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Coordinates: 57°57′N 19°09′E / 57.950°N 19.150°E / 57.950; 19.150
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Fåre or Faroy (Gutnish)
Rauks at Langhammars, Fårö
Fårö is located in Gotland
Gotland (Sweden)
Coordinates57°57′N 19°09′E / 57.950°N 19.150°E / 57.950; 19.150
Adjacent toBaltic Sea
Area113.30 km2 (43.75 sq mi)[1][2][3]
CountyGotland County
MunicipalityGotland Municipality
Population505 (2021)[4]

Fårö (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfôːrøː]) or Fåre in Gutnish[5][6] is a Baltic Sea island just north of the island of Gotland, itself off mainland Sweden's southeastern coast. It is the second-largest island in the county and it is a popular summer resort. It has its own language, Faroymal, a dialect of Gutnish.

Fårö is also the name of the populated area (socken) consisting of both Fårö and Gotska Sandön islands.[7] It comprises the same area as the administrative Fårö District, established on 1 January 2016.[8]


Fårö Church

The island is separated from Gotland by the narrow Fårö-strait, and connected by two car ferries, operated by the Swedish Transport Administration. It has a total area of 111.35 square kilometres (42.99 square miles), of which 9.7 square kilometres (3.7 square miles) are water areas or islets.

On the islands of Fårö and Gotland are rock formations called rauk. They are a result of erosion during the Ice age and are unique to Gotland and Fårö.

The medieval Fårö Church is on Fårö.[9] As of 2019, Fårö Church along with Gotska Sandön Chapel on Gotska Sandön belongs to Fårö parish in Norra Gotlands pastorat.[10][11]

One of the asteroids in the Asteroid belt, 9358 Fårö, is named after the island.[12]



The name Fårö (in Gutnish Faroy) is derived from the words ö, meaning island, and probably far-, which is a word stem associated with travel like in the Swedish verb fara ('to travel'). The word Fårö likely means 'the island one has to travel to' or 'the traveler's island'. Mainland Swedes might misinterpret the name Fårö to be derived from får, the (standard) Swedish word for sheep, due to the many sheep on the island. That word is absent from Modern Gutnish, which uses the word lamm (which in Swedish means 'lamb').[13]


Total Population of Fårö[4]
Year Population
1985 614
1986 630
1987 -
1988 641
1989 629
1990 641
1991 644
1992 653
1993 659
1994 646
1995 643
1996 646
1997 630
1998 618
1999 614
2000 612
2001 594
2002 599
2003 584
2004 573
2005 578
2006 573
2007 578
2008 573
2009 569
2010 548
2011 533
2012 551
2013 527
2014 524
2015 504
2016 498
2017 498
2018 501
2019 497
2020 492
2021 505

Military past


Carl Linnaeus spent two days in 1741 in Fårö during the expedition in which he surveyed the strategic and military resources of Gotland.[14]

Until the 1990s, Fårö and the North of Gotland were off-limits to foreigners because of a government military installation there.[15] There were large, multilingual signs at the side of the roads informing visitors of this and the prohibition was strictly enforced. After the Cold War ended, the installation (Swedish Coastal Artillery regiment KA 3) was mostly shut down. A relic of the island's military past is a 203 metres (666 ft) tall radio mast at Holmudden at 57°57′33″N 19°20′46″E / 57.95917°N 19.34611°E / 57.95917; 19.34611.

Cinematic heritage


Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman lived and died on Fårö and several of his films were filmed there, among them Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), and Scenes from a Marriage (1973),[15] as well as Liv Ullmann’s Faithless (2000), based on a Bergman screenplay. The Bergman Week is a tribute to the filmmaker held on the island every June.[16] Fårö itself is the subject of Bergman's documentary films Fårö Document (1970) and Fårö Document 1979.[17]

Andrei Tarkovsky wanted to film The Sacrifice on Fårö but was denied access by the military, so it was filmed further south on Gotland at När instead.

