When you see people traveling to new and exotic places on social media, it's often the same locations over and over again. Have you ever heard of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic? This 18-archipelago vacation spot is home to awe-inspiring views, craggy rocks, and breathtaking scenery from verdant fields to crystal blue waters.
The Faroe Islands are also steeped in rich history and they're self-governing, leaving them mostly untouched by mankind. The place is only populated by about 50,000 people altogether, spread across all the different archipelagos. Many of the villages are small and remote. Here are 10 jaw-dropping sights you must see if you plan a visit.
10 10. Tinganes
It's a given that you'll spend a good amount of time on your vacation in the Faroe capital of Tórshavn. But you should make sure you explore the Tinganes in Tórshavn. It is a very historical town settled on a peninsula. Many of the homes were rebuilt after the 1670 fire laid waste to much of the town.
You can take a guided tour through the area and learn about the parliament and government conducted here. It is home to one of the oldest known parliament meeting places in the world. The homes are colorful and charming, and you'll fill your camera roll up by looking through Tinganes.
9 9. Saint Olav's Day
At Faroe's capital, Tórshavn, if you visit during the right time of July, you can take part in the legendary and traditional Viking celebration known as Saint Olav's Day, or Ólavsøka. The event is known for retaining the traditions performed by Vikings over 1,000 years ago.
The locals dress up in their native Faroese garb and even the same games and market shopping is opened up for everyone to participate in. The specific date is July 29th but the celebration often begins before that. The day is significant because it is the anniversary of Olav Haraldsson's death. He was proclaimed a saint after the Battle of Stiklastad in Norway.
8 8. Slættaratindur
If you're a fan of hiking and high mountaintops, then look no further than Slættaratindur, home to the tallest mountain on the islands. The mountain even made the Guinness World Book of Records for having the longest sightline at 550 kilometers. Supposedly, from atop the mountain, you can see across the horizon all the way to Iceland.
Altogether the mountain rises up to 880 kilometers. It is a tradition for people to climb the mountain on June 21, the day of the summer solstice, and watching the sun rise or set. The hike isn't as daunting as you might think and is okay for children, in addition to only taking about two and a half hours.
7 7. Gjógv
Gjógv is another small village, as many in the Faroe Islands are, but it is home to a famous photography spot. The name Gjógv itself means "gorge" and it is fitting for a location known for its incredible sea-filled gorge. It's a hotspot for nature and travel photographers for a reason.
The village itself has less than 50 known occupants but it has still become a popular destination spot for tourists. Gjógv has a well-known fishing history and a natural harbor, with a memorial erected for the fishermen who have lost their lives over the years while traveling through the harbor.
6 6. Nólsoy
Catch the ferry from Tórshavn to Nólsoy if you're in the mood for a more relaxing day. Nolsoy is a fairly small island that you should be able to tackle in the span of a day trip, but there is still plenty to see and do.
In addition to taking a hike to the Nólsoy lighthouse, you can browse the local village for magnificent artwork and beautiful murals. Another key tourist hotspot in Nólsoy is to plan and visit the most famous taxidermist on the island to get an up close and personal look at some of the local wildlife.
5 5. Kallur Lighthouse
On the narrow island of Kalsoy, you can visit a place that will give you one of the most captivating sights on all the Faroe Islands. Housed on Kalsoy is the Kallur Lighthouse, and it is only an hour-long hike to get to it. From inside the lighthouse, you'll be able to see the vast vista of sea and rocky cliff faces.
Kallur Lighthouse is indeed a working lighthouse that aids in guiding the ships from the Atlantic Ocean. It is a rustic and stoic building rich with history that will grant you dramatic, breathtaking views. Enjoy the seaside and crisp air from atop the Kallur.
4 4. Sørvágsvatn
Sørvágsvatn is one of the first places you'll come across if you arrive by the traditional route on the Faroe Islands. It is known for having the largest lake in the area. While it doesn't sound all that exciting, it is notable due to the fantastic illusory sight. Depending on where you're standing, it can appear that the lake is actually raised off the ground and above the oceanic waters.
It's a picture-perfect spot to capture a scenic memory and brag to your friends and family about the spectacular islands you were lucky enough to visit. The area is hidden between high cliffs and the lake flows straight into the ocean.
3 3. Saksun
Saksun village is located on the largest island in the Faroe Islands group. It is also the most populated. The island is called Streymoy and houses the Storá river. The Saksun church was created because, years before, the inhabitants of Saksun had to take a long, treacherous hike to Tjørnuvík.
Eventually, it was decided to reassemble the church in Saksun. Like many other locations in the Faroe Islands, it is a beautiful area surrounded by lush flora and the Norweigan Sea. There are known to be wild sheep that wander around the roads of Saksun, but the church is renowned for its history and beauty.
2 2. Mykines
Mykines is a tiny island situated in the archipelago of the Faroe Islands. It is most known for being home to the adorable puffin bird. Many people like to take a day trip to this island, as it is only accessible by ferry, and explore the beautiful home of these seabirds who walk around freely near the small village housed on the island.
There are guided tours offered to keep you on the right pathways and ensure you don't trample on any nesting grounds. Puffins aren't the only birds you'll see here—there are also many migratory sea birds that make their home in the Mykines.
1 1. Gásadalur
This remote village is tucked away in a picturesque landscape amidst mountains and the famed waterfall known as the Múlafossur. You won't want to miss out on visiting this tiny slice of heaven. The population is estimated to house only about a dozen or so people.
Prior to 2004, it was impossible to get to the island without taking a long hike or a helicopter ride. But recent years saw the creation of a tunnel to allow car travel, and now it has become a tourist hot spot. The small village overlooks the ocean and you'd be hard-pressed to find more scenic views.