The Faroe Islands: A Hidden Gem in Northern Europe


Nestled between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands are a picturesque archipelago that offers a mix of breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture. This island group, situated about halfway between Iceland and Norway, boasts a unique geographical identity in Northern Europe with its 1393 square kilometers entirely made up of land, rugged terrain, and a dramatic coastline stretching over 1,117 kilometers.

Geography and Climate

The Faroe Islands’ terrain is marked by rugged landscapes, rocky outcrops, and modest peaks, providing an awe-inspiring backdrop for both inhabitants and visitors. The highest peak, Slaettaratindur, reaches up to 882 meters, offering panoramic views of the surrounding sea and islands. Despite their northern location, the islands experience mild winters and cool summers, thanks to the North Atlantic Current. However, the weather is often overcast, with frequent fog and wind shaping the islands’ distinct climate.

Natural Resources and Land Use

The natural resources of the Faroe Islands are predominantly oceanic, with fish, whales, and potential oil and gas reserves playing pivotal roles in the local economy. Agricultural land is scarce, making up only 2.10% of the total area, while forests are almost non-existent, covering a mere 0.10%. This limited agricultural scope reflects the islands’ reliance on the sea for sustenance and economic prosperity.

Population and Culture

As of July 2020, the Faroe Islands were home to an estimated 51,628 people, with a significant portion residing on the island of Streymoy, which hosts the capital, Torshavn. The Faroese, speaking the national language of Faroese, enjoy a high quality of life, with 100% of the population having access to electricity and a GDP per capita of $40,000 as of 2014. The urban population accounts for 42.40% of the total, showcasing a balance between modern living and traditional lifestyles.

Capital and Major Urban Areas

Torshavn, the capital, is not just the political and economic hub but also the cultural heart of the Faroe Islands. With a population of approximately 21,000, it epitomizes the blend of contemporary amenities and historic charm that characterizes the archipelago.


The economy of the Faroe Islands is heavily dependent on the fishing industry, which includes fish processing and the export of fish products, accounting for 97% of the export value in 2017. Agriculture, though limited, contributes to the local diet with products such as milk, potatoes, vegetables, and sheep. Tourism, handicrafts, and small ship repairs also play significant roles in the economic landscape. The islands’ main export partners include Russia, the UK, Germany, China, and Spain, while imports mainly come from Denmark, China, and Germany, among others.


With its rugged landscapes, rich maritime resources, and vibrant culture, the Faroe Islands stand out as a unique destination in Northern Europe. The combination of natural beauty, a thriving economy, and a close-knit community makes the Faroe Islands more than just a group of islands in the North Atlantic; they are a place where tradition and modernity coexist harmoniously against a backdrop of unparalleled natural scenery.

Country data

Country Code FO
Region Europe
Surface 1393 sq km
Land Surface 1393 sq km
Water Surface 0 sq km
Agricultural Surface 2.10%
Forest Surface 0.10%
Lowest Elevation Point n/a
Highest Elevation Point Slaettaratindur 882 m
GDP / capita $40,000 (2014 est.)