One place I haven’t visited but would like to is the Faroe Islands. The Faroes consist of 18 rocky, volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean. Though the archipelago is self-governing, it’s part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Faroese government has “politely asked tourists to refrain from visiting [its] islands until further notice.” So like everyone else, I won’t be visiting for a while. But while true visitation is on hold, it’s currently possible to explore the islands from your laptop or phone via “remote tourism,” a brilliant idea from the Faroese marketing team.
On scheduled “tours,” people all over the world can travel to the Faroe Islands for free as virtual tourists through the eyes of a local. And believe it or not, as a virtual tourist you can control the movements of the hosting local in real time. Using your smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can tell the person to turn left and right and even jump (in the spirit of the experience, the person will follow the instructions). To participate, you just need to head to this page, which shows when the next scheduled tour is taking place. (At the time of writing, the next tour was in just a few hours at 1pm ET!) More on how it works is below and on this page.
Above: a sample tour (Credit: Visit Faroe Islands)
How to travel to the Faroe Islands from home
From the about page:
“We have created a new remote tourism tool, the first of its kind. Via a mobile, tablet or PC, you can explore the Faroes’ rugged mountains, see close-up its cascading waterfalls and spot the traditional grass-roofed houses by interacting – live – with a local Faroese, who will act as your eyes and body on a virtual exploratory tour.
“The local is equipped with a live video camera, allowing you to not only see views from an on-the-spot perspective, but also to control where and how they explore using a joypad to turn, walk, run or even jump!
“Just like a real-life computer game, you – the main player – will control the moves of the Faroese islander, who will not only explore locations on foot, but also take to the skies by helicopter, giving virtual visitors a bird’s eye perspective on our beautiful island nation’s steep grassy slopes, our 80,000 sheep and our unspoilt, wild and natural countryside.
“During the virtual tours, which will take place daily during the COVID-19 lockdown, our team at Visit Faroe Islands will be online in real time to answer any questions that you or others may have, providing both inspiration and expert knowledge about places to visit and things to see.”
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