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The Faroe Islands

14238 Views 134 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DiegoRaf
Let's try a destination that is not so common :D

The Faroe Islands (/ˈfɛəroʊ/; Faroese: Føroyar pronounced [ˈfœɹjaɹ]; Danish: Færøerne, pronounced [ˈfæɐ̯øːˀɐnə]), sometimes called the Faeroe Islands, are an archipelago between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, about halfway between Norway and Iceland, 320 kilometres (200 miles) north-northwest of Scotland. The islands are an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Their area is about 1,400 square kilometres (541 square miles) with a population of 50,030 in April 2017.

The Faroes' terrain is rugged, and the islands have a subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc): windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. Despite this island group's northerly latitude, temperatures average above freezing throughout the year because of the Gulf Stream.

Between 1035 and 1814, the Faroes were part of the Hereditary Kingdom of Norway. In 1814, the Treaty of Kiel granted Denmark control over the islands, along with two other Norwegian island possessions: Greenland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948. The Faroese have control of most domestic matters. Areas that remain the responsibility of Denmark include military defence, the police department, the justice department, currency, and foreign affairs. However, as they are not part of the same customs area as Denmark, the Faroe Islands have an independent trade policy, and can establish trade agreements with other states. The islands also have representation in the Nordic Council as members of the Danish delegation. The people of the Faroe Islands also compete as a national team in certain sports.


The Faroe Islands are an island group consisting of 18 major islands about 655 kilometres (407 mi) off the coast of Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Iceland and Norway, the closest neighbours being the Northern Isles and the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Its coordinates are 62°00′N 06°47′W.

The climate is classed as subpolar oceanic climate according to the Köppen climate classification: Cfc, with areas having a tundra climate, especially in the mountains, although some coastal or low-lying areas can have very mild-winter versions of a tundra climate. The overall character of the islands' climate is influenced by the strong warming influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which produces the North Atlantic Current. This, together with the remoteness of any source of warm airflows, ensures that winters are mild (mean temperature 3.0 to 4.0 °C or 37 to 39 °F) while summers are cool (mean temperature 9.5 to 10.5 °C or 49 to 51 °F).

The islands are windy, cloudy and cool throughout the year with an average of 210 rainy or snowy days per year. The islands lie in the path of depressions moving northeast, making strong winds and heavy rain possible at all times of the year. Sunny days are rare and overcast days are common. Hurricane Faith struck the Faroe Islands on 5 September 1966 with sustained winds over 100 mph (160 km/h) and only then did the storm cease to be a tropical system.

The climate varies greatly over small distances, due to the altitude, ocean currents, topography, and winds. Precipitation varies considerably throughout the archipelago. In some highland areas, snow cover can last for months with snowfalls possible for the greater part of the year (on the highest peaks, summer snowfall is by no means rare), while in some sheltered coastal locations, several years pass without any snowfall whatsoever. Tórshavn receives frosts more often than other areas just a short distance to the south. Snow is also seen at a much higher frequency than on outlying islands nearby. The area receives on average 49 frosts a year.

The Faroe Islands have been under Norwegian/Danish control since 1388. The 1814 Treaty of Kiel terminated the Danish-Norwegian union, and Norway came under the rule of the King of Sweden, while the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland remained Danish possessions. From ancient times the Faroe Islands had a parliament (Løgting) which was abolished in 1816, and the Faroe Islands were to be governed as an ordinary Danish amt (county), with the Amtmand as its head of government. In 1851, the Løgting was reinstated, but, until 1948, served mainly as an advisory body.
At present, the islanders are about evenly split between those favouring independence and those who prefer to continue as a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Within both camps there is a wide range of opinions. Of those who favour independence, some are in favour of an immediate unilateral declaration of independence. Others see it as something to be attained gradually and with the full consent of the Danish government and the Danish nation. In the unionist camp there are also many who foresee and welcome a gradual increase in autonomy even while strong ties with Denmark are maintained.
As of 2011, a new draft Faroese constitution is being drawn up. However the draft has been declared by the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, as incompatible with Denmark's constitution and if the Faroese political parties wish to continue with it then they must declare independence.

As explicitly asserted by both treaties of the European Union, the Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union. The Faroes are not grouped with the EU when it comes to international trade; for instance, when the EU and Russia imposed reciprocal trade sanctions on each other over the War in Donbass in 2014, the Faroes began exporting significant amounts of fresh salmon to Russia. Moreover, a protocol to the treaty of accession of Denmark to the European Communities stipulates that Danish nationals residing in the Faroe Islands are not considered Danish nationals within the meaning of the treaties. Hence, Danish people living in the Faroes are not citizens of the European Union (though other EU nationals living there remain EU citizens). The Faroes are not covered by the Schengen Agreement, but there are no border checks when travelling between the Faroes and any Schengen country (the Faroes have been part of the Nordic Passport Union since 1966, and since 2001 there have been no permanent border checks between the Nordic countries and the rest of the Schengen Area as part of the Schengen agreement).

The vast majority of the population are ethnic Faroese, of Norse and Celtic descent.[40] Recent DNA analyses have revealed that Y chromosomes, tracing male descent, are 87% Scandinavian. The studies show that mitochondrial DNA, tracing female descent, is 84% Celtic.

There is a gender deficit of about 2,000 women owing to migration. Three hundred women from the Philippines and Thailand, recruited as wives because of the Faroes' gender imbalance, make up the largest ethnic minority in the Faroes.

The total fertility rate of the Faroe Islands is currently one of the highest in Europe. The fertility rate is 2.409 children born per woman (2015 est.).

Faroese is spoken in the entire area as a first language. It is difficult to say exactly how many people worldwide speak the Faroese language, because many ethnic Faroese live in Denmark, and few who are born there return to the Faroes with their parents or as adults.

