Fanø, an island with charm

With our bycicles in front off the sandbar of Galgerev

Fanø is a small Danish island located in the south of Jutland, in the Wadden sea. To reach the island you have to take a ferry in Esbjerg, which takes approximately 12 minutes to arrive to the town of Nordby. The charming landscape of Fanø is made up of beaches, dunes, thickets of shrubs, small trees and large areas of marsh.

Arriving to Nordby by ferry

I travelled to Fanø in August 2010 with the idea of seeing seals, but it failed. To see seals in the island we had to reach Galgerev sandbar near the town of Sønderho, in the opposite side of the island where the ferry leaves you. But that day the tide was at 19:30 pm, at which time we would be back on the mainland. So the sandbar was flooded when we got there. Maybe next time.

Cottages in Sønderho – by rogiro

In Sønderho

Anyway, the visit was really worth it. It is a top 10 as an idillic place to rest in your holidays. Maybe it was the fact of crossing the island by bicycle (in Denmark the bike path is everywhere), or the tale architecture of their cottages, with thatched roofs and colourful walls. Unforgettable the journey from Sønderho to the marshes in Galgerev. The solitary houses rise in the dunes, that are topped with a very characteristic vegetation, the Ammophila.

Fanø coast – by Kuemmi

Until 1741 Fanø belonged to the king of Denmark, that in a situation of economic hardship cleared to auction. It was the inhabitants of Fanø who bought it; from which time the island began to thrive. The king gave permission to the residents to shipbuilding, and from 1741 to 1900, 1.000 ships were built. Thanks to the prosperity that brought the business, its inhabitants began to build beautiful houses, many of which still remain.

Cottages in Fanø – by g.gregorini

According to a local legend, the people of Fanø were convinced that the wealthy merchants of Ribe where going to win the auction. So they made a plan. On the eve of the auction they sent the most beautiful women of the island to Ribe. They had to got drunk the merchants and in a moment of distraction they had to delay its clocks one hour. It is said that the next day only the islanders and a man of Tønder (which was removed from the courtroom) appeared. But leaving legends aside, the people of Fanø were able to collect enough money to buy their own island to the crown. And for 150 years they owned the largest fleat of Denmark outside Copenhagen.

Fanø at dusk – by Rasmussen

Teddy bears taking a drink in Sønderho

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