Islands is its stunning landscapes. From the soaring sea cliffs of Vestmanna to the picturesque waterfall at Gasadalur, there is no shortage of breathtaking sights to behold. Taking a hike along the famous Faroe Islands hiking trails, such as the Slættaratindur or the Kalsoy Cliffs, offers the opportunity to explore the rugged beauty up close and personal.


The Faroe Islands are also a haven for birdwatchers. The islands are home to one of the largest seabird colonies in the world, with millions of birds nesting along the towering cliffs. The puffin colonies on Mykines Island are particularly popular, offering a chance to witness these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.


For those with an interest in history and culture, the Faroe Islands have a wealth of attractions to explore. Visit the old town of Tinganes in the capital city of Tórshavn, where the ancient Faroese Parliament is situated. Explore the turf-roofed villages of Gjógv and Saksun to get a glimpse into the islanders’ traditional way of life. Don’t forget to visit the various museums, such as the National Museum of the Faroe Islands, to learn about the islands’ fascinating history and cultural heritage.


The Faroe Islands offer a host of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. From kayaking in the fjords to fishing excursions in the pristine waters, there are endless opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. Sailing around the islands is also a popular activity, allowing you to discover hidden coves and secluded beaches inaccessible by land.


Food lovers will delight in the Faroese culinary scene. Sample traditional dishes like ræst (fermented lamb) and skerpikjøt (wind-dried mutton) at local restaurants, or visit the farmers’ markets to taste fresh seafood and locally produced delicacies. The Faroe Islands’ cuisine is a true reflection of the islanders’ connection to the land and sea.


As tourism in the Faroe Islands continues to grow, sustainability and responsible travel have become important considerations. The fragile ecosystems and unique landscapes call for responsible behavior from visitors, including respecting nature, adhering to designated trails, and supporting local businesses that prioritize sustainable practices.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or cultural immersion, the Faroe Islands offer a truly unforgettable experience. The untouched nature, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality of the Faroese people make this destination a hidden gem worth exploring.


Come and join us on an incredible journey through the Faroe Islands, where stunning landscapes, rich heritage, and adventures await!


Sailing Routes and Itinerary

Sailing around the Faroe Islands is a dream come true for adventure seekers and nature lovers. With its rugged coastline, pristine waters, and stunning landscapes, the archipelago offers a diverse range of sailing routes and itineraries to satisfy even the most discerning sailors.


A popular starting point for a sailing adventure in the Faroe Islands is the capital city of Tórshavn. From there, you can set sail and explore the nearby islands of Nólsoy and Hestur. These smaller islands offer sheltered anchorages and picturesque scenery, making them ideal for a peaceful and scenic start to your journey.


Heading north from Tórshavn, you’ll encounter the stunning islands of Streymoy and Eysturoy. These islands are connected by the iconic Streymin Bridge, offering easy access to explore their unique landscapes. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the picturesque village of Gjógv on Eysturoy, with its charming turf-roofed houses and panoramic views.


Around the northeastern tip of Eysturoy lies the island of Klaksvík, the second-largest town in the Faroe Islands. Klaksvík offers a bustling harbor, where you can restock supplies and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere. From there, you can continue your journey to the northern islands of Kunoy, Kalsoy, and Viðoy, renowned for their dramatic cliffs and rugged beauty.


As you navigate the waters of the Faroe Islands, be sure to explore the western islands, including Vágar and Mykines. Vágar is home to the famous waterfall at Gasadalur and the picturesque village of Bøur, offering breathtaking coastal views. Mykines, known as the “bird paradise,” is a must-visit for birdwatchers, with its puffin colonies and stunning seascapes.


For those seeking a more secluded and off-the-beaten-path experience, the southern islands of Sandoy, Suðuroy, and Skúvoy offer a tranquil haven. These islands are characterized by their rugged cliffs, hidden caves, and charming villages. Sailing around Suðuroy, the southernmost island, provides the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing natural arches and rock formations that adorn its coastline.


It’s important to note that the weather in the Faroe Islands can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to plan your itinerary accordingly and stay informed about the current weather conditions. The Faroese Meteorological Office provides up-to-date information and forecasts for the region.


Remember to respect the natural environment and follow sustainable sailing practices while exploring the Faroe Islands. Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as seals and seabirds, and be mindful of protected areas and nesting sites.


Whether you choose to sail for a few days or several weeks, the Faroe Islands offer a truly unique and unforgettable sailing experience. With their stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and remote charm, the islands will captivate your heart and create memories to last a lifetime.


Join us as we set sail on an extraordinary adventure, exploring the hidden gems and natural wonders of the Faroe Islands’ sailing routes and itineraries.


Tips for Sailing in the Faroe Islands

Sailing in the Faroe Islands offers a unique and unforgettable experience, but it’s important to be well-prepared to make the most of your journey. Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing adventure in this remote archipelago.


1. Check the weather: The weather in the Faroe Islands can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to stay informed about the current weather conditions and forecasts. Pay attention to wind speeds, wave heights, and any potential storms. The Faroese Meteorological Office provides up-to-date information through their website and local forecasts.


2. Plan your itinerary wisely: Plan your sailing itinerary carefully, considering the distances between islands and the weather conditions. Be flexible and prepared to adapt your plans based on the forecast. Take into account the limited daylight hours during winter months and the longer daylight hours during summer.


