An epic road trip over and under the Atlantic Ocean

The Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, is expecting a significant increase in tourism this year. Visitors are encouraged to explore the islands’ lesser-traveled roads, known as the Buttercup Routes, which are marked by signs displaying the national flower of the Faroe Islands, the marsh marigold. These routes offer stunning views of the islands’ landscapes, waterfalls, and cliffs, providing an experience that combines the peaceful beauty of nature with the excitement of road trips.

The Buttercup Routes are not just a means of transportation but a unique journey that resembles a fusion of Driving Miss Daisy and the wild drama of Middle-earth from Lord of the Rings. The routes cover nearly the entire country, with each itinerary resembling a yellow brick road of opportunity. The Faroes’ Ministry of Transport created a map showcasing 13 of these routes, which aim to prevent traffic congestion and bring road-trippers closer to the tranquility that characterizes life in the North Atlantic Ocean.

One of the longest sub-sea tunnels in the world, Sandoyartunnilin, recently opened in the Faroe Islands, connecting the islands of Streymoy and Sandoy. This new tunnel, along with three others in the archipelago, enhances access to the Buttercup Routes and shortens circuitous entry and exit points, heightening the overall road trip experience. The Sandoyartunnilin features a folkloric art installation, illuminated pictographs, and an ethereal soundtrack designed to celebrate Faroese culture and create an unexpected journey for visitors.

The introduction of the Buttercup Routes and the sub-sea tunnels are part of an initiative to evolve the Faroe Islands’ tourism industry while preserving its traditions and culture. Local residents are leveraging these developments to offer authentic experiences to tourists, such as homestays and traditional meals. The new infrastructure is also revitalizing local communities, providing new opportunities and encouraging cultural preservation.

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