National park and historic village environments
Here you can experience nature, historic shipping villages and the very special atmosphere of an island that can only be reached by ship. The ferry crossing from Esbjerg to Fanø takes only 12 minutes, and in summer it takes place 50 times a day. However, the special atmosphere of Fanø is still there. The pulse slows down and you have time to enjoy it.
Fanø offers 15 km of uninterrupted sandy beach. In the middle of the island there is an activity area where you can surf, sail on the beach and fly a kite. In the very south, you can see several hundred seals that enjoy the sun.
Fanø has a shipping history dating back to the 18th century. For this reason there are many beautiful old houses, museums and a very special cultural tradition in the seafaring towns of Sønderho and Nordby.
Local food producers and restaurants have made Fanø the Mecca of the west coast for gourmet experiences.
There is nothing more beautiful than to whiz along the beach and feel the clean air and the airstream of the beach sailer. Fanø is one of the best places in Europe for beach sailing.
Here it is possible to try out this great sport without having to invest in your own beach sailer. There are beach sailing schools on the beach where you can learn to drive a Blokart, a type of beach sailor that is good for beginners.
The blokart is driven by a sail and steered by a handlebar similar to a bicycle. After a 10-minute briefing, you can ride on the beginner's track! You can ride yourself from the age of 9. There is also a two-seater model so that parents and smaller children can ride together. An experience for the whole family!
It is in itself a great experience to see the many different types of sailors on the beach, where even real professionals show their skills.
Fanø Art Museum
Fanø Art Museum is located in Sønderho and displays both contemporary art and art from the museum's own collection.
The museum has a collection of more than 1200 works by artists related to Fanø. Since the 19th century, there have been several artist colonies on the island, where artists came to the island to be inspired by the Wadden Sea and the nature and culture of Fanø, and to support and influence each other.
The works in the collection represent different periods of art history, from the museum's oldest paintings from the middle of the 19th century, created by the maritime painters Viggo Faurholdt and C.F. Sørensen, to a smaller collection of portraits and idyllic genre paintings by the national romantic Johan Julius Exner, to contemporary artists such as Jane Klerk, Trine Søndergaard, Lise Blomberg, Finn Hjortskov Jensen and Marie Louise Exner.
Authentic and Historical
"Hannes Hus" was acquired in 1965 by Fonden Gamle Sønderho when 84 year old Karen Sørensen sold the house and moved to her sister Maren in Sønderho.
The mother, Johanne Sørensen, called Hanne, lived with her family in the house since 1882. It was built in the 1770s and has been in the family's possession ever since.
The house has been preserved with its original furniture and is therefore a unique example of a fully authentic 18th century house. Karen Sørensen sold the house to the association Fonden Gamle Sønderho with the aim of preserving it as a memento of her mother and her family.
Hannes Hus's visit tells Hanne Sørensen's story and the story of her life, which is closely connected to this house - the story of a captain's family with all their worries and joys.
Sønderho - Denmark's most beautiful village
A visit to Sønderho is obligatory when visiting Fanø. Sønderho won the award as Denmark's most beautiful village not without reason. If you walk through the narrow streets with the beautiful old houses, you will feel transported to a different time.
Place your car in the car park by the church and spend a few hours on a tour of the village, visit the Fanø Art Museum, Hannes House, Sønderho Mill and Sønderho Church. The old, well-preserved buildings were built mainly from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century, when Sønderho was the dominant seafaring town on the west coast of Jutland.
The harbour and the shipyard area were situated in a small sheltered bay at the north-eastern end of Sønderho. However, the entrance gradually silted up and is now a meadow. The church of Sønderho was highly influenced by the connection with seafaring. It is the church with the most naves in Denmark - a total of 15.
Nordby - Fanø's capital city
Already on the ferry from Esbjerg you get the first impression of Fanø and Nordby. It is a small, cosy village with many beautiful 19th century houses, surrounded by beautiful nature.
The proximity to nature can already be felt in the harbour. If you sit at the harbour promenade, you can enjoy the many wading birds, and often seals lie only 50 metres away on the small sandbank (Søjorden).
Both Nordby and Sønderho are marked by the maritime past and the prosperity it brought. There are many magnificent captain's villas and more modest houses for the sailors.
The centre of Nordby is well preserved, and you should not miss the experience of strolling through the narrow, winding streets and experiencing the many craftsmen and restaurants.
A visit to Fanø Museum gives a vivid impression of the living conditions on Fanø in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Fanø shipping and traditional costume collection
After the free purchase of the island in 1741, the construction of Fanø's sailing ship fleet was started.
An impressive history in the course of which, within 100 years, the inhabitants of Fanø managed to create a fleet of sailing ships that carried freight all over the world. The heyday of the island's prosperity dates back to the last decades of the 19th century, when the island had the largest fleet of sailing ships outside Copenhagen.
The many ship models and paintings in the museum show all types of ships that had their home port on Fanø.
The lives of the women have also been recorded, so that one can get a picture of their hard everyday life. There is no other place in Denmark where there are so many and so many local costumes as Fanø. The traditional costumes, which were worn until the 1960s, are still part of Fanø's living cultural heritage.
The museum exhibits a unique collection of historical Fanø costumes, all worn by local residents.