It all started with the sentence "Hey, I’ve been to Denmark already 4 times and every time I was so enthusiastic about this country, the people, the mentality, the peaceful silence on those beaches and of course about Hygge".
From every holiday in Denmark I always came back fully mentally changed and fueled by new creativity.
But this time I wanted to make it even more special and so I searched through all kinds of holiday homes in Denmark, which are located directly at the sea and simply offer peace and relaxation. I was looking for holiday homes where you can chill out, go fishing, have barbecues, sunbathe, have the beach to yourself (it’s often like that in Denmark) and from where you can easily reach many awesome sights.
And suddenly I stumbled over a super nice house directly on the beach on the so-called "sunny island" of Bornholm. I’ve already heard the name of the island, but I didn't know exactly where it actually was and I immediately looked at the map. I noticed that Bornholm is quite far away from Denmark's mainland and is even much closer to Sweden, which raised the question: "How do we get there?
LOCATION & TRAVEL PLAN:
Bornholm is the easternmost island of Denmark and has just over 39.000 inhabitants. This Baltic Sea island lies between the Swedish Scania and the Polish voivodeship of West Pomerania, about 150 km southeast of Copenhagen and 80 km northeast of Rügen. Sweden's southern coast is only 40 km away, but the island's best and most convincing argument is that a Mediterranean climate can prevail there, as many low pressure areas usually simply pass by and as the island lies protected between these different countries.
then I was surprised to find out that little Bornholm even has an airport, but instead of booking a flight, I immediately remembered our 4 Denmark vacations as a child with my parents. So I thought about all the great impressions of these awesome road trips from southern Germany up to Denmark.
The best vacation was when we had booked the northernmost house in the whole country at the northern tip of Denmark near Skagen. The place where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet, so you could stand with each foot in two different seas.
It was a very long journey by car to the northern tip of Denmark, but the trip was super cool and since we started exactly the same trip again in 2016, it was clear to me, that the vacation on Bornholm has to start with such a trip again.
THE START OF THE JOURNEY:
So, the idea was fixed, the holiday home was booked and then finally the day came when we should start to travel to Bornholm.
We went from Lucerne in Switzerland to Southern Germany and from there via Frankfurt, Hanover, Hamburg and Rostock to Sassnitz, from where the ferry to Bornholm would start. But because of almost 1400 kilometers and a travel time (without the planned stops/breaks) of more than 16 hours, we needed an overnight stay at the Baltic seaside resort Binz near Sassnitz, so that we could take the first ferry to Bornholm early in the morning the next day.
After a great trip with several breaks, some traffic jams but still in a good mood and already with great holiday feelings in our luggage we arrived at the beautiful town of Binz. It was exactly the right decision to drive that way, because the holiday feeling began just with the start of the journey.
FIRST STOP -> BINZ AT THE BALTIC SEA:
Binz is a small and really nice place right on the beach of the Baltic Sea. I've already heard about Binz, as there is the Kurhaus Binz, a Travel Charme Hotel, like the Bergresort Werfenweng, about which I've already written an entry here in my Travel Blog. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a room there, but it was okay, as we wouldn’t have had time to enjoy the great offers of the hotel and especially the spa area. Thus, we stayed in a small hotel only a few meters away from the Kurhaus Binz.
We arrived there on a warm summer evening, checked in and went straight to the promenade in order to stroll around and find something to eat in an Restaurant to sit outside. So we had delicious pizza, enjoyed the evening hours and watched the sunset from the 370 meter long pier, while torches were lit on the beach and an incredible summer atmosphere arose.
After a relaxed evening we walked back slowly to our hotel along the Kurhaus Binz and went to bed exhausted from the long drive but still very happy.
PREPARATION FOR THE FERRY TRIP:
The next morning we had a good breakfast and went by car to Sassnitz, lined up for the ferry trip and then went on deck.
But first while waiting we visited the small shop there to stock up on 3 packs of 24 beers each :D so 36 liters :P That should be enough! The first beer was opened right away, because now the long ferry trip was in front of us and the car only had to be driven into the hull of the ship. Well, it was still quite early, around 10 o'clock in the morning :D, but that was just the right thing to do right now.
We then went on the ferry and the 1.5 hour drive to Rønne, the capital of Bornholm began. We sat on deck in the sun, got some fries and were more than ready for a fabulous holiday. The sea air was blowing through our hair and we were really looking forward to finally lay on the beach in front of our holiday home.
Ah, I almost forgot to tell you, my fishing equipment was with us as well, because for me this is a completely different kind of relaxing and Bornholm is not only a holiday paradise but also a sea trout oasis. So I had to try catching one of these, because the sea trout is also called the fish of a 1000 casts and I definitely wanted to chase after them.
