On arrival, the Faroe Islands come as a shock. This remote and craggy archipelago, set in the North Atlantic between Iceland and Norway, is more magnificent than you could possibly imagine. Vertiginous, pristine and empty, the 18 dramatic islands are home to just over 50,000 people. In recent years, remote Atlantic islands like Iceland and those in the Azores have risen unexpectedly to the top of American bucket lists, being perceived as refuges from reality that are safe, peaceful, scenically spectacular and environmentally intact. Now the Faroes are beneficiaries of this trend.
Aside from the pleasure of being somewhere so culturally unique and utterly unspoiled, the Faroes offer excellent New Nordic-style restaurants — including one with two Michelin stars — and several charming small hotels. And the hospitality of the inhabitants, all of whom speak perfect English, is complemented by well-run adventure companies offering activities such as hiking, horseback riding, fishing and sea kayaking.