The South Fyn Archipelago is perfect for outdoor adventures and activities. Here you will find something for everyone, and you will undoubtedly get an experience beyond the usual if you choose to visit one or more of the islands.
The islanders are also very special people. When living on a small island, you have to do without the daily pulse of a big city. The islanders get something in return: the scenery, the calm, the safety and the possibility of making their mark on the community. It is easy to form friendships and acquaintances on a small island. At the same time, you are also allowed privacy. By way of example, you can read the story of Anders and Bodil on the life on the Drejø here.
Ærø is one of the smallest municipalities of Denmark. About 6,700 people inhabit three harbour towns and a number of villages. Between the three towns, 14 villages and the farms, you will find a varied landscape with hills to the north and flatter terrain toward the south. The island is well suited for hiking and biking. It has many nice beaches and attracts anglers and artists. The archipelago around Ærø and the three harbours of the island serve as a favourite destination for sailing tourists.
Avernakø has a characteristically long shape, is split in two and is heavily undulating. It consists of two islands, Avernakø and Korshavn, which are connected via a causeway. The island is about 5.86 sq. km and about 8 km long and is situated just south of Faaborg. About 100 people live on the island. There are several vulnerable natural resorts on the island which should be avoided due to the breeding birds, which are active from 1 March to 15 July, namely, Avernakø Hoved to the west and Revtrille in south east. In the summer months you can hear the special croak of the rare fire-bellied toad.
Bjørnø is a small island of 1.5 sq. km just 3 km south of Faaborg. Relatively high above sea level and with beautiful scenery that lends itself to a variety of hikes, the island has about 40 inhabitants. You will find several hills that make good vantage points and which reveal how the ice cover of the last Ice Age pushed around soil and boulders as it marched across South Fyn. Bjørnø has a distinctive bird, the sand martin, which nests in holes in the tall cliffs along the coast on the entire southern part of the island. The south-eastern part, Holmene and Odden, is a beautiful area of salt marshes and sand bars of a particularly sensitive nature, where one should not be between 1 March and 15 July due to the breeding birds.
The island Drejø has tall, steep clay bluffs and flat salt marshes. About 75 people live on Drejø. There are several beautiful vantage points by the coast from which you can see the entire archipelago. The island also offers nice beaches and excellent waters for angling. Various paths lead around the island, primarily along the coast, where you can observe the diverse bird life. By Nørresø out toward Høllehoved in the north-east, a bird observation tower has been erected, and at the vulnerable nature reserve by Mejlhoved Odde there is limited access at various times (1 March through 15 July).
Skarø is located at the entrance to the Svendborg Sound. About 37 people live on the island. The island offers nice beaches and salt marshes teeming with plants and animals. In the month of May, you can, for instance, hear the croak of the green toad in the waterholes, while avocets and other wading birds breed in the salt marshes.
Every year in July, a festival is held on Skarø – in the original festival spirit of the 60s.
Hjortø, with only 5 inhabitants, is one of the smallest islands. It is quite a flat island, which is the reason dikes were built all around it to safeguard the farmland, as the highest elevation is only 2 meters above sea level. The beaches are child-friendly due to their low water level, and they are narrow and rather stony. From the northern part of the island, you can wade to an even smaller island, Hjelmshoved, where two houses indicate a previous habitation. In areas with extremely low water levels, you can even wade to the two islands Mejlholm and Odden, which both act as pasture islets for the island's livestock. These islands lie a bit further to the east toward Tåsinge.
Birkholm is the least populated island in the South Fyn Archipelago, with only 8 inhabitants. Just 70 years ago, 80 people lived on the island. It had its own school, grocery store and mill, and the land had been farmed until 1994. Today, the areas of the island are used as pastures for cows and sheep. The village is surrounded by a 2-km-long, 2.8-meter-high dike to keep out the water during extreme high tides. If you are lucky, you will see seals in the low waters around the island and the islets, where thousands of resting swans stay while they moult their feathers.
Strynø, one of the somewhat larger islands, has 216 inhabitants, some of whom farm, while others have their own businesses or commute to the larger islands. The South Fyn Archipelago is a flooded Ice Age landscape, where the islands were once one connected land area. Back in the Stone Age, the island was a part of a large forest area in the archipelago and had scattered settlements. You can still see the remains of these at the bottom of the sea about 200 meters from Strynø Harbour when the weather is calm and the low water is clear.
Lyø is located south-west of Faaborg. The landscape of the island is quite varied – flat toward the west and hilly to the east, with lush subglacial stream trenches and beautiful vantage points in the middle of the island. The beautiful and unique village in the middle of the island is preservation-worthy and has several protected buildings and village ponds.