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Faroe Islands
I visited many of the islands in various summer holidays

Link to Photogallery of the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are in the northern Atlantic Ocean, at about 62 degrees northern latitude, halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The archipelago consists of eighteen islands, as well as many islets and rocks, with a total land area of some 1,300 square kilometers. The total population of the archipelago is about 50,000, of which some 20,000 in the capital, Tórshavn. Politically, the Faroe Islands are an autonomous region inside the Kingdom of Denmark.

Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, the climate of the Faroe Islands is quite moderate. Precipitation is high, and the weather often changes many times in one day, from heavy showers to bright sunshine.

The western sides of the islands are generally very steep and high; cliffs of 600 meters are no exception. On many steep or vertical slopes one can see various levels of basalt, interrupted by bands of red “tuff”. The interiors of the islands are a mixture of pasture, heather, lakes and rocks.

Like most other oceanic islands, the islands are of volcanic origin. However, Faroe is much older than most oceanic islands. Geologists assume that the islands were formed by volcanic activity in the so-called “Tertiary Period”, some 60 million years ago, together with similar areas in eastern Iceland, the Iceland Westfjords, a small part of Greenland, and some areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

People, economy
The traditional ways of living are - not very surprising - fishing and farming. Nowadays, exports of fish and fish-related products constitute more than 90 percent of foreign revenue.

Travel and tourism
Tourists can entertain themselves with fantastic mountain walks, boat trips (e.g. into fantastic caves), game fishing and bird watching. Access to the islands is easy, with the international airport on Vagur Island, or with the ferry “Norröna”, connecting the main town with Denmark and Iceland. An excellent website is

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Photos and articles are © 2005-2020 Alex Ritsema