ARRIVAL AT RØNNE / BORNHOLM:
Now we arrived in Rønne and went from the ferry to pick up our house keys at the tourist centre a few meters away. On Bornholm all holiday homes are managed by this center and so we thought all hell would break loose when we arrived there with so many other people trying to get their keys. But, because we were standing quite far in front in the ferry and thus were one of the first cars to leave the ship, we also arrived at the center very early and got our keys super fast.
Now we had to drive from the west coast of the island down to the end of the south-eastern tip near Nexø and the world famous dune landscape of Dueodde. At first that might sounds far away but the island is only 30 kilometers long :D so we only needed about 3o minutes including fantastic views.
OUR HOLIDAY HOME ON THE BEACH:
While crossing the island you can already see beautiful places with colourful houses typical that are for Denmark. In between there are golden cornfields, in the background you can always see the blue sea and white beaches.
The sand on Bornholm, especially in Dueodde, is so fine that in former times it was used in hourglasses all over the world.
As I'm writing this, I can still feel the warm fine sand on my feet and smell the salty sea air. Heavenly!
Now we arrived at a small pine forest and turned into a private path, which is for holiday home guests only. Finally we stood in front of our sweet red painted holiday home. It’s located in the middle of a clearing in a little forest, but right at the sea, thus the forest ends right on the beach that is called Sommerodde.
As soon as I got out of the car, the smell of warm sand, pine trees and sea air flew around my nose and with this mixture my heart opened and my mind switched off immediately. Then we went into the house and put our clothes and stuff into the cupboards and of course the beers into the fridge :P
I grabbed my swimming shorts and we went straight to the beach, which can hardly be surpassed in its naturalness. The sandy pine forest with many mystically tangled trees, lichens and moss leads directly to a white beach with dune grass, that moves in the warm summer wind.
Since many people may not think of Denmark as a warm place and especially because it’s so close to Sweden, I have to mention again the nickname "sunny island" and the sheltered location, which allows a wonderful Mediterranean climate.
Nevertheless it can be windy, but it was always a pleasant wind. So we looked for a protected area in the warm sand between the dune grass and tested the quite fresh sea water with our feet. Okay, here I have to say that I love water that is close to my body temperature :) But I went swimming anyway and it was really nice and refreshing.
That day we didn't do much more than grocery shopping in the next bigger city to stock up on food for the next days. So after that we cooked a delicious dinner, sat on our terrace with a glass of wine and let the day end.
Of course, the weather was great and most of the time the sun was shining, but nevertheless, I also hoped for at least one rainy day so that I could test the sauna of the house and the whirlpool in order to feel the typical Danish Hygge feeling. And as I hoped, that day came up on day 5, but first let’s start with the previous days of our holiday.
DAY 2 -> THE BEACH DAY:
On day 2 there isn’t much to say, as we spent the whole day on the beach. Of course we slept late, then drove to the bakery and made a big tasty breakfast, had a brilliant conversation and afterwards prepared ourselves for the beach: swimming shorts, towels, beers, snacks and music.
When we arrived there, only 4 other people were at the kilometer long beach and we layed down again at the nice place between the dune grass, which we’ve found the day before. We chilled out in the sun for a while, also to take some little naps :P
A bit later we walked barefoot along the beach and talked about completely unimportant philosophical topics :D and how relaxed we are already on day 2.
For lunch we went back to the house and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the area around the beach. We discovered a washed up tree trunk directly at the top of the bay of our beach, on which we sat comfortably with a beer in the sun, relaxed and simply watched the waves rolling in. We sat there for a while and I already thought about where I would like to go fishing the next day :P
We spent the evening having fun with playing board games on the terrace and planning the next day. We wanted to visit the huge old castle-fortress called Hammershus.
DAY 3 -> SIGHTSEEING & FISHING:
On day 3 we drove to the north coast of the island to Sandvig, a nice place with a cute beach and further northwest also with gigantic rock formations and a steep coast. What makes Bornholm so special is the combination of Swedish forests, Norwegian rocky coasts, Danish white beaches and the already mentioned untypical climate.
The beginning of this stony area was later to become my first fishing spot, because in contrast to the shallow sandy beach you can get far out into the deep water with your lure. This is important because sea trout don’t like warm water and are therefore much further out in summer.
The best months for catching sea trout are in winter and in summer it’s better to fish into the night or before sunrise to catch these shy fish. But this didn't stop me and spurred me even more to hunt for the fish of a 1000 casts.
But first we chilled out comfortably in the sun on the beach and listened to the waves. Then, after our sunbathing, we had lunch in a nearby restaurant. We had plenty of fish with delicious side dishes and cold beers from a brewery of the small Bornholm town of Svaneke.
This of course immediately brought us to a new destination: The Svaneke Bryghus. They have a lot of different beers there, from the typical ones like Pilsner, Lager, Indian Pale Ale etc. to some crazy ones like Reggae Lager, Bingo Gringo or Magic Dragon. In any case, we were excited and thirsty. But now first to Hammershus Fortress.
