Faroe Islands will technically close during the weekend of 16 and 17 April 2020. You’ll still be able to fly in and out of the island nation at this time and check into hotels and guesthouses but you won’t be able to visit its famous attractions unless you’re a volunteer. That’s because Faroe Islands will be “closed for maintenance, open for voluntourism” according to an official notice on the national tourism website.
That weekend, people all over the country will be working on conservation projects and, as the tourism board puts it, “delivering a touch of TLC to the Faroese countryside.” It follows a successful pilot campaign earlier this year, where volunteers spent three days undertaking tasks to prepare the island archipelago for a busy summer tourist season.
The island nation, which is governed by Denmark, has a population of around 50,000 but annual tourism doubles that figure. In 2013, 68,000 tourists visited and last year that figure reached 110,000. This boom is fuelled by cheaper flights, new accommodation and the Michelin star awarded to the fine dining restaurant Koks in 2017. Interest is expected to grow even further next year with the opening of two new hotels.
If you’d like to help the Faroe Islands prepare for the influx of visitors this summer, you can do so by applying to work as a volunteer here. Tasks will include marking paths with signposts, mending paths, improving access to beauty spots and rebuilding cairns. When the work is completed, you’ll be treated to a celebratory meal with locals, complete with Faroese food and dancing. Thousands of applicants applied last year and there are only 100 spaces open so act fast.