Faroe Islands closed for ecological maintenance!
The Faroe Archipelago, located halfway between Iceland and Norway, is one of the best preserved places on the planet and it hopes to stay that way! Ten of the Archipelago’s key sites were closed on 26th and 27th April 2019 for ecological maintenance and spring cleaning. A radical and unprecedented preventive measure for better cohabitation between ecology and tourism.
A natural sanctuary to preserve
Belonging to Denmark, these 18 volcanic islands lost in the middle of the North Atlantic boast an outstanding natural heritage and amazing landscapes…
Here, nature and birds reign, and sheep even outnumber humans (80,000 to 50,000)! The downside is that tourist numbers have increased by 10% in recent years to reach 100,000 visitors yearly, double the indigenous population!
A maintenance weekend
Prevention is better than cure. The local authorities are conscious of the economic and ecological challenges posed by this natural heritage, which has fortunately been preserved up to present, and they have called on the Faroese to safeguard themselves from the harmful effects of excessive tourism. The inhabitants proposed to improve trekking conditions so as to limit the impact of visitors on the environment and farmlands. To carry out these projects, an “ecological maintenance” weekend was organised in April. The agenda included creating walking trails, setting up viewpoints and installing signs to direct the flow of visitors. These developments mainly concerned the island of Mykines, known as a paradise for birds, and Gásadalur. Simultaneously, the Faroe Tourist Office put out a call over the internet for any foreigners willing to participate along with the local volunteers. About a hundred foreign helpers were thus recruited, and received room and board from the local authorities in exchange for their assistance.
At the end of this original, constructive weekend, volunteers were rewarded for all their hard work with a big party in true Faroese style.
Faroe, a unique destination
This innovative operation followed in the wake of other original initiatives by the Faroe Islands. This archipelago, lost in the middle of nowhere, is full of imagination for attracting outside attention and winning over hearts! For example, in 2016, the local tourist office had the idea of affixing 360° cameras onto the backs of sheep to convince Google to add the Faroe Islands onto Street View!
The good news is that the Faroe Islands have now reopened their doors to visitors! An off-the-beaten-path destination for all nature-loving globetrotters looking for an original experience.
Find out more