The Faroe Islands are closing to tourists in April

The North Atlantic archipelago will be temporarily off-limits to tourists this April

The rain-sodden Faroe Islands welcomes about 100,000 overseas visitors to its shores each year, but this year – for one weekend in April – only those willing to get their hands dirty will be allowed access to the cliff-faced archipelago.

From April 25 until April 28, all 18 islands that make up the Faroe Islands will close their doors to all overseas visitors except for those on "voluntourism" trips. The move is part of an initiative that aims to allow essential maintenance to take place across the volcanic islands, while simultaneously raising awareness of a place very much in its tourism infancy.

As overseas visitor numbers to the Danish region increase year-on-year, some parts of the volcanic Islands are suffering from wear and tear and a lack of amenities. Visitors keen to help rectify such issues are invited to join local villagers and farmers in a weekend of maintenance.

Essential works

Volunteers will pay for their own flights but will get free food and boarding in exchange for their assistance on various projects. These include draining mud-filled pathways on the island of Mykines, erecting benches in Gjógv and putting up signposts on the path from Oyndarfjørður to Elduvík.

To shelter volunteers from the often harsh North Atlantic weather, visitors will be given woollen beanies made by a Faroese designer. And when the work is complete, a big party filled with local music, dancing, food and drinks will wrap up the weekend.

Only 100 maintenance crew will be accepted on to the islands over the shutdown and visitors keen to get involved can register online.