Situated roughly half way between Scotland and Iceland in the Northeast Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 mountainous islands, with a total land area of some 1400 sq. kilometres, a sea area of 274,000 sq. kilometres and a population of just over 47,000. The language of the Faroe Islands, Faroese, is a west Nordic language, which derives from the language of the Norsemen who settled the islands 1200 years ago.
Since 1948, the Faroe Islands have been a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. The country has its own language and its own flag.
An old saying has it that "Faroe islanders are born with an oar in their hands". Very few other places on earth are so strongly influenced by the sea. On these steep, rocky islands pounded by heavy surf in the middle of the Atlantic, it is difficult to find a location from which the sea cannot be seen or felt, even with closed eyes. The roar of the great sea and the screaming of the sea birds can be heard even in calm weather. The booming of the surf is deafening during winter storms. The air tastes of salt and smells of seaweed.
Even though the islands have undergone a dramatic development towards a modern, differentiated business community during the past fifty years, the Faroese still live off the sea – the Faroese fishing fleet is the biggest in the world, measured by the size of the population, and fishing, fish breeding, and shipping in general account for most exports.
The visitors who put the Faroes on their travel itinerary are greeted by breathtaking landscapes, exciting historical legends, a striking abundance of animal species, a powerful cultural heritage and the presence of hospitable individuals, who are accustomed to living in close accord with nature.
Nature is there as soon as you step outside the door, the landscape is vertical, importunate, rich in structure, form and colour. The sea and the sky have a thousand faces and illuminations.
The Faroes are also a highly modern society with excellent means of transportation, a good variety of accommodation possibilities and an extensive number of noteworthy tourist attractions.