Faroe Islands Travel

5 things which suprised me in Faroes!

What comes to your mind when you think of the Faroe Islands? Endless green fields with cheerful frolicking sheep, distant gray cliffs on the horizon, all enveloped in the scent of cinnamon because, after all, we’re heading north, right? The homeland of these pastries, the Christmas spirit, and of one Santa’s legs, maybe two.

Sounds like the description of some cheap shower gel from drugstore called “Fresh, slightly wet from rain wool.” It has nothing to do with the Islands you find on the spot: raw, unpredictable, wild, and at times seemingly inhospitable but undeniably captivating. The Faroe Islands are everything you don’t expect.

Me, author of this blog, at this time unaware how deeply will I fall in love with Faroes, convinced it’s only “a couple of weeks” place :d Well, hi, month THIRD and more to come :d

What did I expect? Well, armed with knowledge gained from reading a phenomenal book by Marcin Michalski and Maciej Wasielewski (title “80:1”) and an equally outstanding crime trilogy by Mroz, which plot is based in Faroes, I set out for the Islands, convinced I knew what I was getting into. Heck, I thought I was PREPARED. Sweet naivety! Today’s post is about why I was so wrong: 5 things that surprised me in the Faroes!


The taxi driver pulls up to the address I gave, takes out the 30kg of luggage from the car, and gestures for me to open the door so he can put it inside. To which I helplessly reply “But I don’t have a key!” He looks at me as if I just spouted some utter nonsense and says, “Why do you need a key? The door is definitely open.” It was. Furthermore, I’ve been living here for three months, and I think I’ve closed it a few times myself.

Open doors are so deeply ingrained that they’re taken for granted. A courier delivering a package to your home, literally TO you, a mail carrier leaving letters on the hallway table, or a neighbor coming in to tell you that the wind carried your trash bags across the neighborhood. Closing the door would be a clear sign that SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT and a cause for concern for the neighbors. And Faroese people don’t like to be concerned.

A few days later, I went to do some shopping. It was early, so there were only a few cars in the parking lot. What astonished me was that all of them, without exception, were left… with the engines running! I don’t want to demonize continental Europe here, but I have a feeling you wouldn’t finish saying “Why is gasoline so expensive” before a thief would be halfway to the border. In the Faroe Islands, you can confidently leave your car running with the keys inside, after all, even if you steal someone’s car, where are you going to escape to? Across the ocean to Greenland? Exactly.

Leaving a car is one thing, but a child? Although for many, these expressions are synonymous, the magnitude of the two cases is different. So it might seem. Not here, not on the Faroe Islands. Whether it’s a café or a shop, you can safely leave your child in a stroller, with the certainty that nothing will happen to them. Worst-case scenario, a curious Faroese grandma will peek into the stroller and coo at the baby or adjust their blanket.


Sheep dairy variations! My biggest culinary surprise was realizing that a product like COTTAGE CHEESE doesn’t exist here. Sheep are popular, but on the meat counter, not the dairy one. So if you dream of sandwiches with cottage cheese, well, I suggest you change that dream to a sandwich with fermented sheep meat. That’s readily available!

Faroese cuisine revolves around lamb, dried fish, and everything that used to live but could be fermented. Delicious! On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are but a pale shadow of their continental counterparts. Dull carrots and tasteless tomatoes? Both trigger rather melancholy thoughts, and against your will, you start fantasizing about utterly ordinary flavors. You can’t blame yourself; even though it makes sense – all, these products have traveled quite a distance. But it doesn’t reduce the frequency of thoughts that begin with “I’d love to have a simple… sandwich with cottage cheese / a tomato salad / a juicy apple.”

Little cafe in Mykines: perfect embodiment of Faroese cuisine!

Don’t get me wrong I’m not sayin Faroese cuisine is awful. It does have delicious sides too! Like cinammon rolls from my favourite bakery in Torshavn, Breyðvirkið. What is also worth mentioning, it’s their rhubarb creativity – amazing desserts with this plant (which grows here, abundantly, everywhere). But… To put it mildly, I miss cottage cheese!

Pssst! They don’t know sauerkraut here either.


This is the right line of reasoning in Albania, where you can get fresh shrimp or fish caught this morning for next to nothing. But not on the Faroes. Here, price justice prevails. Everything is EXPENSIVE! I’m not kidding. I live here, work here, and earn in DKK, and I still have the same thought every time I shop: “daylight robbery.” My biggest surprise was the prices of fish! I was expecting to devour tons of it – I love seafood – but here you go, even processed fish is expensive.

To the most frequently asked question: is it as expensive as in Poland, my answer remains unchanged: No. It’s more expensive.


The weather forecast in the Islands is merely inspiration for what you might expect, not information about what you’ll experience. After all, we’re on an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. The only constant is change. And the undisputed master in this category is undoubtedly the weather. It can change in the blink of an eye, and even the sunniest day can turn into a small storm. This doesn’t mean that sunny days don’t happen here! They certainly do, and believe me, there’s no more beautiful place on earth during those times. But be cautious! Always have a rain poncho in your backpack!

So treat the weather forecast as a loose inspiration.

Foggy Gasadalur. Forecast: full sun, no clouds, no rain. Weather check : see the picture above :d


Before my foot even touched the ground at the Copenhagen airport, my name was already circulating from one person to another – something I was completely unaware of. It had nothing to do with any fame preceding me. Absolutely not. It was the result of Faroese people’s favorite sport: GOSSIP. The word had spread that a new girl would be working at one of the bars. A Pole. Aleksandra. On my first day as a bartender, when I tried to introduce myself, I smiled, extended my hand, took a deep breath, and started, “Hey, I’m…” at which point a Faroese interrupted me, saying, “Aleksandra! Welcome to the Faroes!”

The next day, on my way to work, I was greeted with polite hellos, waves, and shouts from passing cars, “Alex! Heyyyyyy!”

Torshavn, city of 22 thousand people and believe me or not, after a few weeks you know … everyone :d

The conversations I witnessed and took part in only confirmed my belief that this is a country where you hear “bless you” before you even sneeze. There were puzzled looks when I said I didn’t know someone, and offended replies like, “Oh, you must know him! He works at MEST. The tall guy. Well, you must know him.” Or “Niels? He’s my cousin’s cousin’s son! You’ve met Joan!” And you know what? It turned out that I do know these people!

Innocent grocery shopping can turn into a festival of acquaintances, and even a trip to a neighboring island is no guarantee of privacy or anonymity. Forget about those concepts; they are as foreign on the Faroe Islands as locking your doors or cottage cheese.

After three months of soaking in the local vibes, I’ve been uncovering a trove of intriguing quirks and peculiar customs. If you’re keen on the next chapter of my Faroese adventures, swing by my Instagram—I dish out the deets regularly. Stay tuned for more tales from the Faroe Islands, the Land of Maybe. More coming soon to the blog!

Let me know WHAT you guys think when you hear “FAROE ISLANDS”! I am sooo curious!

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