ISLANDS OFF FUNEN, ÆRØ & LANGELAND

PART III - remote and wild islands off Funen, and circumnavigating Ærø & Langeland

> Hiking and camping excursions to 20 unique islands off Funen in Denmark, including the two larger islands of Ærø and Langeland  < 

Funen is a large island in the center of Denmark, and it is sourrounded by almost 100 small islands and islets. The largest concentration of islands is the stunning South Funen Archipelago, which is the theme of Ø-dyssey part IV.

 

However, surrounding Funen is a number of fantastic islands that are individually more isolated and not in clusters. In total 20 islands in this area have been added to our comprehensive list of key Danish islands to pay a visit. Torø, our child hood nest, is a small and uninhabited island with a beautiful natural harbor which has a number of shipwrecks, above and below sea level. Next, Baagø and Brandsø in the Little Belt Ocean have great beaches, the latter being uninhabited and thus more difficult but rewarding to pay a visit. In the more Northern part of the Little Belt Ocean, the islands of Svinø and Fænø are known for high numbers of porpoises (Dolphin-like marine mammals) off their coasts. The porpise is a small whale, and the Lillebælt strait which winds and flows through the beautiful coastal landscape has the highest density of whales anywhere on Earth.

 

Æbelø off the North shore of Funen is wonderfully isolated with no inhabitants and can only be visited by going through the sea at low tide. Next to Æbelø lies the islands Dræet and Ejlinge which are truly off the beaten track. Next, in Odense Fiord and off Fynshoved are a number of isolated but nice islets named Vigelsø, Stigeø, Tornø, Mejlø and Bogø, with huge bird colonies. Romsø in the Great Belt Ocean, which is often dubbed 'the last wilderness in Denmark', is a rare pearl; completely covered by old forest which has been untouched for hundreds of years and a wild population of deers. South of Romsø, the island of Sprogø is known for its spooky past and prison where women considered too easy and promiscuous were isolated from society from 1923-1961. Finally, the larger islands of Langeland, Ærø and Tåsinge have the nicest old villages in all of Denmark, hundreds of kilometers of coastline with beaches, and idyllic nature - great for summer bike trips and tenting. Siø is a small island enroute to Langeland, with good snorkeling spots- Finally, there is a must-visit, tiny, 7-island archipelago inside the Lindelse Nor fiord of Western Langeland, which is a unique diving destination with flooded stone age villages on the sea bed.

Check our Danish Ø-dyssey introduction page to read about our ongoing travel project to visit all unique islands in Denmark, of which there are more than 100 in total.

For more fascinating islands in Denmark, check the other Ø-dyssey travel sites:

- I: Tip of Denmark & offshore islands

- II: Islands off Central & Southern Jutland

- III: Islands in the Belts, North Funen, Ærø & Langeland

- IV: South Funen Archipelago 

- V: Islands off Zealand & Bornholm

- VI: The South Sea Islands

Selected pics from our Danish Ø-dyssey - Part III:

Ø-dyssey part III
Ø-dyssey part III

Asterisks denote islands visited so-far, updated August 2020

View over the bay of Thorø and Thorø Island
View over the bay of Thorø and Thorø Island

We grew up in this Bay near Torø Island off the bigger Island of Funen. It still is an amazing playgrund with access to sunken ships in the bay and good beaches. Torø offers easy hiking and good camping spots. Picture taken on the beach that our parents own, right in front of their house where we grew up.

Dusk in the Torø Island Bay
Dusk in the Torø Island Bay

Growing up in the Bay of Torø Island in the summertime, we would go fishing for eels very early in the morning at 4 AM together with our grand dad, Harry.

The same bay in Spring - the Torø Huse Bay
The same bay in Spring - the Torø Huse Bay
Fishing community of Torø Huse
Fishing community of Torø Huse

Here, our uncles are putting a fishing vessel into the water after a long winter.

The fishermen community of Torøhuse
The fishermen community of Torøhuse

Torø Isl.: Torøhuse still has many active fishermen who go to the sea every morning. It is one of the few authentic fishermen's villages that still remains on Funen Island.