The Faroese language is one of the smallest of the Germanic languages. Written Faroese (grammar and vocabulary) is most similar to Icelandic and to their ancestor Old Norse, though the spoken language is closer to Norwegian dialects of Western Norway. Although Faroese is the official language on the islands, Danish is taught in schools and can be used by the Faroese government in public relations.

The 2011 census shows that of the approximately 48,600 inhabitants of the Faroe Islands (17,441 private households in 2011), 43,135 were born in the Faroe Islands, 3597 were born in the other two countries of the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark or Greenland), and 1,614 were born outside the Kingdom of Denmark.
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Sandavágur (Danish: Sandevåg) is a city on the south coast of the Faroese island of Vágar, and has been voted the most well-kept village in the Faroes twice. And it's the most famous city in the country, and best voted traveling experience. The name Sandavágur means sandy bay and refers to the sandy beach which used to be much larger than present. From one point in Sandavágur you can get a view of all the southern islands in the Faroes. Sandavágur used to be a municipality until 1 January 2009, when it fused together with the neighbour village Miðvágur into the new Vágar municipality.

The town has an ancient history. A 13th century runestone, discovered in 1917, bears an inscription stating that the Norwegian Viking Torkil Onundarson from Rogaland was the first settler in this area. The stone can be seen in Sandavágur Church. Excavations in the town have also uncovered ruins from the Middle Ages.

Á Steig in Sandavágur was the residence of the Lagman, the lawspeaker and leader of the Faroese parliament, until 1816, when the office was abolished and the islands became a Danish administrative district. The clergyman V. U. Hammershaimb, who was born in Sandavágur in 1819 and became the father of the Faroese written language, was the son of the last law speaker.

There is a freestanding rock to the east of the town called Trøllkonufingur, which means Witch’s finger. It is said to have been climbed only once, and the story goes like this:

"Frederick VII of Denmark visited the Faroe Islands in 1844, and a man climbed the Witch’s finger so that he could wave to the King as he sailed past. Later, when the man had come down, he realized that he had left one of his gloves on the top of the rock, so decided to climb it again. On his way to the top he fell and died."

The beautiful red-roofed Church has a distinctive architecture and was built in 1917. A memorial was erected outside the church to one of the many ships that were sunk during the Second World War.

Random question, did the lack of trees make you feel uncomfortable?
Random question, did the lack of trees make you feel uncomfortable?
Haha, we noticed it. Was a little strange tbh.
They made up for it with loads of sheep and great cliffs :D
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Sørvágur (Danish: Sørvåg) is a village on the island of Vágar in the Faroe Islands.

It is located at the landward end of Sørvágsfjørður. Sørvágur is the largest village in Sørvágur Municipality.

The name Sørvágur translates to "The Bay of Sør". While the second half of the name makes sense given the fact that the village is located at a bay, the first half is more mysterious. Legend has it that the first man to settle at this place was called 'Sørli' and hence the village was named in honour of him. Another explanation on the origin of 'Sør' comes from the old-Norse 'Seyr' which is a word for sand (seyr is also a word for foggy rain). Sørvágur has quite a large sandbeach in comparison with other Faroese villages and towns, and therefore it was speculated that the original name of Sørvágur was Seyrvágur, and during the course of time, Seyrvágur became Sørvágur. During the first half of the 20th century local people in Sørvágur tried to correct this historical injustice and used the name Seyrvágur instead of Sørvágur. However, this trend died out again. One reason may be that there is no proof in the Faroese historical records that justifies the name Seyrvágur.

As of today (2005) nobody has come up with at reasonable explanation to the origin of the name Sørvágur.

Sørvágur is considered to be one of the oldest villages in the Faroe Islands. In 1957 the locals decided to build a new school, and during the preparations to build the schools gymnastic hall they excavated an old Viking settlement. Sørvágur - alongside Leirvík, Tjørnuvík and Sandur - is in one of the few places in the Faroe Islands where archaeologists have been able to find substantial proof, that these places were built during the first 100–150 years after the Faroese Landnám in 825.

Even though the village is old, there is no mention of it, or the island of Vágoy, in the old Faeringa Saga from thirteenth century.

Bøur (Danish: Bø) is a village in the Sørvágur Municipality of the Faroe Islands, 4 km west of Sørvágur, with a population of 75 (2012).

Bøur is a small village on the west-side of Vágoy on the north side of Sørvágsfjørður, Faroe Islands. It has a magnificent view over the sea and the rocky islet Tindhólmur with its many peaks, Gáshólmur and the two "drangar", (tall, pointed clifftops sticking up from the sea). This motif is famous on many paintings and photographs.

The old houses in the village are bunched together with narrow lanes between them, and at the western end stands the cozy church, which was built in 1865.

Bøur is an ancient settlement and is mentioned in the so-called Dog Letter dating from 1350 AD, but it is probably older. The village is also mentioned as having a church in a document dated 1710, but it is not known when the first village church was built.

The best-known story from Bøur tells of a dispute about succession to property. Two brothers, Simun and Eirikur, owned all the village property jointly, but Eirikur was keen to have it divided. In the end Eirikur killed his brother, and then travelled over to Kirkjubøur to beg the bishop for mercy. The bishop was inclined to grant him absolution if he paid a large penalty to the bishop and to the church. Eirikur agreed, and the contract was carved out on a wooden beam.

Eirikur sailed back to Bøur, but when he reached the still waters and thought he was out of danger, a great wave rose up, the boat capsized, and he was drowned. The hidden reef has been known ever since as Eiriksboði in memory of the event, and is situated on the inner side of Tindhólmur.

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