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‘Exhilarating’ Faroe Islands with breathtaking scenery are one of Europe’s best kept secrets

Simon Calder’s Travel

The Faroe Islands will welcome more UK visitors than ever before this year as a new London to Vágar route opens.

The destination has seen an increase in interest thanks in part to TikTok videos celebrating its views and epic landscapes.

The self-governing nation within the Kingdom of Denmark has a population of under 50,000 – and 70,000 sheep. Whether such an isolated archipelago of volcanic rock in the North Atlantic Ocean – centred between Scotland, Norway and Iceland, in a spot where it rains 300 days a year and is generally windy for longer – can handle many more visitors remains to be seen. But if you do fancy a visit, here’s how to make the most of it.

Atlantic Airways will fly from London Gatwick to Vágar starting on 1 June 2024, with a flying time of just over two hours.

Traditionally the main airport links with Vágar, one of 18 islands in the archipelago, are Copenhagen and Berlin.

Here Ben West reveals what you need to know about holidays on the Faroe Islands.

Best things to do on The Faroe Islands

Bird’s eye view

Your aeroplane landing at little Vágar Airport gives a striking introduction to what’s in store on this dramatic archipelago: a descent over spectacular Sørvágsvatn Lake, towering knife-sharp mountains jutting from gloriously lush green grass, with no trees or buildings anywhere.

Conquer the capital

The compact and cosy capital, Tórshavn, on the largest island, Streymoy, is a lovely contrast to the rugged landscapes. Just a bit bigger than it was 150 years ago, it has dinky little grass-roofed wooden houses, a colourful, pretty harbour, and you can dip into the National Gallery.

Puffin safari

The wild mountains, deep valleys and dramatic cliffs mean that hiking, biking, fishing, surfing, diving and horse riding are all popular. They’re especially a magnet for bird-watchers, and a boat trip to Vestmanna on northern Streymoy, or the secluded island of Mykines, to spot seabirds such as puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and Arctic terns nesting in high cliffs, swooping down and gliding past you, is exhilarating.

(Ben West)

Foodie heaven

Two Michelin-star Koks, situated in the unprepossessing village of Kirkjubøur, serves outrageously innovative seasonal dishes. Though the food is distinctly contemporary, every effort is put into exploring traditional techniques in the making of it: drying,…

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