On the road in the Danish South Sea

On the trail of the island seas

It’s all about total relaxation as I sit in the Archipellago Museum in Faaborg with headset and probes on my earlobes and forehead. With the gentle sound of the sea on my ears and trained in relaxation through 15 years of yoga practice, it should be easy for me to let go of all thoughts. Because only if I succeeded, the red colored brain hemispheres on the display would turn into deeply relaxed blue. Unfortunately, the blue miracle failed to materialize. The experimental setup in the new Museum of Inner and Outer Landscapes seemed to be defective. Fortunately, however, nature is completely intact on the Danish island of Funen. We experience peace and relaxation as an impulse of nature a little later on a hike of several days through the South Fyn Archipelago.

Sanfte Hügel und weiche Pfade. Man wandert oft im Schutz wehrhafter Hecken durch Hohlwege. Äcker wechseln sich ab mit Strandabschnitten und in der Ferne ist schon ein Buchenwald sichtbar / © Foto: Georg Berg
Gentle hills and soft paths. We often hike through sunken paths under the protection of well-fortified hedges. Fields alternate with beach sections and in the distance a beech forest is already visible / © Photo: Georg Berg
Im Archipellago Museum in Faaborg. Als Einstimmung auf eine Wanderung der Inselmeere ist ein Besuch sehr zu empfehlen. Es geht thematisch um die Entstehung dieser weltweit einzigartigen Eiszeitlandschaft und bezieht dabei die Wirkung der Natur auf den Menschen ein / © Foto: Georg Berg
In the Archipellago Museum in Faaborg. As a prelude to a hike of the island seas, a visit is highly recommended. It is thematically about the formation of this worldwide unique ice age landscape and includes the effect of nature on man / © Photo: Georg Berg

Traces of the last ice age

Geologically speaking, the Danish South Sea is a flooded ice age landscape. At the end of the last ice age, the land was drowned by a dramatic rise of the sea. What remained were islands and small islets, which today can be reached by bridges, ferries or on foot at low tide. The special landscape of Funen, Denmark’s second largest island and its neighboring islands, is immediately striking. One expects flat marshland, but is surprised by a gentle hilly landscape in which water and pastures alternate with fields and forests.

Der Wald von Norreskoven. Auf dem Wanderweg ist man oft allein unterwegs. Abgesehen von zwei Brückenquerungen hat man wenig Asphalt unter den Füßen / © Foto: Georg Berg
The forest of Norreskoven. On the hiking trail you are often alone. Apart from two bridge crossings, there is little asphalt underfoot / © Photo: Georg Berg

From Funen via Tasinge to Langeland

The hiking trail of the archipelago has a total length of 220 kilometers. In three days we hike a section of about 70 kilometers from Troense over the bridge to Rudköbing on Langeland. From there we continue to Tranekær. The most beautiful section awaits us on day three. We take the bus from Tranekær to Lohals and hike a good 15 kilometers on a varied path directly along the sea back to the starting point. It is possible to book a luggage service for a multi-day hike. The tour provider Vagabond Tours, with its own office on the islands, offers pre-planned tours. Then one is provided with maps and luggage transport as well as a booking service for accommodations. When hiking on the smaller and lonelier islands, booking accommodation is highly recommended, as the number of hotels and B&B’s is not very large.

Treffen im Hafen von Troense mit Anne von Vagabond Tours. Sie übergibt uns letzte Informationen und nimmt unser Gepäck entgegen / © Foto: Georg Berg
Meeting at the port of Troense with Anne from Vagabond Tours. She gives us last information and takes our luggage / © Photo: Georg Berg

The shipping village of Troense

Troense was laid out in its present form in the 18th century. Old half-timbered houses, many of which have thatched roofs, characterize the village. Troense was a hub for shipping and overseas trade, and even for the training of shipbuilders. The second economic mainstay of the time was fruit growing. Fruit trees were planted around all the houses in Troense.

