The Danish Ø-dyssey
Visiting all of the most significant, smaller islands across the Danish archipelago.
115 in total.
In year 2017 we started a family adventure to visit and explore all significant and remote Danish islands with our kids. It’s our own Danish islands Odyssey that will take several years to complete.
We call it the “Ø”-dyssey, as we will visit all the unique Danish islands by sea transport, and during a long journey that is broken down into many individual sections.
The most remote and special islands will be explored in depth and pictured in this six part Danish Ø-dyssey.
Remoteness in a Danish context is a small island. In Denmark, the word for an island is "ø". This letter is a Danish wovel pronounced as the i in the English word bird. Denmark is a Nordic island nation consisting of more than several hundred islands of which around 75 are inhabited. Most of the population live on the mainland plus the five largest islands. Only 102 islands are more than 0,02 square kilometers in area, so the rest are really just rocks or sandbanks with nondescript appearance. There are ferries to some of the islands; the rest needs be reached by swimming, sail boat, motorboat, fishing vessel, dinghy, SUP or sea kayak (to mention some of the means of transport that we've used). Some islands are very remote and difficult to reach. Others are district in nature and with wild walks in forests, deserts or along coast lines. And some are culturally unique.
Below map shows the selected islands on a map of Denmark.
Selecting the islands
For this project we did a careful and meticulous selection of 115 unique must-see island destinations in the Danish Archipelago. The islands are distributed all over the Danish archipelago. 75 of the islands are populated, ranging from one resident on Hirsholm, eight on Hjortø, 22 on Barsø, 202 on Strynø, 3000 on Thurø, and more than 50.000 on Als, Mors, Langeland, Bornholm. Funen, Zealand, Amager, Falster, and Lolland are very populous and some large and has not been included on the list.
Thus with around 75 populated island, we will also visit 40 non-populated islands in the Ø-dyssey.
Transport-wise the 115 islands can be distributed into 5 categories:
> 38 of the islands on our list can be reached by public ferry year round.
> 24 islands can be reached by car or bicycle as they are connected to the mainland or larger islands by a bridge or a dam.
> 10 islands can be reached by seasonal small public boats or ferries that typically run less frequently and in the Summer months.
> 3 islands can be reached by walking, either on a very long bridge or over a sand bar
> 40 islands can only be reached by arranging some kind of private transport.
On many of the islands we are sleeping in the open nature for several days, and we are circumnavigating and crisscrossing each island. Some of the islands we are visiting many times, and over different seasons, from winter to summer. Altogether, this journey will take around 300-350 days. The shared dream of two islomaniacs come true, and our kids will get a lot of fresh air and have great fun. As many people have asked us: ‘you’ve seen the world, but have you seen your own country?’. To this question we can truly answer yes, as we’ve soon visited and explored all key islands in our entire archipelago.
Categorizing the islands
We’ve divided the Ø-dyssey in six parts, representing different geographical regions of the Danish archipelago:
Update - august 2020
The Ø-dyssey is ongoing!
Asterics denote islands that have been explored in depth so-far in part I-VI of our Ø-dyssey.
We’re currently at 63 out of 115 islands, which is 55% completion.