Why are the Faroe Islands closing down for tourists for a weekend each year? What can you do to help preserve the Faroe Islands as an unspoiled destination? What tours and excursions are open rest of the year before and after the "Closed for Maintenance" weekend?
During two days in April most major tourist attractions in the Faroe Islands are closed for regular visitors but open to volunteers - or voluntourists - who wish to help maintain them. In the course of a weekend, visitors are co-creating the future of sustainable tourism in the Faroe Islands.
The initiative is led by Visit Faroe Islands and is part of a greater effort to preserve the Faroe Islands as one of the most unspoiled and unpolluted places on the planet. The maintenance project contributes to responsible travelling and it gives the local population a positive feeling amid in a growth in tourism.
Sustainability is not a fashion word in the Faroe Islands. The islanders live and breathe nature, and the entire country knows that what you give is what you get.
Visit Faroe Islands is inviting volunteers from abroad to join their efforts together with 40 local volunteers to maintain the Faroe Islands and are offering free overnight stay and food for the first 100 volunteers in return for their help. The projects include erecting signs, building viewpoints and creating walking paths.
View over the Saksun lagoon. One of the most popular attractions in the Faroe Islands that needs to stay unspoiled
The former Faroes' Prime Minister supported the first campaign launched in February 2019 where he invited volunteers all over the world to lend a helping hand. During the weekend all sights and attractions were closed for regular tourists, said Prime Minister, Aksel V. Johannesen.
Now Bárður á Steig Nielsen is the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands. He too supports the innovative initiative.
The first Closed for Maintenance weekend saw 10 popular attractions closed as people all over the world came to the North Atlantic archipelago to maintain the islands.
An unpaved path along the river Sandá outside the capital Tórshavn.
The second project was planned to take place in April 2020. The initiative was postphoned due to Covid-19.
The Closed for Maintenance will be back. The rescheduled second Closed for Maintenance will kick of on 23 and 24 of September 2021. Once again the Faroe Islands will close popular sites for two days to all but for passionate people who want to maintain the Faroe Islands as the most unbeatable travel destination.
With an impressive array of stunning sights, the Faroe Islands' tourism body has choosen between the many fantastic sceneries. These 14 attractions will be maintained for the upcoming project.
12. Sandoy & Skúvoy
14. Vágur & Sumba
Registration for the second maintenance event closed just hours after start. Several thousand signed up in the matter of no time. Keep an eye out for future events if you want to sign up for Closed for Maintenance and become a part of the Maintenance crew.
Although most of the major sights are closed when voluntourists are maintaining popular sceneries for two days, the Faroe Islands still offer plenty of stunning attractions all other days of the year. There are all the popular sights such as Trælanípan, Gásadalur, and Mykines. Then there are attractions virtually untouched by tourism including the sights on Sandoy island and Nólsoy island located just opposite of the capital Tórshavn.
Guide to Faroe Islands wholeheartedly supports the initiative to preserve the Faroe Islands. All tours and excursions in the Faroe Islands available on Guide to Faroe Islands are also closed and bookings unavailable during the Closed for Maintenance weekend.
Kirkjubøur is one of the places that will be closed for tourists for the upcoming Closed for Maintenance weekend on 23 and 24 of September 2021. Travellers help preserve the main attractions in the Faroe Islands.
Guide to Faroe Islands seeks to be an enabler of sustainable tourism in Faroe Islands. We always put an emphasis on promoting geographically dispersed activities from providers across the island. We work closely together with local authorities, land owners and other interest groups to adapt the trips and activities on offer to promote responsible tourism in the Faroe Islands.
Let us know what you think of the idea of closing down the Faroe Islands for a weekend. And would you like to take part in a future project as a volunteer? Write your thoughts below.