The cold soil of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago halfway between Norway and Iceland, gives the country’s food an unexpected quality. The turnips develop extra sugar because of the low temperature; some varieties taste almost like pears. The seafood is even more surprisingly luscious; Danish superstar chef Rene Redzepi insists it’s the best in the world. The locals also go all-out for the holidays, decorating their small clustered villages with lights and Yule dioramas, making the Faroe Islands an ideal spot to relax for a day or two after some vigorous snowy outings.
The rocky islands are also home to Koks, one of the most exciting new restaurants in the world, situated in the capital city Tdrshavn, a cozy hillside town of only 19,500. For a more rustic option, try Aarstova, a few kilometers down the road. Located in a cluster of grass-roofed houses overlooking the harbor, the restaurant serves sturdy Faroese fare, like braised lamb shoulder, cod, and salmon.