Troense gilt als einer der schönsten Orte. Hier stehen viele alte Reetdach-Häuser. Obstanbau und Schiffsbau war früher von Bedeutung. Besonders prachtvolle Reetdachhäuser stehen direkt an der Hafenpromenade. Hier wird ein Dach mit neuem Schilfrohr ausgebessert / © Foto: Georg Berg
Troense is considered one of the most beautiful places. There are many old thatched houses here. Fruit growing and shipbuilding was important in the past. Particularly magnificent thatched houses are located directly on the harbor promenade. Here a roof is being repaired with new reed / © Photo: Georg Berg

Loppemarked – flea markets by the wayside

Already on Funen we noticed the many house flea markets. Entire closets are moved to the street and are supposed to encourage spontaneous purchases. Payment is made on a basis of trust. Prices are quoted and the money can be put in a tin box. There are also flea tables along the roadside on our walking route.

Loppemarked - der Flohmarkt wird auf Fyn und den Nachbarinseln hoch gehalten. Bücher sind vorsichtshalber in Folie verpackt, denn das Wetter kann hier an der Küste schnell umschlagen / © Foto: Georg Berg
Loppemarked – the flea market is held high on Fyn and the neighboring islands. Books are wrapped in foil as a precaution, because the weather can change quickly here on the coast / © Photo: Georg Berg

South of Troense begins Norreskoven, a forest with very old trees. A particularly imposing specimen awaits at the end of the forest. The 500 year old Ambrosius oak. It takes its name from the poet Ambrosius Stub, house poet at Valdemar Castle in the 18th century. Ambrosius loved to read under the oak tree.

Die Eiche ist über 500 Jahre alt. Ihren Namen hat sie vom Dichter Ambrosius Stub, der gerne an ihrem Stamm Platz nahm und dichtete. Svendborg, Dänemark / © Foto: Georg Berg
The oak is over 500 years old. It takes its name from the poet Ambrosius Stub, who loved to sit and write poetry under its trunk. Svendborg, Denmark / © Photo: Georg Berg

Shortly before we reach the first bridge to the small intermediate island of Siø on the first day of the hike, we have to make ourselves and the camera rainproof. The first autumn storm depression picks up speed and the rain starts. So we hike with tight step over bridges and the islet. Siø was dammed up in the 19th century in order to use more area as pasture land. So there is not much to explore here. From Siø, we head up to the second bridge, at the end of which is Langeland Island’s only town.

Die Langeland-Brücke verbindet Langeland mit der kleinen Insel Siø und damit über Täsinge mit der Insel Fünen / © Foto: Georg Berg
The Langeland Bridge connects Langeland with the small island of Siø and thus via Täsinge with the island of Funen / © Photo: Georg Berg
Gänsemarkt in Rudkøbing. Die Statue erinnert an den Pysiker Hans Christian Ørsted. Der Entdecker des Elektromagnetismus  wurde 1777 in Rudkøbing als Sohn eines Apothekers geboren / © Foto: Georg Berg
Goose market in Rudkøbing. The statue commemorates the physicist Hans Christian Ørsted. The discoverer of electromagnetism was born in Rudkøbing in 1777 as the son of a pharmacist / © Photo: Georg Berg

Rudkøbing – the only town on Langeland

By the end of September, Rudkøbing is already in the tranquil low season. In the summer a popular day trip destination with small stores and cafes, is now quiet. The most famous son of the town is the physicist Hans-Christian Örsted. He was born in 1777 in the old pharmacy on Gänsemarkt. Today, a statue commemorates him there.

