GJOGV, FAROE ISLANDS — At 62 degrees north latitude, in the heart of the North Atlantic Gulf Stream, lies a remote cluster of islands known as the Faroes, virtually unknown to North Americans. Lying halfway between Iceland and Norway, this archipelago boasts towering volcanic mountains, waterfalls that cascade from cliffs directly into the sea, paintbox houses, and only 50,000 inhabitants.
The Faroes were settled over a thousand years ago by the Vikings, and are today a self-governing region of Denmark, with its own parliament and flag. The climate is surprisingly moderate, with average high summer temperatures in the 70 degree range (20s Celsius).
This summer, there's a new self-guided hiking program that offers a week in these magnificent, uncrowded islands. The program is from The Great Canadian Travel Company, North America's foremost experts in travel to some of the world's least-traveled regions.
With departures daily throughout the summer, the 8-day, 7-night "Hiking in the Faroe Islands" program is priced at only $979 per person.Â Included are seven nights accommodation in the Faroes, airport transfers, all breakfasts and five dinners.
Upon arrival in the Faroes, you travel from Vagar airport and cross "The Bridge Over the Atlantic" to the island of Eysturoy.Â Accommodations for the next five nights are at the modern Gjaargardur Guesthouse in the tiny seaside hamlet of Gjogv, permanent population 36.
Located at the northern tip of Eysturoy, Gjogv is an ideal base for hiking. From the peak of Faroe’s highest mountain, Slaettaratindur, at 2,893 feet (882 meters) and accessible along its eastern ridge, to the walks across the hills to the neighboring community of Funningur, the area offers a myriad of diversions and spectacular walks.
If you want to go further afield, the island’s bus service is excellent, and with two daily services from Gjogv, you will have no problem travelling to another part of the Faroes should you wish to do so.
On the sixth day, you transfer by local bus to the Faroese capital city of Torshavn, where you are booked for two nights at the Hotel Hafnia, in the town center. Â (There are good connections in both the morning and evening, and the choice is yours.) Once in Torshavn, the hotel is only a short walk from the bus station.
On day 7, you have a free day to explore Torshavn,Â take a boat excursion to the neighboring island of Nolsoy or perhaps an optional day excursion.Â On day 8, you depart from Torshavn by the local coach service to Vagar airport for your departing flight.