Fair Isle ( from Old Norse frioar - øy ) is a Scottish island that belongs to the Shetland Islands. It lies about 90 km south of Lerwick ( Shetland), from the south coast at Sumburgh there are 37 km and north-west of Kirkwall ( Orkney ) 95 km away. Connections by ferry ( three per week ) and the Fair Isle Airport by plane ( four per week) are available, but strongly dependent on the weather.
The fair also known as the "Island of Birds and sweaters " designated Isle extends for about 5 km north-south and 2.5 km in east-west direction. It has an area of approximately 8 square kilometers and reaches a height of 217 m north over the sea.
Apart from two docks for the ferries the rocky coast is steep sloping and has many dangerous cliffs and shoals, so that the maintenance of navigation in the north and south of the island lighthouses from Old Red Sandstone were built.
Fair Isle has been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age, of which remnants of pre-Christian witness development. Among the Iron Age Landsberg, a Promontory fort Fair Isle is significant as a station for migratory birds and has a bird observatory; rare Siberian passerines such as stilts and Schwirle ( including Streifenschwirle ) can be observed on the island.
The island was purchased in 1954 by the National Trust for Scotland.
Today live on the island of 69 inhabitants. The main economic activities are fishing, agriculture and the production of knitted sweaters, for which the island is famous. In addition to resistant arriving ornithologists are some beds for visitors. By 2001, the newspaper Fair Isle Times was published.