How Not To Visit Ærø In One Day

With its 88km², Ærø is amongst the biggest islands to the south of Funen. It has three towns and a handful of small villages scattered over the whole island. And for a long time, Lars and I could not decide whether we should visit this place or not.

The first argument is that Ærø is a very popular destination; in recent years, it has even become a hot wedding location! Usually, we stay far far away from anything touristic… But could we keep on resisting this picturesque place? For a long time we could, due to argument number 2: the high cost of the ferry trip, especially when you take your car with you.

But last year, Lars and I found ourselves in Denmark without a car. And we decided to give Ærø a try anyway. One sunny morning we took the ferry in Svendborg and 75 minutes we arrived at our destination, in Ærøskøbing to be more precise. Moving around the island is easy; free buses take you from one principal town to another, stopping in cute villages in between.

We hopped on the bus in the direction of Søby, the most northern town. Word had it that there were beautiful beaches nearby, but once we arrived in the town, we still had to cover some distance on foot. Lars questioned our idea; was it really worth it to go to the beach, since we didn’t have any towels or bathing suits with us? I assumed he was right and we settled for a beer in the nearest pub instead.

As you can see, this is a ferry harbour as well. But the connection between Søby and Faaborg (and not Svendborg) is not a very frequent one. Apparently, the harbour is also known for its restoration of old boats.

After 45 minutes, another bus showed up and Lars and I traveled to the south of Ærø. Marstal is the biggest town and also the economic centre of the island. Again, we got off at the harbour.

Marstal had definitely more charm than Søby. By the way, the big green ship that you can see on some of the pictures came from Germany and had a very young (and enthusiastic!) crew on board.

With its cozy narrow streets and elegant harbour, it is easy to see why Marstal attracts lots of tourists.

It was already late in the afternoon when Lars and I realised that we were running out of time. We still had one more town to visit, get back to the ferry harbour and take the boat back to Svendborg. Without hesitation, we called a taxi and went to the historic centre of Ærø, Ærøskøbing. We found ourselves near a church and went inside.

We loved the blue and white interior and the intricate decorations!

Back outside, we wandered through the cobbled streets, admiring the pastel-coloured houses and cottages.

And then it was time to go back to the harbour…

Although Lars and I thoroughly enjoyed our day, we afterwards agreed that we didn’t handle things correctly. Instead of rushing from one place to another, we should have stayed in one location, probably Ærøskøbing and exploring it in detail. Ideally, we should have stayed two days with the car, visiting the three towns at ease, photographing the countryside and tasting some local delicacies. Well, we learned another valuable lesson!


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