Alle Kirchen im fünischen Inselmeer sind schneeweiß und haben rote Dächer. Die Kirche von Tullebölle auf Langeland gehört zu den Schönsten. Sie stammt aus dem Mittelalter, die Jahreszahl 1830 markiert das Jahr der Renovierung / © Foto: Georg Berg
All churches in the Fyn Archipelago are snow-white and have red roofs. The church of Tullebölle on Langeland is one of the most beautiful. It dates from the Middle Ages, the year 1830 marks the year of renovation / © Photo: Georg Berg

Fast Internet and snow-white churches

On the second day of the hike, we leave Rudkøbing for the north. From here on it becomes rural. The path first leads along the sound and then quickly turns towards the center of the island. No village on Langeland is more than five kilometers from the sea. Fields, forest sections and farmsteads alternate. The village of Tullebölle is where we stop for a break. As sleepy as it may look here, admiration and envy also arise. Everywhere in the village, men dressed in orange are in the process of laying orange cables in the earth. Even the furthest farm is currently being connected to the fiber optic network. Hallelujah, reasonably impressed, we settle down on a bench by the beautiful white village church.

In Tullebölle steckt mehr Fortschritt, als der Name es vermuten lässt. Glasfaserkabel werden in dem verschlafenen Ort an jedes Haus gelegt / © Foto: Georg Berg
There is more progress in Tullebölle than the name suggests. Fiber optic cables are being laid to every house in the sleepy village / © Photo: Georg Berg

From Tullebölle, we head toward the Baltic Sea. 25,000 ships pass through the deep-water route every year. The big ferries from Kiel to Oslo can be watched here as well as the big cargo ships on their way from the Baltic Sea to the oceans.

„Schiffe gucken“ geht sehr gut auf diesem Abschnitt der Wanderung von Spodsbjerg Richtung Tranekær / © Foto: Georg Berg
“Watching ships” goes very well on this section of the hike from Spodsbjerg towards Tranekær / © Photo: Georg Berg

Tranekær – Castle-town on two coasts

From Tranekær it is only three kilometers to both coasts. So friends of the sun can watch the sun rise over Lolland as well as celebrate the sunset over Funen and Tasinge. The all-dominating building in Tranekær is the castle, which glows fiery red in the evening sun.

Schloss Tranekær leuchtet rot aus der Parkanlage heraus. Seit dem 13. Jahrhundert gibt es das Schloss an dieser Stelle, das von den Beamten des Königs als Dienstsitz genutzt wurde / © Foto: Georg Berg
Tranekær Castle glows red from the park. The castle has existed on this site since the 13th century and was used as an official residence by the king’s officials / © Photo: Georg Berg.

Its most famous inhabitant in the early 19th century was Frederick Ahlefeldt-Laurvig. He was a major-general in the army, and this fitted well with his role as a fief at Tranekær Castle. He was called only the General by the islanders. The General developed Tranekær into the small capital of the county, which at times rivaled Rudkøbing. He had a school and a theater built. Foreign craftsmen were allowed to settle. A doctor and also a chapel master were employed.

Königlicher Hühnerstall. Während das Schloss im privat genutzt wird, wurden Nebengebäude wie Hühnerhaus und Pferdestall in Unterkunft und Restaurant umgestaltet / © Foto: Georg Berg
Royal chicken coop. While the castle is in private use, outbuildings such as the chicken house and horse stable were converted into accommodation and a restaurant / © Photo: Georg Berg

Tranekær Castle is now privately owned and not open to the public. But in the horse stable of the castle is the restaurant Generalen with regional cuisine. Guests sit in the wrought-iron horse stalls. There is even an overnight accommodation in the former chicken house of the castle. The Honsehuset is a bed and breakfast.

Auf den Hohlwegen ist das Meer nur noch zu hören. Auf den Dächern der Hohlwege lassen sich ganze Vogelschwärme nieder / © Foto: Georg Berg
On the hollow ways the sea can only be heard. Whole flocks of birds settle on the roofs of the hollow ways / © Photo: Georg Berg

The route from Lohals to Tranekær is uniquely beautiful, because you walk along the coast almost all the time. You are accompanied by the sound of the sea. Often you can’t see the sea at all, because high hedges bent by the wind form a hollow way.

