If island hopping is your go-to holiday desire and you're sick and tired of the blistering sun and over-priced pina coladas, try heading over off the coast of Denmark for a spin on island hopping.
Unlike other traditional islands we think of, the Faroe Islands have a colder, windier climate year-round. The 18 islands consisting of the Faroe Islands are self-governing and the locals live a very quiet and peaceful life. While there may not be too many sight-seeing tours to take around the Faroe Islands, it's perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and people looking for hiking adventures. But before heading over, here are 10 fun things to know before booking your flight.
10 WHERE ARE THE ISLANDS ANYWAY?
We mentioned the Faroe Islands are off the coast of Denmark and are historically apart of Denmark. However, these islands are self-governing and separate themselves as such.
If looking at a map, you'll notice the Faroe Islands are in smack dab in the middle between Norway and Iceland, just north of Scotland. And while there are 18 islands attached to Faroe Island's name, it's only 70 miles long.
9 THERE'S NO PRISON ON THE ISLAND
According to the Faroe Islands official homepage, there's actually no prison on the island! The percentages of crime and scandal are so low on the islands that if anyone does need to be sent to prison, they're sent to larger prisons over on the mainland in Denmark.
There is a local jail small enough for less serious crimes but anyone who needs to be locked away for longer than a year gets sent off the island.
8 CAMPING IS NOT ALLOWED
While the Faroe Islands have some of the most picturesque views in the world, you actually won't be able to set up a camping site while on your hike. Knowing you're never more than three miles from the ocean (the islands aren't very wide), weather conditions can be tricky no matter the time of year, making camping extremely dangerous.
If you do want to have a campsite, you'll need to find designated and regulated campgrounds along the islands that are available for use. Anything outside these campgrounds is illegal.
7 WITH A SMALL POPULATION, YOU WON'T FIND A MCDONALD'S ON THE ISLAND
The Faroe Islands is home to around 50,000 people, which isn't many people when you think about the billions of people alive today. However, if one of those 50,000 people wanted to go through a McDonald's drive-thru for some greasy, fried food, they'd be out of luck.
The Faroe Islands are one of the only places in Europe that don't have a McDonald's. However, the islands do have a Burger King over in Torshavn if they're really in the mood.
6 YOU'LL NOTICE THE GRASS ROOFS
Whether you're roaming around the Faroe Islands or planning your next trip, you'll notice most homes in the countryside have grass roofs. Roofs are created like this to protect the home from Faroe's wet weather and unpredictable seasons.
Once in a Lifetime Journey even noted that some homeowners place sheep on their roofs to keep the grass from over-growing! Regardless of protection and maintaining their lawn roofs, these grass roofs have become a Faroe Island staple.
5 THERE ARE MORE PUFFINS & SHEEP THAN HUMANS
Puffins are an adorable species of penguin that love to call the Faroe Islands home. And although the climate may be perfect to these precious creatures, you're not going to see them as often as you'll see the sheep (see below).
Mostly hanging out by the Black Sea Cliffs, thousands of puffins come here to rest and breed. In fact, besides the puffins, there are 300 other species of birds to look out for, so bring your bird watching equipment!
4 AND SHEEP ARE KING
Puffins are cute and all but can you imagine living in a world where there's more sheep in your town than humans? With over 70,000 sheep roaming the islands, some are forced to wear reflective wear to keep them safe from cars when it gets too dark.
Furthering on that point, these sheep don't have much fear and have no problem walking in the middle of the road or right up to people, so tourists need to be careful when roaming.
3 WANT TO TRAVEL THROUGHOUT THE ISLAND? BUS TRIPS ARE FREE
If there's one thing a tourist appreciates when venturing off in to a new city, it's easy and accessible transportation. As we can understand now, not too many tourists are going to come across Ubers or cabs in the Faroe Islands. Instead, you can take a bus because it's free! Now, these buses don't drive throughout the entirety of the islands for free, but they do bring you around the area wherever there are stops.
Mainly done in Tórshavn (the capital), keep an eye out for the red buses, which let you know they're free. Blue buses require a fee.
2 CHECK OUT THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
In high altitude areas, seeing the Northern Lights is one of the reasons tourists make the trip. This natural light show in the sky is so incredible and can only be seen by a few places in the world. And luckily, one of those places are in the Faroe Islands.
Mostly seen in the winter months, tourists can come between November and February for their chance to see the aurora borealis. However, the weather does need to be corresponding for the best chance to see it.
1 THERE'S AN OPTICAL ILLUSION LAKE
Lake Sørvágsvatn is found in the Faroe Islands and is the ultimate optical illusion. Found within a cliff, it hangs beautifully over the sea. Being the largest lake in the Faroe Islands, this is one illusion that's worth seeing. In the colder months during the winter, the lake actually freezes, creating an awesome place to ice fish.