Fanø: idyllic Wadden Sea island in Denmark

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The North Sea island of Fanø is the second most northerly of the Danish Wadden Sea islands and particularly popular for its relaxing natural scenery and wide sandy beaches. However, the small island has undergone some interesting historical developments, traces of which can still be discovered today. It is a suitable destination for anyone who likes a good mix of nature and culture during their holidays.

Between sport, fun and relaxation: cosy island ambience on Fanø

Are you a fan of a relaxed, Nordic island atmosphere, i.e. long sandy beaches and dunes, open sea and restful tranquillity? Then the Danish island of Fanø is just the right destination for you.

Fanø beach
You can go amber hunting on the beach of Fanø.

Here, you will find the right mix of unspoilt nature, sights and sporting activities for couples, families or larger groups. Especially if you are already familiar with the German North Sea islands, a trip to one of the small Danish islands is worthwhile for a change of pace. With a length of 15 kilometres and a width of just over 5 kilometres, Fanø is quite small in comparison, but that is precisely what makes the island so charming. In general, the beach is Fanø’s highlight, as it not only stretches along the entire island, but is more than a kilometre wide in some places. With a bit of luck, amber can be found on the beach.

Fanø is located around 50 kilometres north of Sylt and west of Jutland and can be reached by ferry from there: It takes around 12 minutes to reach the island from the harbour town of Esbjerg.

Accommodation on Fanø

The most popular types of accommodation on Fanø are cosy and hyggelige Danish-style holiday homes or campsites, where you can either stay in your own caravan or motorhome or in small cabins or houses. If you prefer a more comfortable stay, you can of course also choose a classic hotel.

The most beautiful holiday homes on Fanø

Fanø holiday homes
Many holiday homes on Fanø are built in the typical Nordic style.

Whether with a thatched roof, white wall panelling and a fireplace in Nordic country house style or furnished in timeless modern Scandi style – on Fanø you will find a large selection of different holiday homes to suit your wishes and expectations. Many of them include a fantastic view of the dunes and beach or a family-friendly garden with plenty of space for children to play.

Would you like to travel with your dog and looking for a pet-friendly holiday home? Or you would like accommodation with a sauna? You’ll find what you’re looking for on Fanø – even holiday homes for large groups.

The most popular campsites on Fanø

If you would like to go camping in Denmark, one of the most popular campsites on Fanø is Feldberg Familie Camping, located between the villages of Nordby and Rindby Strand. With the largest playground on the island and a mini-golf course, it is particularly suitable for families and offers various rental accommodation options in addition to pitches. Feldberg Strand Camping is located just 150 metres from the beach.

Other options are Rødgaard Camping, which is also particularly suitable for families with small children, or the somewhat smaller and quieter Rindby Camping.

Places on Fanø


Nordby church
The church in Nordby

Nordby, the island’s main town with around 2800 inhabitants, is home to the ferry terminal where you arrive on the island from Esbjerg. You can get a first impression of Nordby from the water: here you will find narrow and cosy alleyways, small shops as well as public and cultural facilities. In the summer, Nordby Church hosts weekly concerts by classical artists.

Nordby is considered a historic seafaring town, where the island’s history is particularly evident. You can visit Fanø’s shipping and costume collection as well as the Fanø Museum and immerse yourself in the world of seafarers 150-200 years ago.

Fanø Bath

Fanø Bad is the oldest and most traditional seaside resort in Denmark and still very popular with holidaymakers today. Here you will find flats, hotels and holiday homes close to the beach, often in larger complexes.


Rindby is a tourist destination as well, as it is home to the large holiday home area Rindby Strand and several campsites. Additionally, there is a selection of cafés, small restaurants and snack bars as well as a wave pool.


Sønderho is the most historic village on the island. The narrow streets are lined with well-preserved half-timbered houses dating back to the mid 18th – 19th century. At that time, Sønderho was the most important seafaring town on the west coast of Jutland.

Sønderho mill
The mill of Sønderho

There are various museums and the Sønderho mill, which are well worth a visit to learn about the island’s culture. On the 3rd Sunday in June, Danish Mill Day is celebrated at Sønderho Mill, where locals dress up in traditional costume.

In 2011, Sønderho was named Denmark’s most beautiful village and church in Sønderho is home to Denmark’s largest collection of model ships.

Activities on Fanø

Beach sports: blokart & kite buggy

In addition to culture and relaxation, Fanø also offers sport and entertainment. The wide beach is the starting point for numerous activities, which include beach sailing, possible all year round on the beach south of Rindby. You can choose between so-called blokarts or kite buggies, the latter of which is pulled by a kite and is therefore somewhat more challenging to steer.

The wind on the island is also suitable for speeding around on the water: windsurfing and kitesurfing are among the most popular sports on Fanø. If you prefer something more relaxed and calm, try stand-up paddling or kayaking.

Tours & excursions: seal safari and Wadden Sea National Park

Due to the size of the island, cycling is the ideal way to explore Fanø. Especially in summer it is fun to cycle through forests and dunes. There are various routes that are geared towards Fanø’s nature and culture.

Fanø cycle tour
A cycle tour on Fanø takes you through dunes and forests.

Fanø is located in the middle of the Wadden Sea National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and extends over the neighbouring islands of Römö and Mandö. There is also a cycle route that takes you around the entire island.

The Atlantic Wall route leads to some of the bunkers that were built on Fanö during the Second World War, as the island was occupied by the Germans in 1940 to fortify the coasts and protect against possible attacks by the Allies.

Particularly fun for children is a seal safari – a guided mudflat hike takes you to the seal banks, where you will learn a lot about the Wadden Sea National Park.

Kite festival

Fanø is known as the island of kites, as the large beach on the west side is full of colourful kites in all shapes and sizes. The Fanø International Kite Fliers Meeting is recognised as the largest kite meeting in the world, which is not a festival. The beach itself is constantly visited by passionate kite fliers.

Travelling to Fanø

If you have decided to spend your holiday on Fanø, you will arrive by ferry. The Fanølinjen departs from the harbour town of Esbjerg and you can be on the island in just 12 minutes. Esbjerg harbour can be reached via the A45. If you want to, you can also take the bus from the railway station to the ferry terminal.

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