The Faroe Islands or Faeroe Islands or simply Faroes or Faeroes (Faroese: F?royar, meaning "Sheep Islands", Danish: F?r?erne) are a group of islands in Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway from Iceland to Norway. They have been an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948. The Faroese have, over the years, taken control of most matters except defence (though they have a native coast guard), foreign affairs and the legal system which are the responsibility of Denmark.
The Faroes have close traditional ties to Iceland, Shetland, Orkney, the Outer Hebrides and Greenland. The archipelago was politically detached from Norway in 1814. The Faroes are represented in the Nordic Council as a part of the Danish delegation.