10 Reasons You Must Visit Ærø, Denmark


Few travelers to Scandinavia have discovered the fairytale island of Ærø on the southern edge of Denmark. Ærø (pronounced “air-rue”)  is a charming island with gentle rolling farmland and sleepy little villages. It’s a place where you don’t worry about leaving your bike unlocked, and local farmers sell fresh strawberries and peas outside of their home on the honor system. There are not very many places like Ærø left in the world.  

A getaway to Ærø in the summertime will leave you feeling relaxed and recharged. It’s Denmark’s best-kept secret for a summer island vacation. Read on for my top things to do in Ærø, and helpful tips to plan your trip!  

1. Stroll through the town of Ærøskøbing

Walk through the town of Ærøskøbing, and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. From the cobblestones streets, climbing roses on the brick walls, and church bells ringing, it’s easy to see why Ærøskøbing is one of Denmark’s most romantic places to visit. It should come as no surprise that Ærø has a reputation as a popular wedding destination for Danes and foreigners to say “I Do”. 

Ærøskøbing Ærøskøbing

Ærøskøbing is one of Denmark’s most well-preserved towns with strict guidelines for the construction of new houses and the renovation of old ones. I couldn’t pick a favorite house – I loved them all so much! It’s customary for locals to sell sweets or handicrafts outside their homes on the honor system. Bring cash along if you want to do a little shopping on your walk. 

2. Eat Ærø’s best smoked fish 

Ærøskøbing Røgeri

Smoked salmon at Ærøskøbing Røgeri

If you love seafood, you need to eat at Ærøskøbing Røgeri! This fish smokehouse serves inexpensive smoked fish plates and sandwiches, washed down with plastic cups full of locally brewed Ærø beer. You can choose from smoked herring or mackerel fillet, trout, salmon, halibut, butter mackerel or smoked shrimp.  Ærøskøbing Røgeri prides themselves on serving fresh fish fillet and french fries oven-baked without deep frying.

Popover Tip: Ærøskøbing Røgeri is only open during the summer season from April-October. You must take a number and wait for your number to be called to order. Factor in extra time if you want to eat here during dinner! We waited over 90 minutes to order on a weekday! 

3. Rent Bikes 

Ærøskøbing Bikes

 Ærø is the perfect island for cycling with over 90 miles of bike paths and gorgeous panoramic views of the island. We biked from Ærøskøbing to the northernmost town Søby on bike. You’ll ride by beautiful farms, rolling hills, and quaint little towns. It’s without a doubt the best way to see the island. From Ærøskøbing to the largest town, Marstal, you can ride along the beautiful Baltic Sea Route. 

You can easily rent bikes in Ærøskøbing. We rented our bikes from the  Pilebaekken gas station, and bike maps can be found at the tourist office along the harbor. Bike rentals typically cost around 100 DKK, or $20 a day. 

4. Bring home a scent of Ærø 

Sæberiet in Ærø

Sæberiet Handmade Soap

Just outside the town of Søby is Sæberiet, a local shop that sells handmade natural soaps with ingredients from the island. The smell of elderflower soap was my favorite! These little bars of soap travel home well and make the perfect gift that won’t just collect dust on a shelf! Inside the shop, you can see the tools that are used to create soap bars.

Ærø soap

Inside the shop at Sæberiet

Popover Tip: If you don’t have time to make it out to Sæberiet you can also buy bars of the same soap in Den Gamle Købmandsgaard, a store that sells local products conveniently located the main square of Ærøskøbing.

Where: Søby Nørremarksvej 3, Søby

5. See the iconic beach huts 

Ærøskøbing Beach Huts

When you’re on the ferry from Svendborg, one of your first glimpses of Ærø are the bright colorful beach houses dotted along the edge of the water on Vesterstrand. These beach huts started popping up in the early 1920’s, and have since then they’ve become a landmark of Ærø.

You can find these stretches of beach huts on Ærøskøbing at Vesterstrand and Marstal at Ericks Hale. I prefer the beach huts on Ericks Hale in Marstal over Vesterstrand – but you still should visit both!  The Ericks Hale beach was more comfortable to relax on, and this beach has mini grills if you want to spend a night grilling on the beach. 