Same fishing community during a harsh winter
Same fishing community during a harsh winter
Ready for cooking crab soup
Ready for cooking crab soup

Off the beaches in Thorø Huse at Thorø Island are thousands of crabs that are easy to catch and cook during the sometimes wet and rainy Danish summers. They are small in June but grow big and tasy in July and August. The kids love to catch and cook them.

Dusk at Thorøhuse beach
Dusk at Thorøhuse beach

Anders' summerhouse is in Thorø Huse and if we continue walking down this beach for 10 km, we will reach Jakob's summerhouse.

View towards The Bay of Torø Island
View towards The Bay of Torø Island

Big thunderstorm rolling in during summer time. Torø Island lies right off the beach where we grew up (to the right in the picture). It was here that we learned to row, sail, snorkel and where we got interested in SCUBA-diving. In the bay several shipwrecks lie on the sea bottom, and can be explored with snorkeling gear and good stamina. The island of Torø is easy to visit but very few people go here.

In winter time, the strait between Funen and Thorø sometimes completly freezes
In winter time, the strait between Funen and Thorø sometimes completly freezes
View from Anders' sommerhouse towards Sønderby Bjerge
View from Anders' sommerhouse towards Sønderby Bjerge

During sunrise

Frozen ocean winter hike, Torøhuse
Frozen ocean winter hike, Torøhuse

Torø Isl.: During every 4th or 5th winter the entire ocean usually freezes completely for up to 1-2 km offshore. During these winters we love to hike along the beach and onto the frozen sea, and often also camp in the wilderness to maintain our cold management skills. Torøhuse, near Assens, Western Funen.

A different winter where parts of the ocean was frozen
A different winter where parts of the ocean was frozen

We could clearly see the ice cap enclosing the entire bay while Lillebælt was still ice free

Kayaking along the ice cap during winter
Kayaking along the ice cap during winter

Bay of Thorø Island

Another kayak trip to Thorø Island during winter time
Another kayak trip to Thorø Island during winter time
Ready for a night time kayak trip at 11 pm...
Ready for a night time kayak trip at 11 pm...

Oh, those long Danish summer evenings, here at Thorøhuse, West Funen

Beaches off Torø Island
Beaches off Torø Island

Torø Island has been a colony island for more than 30 years, and therefore we few people live here. In the winter time there are no permanent residents; perfect for a couple of days with total isolation

Summer hike around Thorø at 4:45 AM
Summer hike around Thorø at 4:45 AM
Winter hike around Thorø
Winter hike around Thorø
Another winter shot of the tiny fishing hamlet of Thorøhuse
Another winter shot of the tiny fishing hamlet of Thorøhuse
Torø Island, West Funen
Torø Island, West Funen

View towards The Bay of Torø Island and a canon from WWI-times during a spring time kayak trip.

View towards Thorø...
View towards Thorø...

...during a 5 AM morning dip off the beach of Anders' summerhouse.

Torø Isl.: Dawn at Bay of Torø
Torø Isl.: Dawn at Bay of Torø
Rowing around Thorø...
Rowing around Thorø...

...seaching for new beaches during the summer time.

Tip of Thorø...
Tip of Thorø...

...where a big cross is signaling that a young mother and childre drowned during a storm in the last century.

Winter hike from Thorøhuse to Assens along the beach where our parents live
Winter hike from Thorøhuse to Assens along the beach where our parents live
Hiking at Sønderby Bjerge, near Torø Huse
Hiking at Sønderby Bjerge, near Torø Huse

During a hike from Torø island towards Helnæs Island.

View over Sønderby Bjerge, near Torø Huse
View over Sønderby Bjerge, near Torø Huse

During a hike from Torø island towards Helnæs Island.

Cold water dive in dry suit...
Cold water dive in dry suit...

...during December, here near Ammoniakhavnen (Ammoniak Harbour) in the Lillebælt Strait. This strait between the peninsula of Jutland and Funen island calls for the most adventurous diving in Denmark.