Without mentioning many historical facts, for example the interesting story of how Denmark got Bornholm back from the Swedes, it can be said that the fortress Hammershus is a quite mighty complex that is enthroned high above everything and thus you have an amazing view over the whole island and the sea. You can tell I'm not a history loving type of guy and I also wanted to go fishing :D So let's continue with that!
After an impressive sightseeing we finally went to the water. We walked from Sandvig beach towards the beautiful lighthouse (you can find a picture of it at the end of this blog entry) through a landscape similar to a small mountain range, where sheep grazed, and then we climbed the rocky coast.
It was quite a real tour de force, because the rocks looked much smaller from far away and with fishing equipment and beer in the luggage it was a hurdle on partly slippery rocks. But when we arrived there it was all worth it.
We were standing exactly on the edge from where the big waves of the open sea calmed down and steered in calmly towards the beach of Sandvig. It was theoretically a perfect spot to fish and get a huge sunburn unnoticed in the sun because of light wind :P
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN:
Suddenly, after a beer and an estimated 200 casts, with which I fished back and forth in a fan shape from different spots along the current edge to the calm shore area, the impact came and the rod was bent. But what kind of fish was it? There are lots of other fish species swimming around, such as cod and mackerel.
After a few crank turns and some small adjustments on the brake of the reel, it was clear...wild head bangs and meter high jumps out of the water...it was the long awaited sea trout. The fish of a 1000 casts was caught after about 200 casts :)
After another 100-200 casts and several lure changes, where I adjusted the colour of the successful light green lure more and more to the colour of the sand eels chasing the lure, we were done and the fish should actually be enough for a nice dinner. So we packed everything up and headed back to our holiday home to prepare the fish for the barbecue.
For those of you who aren’t into the fishing game and stuff, it has to be said that this has always been a hobby of mine since I was 8 years old, where I had some nice moments with my father and could spend valuable time with him. So we’ve often been fishing together in Denmark and Norway and on many other waters.
And even if you catch a living being there, it’s used as food and the hobby plus the father and son time turns into a great barbecue, a delicious dinner and simply an amazing time together.
The meat of the sea trout was bright orange, like a salmon and I prepared it with many herbs and spices for the following barbecue.
I lit the fire and we stood around the grill having ingenious conversations until the fish was fully cooked. After that I filleted the fish and the side dishes where also ready.
It was a feast :), served with a cool summery white wine. So we let the day end and enjoyed the warm summer evening.
DAY 4 -> BEER, BEER, BEER:
The next day, after a fine breakfast, we went directly to Svaneke to the local brewery. But apart from the great beer that was waiting for us, the town with its cute harbour is really beautiful and lovely.
The way from the parking place to the harbour is also pretty enchanting with its narrow alleyways, where many small shops present their goods and especially art on the street and you can buy the sweet specialities of the island. Bornholm is famous for the art of glassblowing, liquorice dipped in chocolate and of course their delicious kippers.
Now we reached the Bryghus of Svaneke and tested the whole beer assortment. The brewery is super nice and rustically furnished and besides the many beers you also get a large selection of food and specialties of Bornholm. Of course we also tried a few snacks.
I was really impressed by 3 beers and these were: The Reggae Lager, which is brewed not only with barley but also with hemp. As the brewmaster says, it smells spicy like the Jamaican mountains and not only quenches your thirst, but immediately the term "One Love" and Jamaican rhythms run through your body. Sounds good, right? It also smells crazy like hemp :D
Then the Magic Dragon, which is also brewed with Bornholm’s hemp in addition to barley. Don’t get me wrong when I only list the hemp beers here :D There are no drugs in it except for alcohol and I’m strictly against THC :P
According to the brewmaster, Magic Dragon is a light lager beer with finest hemp flowers, mixed with the hemp varieties Ariana and Callista. Spicy, juicy and magical.
What more to say? :D
And as a third beer I have to mention the Pilsner, which I’ll always love anyway :) This here is just becoming kind of a beer and hemp blog :D but I hope you understand my enthusiasm in the right way.
After a cheerful round and many delicious brews we went back to the house and yes we had a Fanta drinking driver with us :) who brought us home safely.
The rest of the day we spent in the sun on the beach, with a long walk along the sea and delicious home-cooked food.
DAY 5 -> LOBSTER & SEA TROUT:
The 5th day came, whose morning was slightly rainy and so, as mentioned above, I took the chance to heat up the sauna to 110°C directly after breakfast to fry myself with good smelling infusion oils in several courses for about an hour :P
That was just incredibly good, especially the ice-cold shower after it, because I immediately felt like a newborn, ready for another exciting day.
We then wanted to explore Borholm and went around the island to discover the beautiful little villages with their colourful houses and the nice harbours.