Ærøskøbing Beach Huts

Eriks Hale beach near Marstal

Ærøskøbing Beach Huts Ærøskøbing Beach Huts in ÆrøÆrøskøbing Beach Huts in Ærø The rules for historical preservation are strict if you’re lucky enough to own one of the huts. Absolutely no additions or installations can be made! This means that none of these huts have electricity or running water! The conservancy board of Ærø requires that owners can only upkeep and maintain the huts, but not make any changes to preserve their tradition.

It’s popular for Danes who own the huts to bring disposable grills and grill with friends during the summer months. We saw several Danes cooking on the beach in front of their beach hut, and it was great to see the tradition still lives on! 

6. Stay at a Charming B&B

Bed & Coffee 

 We loved our stay at Bed & Coffee! The location was perfect right in the main square in Ærøskøbing with great restaurants nearby and only a 5-minute walk to the ferry. The rooms were budget-friendly with private rooms and a shared bathroom. While they didn’t serve breakfast, it was nice to have coffee and tea available in our room. If you’re looking for breakfast we loved the Ærøskøbing Bakery just around the corner from Bed & Coffee.

The owner was welcoming and was available for any questions we had. The B&B also had access to a private sauna that was wonderful to relax in after a long day of biking!

Popover Tip: Rooms during the summer book-up far in advance. Make your reservation as soon as you narrow down your dates!

Where: Torvet 3 5970 Ærøskøbing 

7. Try an Ærø Beer 

Ærø Beer

Ærø Beers at Restaurant Mumm’s

It’s common for small towns and islands in Denmark to have a local brewery. Ærø is no different! You can find Ærø beer at restaurants on the island, or in the Den Gamle Købmandsgaard store located in the main square of Ærøskøbing. If you have extra time you can visit, Rise Bryggeri, the microbrewery on the island. 

At Rise Bryggeri you can take a guided tour, have a beer tasting, and eat lunch in their garden. It’s one of the larger micro-breweries in Denmark!

Where:  Vandværksvej 5 5970 Ærøskøbing

8. Eat Traditional Danish Food

Tarteletter at Restaurant Mumm's

Danish Tarteletter at Restaurant Mumm’s

I love Danish food!  On Ærøskøbing Restaurant Mumm was my favorite restaurant for their charming decor and authentic Danish cooking

I highly recommend the chicken and asparagus tartlets at Mumm’s! Tartlets (or Tarteletter in Danish) are shells of puff pastry filled with cooked chicken, fresh asparagus, and a Bechamel sauce topped with parsley. Danes have made this recipe for over a hundred years. It’s comfort food, and they like to refer to it as the type of traditional food your grandmother would make.

Popover Tip: Make a reservation by email, or phone if you want to eat at Restaurant Mumm for either lunch or dinner. We didn’t have a reservation at Restaurant Mumm, but were lucky enough to find a table outside in the garden for lunch.

Where:  Søndergade 12 5970 Ærøskøbing

Contact for Reservation: info@mummaeroe.dk  +45 62 52 12 12

9. Visit a Museum

For such a small island, Ærø has several interesting museums including a Bottleship Museum! If you get stuck with a rainy day, a museum is also a perfect backup plan. We ran out of time to visit the museums because we had so many beautiful days we wanted to enjoy as much time as we could outside on our bikes.

Marstal Maritime Museum

This is Ærø’s most popular museum! You can learn about the history of the Marstal ships, the small sailing vessels. The museum has a collection of over 250 model ships, as well as navigation equipment and odds and ends, brought back to Denmark from all over the world. The two main attractions are the two ships: the schooner Bonavista and the coaster Samka  which are both attached to the museum. 

FlaskePeters Samling Bottle Ship Museum

This museum has the oldest largest Bottle Ship collection in the world! Flaske-Peter built more than 1700 bottle ships and 50 model ships over the course of his life, and his collection is on display in this museum.

10. Climb up a lighthouse

Skjoldnæs Lighthouse in Ærø

Skjoldnæs Lighthouse in Søby

There is something so charming about lighthouses in the summertime! This lighthouse was built in 1881, and  is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Denmark. They ask for a 20 kroner donation to go up to the top, but it’s worth it for the stunning views. It’s best reached by bike if you’re in the northern part of the island near the town of Søby. 