Mia Hansen-Løve filmed and set her film Bergman Island (2021) on Fårö.[18][19]



An annual event on Fårö is "Fårönatta" (Fårö Night), held in September, during which restaurants and bars stay open all night, craft stands are set up and the church holds a midnight Mass.[15]

Places of interest

Fårö Fyr



The Digerhuvud coast with Bjärge nature reserve is the largest stack area in Sweden, with hundreds of stacks along a 3.5 km (2.2 mi) part of the coast. Close by is the Helgumannen fishing village.[20][21] The coast is not suited for swimming due to its depth (up to 80 metres (260 feet) close to the shore), and its strong currents.

An asteroid in the Asteroid belt, 10102 Digerhuvud, is named after the area.[22]

Fårö Lighthouse


The Fårö Lighthouse lies on the island's northeastern point. It is 30 metres (98 feet) high and was built between 1846 and 1847.



The Langhammars peninsula and the Langhammars nature reserve on north-western Fårö are rocky beaches with Ice age stone monoliths known as rauks. Langhammars was the setting for Ingmar Bergman's film Shame.[15]



The long, sandy Sudersand beach on north-eastern Fårö lies next to Sudersands Semesterby which rents cabins to tourists.


  1. ^ "Gotland i siffror 2015" [Gotland in numbers 2015]. www.gotland.se. Gotland Municipality. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Statistisk årsbok 2011" (PDF) (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  3. ^ Westrin, Theodor, ed. (908). "Fårö". Nordisk familjebok (9 (Uggleupplagan) ed.). p. 205.
  4. ^ a b "Demografen". demografen.gotland.se. Region Gotland.
  5. ^ Gunilla Brogren: Um Fåre u Fåreboar pa fåröiskå, Fårö hembygdsförening 2013 ISBN 9789198054712
  6. ^ "Gutamålsgillets Årdliste / Ordlista". 14 October 2012.
  7. ^ The exact extent of the socken, now district, can be obtained by clicking on Kartinställningar and check the Socken box in the menu of this map Archived 2018-08-30 at the Wayback Machine from the Swedish National Heritage Board database.
  8. ^ "Förordning om district" [Regulation of districts] (PDF). Ministry of Finance. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  9. ^ Lagerlöf, Erland; Svahnström, Gunnar (1973). Gotlands kyrkor [Gotland's Churches] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren. p. 144. ISBN 91-29-41035-5. SELIBR 7232718.
  10. ^ "Församlingar på Gotland". www.svenskakyrkan.se. Church of Sweden. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Visby stifts indelning 2018". www.svenskakyrkan.se. Church of Sweden. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  12. ^ "9358 Faro (1992 DN7)". NASA. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  13. ^ Wahlberg, Mats, ed. (2003). Svenskt ortnamnslexikon (in Swedish). Uppsala: Swedish Institute for Language and Folklore (SOFI). p. 85. ISBN 917229020X. SELIBR 8998039.
  14. ^ Blunt, Wilfrid (1971). The Compleat Naturalist: A Life of Linnaeus. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-23396-X. OCLC 189323.
  15. ^ a b c d Pergament, Danielle (7 October 2007). "The Enchanted Island That Bergman Called Home". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Peary, Gerald (11 July 2010). "For movie fans, an island getaway beckons". Boston.com. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  17. ^ Steene, Birgitta (2005). Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. p. 418. ISBN 9053564063.
  18. ^ Chen, Nick (January 30, 2018). "Why Mia Hansen-Løve is making a movie about Bergman Island". Dazed. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "The production of the French/Swedish/Belgian film Bergman Island is now on! Fårö is the location". Instagram. August 9, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  20. ^ "Digerhuvud". www.gotland.net. Gotlands Media AB. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  21. ^ Enderborg, Bernt. "Helgumannen fiskeläge". www.guteinfo.com. Guteinfo. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  22. ^ "10102 Digerhuvud (1992 DA6)". NASA. Retrieved 6 June 2016.