"Had a roll of a time!" Top 5 Page for this destination Bornholm by Sjalen

Bornholm Travel Guide: 79 reviews and 222 photos

The Danish island outside the coast of Sweden was a place I had long wanted to see. We finally got there when kitan asked me if I couldn't consider a long biking tour, and I said "if we go to Bornholm" since the island is known for its cycle tourism. Getting our own bikes on the ferry in Swedish Ystad, we set off on a tour that was pure magic despite the weather.

I expected the island to look much like the south Swedish Scania region, as it is geologically a part of a Scanian ridge that disappears under water and then reappears as Bornholm. However, the first days I was still a bit puzzled at just HOW similar it was. Then I gradually began to see the differences. Bornholm's northern coast with its cliffs may look like Kullaberg in Sweden and its seaviews from fields in the rolling hills look quite like Simrishamn, but it has the cosiness us Swedes associate with Denmark and it has it in droves with village pubs and half timbered houses. It also has something more than your average Danish place: a laidback atmosphere that will have you so relaxed you will be all jittery when you return to your big city life!

Biking on the island is marvellous. Whilst the north-west corner has lots of hilly gravel roads that would require a mountain bike to be able to conquer them all, everywhere is well sign-posted and with short distances between sights and amenities. The southern third of the island is nice and flat to bike but with less sights (but more gorgeous beaches). You can rent bikes or bring your own. Read more about this amongst my tips.

Bornholm is an island where food matters. Every village with self respect has at least one fish smokery and everywhere you go in the countryside you find farmers selling their produce on a self-service trust basis from waggons along the roadside. In the south-east, there are a couple of small vineyards, also producing strawberry wine and everywhere you go on the island, you find plenty of ladybirds, often a sign of ecological farming.

Come here to experience true "Scandinavian" being spoken. As a Swede, it was fascinating to listen to the local accent which I had expected to have Swedish influences but wondered how much. The "central" Danes mockingly call it "reserve Swedish" (but I bet they are only jealous) and to me it was indeed much more Swedish than other Danish. Even my English husband with his Swedish skills exclaimed that suddenly he could understand Danish! At the same time, it sounded almost like New Norwegian at times, especially on the east coast. Bornholmers also said "hello" with a Swedish rather than Danish pronounciation. But I would not let myself be lulled into some Swedishness here. Bornholm is proud of its Danish heritage, ever since the Swedes were rapidly kicked out in the 17th century after gaining the island at the Treaty of Roskilde. The Bornholmers simply followed their old Danish king's request to rebel against the Swedes. Today, the irony is not lost on me that the catamaran from Sweden is named "Villum Clausen" in honour of the man who shot the Swedish governor :)))

Everyone who has read my pages know that one of my interests is travelling with children since I have a daughter. Bornholm has sailed up as a top destination for this, at least in Scandinavia. It has everything to make a child's visit an exiting one with playgrounds outside many hotels, sandy beaches and a calm pace. Most restaurants have childrens menus offering adult dishes in smaller portions and many even have toys.

I know this sounds like straight out of a tourist brochure but as the Borholm tourist authority itself says, 80% of its visitors are second timers and it seemed indeed to be the case with most people we met. I hope we will soon be part of those statistics :)


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:scenic, calm, lots to see for everyone, bike friendly
  • Cons:invaded by Germans and Scandinavians
  • In a nutshell:The perfect cosy family destination
  • Last visit to Bornholm: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (5)

  • betako3's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2008 at 1:17 PM

    A delightful page, great read. I was toying with the idea of spending a cycling holiday on the island a long time ago but the plan fell through now I've come back to the idea, thanks :)

  • lou31's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2007 at 1:48 AM

    A country I would really like to visit and Bornholm sounds lovely. I have enjoyed reading about it. Thanks for sharing...

  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2006 at 4:46 PM

    Oh, great. Now you've forced me to put another desination on my "places to travel" list... ;) Mark

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2005 at 2:52 PM

    Bornholm! Great!!! I need to come back to really read this page! Åke and I have talked about going here lots of times :-)) And after reading your intro I am even more eager! I will drop by again when I am a bit less busy :-)

  • shrimp56's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2005 at 6:50 AM

    Haven't been here in 25 years:(( Thanks for taking me beyond the obvious!


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