After a great day on Koltur, an island with just two inhabitants, it was time for us to fly to another sparsely populated destination. We were going to Skúvoy, but first we had a 1-hour stopover on the tiny island of Stóra Dímun, where only one family of 7 people lives. Stóra Dímun is a feast for the eyes – and the landing was breathtaking. Even before I set foot on the island, I knew that I was going to love it – and I immediately regretted the fact that we only had an hour to explore the place.
When we arrived on the island, we were greeted by the male members of the family, who told us about the island and then recommended us to go for a walk to the lighthouse, so we could see some of the impressive nature on Stóra Dímun in the short time that we had available. In the mean time, they loaded the helicopter with supplies that were ready to be exported to the other islands.
The walk up to the lighthouse went through the outfield and was quick and easy. The lighthouse, which is from 2000 and is therefore one of the youngest in the Faroe Islands, is located on top of a cliff at the southernmost point of Stóra Dímun. The surrounding area is spectacular with dramatic cliffs that drop vertically into the ocean and a rich birdlife, including my all-time favourite bird – the puffin. This was the first time that I saw puffins outside of Mykines, which is where they’re most commonly found.
Katrine and I both agreed that Stóra Dímun is the perfect little paradise. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most remote places in the Faroe Islands – a country that is already extremely remote -, we could both imagine living there. All we need to do is to marry one of the guys in the family – well, we’ll see about that! 😉
When we got back to the heliport after exploring the lighthouse and the cliffs, we still had some time to kill before the helicopter would pick us up. We were invited for a little tour of the farm, which was really interesting. We learned a lot about the history of the place and how they manage to survive and thrive on the island today.
The family is the 8th generation of Janus Olesen, who moved to Stóra Dímun in 1807. They live on the island year round, and if they need anything, Tórshavn is just a short helicopter ride away. It’s also possible to sail to and from the island, but since the cliffs are so dangerously steep on Stóra Dímun, it’s preferred to use the helicopter.
The family consists of four adults and three children, who are all home schooled by their mother. The farm’s operation is based on sheep and cattle, and the animals are slaughtered in the small slaughterhouse on the island. They also have pets such as Faroese horses, geese, ducks and dogs. We got to meet and pet some of the sheep and dogs as they guided us through the farm.
Before our tour was complete, we saw the helicopter approaching the island, so we quickly ran to the heliport, grabbed our bags, waved goodbye to the lovely family and flew off.
Stóra Dímun was an interesting place to visit, and is a surprisingly attractive place to live – I can honestly 100 % understand why someone would live on an isolated island, especially if it’s as beautiful and wild as Stóra Dímun. Visiting Stóra Dímun is not on the itinerary for most tourists, and even most Faroese people never set foot on the tiny island. Katrine and I have been there now, but then again, it was only for one hour. We both really want to go back someday to explore some more, learn more about the unique family and climb the two mountains on the island.