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Smokehouses at Sveneke


Allinge Harbour


Bornholm is the Danish Holiday island. Loopily located nearer to Sweden than anything in Denmark, it is known as the 'Mediterranean in Scandanavia'. We assume this is a Danish joke, as it did nothing but blow and piss down when we were there - 'Bridlington in Scandanavia' more like.

Away from the main town and ferry port, Rønne, the island is reminiscent of Cornwall, with small, sleepy fishing hamlets, and granite coasts, the best of which are on the east coast.

Probably the gem is Gudhjem. Set on a rocky bluff, with streets tumbling down to the sea, it is staggeringly picturesque, a bit like a Danish Polperro. The streets have cafe's and craft shops, and boats doing trips round the bay.

We rather liked Sandvig, and even smaller, sleepier village on the Northern tip, and Allinge, next door had bags of character. We thought that many of the other towns, though pretty, were not up to these three.

The island makes much of its income nowadays from tourism, and the popular craft industry seems to be glass blowing. You can watch the craftsmen (invariably girls) at work in their well practiced routine.

The other island speciallity are smokehouses. The whole island is littered with these, but with fishing dying out, many have been converted into homes. The remaining ones cater for hordes of tourists - but the smoked mackerel is superb.

There is a major castle ruin on the north point of the island - Hammershus. High up on a bluff, it was used to rule the island for much of the 1700s. The ruins are impressive today, and the views are spectacular. Entry is free.

The island caters well for cyclists, but is a little large to do in one go. You can get round the island in a day if you hire a car or scooter. There is an excellent bus service, and buses will take bicycles.


The only marina of note is at Rønne a short distance north of the harbour. It has boxes and some alongside space, and is OK, if not the most sheltered.

Showers have recently been modernised and there is a washing machine. There is not restaurant at the marina, but the town is a short walk away.

Cost : 125 DKK (Takes Euros)

It is possible to get into most of the other harbours on the island - indeed they increasingly welcome yachties as income. They are all mostly small fishing harbours, but they are in the centre of town. Some have boxes, but these are usually reserved for locals, and so it is normal to lie alongside. There is often not much room to manoeuvre, and the harbours clearly get full. Facilties vary. Tejn and Nexo are large commercial fishing ports.

Detailed charts are a must for entering some of the harbours. A note on the wall at Rønne says that 50 yachts a year get into trouble on the reefs around the island.

Useful resources
North Sea Passage Pilot
Cruising Guide to Germany and Denmark by Brian NavinThe essential bible
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