Formationsflug an der Küste. Vögel finden im Herbst besonders viel Nahrung in den Hecken voller Beerenfrüchte / © Foto: Georg Berg
Formation flight on the coast. Birds find especially much food in the hedges full of berry fruits in autumn / © Photo: Georg Berg

In September, bush roses are still blooming in pink and red, and the thick fruits of the potato rose are competing with the rose hips.

Rehe und Reetdächer direkt am Wanderweg zwischen Lohals und Tranekær / © Foto: Georg Berg
Deer and thatched roofs directly at the hiking trail between Lohals and Tranekær / © Photo: Georg Berg

There are stretches where fields extend all the way to the coast, and as you hike you flush out partridges that are dusting and sunbathing in small field hollows. Flocks of birds sit in the dense bushes of sloes, blackberries and rose hips, and deer come right up to the beach to feed. The landscapes change here in short intervals. For a short stretch, you’re in a forest of giant beech trees. They stand in the grass like gray elephant legs. The sea is always in sight.

Der Wald Travens Vänge liegt direkt an der Steilküste. Vor hieraus hat man einen guten Blick nach Fünen / © Foto: Georg Berg
The forest Travens Vänge lies directly on the cliff. From here you have a good view to Funen / © Photo: Georg Berg

On the way, you sometimes come across traces of a disappeared brickyard. This is because to the west of Eggeloke, the clayey loam was processed into bricks directly on the coast. It was swallowed up by the sea a long time ago. But brick remains can be found here to this day.

Auf Überreste einer alten Ziegelei stößt man auf dem Wanderweg der Inselmeere / © Foto: Georg Berg
Remains of an old brickyard can be found on the hiking trail of the island seas / © Photo: Georg Berg
Wanderweg mit Meeresrauschen. Rund 15 Kilometer, der insgesamt 20 Kilometer von Lohals nach Tranekær verlaufen direkt an der Küste / © Foto: Georg Berg
Hiking trail with the sound of the sea. About 15 kilometers of the total 20 kilometers from Lohals to Tranekær run directly along the coast / © Photo: Georg Berg

Most of the way from Lohals to Tranekær is like walking on a carpet over meadows, sand and forest paths. This is very easy on the joints. But even more important is the relaxation factor, because the eternal sound of the sea and the varied nature through which I am luafing almost without effort, put me in a state of total relaxation during the course of this hike. The blue miracle, which was still missing in the museum in Faaborg, the nature of the South Fyn island sea brings it about.

Travel tips:

The Danish tour planner Vagabond Tours offers walking tours for Danes throughout Europe. But also tours in Denmark, including the tour through the South Fyn Archipelago described here. The website is unfortunately only in Danish, but the staff speaks English when contacted.

To get in the mood for a hike on Fyn or the surrounding islands of Aero or Langeland, a visit to the new Archipellago Museum in Faaborg, in the south of Fyn, is highly recommended. Again, the website is only in Danish. However, the audio guides in the museum are available in English.

A good general overview for planning a trip to the Danish island of Fyn is provided by the website VisitFyn. Übersicht sortiert nach Outdoor-Aktiviäten, Städtetrip nach Odense oder Kuliniarisches and this time also everything in German.

Our mode of operation is characterized by self-experienced, well-researched text work and professional, vivid photography. For all stories, travel impressions and photos are created in the same place. Thus, the photos complement and support what is read and carry it further.

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The research trip was partly supported on site by the Fyn Tourist Board.

Travel Topics on Tellerrand-Stories

Our mode of operation is characterized by self-experienced, well-researched text work and professional, vivid photography. For all stories, travel impressions and photos are created in the same place. Thus, the photos complement and support what is read and carry it further.

Never miss new Tellerrand-Stories again! Mithilfe eines Feed-Readers lassen sich die Information über neue Blogartikel in Echtzeit abonnieren With the help of a feed reader, all stories about the Tellerrand (edge of the plate) can be subscribed to in real time.

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