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Food, festivals and natural phenomenon in the Faroes

1st December 2013 Print

For such a small destination, the newly-branded Faroe Islands present a range of experiences for the curious traveller. This natural hamper in the middle of the north Atlantic is rapidly becoming recognised as a world-class foodie haven; there are new hiking and walking festivals, and this green archipelago of gems will be one of only two destinations in the world from where the total solar eclipse on 20 March 2015 can be observed from land.

The ‘Un-destination’
Serving as a backdrop to new, unique and quirky developments is a new brand concept for the destination (described below) and a new film that perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere of the Faroes.

Many of the words used to describe the Faroe Islands are so-called un-words, such as ‘unknown’ or ‘untamed.’ Perhaps ordinary descriptive words just aren’t adequate. Or perhaps this hidden, treeless land of contrasts evokes such unique emotions in its visitors, that the best way to describe it is by setting it apart from the rest, by applying the inherent meaning of the small, yet powerful, prefix - un.

Developed by branding agencies SANSIR (Faroese) and Liquid Minds (Danish)

Dine and stay – the capital Torshavn’s Hotel Foroyar has been selected as the top ‘Dine & Stay’ hotel in Denmark by the Danish Gourmet Guide (den danske Spiseguide). This grass-roofed hotel blends in with the surrounding landscape, affords pretty views over the city and its contemporary interior design contrasts deliberately dimly-lit corridors with bright and light rooms. The same den danske Spiseguide also selected Hotel Foroyar’s restaurant Koks as one of Denmark’s Top Five restaurants. Opened and run by Leif Sørensen, Koks offers unique dishes of fermented fish, organic lamb, indigenous herbs, local rhubarb and much more. Another Faroese chef, Gutti Winther, has launched his own television programme called Spískamarið, meaning pantry. Each episode is dedicated to a different island’s food. Gutti has recently become part of the newly-formed Nordic Food Project.

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation within the Kingdom of Denmark

Hiking and music – experience the new Hoyma festival in September (exact date tbc) a celebration of music that goes back to basics. Reconnecting the audience with the performer, ten family homes’ living rooms become mini forums for musical artists. With no lighting or sound equipment, it’s a concept reminiscent of the ancient Faroese tradition of friends and families gathering in each others’ houses for story-telling and singing. Also new is the seven-night Hiking and Music Festival (7-14 August), bringing together walks during the day through beguiling landscapes – think dramatic cliffs, green valleys, waterfalls and volcanic rocks – and magical, intimate concerts in various venues in the evenings.

Total solar eclipse, 20 March 2015, 9:41am - the Faroe Islands will be one of only two places in the world where this natural phenomenon can be observed from land (the other is Svalbard). The first record of a total solar eclipse in the Faroe Islands was 30 May 1612 at 11:25am and is steeped in legend. The story goes that four quarrelsome brothers from the village of Sumba were one day shrouded in darkness whilst tending to their sheep. They were petrified and promised the Lord that if they lived through the terrible experience, they would live harmoniously. The sun soon reappeared and indeed, the brothers never quarrelled again.

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