A land of fantasies, jewel like towns and precious historical cradles. Everything here is based on sustainability and is environment friendly. This is Funen Island, in Denmark.
Denmark has always been a leading country as far as sustainability is concerned (you can read all about it here). But today we are going to discover the fabulous Funen Island… which is commonly known as the “Danish Garden” and really is a green oasis. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly holiday, to discover natural beauties and much more, this is definitely the right place for you!
Funen Island, Fyn for our Danish friends, is the second largest island in Denmark, in the Baltic Sea between mainland and Copenaghen Island, Sjælland. In Funen you can find Odense, the largest town on the island and the third in Denmark.
Funen has almost 100 islands mainly scattered around the southern area, they are big and small, inhabited or not. Don’t let the strange, some might even seem jawbreaker, names scare you off: all these island have a unique history! Ærø, for example has unforgettable landscapes and amazing views on the Baltic Sea; Drejø, especially loved by the artists, or Æbelø, that can be reached on foot when the tide is low.
For adventure lovers there are Æbelø, Vigelsø e Halmø, which are totally desert and where you will spend a whole day pretending to be Robinson Crusoe. Nature here is untainted, a sanctuary for both flora and fauna (form seals to birds), air is pure.
Funen, a fairy tale island (for real)
All the beauties in Funen make it a really special destination for eco-friendly tourists. But the island is literally a fairy-tale.
Why? Because Odense was the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen, the author of the best and most famous tales set in his country, Funen Island. Odense is rich in history and culture and its name couldn’t be more fitting: it refers to Odin, god od war but also of wisdom and poetry. In Odense, in fact, Andersen wrote more than 156 tales, which have been translated in more than 80 languages and have inspired several films and cartoons: among them, you’ll certainly remember The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Snow Queen.
They have tailored for tourists many itineraries to discover the fabulous world of Andersen: first of all, the museum dedicated to the author, and set in his birthplace: a little yellow house where you will see his scraps and drawings; after that a parade with all the characters from his tales and lots more… His tales come alive in Funen Village (Den Fynske Landsby) where you will see what a typical day looked like … back in the XIX century! Life was simple and rural, it was spent in the fields and with farm animals: perfect for a green trip!
You mustn’t miss the Castles in Funen if you like travelling back in time: Egeskov is amazing in its renaissance style and with evocative mazes in the garden, Valdemars is also a beautiful.
A real Queen of eco-sustainability
Eco-sustainability is the first rule here in Funen and all of its isalnd. On Ærø for exmple, in the city of Marstal, there’s the biggest solar panel system of the whole world, covering an area of 18,365 m². This can satisfy 80% of the energy and heat supply of the whole island. Wind turbines are also very close and help this eco-sustainability project, that makes this little island of the archipelago a pearl of clean energy: tourism is also following this path and green travelling is always encouraged.
Sustainability is also social: there are many daily and weekly markets all around the islands and allow visitors to get in touch with locals, sharing their everyday life on Funen. In this way local economy is receiving benefits, promoting their locally grown, genuine and biological products.
Of course, there are also green hospitality facilities, discover them here.
Exploring Funen far and wide: all the green activities
Sustainability in Ærø, visitaeroe.com
Are you looking for an active (and eco-friendly) holiday? You’re definitely in the right place.
If you love bikes (the future means of sustainable travel), there are over 1200 of cycling path on the Island of Funen, and for this, it was awarded bu the UCI, the International Cycling Union, for creating such a wide network for bikes. The Skovhuggeren track is so famous that is was elected the best in the whole Denmark in 2017. It’s a track for mountain bikes, 15 km long and with constant updates to make it even better. Here, you can find many different routes.
If you are trekking lovers, a 220 km long path will lead you along to discover the whole Funen archipelago, with its natural beauties and the small hamlets on the islands. It’s divided in seven stages and it’s a network of multiple and easy routes, also suited for children.
Since we are on an island, you really should try kayaking. Travelling by boat and caring for the environment at the same time can sometimes be difficult (read our tips on how to sustainable-travel by boat), but kayaks are a great solution! Funen and the surrounding island, which are not very far from the main one, can be explored with this CO2 emissions free means!
Is there anything Funen doesn’t have? Do not miss it!