The Faroe Islands stand in the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Norway and Iceland and 2 miles north of Scotland. They are a self-governing part of Denmark but in most matters are fiercely independent. There are 18 major islands and they feature a spectacular rugged and treeless landscape with high cliffs, sea stacks and green mountains swooping down to black sand beaches. Visitors who hire a car in the Faroe Islands can explore many of the islands by bridges, causeways, tunnels and ferries. The roads are always quiet and the views are usually spectacular. The international airport is situated on Vagar Island and the island has an extensive public helicopter service.