In a world where our time is increasingly in demand, where we are never more than a text message or an email away from being in touch with family, friends or colleagues, where our cities are bustling and peace is hard to find, it’s not surprising that many of us look for an escape.
We crave peace, quiet and tranquillity and perhaps feel an inner yearning for more simpler times.
Where better to escape to than a magical group of islands in the north sea. A place where peace and tranquillity are meshed perfectly with the stunning natural beauty of both the landscape and it’s people.
Located in the North Atlantic Gulf Stream between Iceland, Scotland and Norway, the Faroe Islands are one of Europe’s last hidden treasures.
Comprised of 18 islands more or less shaped like an arrowhead, the Faroe Islands have a combined population of only about 50,000.
In fact, the capital city of Torshavn is one of the smallest national capital in the world. But what the islands lack in population, they make up for in natural beauty.
The 18 major islands which make up the Faroe Islands are as follows.
– Eysturoy, Fugloy, Hestur, Kalsoy, Koltur, Borðoy, Kunoy, Lítla Dímun, Mykines, Nólsoy, Sandoy, Skúvoy, Stóra Dímun, Streymoy, Suðuroy, Svínoy, Vágar, Viðoy.
Faroe Islands hit the headlines
The Faroe Islands was almost unheard of outside of Scandinavia and the British Shipping Forecast until 1991 when the Faroese national football team was given member status by FIFA.
The part-time players that made up the team instantly made headlines across Europe when they defeated the stars of Austria in its first ever competitive match 1-0.
The scorer that day, Torkil Nilsson, etched his name into Faroese football folklore as did the bobble hat-wearing goalkeeper, Jens Martin Knudsen, who withstood all the pressure the Austrian attack, led by Toni Polster, could throw at him.
It could be said, the Islands footballers made the world sit up and take notice of their tiny country.
The Faroes was also familiar to many an intrepid European fishing fleet which sought to make the most of this rich fishing ground by use of the famous shipping forecast.
Situated in and around the islands, this area would be featured in the forecast which would alert crew members as to what weather they might expect to encounter while out on the high seas.
The name, Faroe Islands, sounds as mystical as the islands are majestic. The name conjures up a vision of a landscape which you’d might expect to find in a JRR Tolkein adventure. The names of these islands sounds like something straight out of the pages of Lord of the Rings
But actually the name means Sheep Islands, and a sheep appears on the coat of arms of the Faroese government.
Sheep is a most appropriate image to have on the flag. There are many sheep dotted around the hills of the islands but it is the abundance and variety of birdlife which lures visitors to the country for the first time or back, time and time again.