Flirting with Fate in the Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands roads

Faroe Islands roads are spectacular, not least Oyggjarvegur, the mountain road from Torshavn, the archipelago’s tiny capital, towards the northern islands. But then, nothing less is to be expected in the world’s best island-destination. In places, there are no barriers between us and a 1000-foot drop into the chilling waters of the North Atlantic fjord. We edge slowly towards the deliciously dizzying chasm.

Oyggjarvegur, Streymoy, Faroe Islands

Taking a step back, I almost stumble over a ram’s skull, tufts of grass protruding through the cavities where its eyes once were. All along the road, sheep graze, oblivious to traffic. This is the Faroe (meaning sheep) Islands, after all.

Oyggjarvegur, Streymoy, Faroe Islands

With verdant, stunning scenery, shaggy sheep in the middle of the road and plunging gorges; these ancient Viking isles are quite literally drop-dead gorgeous.

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25 Responses to “Flirting with Fate in the Faroe Islands”

  1. Jeremy Branham 22 July 2011 2027 #

    Beautiful photos! Nice to see a peaceful area like this. Crazy that you stumbled upon that skull!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..The hidden treasure of Plitvice Lakes National Park

  2. Sonja 22 July 2011 2149 #

    Never heard of these islands. Do they belong to Norway?
    Sonja recently posted..Photo Friday: The Dolomites

  3. The Travel Chica 23 July 2011 0012 #

    How do you pronounce the name of this town? Entirely too many consonants in there for me :-)
    The Travel Chica recently posted..Move Over… I’m Jumping on the Bandwagon

  4. Christina 23 July 2011 1712 #

    Wow, that’s pretty special! No idea they were rated as one of the best islands by Nat Geo.
    Christina recently posted..Spotlight on Canterbury: Lake Tekapo

  5. julia 23 July 2011 1946 #

    the tiny capital of the Faroes, towards the northern islands, is spectacular.

  6. Kim 24 July 2011 1536 #

    I’ve only vaguely heard of the Faroe Islands. Looks green and gorgeous. Are they Norwegian?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 July 2011 1835 #

      @Sonja and @Kim The Faroe Islands were Norwegian once, then remained with Denmark after the break-up of the kingdom of Denmark-Norway. Today, they remain a self-governing part of Denmark, much like Greenland. The Faroese do feel a very close link with Norway, though, and the Faroese language is the only remaining language that is still very close to the Old Norse spoken by the Vikings. When we were there, and they heard we were Norwegians, the locals would insist on speaking Norwegian with us, rather than English. Very interesting.

  7. Vera Marie Badertscher 24 July 2011 2320 #

    Boy those Vikings understood real estate, didn’t they? Location, location, location.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..7 Best Blog Posts

  8. Italian Notes 25 July 2011 0906 #

    Mesmerizing landscape – hard to believe that the Faroa Islands are (for now at least) part of Denmark.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 July 2011 1338 #

      @Italian Notes – it is, in a way, isn’t it? They do look much more Norwegian than Danish, almost as if they fell off our Western coast once – which I suppose they might have done :)

  9. Ana 25 July 2011 1343 #

    What an intriguing place. I’d love to visit these islands one day. Are there many traces of the Vikings, like buildings, tombs, etc?
    Ana recently posted..My 7 Links Project: older blog posts given a new lease of life

  10. Randy 26 July 2011 0143 #

    Gorgeous shots!Reminds me a bit of Iceland. I really love green coastlines like these.

  11. Sherry 26 July 2011 1122 #

    Wow, Sophie! Another place I’ve never heard of until now. Some of the photos kinda reminds me of Ireland’s mystique and romance; particularly that one of the sheep. Seems like a truly fascinating place.
    Sherry recently posted..TRAVEL PHOTO: “Paradise on Mount Rainier”

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 26 July 2011 1653 #

      Thanks for your comments everyone!

      @Ana – yes, there are remnants of the Viking past in the tiny settlement Kirkjubøur.
      @Randy and Sherry – Yes, I agree. It is reminiscent of both Iceland and Ireland. And Scotland and Norway as well. Green and misty.

  12. David Bennett 26 July 2011 2320 #

    Love the alliteration in the title.

    The top photo showing the headland in the distance is very inviting. Are they strata of rock I can see running around the hillsides? If so, it adds to the specialness of the place – somewhere I would really like to visit.
    David Bennett recently posted..Bath Abbey

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2011 1327 #

      Thanks guys :)

      @David – The Faroes are volcanic, and more than 50 million years old, so I’m sure that would be rock strata.

  13. Nomadic Matt 27 July 2011 1029 #

    I too like the alliteration!
    Nomadic Matt recently posted..My 5 Years of Travel Free Ticket Giveaway

  14. Sailor 28 July 2011 0106 #

    Wow! You have some beautiful pictures. I can imagine me standing where the sheep and feeling on Top of the world.
    Sailor recently posted..What if the Cruise Ship Leaves Without You?

  15. Bill Farrell 28 July 2011 1812 #

    We spent a memorable week travelling across Iceland and we were told that the landscape there is similar to the Faroe Islands so it must be a wonderful place to go. You can certainly get away from it all there, just a shame that the weather is unreliable.
    Bill Farrell recently posted..Yamaha Portable Generators

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 August 2011 0125 #

      @Bill – Thanks for your comment. Re the weather: It does tend to surprise you, wild torrents of rain, then some sunshine, then a mad storm… The only thing you can rely on, is that it will rain.

  16. Angela 29 July 2011 0508 #

    Beautiful pictures, what a dream-like place!
    Angela recently posted..A walk around Istanbul, where East meets West

  17. John 21 August 2011 0033 #

    Sophie, great photos. How did you travel there and where did you stay? Can you provide approximate costs?
    John recently posted..Photo essay: A walk from Dalbeag beach to Shawbost, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 August 2011 0005 #

      @John – Thanks :)

      We drove from Norway down to Hanstholm in Denmark, then travelled by boat from there to Torshavn – on Smyril Line. Got a last minute deal which included the boat round-trip as well as two nights at Hotel Hafnia in Torshavn. I think we paid about 5000 NOK (that’s about 500 pounds) for all 3 of us (my two kids and I). From the UK, you could take the ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg in Denmark. Hanstholm isn’t too far from Esbjerg.

      However, there are direct flights from Stansted to Torshavn as well – on the Faroese airline Atlantic Air. Might be a better deal from the UK.

  18. Nancie 26 September 2011 0309 #

    Stunningly beautiful!
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday –September 22, 2011 A-Bomb Dome, World UNESCO Site, Hiroshima, Japan


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