Geography of the Faroe Islands

Geography of the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands on NASA satellite image.

The Faroe Islands are an island group consisting of eighteen islands off the coast of Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, about half-way between Iceland and Norway. Its coordinates are 62°N 7°W / 62°N 7°W / 62; -7. It is 1,393 square kilometres in area, and includes no major lakes or rivers. There are 1,117 kilometres of coastline, and no land boundaries with any other country.

The Faroe Islands generally have cool summers and mild winters, with a usually overcast sky and frequent fog and strong winds. Although at a high latitude, due to the Gulf Stream, their climate is ameliorated. The islands are rugged and rocky with some low peaks; the coasts are mostly bordered by cliffs. The Faroe Islands are notable for having the highest sea cliffs in Europe, and some of the highest in the world otherwise. The lowest point is at sea level, and the highest is at Slættaratindur, which is 882 metres above sea level. The landscape made roadbuilding difficult, and only recently has this been remedied by building tunnels.

View of the west coast of Suðuroy.

Many of the Faroese islands tend to be elongated in shape.

Natural resources include fish, whales and hydropower.



Geographic coordinates
  • Land: 1,393 km² [1]
  • Water: 7,19 km² (the area includes 10 of the largest lakes. There are a number of smaller lakes and streams.)[2]
Land boundaries
0 km
1,289 km [3]
Maritime claims
  • Continental shelf: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) or agreed boundaries or median line
  • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) or agreed boundaries or median line
  • Territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)[4]
Subarctic oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfc) moderated by North Atlantic Current; long, mild, windy winters; short, cool summers, damp in the South and West. Arctic climate (Köppen ET) in some mountains.
Rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast. The coasts are deeply indented with fjords, and the narrow passages between islands are agitated by strong tidal currents.
Elevation extremes
Natural resources
Fish, Whales, hydropower, possible petroleum and gas.
Land use
  • Arable land: 2.14%
  • Permanent crops: 0%
  • Other: 97.86% (2001 est.)
Environment—international agreements
Marine Dumping

See also

Further reading

  • Ostenfeld, C. H., and Eugenius Warming. Geography, Geology and Climate of the Faeröes, With the Historical Notes on the Botanical Investigation of These Islands. Copenhagen: H.H. Thiele, 1901.
  • Peacock, Martin A. Recent Lines of Fracture in the Færoes in Relation to the Theories of Fiord Formation in Northern Basaltic Plateaux. Glasgow: Jackson, Wylie, 1928.


  • "Faroe Islands" World Fact Book 2004, CIA, Washington.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Faroe Islands — • A group of Danish islands rising from the sea some four hundred miles west of Norway and almost as far south of Iceland Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Faroe Islands     Faroe Islands …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Faroe Islands — /fair oh/. See Faeroe Islands. Also, Faroes. * * * Faroe Islands Introduction Faroe Islands Background: The population of the Faroe Islands is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The islands have been connected… …   Universalium

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