How long to stay in Ærø

Staying 2-3 nights on Ærø is the perfect amount of time – depending on what your interests are in seeing. We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon by ferry and left Friday late morning. We weren’t able to have enough time to see the museums, but we still were able to visit all three major cities by biking.

How to get to Ærø

Ærø is a small island located in the south of Denmark and is one of the islands that make up the South Funen Archipelago.

The only way to get to Ærø is by a ferry across either the Baltic Sea or the South Funen Archipelago. You can find a timetable and prices on Ærøfærgerne’s website. You can also pay to bring a car on the ferry with you, but if you plan on renting bikes, or taking the free busses on the island, a car isn’t needed. 

It is approximately 2 1/2 hours from the German border by car and (including the ferry) or approximately 4 hours from Copenhagen by car and (including the ferry).

Alternatively, if traveling by train is more your style, then you can get the train to Svendborg which takes approx. 2.5 hours from Copenhagen.

Helpful Tips for Visiting Ærø

  • Make all reservations in advance! This includes your ferry tickets, restaurant reservations, and hotel. 
  • The busses are free on Ærø! The busses cover the whole island and runs multiple times a day. We took advantage of this and we ended up taking a bus from Søby to Marstal to give our legs a rest after biking. You can find a timetable here
  • Pack a lunch. On our bike ride, we had bad luck finding cafes or restaurants that were open. Save yourself the hassle of looking for food and pack along with snacks. 
  • Find local souvenirs. All the best local gifts (Ærø Beer/whiskey, Sæberiet soap, handmade licorice) can be purchased at Den Gamle Koebmandsgaard located in the main square of Ærøskøbing

If you’re looking for a place to embrace a Scandinavian summer the Danish way, you need to visit Ærø. Ærø embodies the essence of Danish culture where a bike ride along the water and grilling your dinner outside along a row of beach huts is all you need to have the perfect day. 

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10 Reasons to Love Ærø




  1. August 15, 2020 / 15:59

    What a stunning island! I have only been to Copenhagen where I have a friend, but will definitely keep this beautiful island in mind for my next trip to Denmark.

  2. August 15, 2020 / 16:05

    Oh my gosh, what an adorable little place! I’ve been to Denmark more times than I can count growing up in Norway, but never heard of this place before. Definitely adding it to my list. LOVE your photos too, and your smile – you look so so happy 🙂

  3. August 15, 2020 / 16:31

    Okay, what is this adorably charming spot? So cute! Definitely putting on my list.

  4. August 15, 2020 / 16:44

    This place looks magical, so quiet and beautiful. Those soaps, I think I would have to buy a few, and I love the colorful beach huts

  5. August 15, 2020 / 18:23

    How cute are those beach huts! This place looks amazing, I love the colourful houses 🙂 and your pictures are amazing!

  6. Linn
    August 15, 2020 / 19:38

    I’ve never heard of Ærø before, but it looks so cute! Thanks for sharing this I will probably go there one day:)

  7. August 15, 2020 / 19:39

    Oh…I see why it is a must place to visit. I have only been to Copenhagen before and I really need to go back to explore more. What a dreamy island and I love our stunning pictures and how beautiful and happy you look.

    • Linnea
      August 16, 2020 / 13:51

      Aww thank you! Your next trip to Copenhagen you need to visit Ærø!

  8. Vanessa Shields
    August 15, 2020 / 21:25

    This looks like the most charming town and a place I would indeed love! I would enjoy wandering the town, see the beach huts, lighthouse and try the smoked fish the most. It has a very peaceful atmosphere that would make it a great getaway. I’ve yet to visit Denmark but want to one day soon and will keep this handy!

  9. August 15, 2020 / 21:41

    So cool to read about this charming island! Those colorful little houses are stunning & it looks like an amazing place to visit!

    • Linnea
      August 16, 2020 / 13:50

      It really is! I hope you can visit one day!

  10. August 15, 2020 / 21:43

    I visited Denmark a few years ago and regretted not getting out to the islands – I’ll have to consider a return trip just for Aero!

  11. Taylor
    August 15, 2020 / 21:46

    Wow! Aero looks so beautiful. I am planning to do a big Scandinavia trip in 2021 and I’m definitely going to put this stunning island on my bucket list. Also, your photos are so beautiful! 🙂

  12. August 16, 2020 / 08:56

    I’m really glad you liked Aero. I live in Denmark and it is one of my most favorite islands here. It is truly the pearl of Lillebelt as they say here. Awesome post

  13. Taylor Taverna
    August 16, 2020 / 12:09

    I’ve never been to Denmark (obviously that need to change) but these photos are beyond dreamy! Seems like the perfect place to visit during the summer months!

