“We can compete with the major attractions in the world”
BORNHOLM: The island of Bornholm is a part of Denmark, but far from being like any part of the country. Bornholm has its own language, climate and its own nature, but the island isn’t particularly big. Rather a bit exotic and situated in the Baltic Sea between Copenhagen and Ystad in Sweden.
It’s obligatory to visit the island’s main historic sight, the ruined and epic stone fortress of Hammershus castle on the rocky northern tip of the island. Along with Hammershus, the island’s excellent art gallery, Bornholms Kunstmuseum, are the tourist highlights. The gallery featuring works by the so-called Bornholm School of the early 20th century.
The new Nordic cuisine virtually has washed out like a wave over the island, and Kadeau Bornholm recently achieved a star in Guide Michelin. Also notice other local products like watches, marmalade, liquorice, caramels, rapeseed oil and mustard, wine and whiskey and an unfiltered beer from the brewery in Svaneke. The locals take pride in making local products with a tasty and clear identity.
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Sunshine. Weather wise is Bornholm on top in Denmark with most sun shining over cliffs and sandy white beaches, and with a light that artists love and often recreates. Let’s bring some local proud by Søren Christensen, editor at Bornholms Tidende: “I usually say that Bornholm is appetizing – and so unique that we in my eyes can compete with many of the major tourist attractions in the world.” Listen to Christensen; this statement came from his heart.
Must visit. The permanent collection at Bornholm Art Museum near Gudhjem includes visual arts related to Bornholm and visually ranged from early 19th century and revolve around the painters of the “Bornholm School”, who worked on the island in the early 1900s. “The mysterious wedding in Pistola”, painted in Italy in 1894 by Kristian Zahrtmann, is one of the main works at the museum. The building is a fabulous architectural jewel set in a stunning and spectacular landscape next to the rock and the Baltic Sea and the permanent collection are artworks of international calibre. An interesting combination even for people who never visit museums.
Check in. Green Solution House is a unique hotel in Scandinavia with all kind of recyclability and sustainability certifications. You sleep in the hotel room of tomorrow, walk on air cleaning carpets and recyclable tiles and eat local and organic food under low energy lighting – just some of the things pushing the vision forward.
“Learn about our innovative building materials, our new interiors based on recycled materials, how we generate energy from waste, how we purify our wastewater and much, much more. Simply enjoy the benefits, knowing that we have thought of the little things and implemented them just about everywhere”, hotel-director Trine Richter says.
Activities. For Danish children visiting Bornholm the ruins of Hammershus castle is a must. With its unique location on a cliff top overlooking the Baltic Sea, the castle has been a scene of dramatic and bloody events since the Middle Age. An exhibition showing weapons and reveals daily life – how people of the time lived and worked. Free entrance to the castle.
The Naval fortress of Christiansø is a well-preserved heritage site. The walls, bastions, towers, buildings and stone cottages stand today precisely as they did when the last soldiers left the fortress in 1856. 100 permanent residents live on the island.
Food House. Visit the village of Melsted, near Gudhjem, and the unique attraction Garden, Bornholm’s Centre of Culinary Heritage. Try out the “Family food lab” for a series of taste experiences and some aha moments to enhance their understanding of ingredients and culinary heritage. They also organise festivals and events, such as the Bornholm Craft Distillers Festival (Brændevinsfestival) in May, Apple Days, the Smoked Food Championships and much more. Garden.nu
Look for the symbol “Gourmet Bornholm” at cafés, restaurants and food shop; it’s a sign for local produced food.
Gudhjem. There is always something going on in Gudhjem and you can’t say Gudhjem without saying tourists. During the summer this little fishing village transforms into a crowded place of people visiting for shopping, atmosphere and enjoying food. The town has two small harbours and there are daily trips to the island of Christiansø.
Besides being a popular regional dish of sandwich, smoked herring, chives and raw egg, “Sun above Gudhjem” is a gastronomic duel which has made Gudhjem famous and a culinary centre. The duel between famous chefs takes place in June every year.
Svaneke. With its restored old houses and half-timbered buildings, Svaneke is a kind of open-air museum with the old-world charm. In 2013 this market place with 1000 inhabitants was voted the most beautiful town in Denmark. Svaneke is pioneers of glass adventure, sweets, snaps, chocolate, ice-cream, toffee, pasta and all kind of art. This is the home of Svaneke Bryghus, the island’s biggest brewery.
“This island is described as a Danish pride. Bornholm is unlike the rest of Denmark”, my guide Hans Vindahl says. He lived here for more than 25 years and can’t find any reason to leave Bornholm.
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Touch Down: The easiest journey to Bornholm is from Ystad in Sweden. From here the ferries take you to the island in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Faergen.com From Rønne you can take ferries to Køge in Denmark and Sassnitz in Germany. There are flights from Kastrup to Rønne.
Stay: Green Solution House in Rønne. Room rates from 1,000 Dkr including breakfast. Main course in the restaurant costs 225 Dkr.
Eat: Nordbornholms Røgeri serves a buffet of locally smoked fish and soup at a waterside setting in Allinge. Lunch buffet price: 180 Dkr. I praises Hasle Røgeri, address Søndre Bek in Hasle, as the island’s best smokehouse for delicious herring. Here they still smoke herring in the traditional style.
Play: The music scene of Bornholm is growing fast and offers a wide range of artists. Don’t miss out Gæstgiveren in Allinge where top Danish musician performs every night during the summer
Mini Guide: Bornholm provides active, eventful holiday filled with adventure and a visit to NaturBornholm is an experience of its own for the whole family. Brændesgårdshaven is the largest activity park and zoo, included a heated water park and water slide. The Bornholm Visitor Centre is the official tourist information centre of Bornholm and its location by the harbour in Rønne. Bornholm has four 18-hole golf courses within less than half an hour's drive.