Fantastic active holidays on Bornholm
Bornholm is undoubtedly the most exotic of all the Danish islands. Even though it’s only 50 km long from the southern to the northern tip, it has cliffs in the north, sandy beaches in the south, forest in the middle of the island and idyllic small villages along the coast.
The Baltic island also holds the Danish record for hours of sunshine and has a longer summer season than the rest of the country. This allows fig trees and loads of wild herbs to grow, that frequently feature in the new Nordic Bornholm cuisine.
Nature and postcard pretty idyllic villages like Gudhjem and Svaneke attract around 600,000 tourists each year. With new initiatives in the form of sustainable hotels, gourmet food at reasonable prices and a growing range of cultural offerings, there’s more and more to be tempted by here.
Most visitors to Bornholm come in July and August, but if you go just outside the peak season, you'll have most things to yourself.
Cycle. Walk. Run - And…
With an extensive cycle network, Bornholm is famous as a cycling paradise. You can cycle – or walk - the entire length of the 120 km coast or criss cross your way through the island from south to north on two wheels. Many parts of the Bornholm cycle network are former railway lines, which are interspersed with picturesque coastal and forest trails, so you seldom have to share your route with road traffic. Instead of cars, you will encounter pheasants, rabbits, hares and deer.
The beautiful trails also make Bornholm ideal for jogging in nature, and if you’re looking for a very special running experience, you can apply to take part in Etape Bornholm in July, when you can view the fantastic nature (and feel the wicked inclines) in a marathon spread over 5 days.
Climbers can enjoy plenty of challenges on the vertical cliff faces in e.g.Vang Granitbrud, a granite quarry, and if you want to see the dramatic coastline from the water, you can book a kayak trip in the south of the island.
Other activities here include golf, horse riding, surfing and plenty more. Whichever way you choose to see the island, you're guaranteed a fantastic nature experience on Bornholm. Here are a few must do and sees:
Bornholm's large and beautiful forest in the middle of the island, with old dry stone walls, carpets of anemones on the forest floor, masses of wild garlic and idyllic forest trails. Perfect for cycling, walking and running.
Ekkodalen is a large glacier carved valley in the middle of Almindingen. The forest clad landscape and sheer rock faces are incredibly beautiful even if echo less. If you want to find an echo effect, the best place would be at H.C Ørsteds well, to the left of the path at the entrance to Ekkodalen.
Helligdomsklipperne are some of the most dramatic cliffs on Bornholm. Here, you can hear the breaking waves below and explore caves stretching up to 60 meters into the cliffs, if you dare. Climbing is popular where the cliffs are not a protected area. And don't miss Bornholms Konstmuseum close by, that exhibits high class art from Bornholm through the ages.
Blåskinsdalen is jungle like with waterfalls, overhanging cliff faces, fallen trees and troll like trails. Perfect for a hiking trip and nature run.
The Paradisbakkerne landscape is a cornucopia of nature, old lakes with water lilies, deep valleys, heather clad hills, sheep and the most famous boulder in Denmark, Rokkestenen. Perfect for hiking.
History and nature in one. Hammershus is the largest castle ruin in Northern Europe, sitting high on the cliffs at the north end of Bornholm. The old castle is known as the place where the most famous couple in Danish history, Leonora Christine and Corfitz Ulfeldt, were imprisoned in 1661. The views over the cliffs, sea and nearby forest are spectacular, but don't forget a windcheater.
Text: Lise Hannibal
Published: June 27, 2016