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Bornholm: The Sunshine Island of Denmark

Photo by iStock

Trade your office chair for a beach lounger and ditch the stress for sunshine!

The Danish island of Bornholm beckons with its dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, charming villages, and a surprising amount of sunshine. Bornholm has something for everyone, whether you're a history buff, an art aficionado, or a beach bum. Let's dive into this Danish gem and discover what makes it a must-visit destination.

Step Back in Time at Hammershus Castle

Photo by Nikolaj Beyer/Destination Bornholm

Bornholm's crown jewel is undoubtedly Hammershus, the largest medieval fortress in Northern Europe. Perched on the island's northwestern tip, this 13th-century giant served as a royal residence, a prison, and a military stronghold. Explore its mighty ruins and be blown away by the panoramic views of the sea and the rolling hills. Imagine knights guarding the ramparts and whispers of history echoing through the halls.

Unveil the Mystery of the Round Churches

Photo by Semko Balcersk/Destination Bornholm

Time travel continues with Bornholm's unique round churches. Built in the 12th century, these four architectural wonders, Østerlars, Olsker, Nylars, and Nyker, were more than just places of worship. Their circular design served as a defensive measure against invaders, and their well-preserved frescoes offer a glimpse into medieval art.

Embrace the Artistic Soul of Bornholm

Photo by Semko Balcerski/Destination Bornholm

Bornholm is a haven for art lovers. The island boasts a vibrant arts and crafts scene from ceramics and glass to textiles. Wander through the studios of local artisans, witness their creativity unfold, and take home a piece of Bornholm's magic. Renowned institutions like Hjorths Fabrik (ceramics museum), Grønbechs Gård (cultural centre), and Bornholms Kunstmuseum (art museum) showcase the island's artistic heritage.

Explore Bornholm on Two Wheels

Photo by Destination Bornholm

There's no better way to discover Bornholm's hidden nooks and crannies than by bike. Over 200 kilometres of cycling routes weave through picture-perfect landscapes, charming villages, and historical sites. Breathe in the fresh air, feel the wind in your hair, and get your daily dose of exercise – all while soaking up the island's beauty. For the less adventurous, there are always guided tours or rentals available.

Beach Bliss Awaits

Photo by Andreas Rose/iStock

Bornholm boasts some of Denmark's most stunning beaches. Imagine soft, white sand between your toes and crystal-clear waters beckoning you in. Whether you're a sunbathing enthusiast, a water sports fanatic (surfing and sailing are popular on the south coast), or simply looking for a dramatic backdrop for your beach reads (think dramatic rock formations on the north shore), Bornholm's beaches have something for everyone. Popular spots include Balka, Dueodde, Sandvig, and Vang.

Island Hopping Adventure

Christiansø. Photo by Destination Bornholm

Craving more Baltic charm? Take a ferry or boat trip to explore the smaller islands dotting the sea around Bornholm. Discover Christiansø and Frederiksø, former naval fortresses transformed into a fascinating nature reserve and museum, where you can immerse yourself in the island's rich history and enjoy breathtaking views from the old ramparts. Explore the tiny Ertholmene archipelago, home to a traditional fishing community and a haven for birdwatchers, where you can experience the tranquillity of island life and spot rare bird species in their natural habitat.

A Culinary Journey for Foodies

Lunch at Hallegård. Photo by Destination Bornholm.
Homemade Icecream at Sandvig. Photo by Destination Bornholm

Bornholm tantalizes taste buds with its delectable local specialities. From melt-in-your-mouth smoked herring, a traditional delicacy that has been prepared on the island for centuries, to creamy blue cheese, made from the milk of cows grazing on the island's lush pastures, from golden honey, harvested from local bees that thrive on the island's wildflowers, to refreshing ice cream, made from the island's rich dairy products, the island offers a feast for the senses. Don't miss out on locally brewed beers, crafted with passion and precision by the island's microbreweries, to quench your thirst after a day of exploration. Sample these delicacies at restaurants, cafes, smokehouses, farms, and breweries scattered across the island. Consider joining a food tour or a cooking class to delve deeper into Bornholm's unique culinary culture.

Embrace the Thrill Seeker Within

Photo by Destination Bornholm

Bornholm caters to adventurous souls too. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the island's numerous trails, ensuring you have the necessary safety equipment and are aware of the trail conditions. Challenge yourself with rock climbing, either outdoors or in an indoor centre, under the guidance of experienced instructors. Kayak along the scenic coastline or on tranquil lakes, following safety guidelines and weather conditions. Cast your line into the sea or a freshwater stream and see what you catch, while adhering to local fishing regulations. Feeling whimsical? Embark on a troll hunt in Almindingen forest and see if you can spot the six giant wooden sculptures cleverly hidden amongst the trees, ensuring you stay on marked paths and respect the environment.

Planning Your Bornholm Escape

Getting to Bornholm is a breeze. You can catch a direct flight from Copenhagen, Billund, or Aarhus to Bornholm Airport, or take a ferry from Ystad (Sweden), Sassnitz (Germany), or Køge (Denmark) to Rønne, the island's main town.

Exploring Bornholm is convenient, with a network of buses connecting towns and villages, offering regular and reliable services. You can purchase tickets or passes online or directly on board, making it easy to navigate the island's public transportation system. Biking and car rentals are also readily available for those who prefer to explore independently, with a variety of rental options to suit different needs and preferences.

Bornholm's temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers, makes it an attractive destination year-round.



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