Don’t miss this on the Faroe Islands
Visiting the villages
The Faroes have over 1,000km of paved roads plus numerous tunnels, ferries and bridges that connect the 18 islands of this North Atlantic archipelago. They’ve got WiFi too – pretty much everywhere. But these connections are recent and many of the villages retain the look and feel of the distant past.
This picture-postcard village on the island of Vágar is “a lively, close-knit place, packed with families with kids,” says Rógvadóttir. It also has “the most amazing view” of Tindhólmur – an uninhabited islet of five otherworldly-looking peaks sticking out of the sea.
Surrounded by the highest mountains on Vágar, for centuries this idyllic village lacked a single connecting road, requiring a strenuous two-hour hike or helicopter ride for locals to reach the outside world – or for outsiders to view the spectacular waterfall on the outskirts of town.A tunnel built in 2004 has pushed Gásadalur into the 21st century, although it still retains its medievalness.
Kirkjubour, accessed by a free 20-minute bus ride from Tórshavn, is the country’s most important historic village. Located on the southern tip of Streymoy Island, it was a cultural and religious center in the Middle Ages. It remains home t Kirkjubøargarður, an 11th-century turf-roofed wooden farmhouse that is one of the world’s oldest continually-occupied residences – parts of which are run as a museum.
Gjógv is a tiny village situated amid stunning scenery on the northeast tip of the island of Eysturoy. The village is famous for its 200m-long gorge and its surrounding mountains – one of which, Slættaratindur, is the highest peak on the Faroes. “It was there, during a summer holiday with a school friend, that I knit my first rose mohair sweater with a beautiful hole pattern. I was 12 years old,” says Rógvadóttir.
Heimablíðni (which means home hospitality in Faroese) is a service that helps visitors arrange lunch or dinner in private homes on many of the Faroe Islands. This is an opportunity not only to try Faroese home cooking, but to get to know a welcoming Faroese family.
Text: Linda Dyett