3. Study the charts and navigational aids: Familiarize yourself with the nautical charts and navigational aids for the Faroe Islands. Ensure you have up-to-date charts on board and use them in conjunction with GPS systems. Pay attention to any restricted areas or hazards, and always maintain a safe distance from rocky shorelines and other vessels.


4. Stock up on supplies: Before setting sail, make sure you have enough provisions, including food, water, and fuel, to adequately sustain your journey. While some islands may have facilities and shops, others may be more remote, so it’s wise to be self-sufficient. Consider bringing extra layers of clothing and waterproof gear to stay warm and dry in the often-changing weather.


5. Respect the environment: The Faroe Islands boast pristine and fragile ecosystems, so it’s crucial to practice responsible and sustainable sailing. Avoid anchoring in sensitive areas or disturbing wildlife. Be mindful of litter and dispose of waste properly. Respect any protected areas and adhere to local regulations and guidelines.


6. Be prepared for tidal currents: The Faroe Islands experience strong tidal currents, especially in narrow straits and fjords. Familiarize yourself with the tidal patterns and plan your sailing accordingly. Keep in mind that tidal currents can significantly affect your speed and course, so it’s important to factor them into your navigation plan.


7. Stay connected: While sailing in the Faroe Islands, it’s recommended to have appropriate communication devices on board, including VHF radios, mobile phones, and satellite phones. This ensures you can reach out for assistance if needed or stay updated on any important information or weather changes.


8. Respect local customs and traditions: The Faroe Islands have a unique cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect and immerse yourself in the local customs and traditions. Treat locals with kindness and courtesy, and seek opportunities to learn about their way of life. Participate in cultural events and festivals, and support local businesses and artisans.


By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a safe and unforgettable sailing adventure in the Faroe Islands. Take the time to plan, research, and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of these remote and captivating islands.


Set sail and let the winds carry you to new horizons as you explore the wonders of the Faroe Islands on your sailing journey.


Safety Considerations

Sailing in the Faroe Islands offers remarkable beauty and adventure, but it’s essential to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here are some key safety considerations to keep in mind before you set sail:


1. Weather awareness: The weather in the Faroe Islands can change quickly and unexpectedly. Stay informed about the forecast and be prepared for shifting conditions. Keep an eye on wind speeds, wave heights, and possible storms. Be ready to modify your plans or seek shelter if the weather deteriorates.


2. Navigation equipment: Ensure your boat is equipped with reliable navigation instruments, including GPS, charts, and radar. Familiarize yourself with the navigation tools and use them to navigate safely. Stay vigilant for any navigational hazards, such as submerged rocks or strong tidal currents.


3. Emergency preparedness: Be prepared for emergencies by having the necessary safety equipment on board. This may include life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and a marine VHF radio. Review safety procedures with your crew members and establish clear communication protocols in case of an emergency.


4. Respect the tides and currents: The Faroe Islands experience strong tidal currents, especially in narrow straits and fjords. Understand the tidal patterns and plan your navigation accordingly. Be cautious when navigating through areas with strong currents, as they can significantly impact your boat’s handling and maneuverability.


5. Watch for underwater hazards: The waters around the Faroe Islands may have submerged rocks, reefs, or wreckage. Stay vigilant and maintain a safe distance from known hazardous areas. If you’re unsure about the depth or navigational challenges, consider getting updated information from local authorities or experienced sailors in the area.


6. Communication and emergency contacts: Ensure you have reliable means of communication on board, such as VHF radios, mobile phones, or satellite phones. Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and local marine authorities. Inform someone onshore about your sailing plans, itinerary, and expected return time, so they can raise the alarm if necessary.


7. Be aware of marine traffic: Although the Faroe Islands are relatively secluded, it’s important to keep an eye out for other vessels, particularly near busy harbors or shipping lanes. Maintain a safe distance from larger vessels and follow the established navigational rules and guidelines.


8. Respect local regulations and customs: Familiarize yourself with the local regulations, including boating and fishing rules, protected areas, and any permits required. Respect the customs and traditions of the Faroe Islands, including local fishing practices and wildlife conservation efforts.


Remember, safety should be the top priority during your sailing adventure in the Faroe Islands. By staying vigilant, prepared, and informed, you can navigate the beautiful waters of the archipelago with confidence and peace of mind. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the unique culture, and create unforgettable memories as you sail through this extraordinary destination.



The Faroe Islands, with their untouched natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and remote charm, offer a sailing experience like no other. From the rugged coastline to the towering cliffs and picturesque villages, this archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.


As you navigate the pristine waters around the Faroe Islands, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking landscapes, dramatic fjords, and stunning wildlife. The islands’ rugged charm and ever-changing weather create a sense of adventure and serenity that is unparalleled.


Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality and rich culture of the Faroese people. Explore the traditional villages, taste the local delicacies, and participate in cultural events to truly connect with the spirit of the islands.


While sailing in the Faroe Islands, it’s important to prioritize safety and respect the environment. Stay informed about the weather conditions, plan your itinerary wisely, and have the necessary safety equipment on board. Practice responsible sailing and support sustainable tourism initiatives to preserve the natural beauty for future generations.


Whether you’re seeking breathtaking landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, or a glimpse into a unique cultural heritage, the Faroe Islands have something to offer every adventurer. Let the winds guide you as you embark on an unforgettable journey through these remote and enchanting islands.


So pack your bags, hoist the sails, and set course for the Faroe Islands. Experience the allure of the archipelago, explore its hidden treasures, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The beauty of the islands awaits, ready to mesmerize and inspire you on your sailing adventure in the Faroe Islands.