Focus on Funen, The Garden of Denmark
Gallery reference view
H. C. Andersen's House in Odense
Egeskov Castle on the island of Funen
Fynshoved - the island of Funen
Cycling in South Funen
H.C. Andersen Statue in Odense
Funen and its archipelago of southern islands
Coined the ‘Garden of Denmark’, the island of Funen and its archipelago of southern islands combine some of Denmark’s most stunning scenery of lush rolling pasture lands, steep cliff tops and wide sandy beaches with a fascinating array of historic sights, beautiful fairytale castles and the urban appeal of Odense.
Odense is one of the oldest cities in Denmark, with a history stretching back to the Vikings. Today it's known for its pleasantly laid-back ambiance, excellent shopping and dining and a good range of interesting attractions. As home to the famous fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, one of the city’s most popular attractions is the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. The museum tells the story of the celebrated author’s life, from a recreation of the tiny cobbler’s shop where he was born right through to extensive collections of his drawings, paper-cut creations and his famous stories and poems. The museum is located in the city’s historic quarter, making it the ideal starting point for a fairytale fantasy wandering through the cobbled streets of Denmark’s third largest city.
Other highlights of a visit to Odense include Brandts Klædefabrik, a cultural centre set within a converted textile factory that houses the Museum of Photographic Art plus a superb selection of art galleries, cafés and cinemas. Music lovers can visit the Carl Nielsen Museum to learn about the city’s famous composer while railway enthusiasts will enjoy the valuable collection of historic locomotives at the Danish Railway Museum.
Visit Møntergaarden in Odense for exhibitions about the history of the city. The museum is located in some of the most well preserved Renaissance buildings in Odense built in 1646. There's more history to encounter just outside town at Funen Village, an open-air museum where visitors can glimpse what life was like on Funen in the 1850s. Recreated with traditional buildings and farming methods, the attraction comes complete with costumed 'villagers' going about their daily chores.
Odense also plays host to a wide range of festivals over the course of the year. One of the most spectacular is the annual Flower Festival that takes place every August and sees the centre of town carpeted with a beautiful display of seasonal blooms. There are regular jazz events, farmers' markets and open-air concerts held throughout the period, while later in the year there's a 19th Century-style Christmas market in operation from mid-November, featuring craft stalls and traditional entertainment.
With miles of stunning coastline it is not surprising to find that a number of seaside towns are attractions in themselves. For day trips from Odense, the towns of Faaborg, Svendborg and Kerteminde are excellent choices. The idyllic market town and fishing village of Kerteminde nestles cosily between sea and inlet, surrounded by beautiful beaches. From here you can access the Hindsholm peninsula with its natural beauty or visit an ancient 2nd-century BC burial ground, 10th century Viking ship, famous Danish painter Johannes Larsen Museum and the new sea-life centre Fjord & Bælt for getting up close and personal with small whales and other fascinating sea life.
Go west to the old harbour of Assens for seafaring history and remarkably well-preserved collection of 18th and 19th century merchants houses. Take the scenic route to the picturesque village of Faaborg to climb the medieval clock tower with its far stretching coastal views, examine famous Danish works of art at the Faaborg Museum and saviour luxurious furnishings in Den Gamle Gaard’s Roccoco Room. Faaborg and the surrounding area is both versatile and exciting. It bursts with unforgettable experiences from the lush countryside - spanning the beautiful South Funen Archipelago to the hills of Svanninge Bakker.
Travel south to discover the colourful accounts of Svendborg and its breath-taking archipelago. Conveniently linked by bridge to neighbouring islands Tåsinge and Langeland, with other islands easily accessible by boat, it’s the perfect base to start an island hopping adventure. Step back in time on the long established island of Ærø with its picturesque tiny villages and ancient farms or completely go wild with a trip to one of the tiny islands only inhabited by birds.
Offering a multitude of water sports and sailing activities, holidaymakers can readily enjoy cruising the archipelago on one of the many traditional wooden schooners, learn how to sail a smack dinghy, sea-kayak to their own deserted island, head out on a seal safari or simply go swimming in some of the most pristine waters around. And if splashing around in the water isn’t your thing, Funen must be any cyclist’s dream. With 730 miles of signposted cycle trails stretching coast to coast and across the very gently undulating central plains, it is as if the island was specifically designed for cyclists of all abilities. Offering wide and many tarmac paths, with plenty of good rest areas along the trails, its short distances between the sea, city and experiences make Funen ideal for cycling holidays.
One of Funen's defining features is its wealth of historic castles and manor houses that punctuate the landscape. There are over 120 well-preserved stately piles to be discovered in the wider area - more than anywhere else in Denmark. Many of these are open to the public, including Denmark's oldest medieval fortress Nyborg Slot and the lavishly decorated Valdemars Slot which was built in the 1600s by King Christian IV. Another attractive option is Lykkesholm Slot and most impressive of them all is Egeskov Slot, one of Europe's best-preserved Renaissance castles. Rising majestically above manicured grounds, this magnificent structure complete with turrets and moat is a sight to behold – and Egeskov is just as stunning on the inside with its grand collection of antique furniture, paintings, old hunting trophies and 18th Century designed grounds. Within the grounds are five fascinating museums, including the Veteran Car Museum with an extensive collection of aircraft, cars and motorcycles, as well as an enthralling selection of mazes and arguably the most fairytale dolls' house in the world - Titania's Palace.
Some of Funen's castles have even been converted into hotels and inns (kro) allowing visitors to spend the night and enjoy their very own fairytale experience. Kro offer traditional Danish hospitality alongside home comforts and gourmet restaurants featuring typical Danish cuisine. One of the island's most impressive is Hindsgavl Slot, a 13th Century castle not far from Odense that’s set within 300 acres of private grounds. For exquisite river views, Brobyvaerk Kro is a charming and characterful, 17-room property on the banks of the Odense River in South Funen. Or for divine dining, Falsled Kro is well-known for mastering delicious culinary experiences. Falsled Kro has 11 rooms as well as 8 suites and is located fairly close to the charming town of Faaborg on south of Funen.
Getting there …
Under two hours flying time, Denmark has an excellent selection of flights from the UK to all its major airports. With Billund and airport served from the UK by Ryanair, it is both easy and affordable to plan a route. DFDS Seaways offers a regular service of overnight departures between Harwich and Esbjerg in West Jutland.
For further information on Funen, please go to: www.visitfy...