Looking for somewhere new to put on your must-visit list? With wildlife, rugged cliffs and wild weather, plus a population of just 50,000 (along with 80,000 sheep), the Faroe Islands are the perfect place to get away from both the crowds and the stress of the modern world.
According to the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list 2021, the Faroe Islands are set to transform travel because they offer authentic and unforgettable experiences that give back to local communities.
According to Visit Faroe Islands, there’s an otherworldly experience to be had at this remote archipelago made up of 18 islands – located midway between Iceland and Norway, and north of Scotland – where you can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, fishing and adventure sports in the freshest of sea air.
A visit in 2021 is guaranteed to help you switch off in one of the most peaceful places on earth.
So what’s new?
1. Hot new hotels
The Faroe Islands’ first international hotel brand, Hilton Garden Inn opened last month – complete with wellness centre, outdoor hot tub and sauna – and a new independent four-star hotel, Hotel Brandan, opened in mid-2020. Both are situated in the islands’ capital, Tórshavn.
2. Visit the most remote James Bond movie location yet
The hotly-anticipated 25th James Bond film, ‘No Time to Die’, was filmed partly on the island of Kalsoy, known for its twisting roads, deep valleys and also Kallur Lighthouse, perched on a steep cliff at the top of the island. Hikers make the journey to the lighthouse from the village of Trøllanes. Kalsoy stretches over 18 very rugged kilometres, with four villages and around 150 inhabitants. There is little there besides the dramatic scenery, making it the perfect place to hide from the world. In 2021, you’ll be able to take a James Bond Sightseeing Tour and hike your way around the film locations, led by a specialist guide
3. The second longest vehicle tunnel in the world will open
Six years in the making, the new subsea tunnel will connect three locations on Streymoy and Eysturoy and will significantly reduce travelling time around the Faroe Islands. Opening in January 2021, the Eysturoy Tunnel will be the second-longest subsea tunnel for vehicles in the world, and the only tunnel in the world to feature a roundabout! What’s more, the roundabout will showcase a captivating artwork, a light installation by Faroese artist Tróndur Patursson.
4. The islands will be open for Voluntourism
In 2021 the Faroe Islands will once again close 10 of its most popular visitor sites to tourists for one weekend in April; unless you’re willing to pull up your sleeves and help to preserve the country’s nature and birdlife sanctuaries and to help ensure that key locations remain accessible, safe and sustainable. Previous years have seen thousands of people apply from around the world – ranging from Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Taiwan to Russia, Malaysia and all over Europe.
Just 100 volunteer places are available and, in 2021, volunteers will be working side-by-side with locals on new projects. They will enjoy local hospitality during the project as a way of thanking them for their commitment and hard work.
5. A new whisky and gin distillery
Faer Isles Distillery will be one of the most northerly whisky – and gin – distilleries in the world. The salty, windswept island air provides the optimal environment for whisky maturation, and the climate (similar to Scotland, only more humid, more salty, and more stable in temperature) makes it perfect for maturing whisky in barrels. The natural surroundings provide the juniper, angelica, nettles and seaweed used in production of the new Faroese gin and, as the local water is very clean and almost mineral-free, it is perfect for the production of high-quality spirits.
How to get there
Daily flights to the Faroe Islands (London to Vágar Island, via Copenhagen) operate year-round. Seasonal twice-weekly direct flights to the Faroe Islands (Edinburgh to Vágar Island) operate from October to March.