And then after a little while the sun came out behind the clouds as we arrived in Nexø to look for a restaurant to have lunch.
Via Tripadvisor we found the Culinarium in Nexø harbour, of which we’ve read a lot of good reviews. We came to a small, lovingly decorated restaurant with a really kind waitress, who is the wife of the cook and runs the Culinarium together with him.
We got the menus and the hint to the culinary speciality of the day: as the restaurant just got fresh lobster from the sea, there was a nice lobster menu.
As a starter, we got a lobster soup with home-baked bread and as a main course we got a lobster with leek vegetables, potatoes and a creamy butter sauce. But before the soup came to our table we got a prosecco and for the main course a matching white wine.
I can tell you, it was just a dream and the best thing about it was that the menu costs just 39€ without the wine and all that for amazingly fresh lobster. I think I don't have to say more :)
So we enjoyed our fine food, the good wine and had a wonderful view over the harbour of Nexø.
Well fed and with the weather getting sunnier and sunnier, we went back to the house and then to the beach. But I only stayed there for 1-2 hours to try my luck with some more sea trout. I went back to the same place outside of Sandvig on my well known rocks.
Just like the last time it took about the same amount of time and exactly at the same spot a slightly heavier and bigger sea trout hit my lure. It was simply unbelievable if you have never caught a single sea trout before and then get 2 on the line. Well, I haven't tried fishing for this species before, but I knew how rare a catch can be, especially in summer. I’ve seen many videos in which the anglers sometimes went home without any fish and that after trying on several days even in winter.
So, the dinner and barbecue were ready to be served :)
DAY 6 -> THE BEAUTIFUL DUEODDE:
The 6th and actually last day followed, as we were supposed to leave already in the morning of the 7th day to catch the early ferry to Ystad in Sweden. Yes, we’ve decided to take the land route back via Sweden and the Danish mainland.
But first we wanted to enjoy the 6th day!
We left the house "early" and walked along the sea to the famous beach, the unbelievable beautiful dunes and the lighthouse of Dueodde.
We walked barefoot along the beach of Sommerodde directly at the sea where the waves touch your feet, to feel the pure intensive nature of Bornholm.
The way to Dueodde was longer than we thought, as it looked very close from Sommerodde but the view along the beach was very deceptive. But hey, we had time and snacks...okay with snacks I mean a few beers :D
After a breathtaking hike through the sandy pine forest, which turned more and more into a dune landscape the further we walked, we arrived at Dueodde Fyr, the beautiful lighthouse of Dueodde.
I immediately climbed the highest dune that I could find to get a good view over the huge dune area. Simply Awesome!
I stood there like I was petrified and just looked into the distance without thinking about anything while pure magic and an incredible atmosphere surrounded me. I could have stood there for hours.
By coincidence we were there exactly on the 57th birthday of the lighthouse, but unfortunately we were half an hour too late to visit it and climb up :( But this didn't take away our good mood and we chilled out in the dunes for a while until we went back home for lunch and to go on with tanning behind the house on some deck chairs.
CAMPFIRE & FULL MOON:
The night before our departure day was supposed to be a magical full moon night with a completely clear sky so we walked to the beach in the dark to start a small campfire while listening to the waves and the crackling of the fire under a mighty starry sky and the huge full moon.
Is there something more beautiful? :)
The great thing is that besides the moon no lights disturbed the spectacle in the sky, as it’s the case in most cities or sometimes also on the countryside. On a small island in the middle of nowhere, all you can see on the sea is darkness, some ships and the reflection of the celestial bodies on the smooth surface between the waves in the water.
DAY 7 -> DEPARTURE VIA SWEDEN:
After an indescribably beautiful night, the day of departure came and immediately after breakfast and packing our stuff, we went to the harbour of Rønne to hand in the keys of the house and to take the ferry to Sweden. I didn't notice that much of the ferry trip, because I fell asleep as soon as we were on deck :D When we arrived in Ystad I woke up and so the journey back home continued.
Over huge bridges and through the Swedish countryside we first crossed the Danish border and after a very long but amusing trip through Denmark, we returned to Germany and finally to Switzerland.
Even though every Denmark holiday has been incredibly awesome so far, this time it took my breath away, because Bornholm, despite its "size", has so many amazing places and experiences to offer. From the first day on you are immediately feeling this cozy Danish Hygge atmosphere. The sea, the waves, the silence, the wind, the white sandy beaches and the beautiful little towns with their colourful houses make your holiday an unforgettable experience.
Unfortunately a lot of things we had planned to do, were forgotten in between visiting the beach everyday and all of those beers.
One thing was that We wanted to visit the Tovbaner, a zip-line park near Hammeshus and Allinge in huge quarries filled with water, where you can daringly swing down several hundred meters with high speed to slide into the water.
But that’s just one more reason to come back to the sunny island of Bornholm soon.