Europe’s hidden beaches: Dueodde Beach
Where to: Dueodde Beach, Bornholm, Denmark
Bornholm is an island in the Baltic Sea situated between Poland and Sweden. It comprises part of Denmark, although geographically speaking, it lies much closer to Sweden’s southern coast, and even Germany lies closer to it than Denmark’s closest point. Some 41,000 residents call this charming, somewhat rugged island home. Billed by local and national tourist boards as The Sunshine Island, it’s much loved by Scandinavians as a vacation destination, yet doesn’t seem to attract a great deal of buzz in the international travel press.
Why we love it: Bornholm has close to 100 miles of coastline, including pristine white sand beaches stretching as far as the eye can see. Some 140 miles of biking trails take riders past one fishing village to the next, enjoying long stretches of unspoiled nature and sweeping vistas of the deep blue sea. A don’t-miss sight is the vast 13th century Hammerhus, Scandinavia's largest medieval fortification. Perched high on a cliff, it was abandoned in 1745 and left to fall into ruin. Bornholm also has four whitewashed round stone churches whose construction dates as far back as the 12th century, a time when they were used as places of worship and shelters against marauding pirates. The huge disused Vang Granite Quarry is nowadays a recreation zone, offering rock climbing and mountain bike trails. While all of Bornholm’s beaches are places of wonder, we’ve narrowed it down to that of Dueodde, where a well-appointed campground offers all the facilities needed for a family-friendly camping trip.
Don’t miss: The island’s “green” ethos has made its way into the menus of many a local fine dining establishment, but perhaps best of all is to buy a freshly smoked mackerel from one of the smokehouses and wash it down with a tasty Danish beer while sitting on a picnic table and gazing out to sea.
Go there: this recommendation might surprise you, but it’s easy to get to Bornholm by bus. Just a short way from Copenhagen’s central train station is a stop from which buses depart, making their way across the Øresund Sound by bridge and on to the city of Ystad in southern Sweden. From there, an express ferry sprints across the water to Bornholm. The total traveling time is about 2.5 hours, and ticket prices begin at 99 DKK each way. Other options include flights from Copenhagen or a ferry connecting the German town of Sassnitz, on the island of Rügen, with Rønne.
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