Eighteen islands in the mid-Atlantic make up the Faroe Islands, an enclave that, despite being part of Denmark, is not quite Scandinavia and not quite Western Europe. The Faroe Islands have an unspoiled, "wild" feel like New Zealand and a fairly short tourist season.

What to do

Traveling to the Faroe Islands means you'll be getting your fill of wildlife and the outdoors. Most tourists make their way to the islands so that they can explore and bird watch and take tours of the islands by boat. From your boat tour, you can see the Rinkusteinar, which literally means rocking rocks. These giant stones in the water shift back and forth and have been doing so for centuries. No one's sure exactly why, but legend has it that a sorceress turned two pirate ships off the coast of the Faroe Islands to stone and doomed them to rock in place for eternity.

Getting there

There is one airport on the Faroe islands, on the island of Vagar. Vagar is connected to some of the other islands, via an underground sea-tunnel that is the main form of transport between land. Flights to the Faroe Islands originate out of Iceland and Denmark and you may end up in either one if your flight is delayed due to fog around the Faroes. Allow an extra cushion of travel time.

Where to stay

There are youth hostels throughout the island, but not the kind that one normally associates with backpacking. Faroe Islands hostels are usually rooms in a house and not the dorm-like bunkhouses that are so common throughout the rest of Europe. Despite the island's small size, there are also a number of hotels located on each island.