  14. August 16, 2020 / 16:46

    Wow! Ærø looks like such a fantastic getaway! The combination of slow, leisurely strolls and also have the opportunity for some exercise biking sounds like a perfect vacation combo. I have been wanting to learn to bicycle better, and calm, yet beautiful, pathways like the one in your photo look like a great place to practice. Also, souvenir shopping would be really fun. I love browsing and buy locally made goods. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the tips about booking advance. Really useful to know it is better to plan in advance.

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:34

      I’m so glad! Thank you so much for reading it Courtney!

  15. August 20, 2020 / 23:36

    Love it! your pics are fabulous!

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:34

      Thank you so much, Louise!

  16. August 22, 2020 / 13:08

    What a lovely place to visit, looks like i need to add it to my travel list haha! Beautiful photos too!

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:36

      Thank you so much, Zoe!

  17. August 22, 2020 / 14:49

    I would love to visit Aero and climb that lighthouse. I have only been to Denmark for two days and I would love to return and explore more of the country.

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:33

      You definitely need to come back then!

  18. August 22, 2020 / 17:30

    This looks exactly like the kind of place I love to visit! I wish I had known about it when I went to Denmark, all your photos are gorgeous!

  19. August 22, 2020 / 21:13

    I have never heard about this island before reading your article Linnea. But now I want to visit ASAP! All the houses looks soooo cute!!

  20. August 22, 2020 / 22:29

    Those tiny houses are so darling. I would love to bike all over this island. Your photos do it justice.

  21. August 29, 2020 / 14:08

    This place looks so magical!! I would LOVE to visit Denmark one day. The brightly colored houses look so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this hidden gem! I am excited to add it to my bucket list!

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:32

      That’s what I love hearing!

  22. August 29, 2020 / 19:52

    What an absolutely storybook place! Thank you for putting this gem on my radar, just pinned for later!

  23. August 29, 2020 / 20:01

    Well, you’ve convinced me! What a beautiful blog post! This place looks and sounds magical.

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:32

      Thank you so much, Ashley!

  24. August 29, 2020 / 21:43

    This looks like such a cute island to visit – adding it to my list!

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:31

      Yay! I’m so glad!

  25. August 30, 2020 / 23:23

    Your photos are all so beautiful! This island looks like its come out of a fairytale and riding around it would be so charming! Thanks for adding this to my list for whenever I get to visit Denmark 🙂

    • Linnea
      September 25, 2020 / 21:30

      Thanks Kelly!

  26. Shafinah
    July 22, 2021 / 00:59

    I LOVE THE COLOURS IN YOUR PHOTOS SO MUCH – it fills me with such a wanderlust! 😍

  27. Petra
    July 22, 2021 / 02:18

    Beautiful blog and photos! Made me want to travel there 😍 thanks for sharing

    • Linnea
      August 1, 2021 / 17:10

      Thanks so much, Petra!

  28. July 22, 2021 / 06:59

    I love this! I, actually, got married on Ærø about 3 years ago. It really is a fairytale island. And Mumm’s was also my favorite restaurant. 🙂

    • Linnea
      August 1, 2021 / 17:09

      How cool! It’s such a beautiful place to get married! I’m so glad you love Ærø too!

  29. July 22, 2021 / 12:13

    Who needs electricity or water when you have one of those delightful huts? 🙂 This is really inspiring. I can’t wait to visit Denmark!

    • Linnea
      August 1, 2021 / 17:08

      Haha that’s so true! Denmark is so magical during the summer.

  30. July 23, 2021 / 03:12

    You’re definitely making me want to go visit this island!! It looks so picturesque!

    • Linnea
      August 1, 2021 / 17:08

      It’s perfect for summer!

  31. Denise
    July 23, 2021 / 19:39

    I love that you gave me a reason to return to Denmark! 🙂

  32. July 24, 2021 / 03:33

    What a great find. I’ve saved your post for later!

    • Linnea
      August 1, 2021 / 17:08

      Thanks so much, Alex!

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