CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE, OPEN FOR VOLUNTOURISM
Photo: Bárður Eklund, 2022
On 16-17 April 2020, twelve tourist sites in the Faroe Islands will be closing for maintenance. 100 voluntourists from abroad will join forces with locals to give these locations a little tender loving care. Photo: Ólavur Frederiksen
Two voluntourists from the rust team setting up a wayfinding post. Photo: Ólavur Frederiksen
The yellow team at Fossá shifting rocks and creating drainage in locations where needed. Photo: Saviour Mifsud
In Gjógv, 15 voluntourists joined locals in building 160 steps in a well-trodden area during 2019's maintenance weekend. Photo: Tróndur Dalsgarð
The steps will make it easier to people to walk and will preserve the grass underneath. The steps can be removed if needed. Photo: Tróndur Dalsgarð
A team from 2022, the red team, created a walking trail at the much-visited Elduvík. Photo: Bárður Eklund
The path directs traffic so that it has as little impact on animal life as possible. Photo: Ólavur Frederiksen
‘CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE, OPEN FOR VOLUNTOURISM’ 2022 HAS CONCLUDED, REGISTRATION FOR 2023 WILL OPEN LATER THIS FALL
2022’s ‘Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism’ working days have just passed and come to an end. After a long two-year hiatus participants could finally set sails and routes to the moss-covered basalt cliffs in the Faroe Islands to help maintain and preserve the precious and fragile natural environment. Those who were not offered the chance to join this year's project can sign up for our newsletter below as well as find information on our website about when registration will take place for 2023 Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism. Please follow this site and our social media accounts for up-to-date information.
Within 24 hours of registration opening for the 2022 ‘Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism’ initiative, 4,184 voluntourists signed up to be part of the Maintenance Crew in the Faroe Islands.
Applications came from volunteers as young as 19 through to 70-year-olds, and from a diverse range of occupations – from doctors, architects, designers, and lawyers through to a gardener, climate consultant, and flight attendant – all with one common goal: to help maintain and preserve the Faroe Islands’ beautiful landscapes and precious natural environment.
“We were very interested in taking part in regenerative tourism, which is leaving behind a contribution like all the volunteers are doing here at Closed for maintenance, so not just to come as a consumer but instead to come and leave something behind.” - explains Geraldine Boland, 2022 volunteer from Ireland
In April 2019, the archipelago saw unprecedented success for its first-ever Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism campaign, which forms part of a wider move by the Faroes Islands’ tourist board to pave the way for a sustainable future for its islands and its burgeoning tourism industry.
The Maintenance Crew worked alongside locals to preserve variours popular locations across the islands, maintaining and creating hiking pathways and viewing areas, and setting up signposting.
I just lived one of the most amazing experience of my life… i'm telling you magic is real" – Isabelle Poliquin, 2022 volunteer from Canada
For 2022, some 11 popular tourist sites will be closed to the general public on 5th and 6th of May 2022, with projects identified by local municipalities, tourism centres and local villagers. These include restoring an old path on in the abandoned village, Skarð, located on the highest island in the Faroes, Kunoy in the Northern Islands region. Moreover, the volunteers will be restoring and marking old paths with wayfinding posts, mending paths that have eroded, and re-building cairns to ultimately make it safer to visit these remote islands.
100 volunteers from 34 countries were chosen at random from the mass of applications. Those who weren’t lucky enough to obtain a place will be able to follow the progress on Visit Faroe Islands’ website and social media accounts. Anyone interested in taking part in 2023’s working days can sign up to be notified by e-mail about when registration will open. This can be done here.
Participants will receive free accommodation, food, and transport on the islands over the three-night maintenance period. They will work alongside 40 Faroe Islanders who will also be given the opportunity to take part.