With the dramatically perching cliffsides, ruggedly photogenic terrains, and sprawling serene plains, all surrounded by melodramatic waters, the fairytale-like Faroe Islands makes you almost feel like you’re on Asgard.
Aside from being absolutely picture-perfect, the Faroe Islands also offer up a very meaningful push for sustainability.
Closed for maintenance… with a catch
Earlier this year, the islands were Closed for Maintenance for a weekend in April for “voluntourists” and locals alike to carry out maintenance works on the islands. With the increased footfall due to the Faroe Islands’ surging popularity. Being the stunning beauty that it is, it’s easy to see why!
Launching again for next year, the Faroe Islands would once again be closed in April 2020. For those who had already applied, good luck! For those who have missed the application this year, fret not, because there are already plans for another Closed for Maintenance weekend in 2021.
Woman with a sheep © Visit Faroe Islands/CNN
Next year, the initiative would span across 14 locations all over the Faroe Islands.
Visit the beautiful islands for a cause
As the archipelago only has a population of about 50,000 people, there are limited funds and resources they can contribute to maintaining the conditions of the facilities of the islands.
Especially with increasing usage from tourist numbers, there is a greater need for more reliable infrastructure and its upkeep.
Devising an ingenious idea to solve both the problems of the stress on the islands as well as the increasing incoming traffic, the Danish territory decided to combine both. As a result, Closed for Maintenance was born.
Voluntourist putting up a sign in the Faroe Islands © Visit Faroe Islands
This campaign is not just a marketing one, but also to give (a lucky select few) visitors a more authentic and immersive experience.
As the voluntourists would be working, interacting, and some even living with locals, it also gives the effort a cultural exchange edge. This year saw 105 people from 25 countries spread across 10 projects.
Group of voluntourists in the Faroe Islands © Visit Faroe Islands
The projects included some of the most popular and famous sites of the Faroe Islands, including Mykines, which houses the iconic puffin colony where you’d be able to see the adorable puffins in their natural habitat up close.
While you’d be able to choose either a boat ride or helicopter ride to see the birds, choose the boat ride. You’ll catch glimpses of some of the most stunning sights along the way, including the breathtaking Tindhólmur islet.
The Faroe Islands are also where you would be able to find the mystical otherworldly-looking lake Sørvágsvatn. With the serene lake seeming perched remarkably high above the sea, couple that with the remoteness of the islands, and it truly is one of the most beautiful sights in existence.
Making headway in sustainable tourism
Some of the tasks on this one-of-a-lifetime opportunity includes clearing up debris and restoring the pathways to ensure safety.
Guðrið Højgaard, the director of Visit Faroe Islands, spoke of their sustainable tourism strategy, Join the Preservolution: “It highlights four main cornerstones that focus on attracting a certain type of traveler; on spreading tourism across all islands, all year round; on knowledge and professionalization of our industry; and, finally, on advocating for a new legislative framework regarding sustainable access to land.”
Perhaps, as we shine more light on sustainable tourism, and with more and more people getting hands-on experience with it, traveling, on the whole, can be more purposeful and gracious, no matter the destination.
You can still visit the Faroe Islands now until April 2020, so book your flights now!