Have you ever been to the Faroe Islands (Fær Øer)? Located between Iceland, Norway, and Scotland, they are a group of 18 islands that are part of the Danish Kingdom. No, there aren’t hordes of bicycles there; instead, you’ll find herds of sheep. Thinking about visiting the Faroe Islands? Maps and guides can point you in the right direction, but first you need to know what to look for (puffins, obviously!).
Here are the plants and animals that make the Faroe Islands so unique:
These birds are the cutest things ever. They walk like penguins, they fly awkwardly in order to catch their food (silver sardines from the ocean), and their beaks are so colorful that they are called the “Parrots of the Sea.” Where can you see puffins? Usually, puffins hide in small holes in cliffs. Scandinavia is a perfect habitat for this pelagic bird, and in the Faroe Islands, there is a special place to find them: Mykines. This small island is located on the western end of the Faroe Archipelago and you will need to take a ferry or a helicopter to get to its spectacular cliffs. There are a huge number of birds living there during the summertime. But if you imagine the puffin as the king of the land, you are mistaken; the national bird of the Faroe Islands is the Oystercatcher. You can recognize this bird for its long orange beak and its unique “kleep, kleep” call.
Even if you are not a professional birdwatcher, consider bringing binoculars on your Faroe Islands trip to get a good look at these feathered friends.
No matter the season or the weather of the Faroe Islands, you will see sheep. You’ll see them from your car or from your hiking route. Faroese sheep come in many colors and sometimes their hair is so long that you can’t see their faces (very Ramones of them)!
If someone spins you a yard about magical forests in the Faroe Islands, don’t buy it. Yes, the land is certainly magical, but trees haven’t found a home here. The purity of the landscape is breathtaking, perhaps because of the endless green carpet that surrounds you. Because every view is incredible, hiking is a fantastic way to see the country. Driving is another great way to take in the vistas.
If you’re drawn to a life by the sea, this place is definitely for you. Sailing in the Faroe Islands is the best way to partake in local life. There are many tales and songs connected with the sea; it is a major part of the Faroese culture. Under the water of the Faroe Islands, there are pilot whales, queens of the land, salmon, cod, and gray seals. Have you heard the legend of the seal woman? Take a ferry to Kalsoy island to see her wave-splashed statue in Mikladur, then ask someone to tell you the fairy tale of the selkie woman and her husband!
Angelica & Marigold
Hiking in the Faroe Islands is one of the best ways to get a sense of the landscape. The flora of the Faroe Islands has two special flowers: Angelica Archangelica and the bright yellow Marigold. Sólja, also known as buttercup or marigold, is the national flower. The Angelica is very popular in Scandinavian countries. It is considered medicinal and is used to flavor food and beverages.
Rossið means “horse” in Faroese. You’ll be sure to meet some of these beautiful animals during your trip. The Faroese horse (also called the Faroe Pony) breed is unique, with a fairly small stature. Don’t be fooled by their size; they are very strong! Horseback riding in the Faroe Islands is another popular way to experience the landscape.
Get more information on visiting the Faroe Islands!