West of Mols Bjerge is in the immediate town of Ebeltoft, with a its small, unaltered town hall from 1789, The Samsø island can be seen from here, but it must be reached by ferry from Hovu, 25km (15 miles) south of Århus. The Danish Samsø island is a haven for artists, farmers and nature lovers.
A haven for artists, farmers and nature lovers alike, Samsø is renowned for its new potatoes and cheese – and wind turbines. In 1997, Samsø won a government competition to become a model renewable energy community. Now 100% of its electricity comes from wind power and biomass. The Baltic island is one of the first industrialized places in the world to be entirely energy self-sufficient.
Ballen’s beach and village are popular with visitors. The island is served by a bus service which runs around the island, including the two ferry terminals in Sælvig and Ballen. In clear weather, the peninsula of Helgenæs to the north is visible.
The shallow lagoon Stavns Fjord houses most of the smaller islands of Samsø municipality. The largest of them is Hjortholm and most of the rest are just small islets really, but have been named individually. The lagoon is separated from the sea of Kattegat by the 7 km long sandbar of Besser Re.
Nordby on the northern tip contains a wealth of colorful crossbeam houses, as well as small art galleries. Also, worth a visit in Nordby is the Samsø Labyrinth, the world’s largest permanent maze. Its 5km (3 miles) of passages wind through a dense fir forest covering 6 hectares (15 acres) (60,000 m2) equivalent to 12 soccer fields. The Samsø Labyrintth is approved as World’s Largest Maze by Guinness World Records.
Related: Viking Strongholds in Denmark
People have lived and hunted on Samsø from the earliest of times, when the ice receded at the end of the last Ice Age. Samsø first became an island approximately 9,000 years ago and there are several traces like dolmens, burial mounds, passage graves, kitchen middens, etc. from the Stone Age and Bronze Age cultures across the landscape. Excavations at Tønnesminde and Endebjerg, for example, show evidence of human habitation from the Stone Age through the Viking Age.
Danish Samsø Island – A Haven for Artists, Farmers and Nature Lovers, written by Tor Kjolberg.
Feature image (on top): Photo Tripadvisor