Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Colorful and Picturesque Villages of Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands is a group of 18 islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The Islands have a population of nearly 50,000 and a language and culture of their own. The Faroe Islands are undeniably beautiful: green, rugged and wind-swept. The countryside is dominated by steep mountains, vertical sea cliffs and picturesque valleys. During summer, the Faroe Islands turn extraordinarily green and this is usually the best time to visit.

There are over a hundred villages in the Faroe Islands. Nearly every single one of them is situated near the ocean, and to new visitors they may all seem to be very much alike. The houses are either painted in bright colours or the traditional black, whilst the roofs are often turf covered. The buildings are usually built very close to each other, which is very cosy. In most places sheep occupy the outfield throughout the whole year.

Although the history of the Faroe Islands dates back to the 6th century, towns didn’t start to appear until very late. For instance, the capital, Tórshavn, only counted about 100 inhabitants in 1900, whereas today the number has escalated into nearly 20,000. In the Faroe Islands the traditional village was to a certain extent self-sufficient. When the fishing industry took off in 1872, it was the beginning of the end for the traditional way of life in the small villages as fishing replaced farming and the growing population chose to settle in the fast growing towns instead.

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The Faroe Islands' primary industry is the fishing industry and the islands have one of the smallest independent economic entities in the world. The fishing industry accounts for over 80% of the total export value of goods, which are mainly processed fish products and fish farming. Tourism is the second largest industry, followed by woolen and other manufactured products.

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Klaksvík is the second largest town of the Faroe Islands. It has an important harbour with fishing industry and a modern fishing fleet. Photo credit

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Klaksvik. Photo credit

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Klaksvik. Photo credit

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Eiði is a large village located on the north-west tip of Eysturoy, Faroe Islands. Photo credit

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Eiði. Photo credit

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Eiði. Photo credit

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Porkeri is a village in the Faroe Islands, situated northeast of Vágur on Suðuroy's east coast. As of 2008 it had a population of 362, and it has been inhabited at least as early as the 14th century. Photo credit

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Porkeri. Photo credit

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Funningur is located on the north-west coast of Eysturoy. About 70 people live in Funningur on both sides of a cascading stream in a compact cluster of houses around a small bay. Photo credit

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Funningur, Photo credit

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Bøur is a small village on the west-side of Vágoy on the north side of Sørvágsfjørður, Faroe Islands. It has a magnificent view over the sea and the rocky islet Tindhólmur with its many peaks, Gáshólmur and the two "drangar", (tall, pointed clifftops sticking up from the sea). This motif is famous on many paintings and photographs. Photo credit

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Tórshavn is the capital and largest town of the Faroe Islands. The Vikings established their parliament on the Tinganes peninsula in 850 CE, thus Tórshavn was made capital of Faroe Islands and has remained so ever since. The town has grown rapidly ever since the turn of the 20th century into the undisputed administrative, economic and cultural center of the Faroes. Photo credit

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Tórshavn. Photo credit

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Gjógv is a village located on the northeast tip of the island of Eysturoy, in the Faroe Islands and 63 km (39 mi) north by road from the capital of Tórshavn. The village was named after a 200-metre (650 ft) long sea-filled gorge that runs north to the sea from the village. Photo credit

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Gjógv. Photo credit

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Kirkjubøur is the southernmost village on Streymoy, Faroe Islands and the country's most important historical site. Photo credit

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Vágur meaning Bay is a town and an important port on the island of Suðuroy, part of the Faroe Islands and an important port. It is situated on the east coast of the island on the Vágsfjørður fjord, and was founded in the fourteenth century. Photo credit

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Vágur. Photo credit

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Vágur. Photo credit

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The town of Sandavágur lies on the south coast of the Faroese island of Vágar, and has been voted the most well-kept village in the Faroes twice. The name Sandavágur means sandy creek and refers to the beach down by the inlet. Photo credit

Sources: Wikitravel, Wikipedia

More From Faroe Islands

The Cloud Covered Island of Litla Dimun

Lake Sørvágsvatn in Faroe Islands

Mass Whale Hunting in Faroe Islands

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