Find Your Way to Fyn | The Garden Island of Denmark
Faaborg is the perfect little Danish Village in Southern Funen
First things first. I’m a realist. It’s true. But you may want to scratch Iggy Azalea from your mental playlist because I’m really not that fancy. Actually. I’m a lover. Of down to earth. And the outdoors. And nature. I know. I live in the city. But I crave green and small towns and simple and seek it out often. And recently found it again on Fyn. I love Fyn. It’s the middle sister of Denmark. I’ve spoken of her charms before. Fyn is the island west of where Copenhagen sits, full of rolling green fields plump with rye and wheat and new potatoes, rhubarb and strawberries. Those luscious Danish strawberries that when ripe are like red jewels of juicy goodness. And apples, don’t forget the apples come autumn that fall ripe from orchards across Fyn. This is where the goods are grown to make much of the delicious Danish cuisine. There is reason Fyn is known as the garden island of Denmark.
But more than just pastoral, Fyn is full of pretty little Danish villages that can charm your socks off. Faaborg, on the south side of the island, is a perfect example of an iconic Danish town. I’ve shared my favorites before, but Faaborg fits with this lot just fine. Conjure this. Half-timbered houses. Cobblestone streets. Scandinavian colored buildings with delightfully detailed doors. Tack on red-tiled roofs and fancy scrolled signage and you have the makings of a magical little village in Denmark. Fyn is the childhood home of Hans Christian Andersen and in towns like Faaborg, you can picture the whole story happening here. Cue swans stage left. Oh hej swans!
STROLL DOWN THE STRØGET
Every Danish village has an old town, or gamle centrum where you should start. Follow signs to Faaborg C. The old town is where you’ll get the most bang for your iconic Danish village buck – this is where the charm is chocked. Park your car and stroll the main pedestrian shopping street closed to cars that anchors almost every little town in Denmark. Step off the center street and sidle down alleyways to find specialty shops, art galleries and small unique restaurants and cafés full of good coffee and Danish kage. Cake. Danes make darn good cake.
FISHING IS FINE ON FYN
Being an island, Fyn is surrounded by water. Where there is water, there is fish. Turn right off the center shopping street and make your way down to Faaborg’s pretty little harbor. Red-orange tiled roofs atop yellow and white houses sit colorful against the blue Baltic waters. Home to seatrout and herrings and cod and mackerel, fish is a main dish in the parts. You can try your hand at catching your own or just taste some on offer at the local café.
TRY THE LOCAL SMOKED FISH AT FAABORG RØGERI
Want a real taste of coastal Denmark? Try the smoked fish. Danes smoke almost everything and you’ll find little smokehouses (called røgeri in Danish) in almost every small town along the water. Faaborg is no exception and has a fabulous purveyor right on the harbor. Find your way to the Faaborg Røgeri Café for a light lunch or some smoked fish to take away. When the weather is wonderful, you can take your fish dish outside to picnic tables overlooking the water. When it isn’t so wonderful, don’t worry, it’s cozy inside and still affords views of the visiting fishing vessels.
Faaborg Røgeri smokes their own fish every day and have been doing so right here for 15 years. When you order fish to eat in-house, it is served with Danish rugbrød, a little smør (butter), sliced red onions and some greens. Wash it down with local snaps or a glass of the special beer brewed specifically for the café. If you are Dane (and not driving) you might order both. Snaps is perfect for smoked fish. Something about a small swig of the strong clear liquor balances the smoky flavors. And as many Danes might say – “Fisk skal svomme!” Fish must swim. *Wink, wink.
RELATED: 5 MOST UNIQUELY DANISH FOODS
For the uninitiated, try the smoked salmon, it will be the most familiar. For the more adventurous, try the “Sol over Faaborg,” which directly translates to sun over Faaborg, and offers a small cup of raw egg yolk to pour over the smoked herring atop your rye bread. Before you balk, believe me, it is scrumptious. So good. My husband favors the salmon and we take extra to go. We love the smoky flavor so much, we buy some of their house smoked salts to use at home. Don’t like fish? Never fear, Faaborg Røgeri also serves sweets like Belgian waffles and hot chocolate and also ice cream in warmer weather.
Faaborg Røgeri Café
Vestkaj 3 | 5600 Faaborg
TAKE A FERRY TO THE SOUTH FYN ARCHIPELAGO
Not only can you find fabulous smoked fish and colorful fishing vessels on the fine Faaborg harbor, but you can hop on a ferry to one of the many little islands that lay beyond Fyn out in the Baltic Sea. This is the South Fyn Archipelago and affords just lots more Danish fun. From Faaborg, you can take ferries to lovely little Danish island idylls like Ærø, Lyø and Avernakø. Find ferry timetables and buy tickets here. Be like a Viking and set to the seas. Go explore!
WHERE TO STAY
If there was a perfect place to stay on South Fyn, just outside Faaborg – look to Falsled Kro in nearby Faldsled, Denmark. This historic Inn has been charming guests since the late 16th century. We stopped by to take a peek and are already making plans to sneak a retreat. Reservations are recommended for their well-regarded restaurant, available even if you aren’t staying at the Inn. Or just stop by for a coffee and cake in the cozy lounge. I wanted to sit by that fire for hours.
Assensvej 513, 5642 Millinge
So if you are looking for a fair Danish village, and you find yourself on the south shore of Fyn, don’t skip Faaborg, a new fave in my book.