Luftfoto af Kalvø

Kalvø - cultural history and outdoor life

Foto: Naturperlen

At the bottom of Genner Bay you'll find Kalvø. A small island gem with beautiful nature and a maritime past. The island has a rich wildlife, a marina, a restaurant and a museum that tells the story of when the Bruhn family built ships for the seven seas.

The 17-hectare island of Kalvø first appears in the history books when Valdemar Sejr mentions the island in 1232 in his land register, although the island's history dates back to the Ice Age. Kalvø remained undeveloped until 1847, when shipowner Jørgen Bruhn (1781-1858) bought the island for 6,400 rigsdaler silver coins from two local farmers. This was the start of a significant business with a shipyard, smithy and housing at a time when larger shipyards were only found in cities like Copenhagen.

The shipyard built large sailing and merchant ships for the merchant fleet, but slowly lost its importance and built its last ship in 1868. The shipyard's main building, smithy and workers' housing are still well-preserved and partly inhabited. Today, the main building houses a museum - a maritime cultural centre run by the association Det Maritime Kalvø, which works to tell the exciting and dramatic history of Kalvø and the shipyard.

Ein Pärchen fährt Fahrrad über dem Damm von Kalvø
Foto: James Cripps
Kalvø mit Booten auf dem Wasser
Foto: VisitAabenraa

In addition to its maritime history, Kalvø is a favourite and popular excursion destination. The island is connected by a causeway to the mainland, making transport to and from Kalvø quite easy.

Kalvø's popularity is partly due to its beautiful and varied landscape. Today, the island is part of a nature and game reserve where various waterfowl breed. So you have plenty of opportunities to see many exciting birds up close.

Kalvø has a fine and well-developed trail system with a disabled-friendly route along the water, making it easy to get around the island. The 1.5 kilometre long route goes all the way around the island and offers great views of the water. It's a great place to bring a packed lunch and stop at the benches and tables set up along the path.

Aurora Kanonlaug op Kalvø
Foto: VisitAabenraa
Panoramablick auf Kalvø
Foto: Raul Hirian

In addition to the museum and accommodation, you will also find a man-made stone park with characteristic stones from all over Sønderjylland. The stone park was created in connection with gravel digging on the island in the 1960s. The 30 or so stones are placed in a circle in a desert-like area in the centre of the island and tell the story of how different types of stones travelled with the ice during the last ice age from Norway and Sweden to Denmark.

Even though the island is small, Kalvø has a wide range of attractions, and if you're an outdoor enthusiast, this is the place to be. For anglers and recreational fishermen, hikers and cyclists, Kalvø is a true mecca. The atmospheric marina with excellent shower and toilet facilities for sailors is the central and obvious gathering point on the island. You can swim, snorkel and canoe or kayak in the waters around the island. If you're hungry or thirsty, Kalvø's only restaurant in the former seaside hotel offers excellent lunch or dinner.

Pärchen fährt Fahrrad am Yachthafen von Kalvø

Foto:James Cripps

You can also choose to walk to Kalvø on the Kalvø Trail starting at the Genner Hoel rest area. The route is about three kilometres long and takes about an hour to walk. It takes you through an idyllic and varied forest landscape, over hilly fields with grazing cows and past several viewpoints with magnificent views of the island and Genner Bay.

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