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Iceland's great, but this is where to go next.

Cailey Rizzo
August 08, 2017

More people are flocking to the Faroe Islands — and now is the time to join them.

The islands’ Vagar Airport reported “unprecedented growth” last month, continuing a trend from earlier this year. Almost 20 percent more passengers from foreign countries arrived at the airport this July as compared with July 2016, according to Airports International.

Overall, the first half of 2017 had 15 percent more visitors than the same time period last year. For a country with a population of just over 49,000, that increase is

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Visitors to the Faroe Islands go to experience a cool (literally) summer destination well off the beaten path. The islands — which are an independent territory of Denmark — are north of Scotland, about halfway between Norway and Iceland. They have a “maritime subarctic” climate year-round, with an average summer temperature of about 56 Fahrenheit.

There are more sheep than people (about 70,000 compared to fewer than 50,000) on the Faroe Islands, and they’ve become something of an unofficial mascot. Earlier this year, the Faroese planted cameras on sheep to make up for the lack of Google Street View. So far, the animals have managed to capture some fantastic views of the islands that are inaccessible by car.

Peak season to visit the islands is June through August, when the area can receive up to 22 hours of daylight. Spontaneous travelers should book a ticket immediately, while those who prefer a bit of planning may want to look ahead to 2018.

If harsh conditions don't scare you, consider going in the shoulder or off season, when the weather will require more than a windbreaker but the landscapes redefine the word “dramatic.” You'll also find cheaper flights and hotels starting in September.

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One summer highlight worth traveling for is the G! Festival, a three-day music festival that brings in international acts and offers wooden hot tubs to visitors between sets. Summer is also a perfect time of year to explore the islands by bike, hike, sailboat — and helicopter.

If other Nordic destinations (like Iceland) are any indication, it may be best to visit the Faroe Islands as soon as possible — before many other travelers discover this archipelago's charm.

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