A week’s vacation with children on Bornholm passes by quickly because there’s always something to do. What follows is a suggested itinerary for seven fun-packed family days on Bornholm.
Read about the itinerary here
During late morning, you can drive to the centre of the island, where Bornholm’s Bird-of-Prey show takes place demonstrating birds in flight and allowing children to get close-up looks at large birds, such as goose vultures and American kestrels. After a good lunch, your next stop is Brændesgårdshaven amusement and water park near Svaneke. The kids will love the water slides and other fun features in the water park, but don’t neglect to also enjoy the exotic animals and birds on the expansive park grounds.
Perhaps you’ll be able to find a children’s fun run in the evening; that is, if your children have not spent all their energy already. Otherwise, you might spend a pleasant evening in “Denmark’s most beautiful town”, Svaneke. Stroll through the town’s idyllic, half-timber architecture and stick your head into one of the many intriguing stores and delicious candy shops. Often you’ll hear live music in public squares during the evening, e.g. at Glastorvet, the harbour or the venue ’Syd-Øst for Paradis’.
The exploratorium at NaturBornholm in Aakirkeby features exciting displays about dinosaurs and crocodiles on Bornholm. In the large forest of Almindingen, which is located at the heart of the island, you can get a close-up look at Bornholm’s bison, but if you want to see real flesh-eating plants and ant lions you should go to the dunes at Dueodde Beach. Spend some time at the white sandy beach, whose sand formerly was used for hourglasses, and which is also the perfect building material for sand castles!
Today’s exercise will come from climbing the 196 steps to the top of the Dueodde lighthouse, or up the tower of the newly-opened Cold War museum close by, from where you can see almost all the way to Poland on a clear day.
If you have more energy and curiosity to spare, then the 1,000 fluttering butterflies in Nexø Butterfly Park are certainly worth a visit. The free-flying, brightly coloured butterflies alighting on tropical plants, along with fish and birds, are quite a spectacle to observe. If you’re more interested in mechanics, cars and trains, then you will find two good options by visiting the DBJ Railway Museum in Nexø or Bornholm’s Automotive Museum at Aakirkeby.
Enjoy the sunset in the rocky San Francisco of Bornholm, the small town of Gudhjem, which has numerous restaurants on offer, or simply enjoy your own packed food on the rocks overlooking the sea.
Between Nexø and the lively vacation town of Snogebæk, you will be able to find Bornholm’s own Bounty Beach, namely Balka Beach. The water here is turquoise coloured, clear and shallow, so even the youngest kids can easily wade around, feeling the soft sandy bottom under their feet. Older kids can try out some of the many water sports available on the beach, e.g. several types of surfing.
If you need a break from the sun, then you can visit one of Snogebæk’s exciting shops, cafées, restaurants and the smokehouse.
One afternoon diversion could be a round of soccer golf at Dalshøj in nearby Bodilsker.
You can enjoy the evening at one of the many restaurants in Snogebæk and in Balka. However, if the kids are tired after a long, eventful day, visit Hallegård Farm Shop in Østermarie, producing sausages from free-ranging cattle. Buy handmade quality sausages to take home to your BBQ in the evening sun – and please do stop by one of the many roadside stalls with fresh strawberries, new potatoes, and other produce that is the fruit of Bornholm’s summer.
About an hour’s sailing off the Gudhjem coastline, you’ll find Denmark’s very own Micronesia centred on Christiansø, where the old fortress testifies to the island’s past as a naval stronghold back in the day when piracy was an active threat. Today, however, you can bring a picnic basket to enjoy on the island’s green patches or enjoy a meal at the Christiansø Inn.
Wrap up the day at Bornholm’s Art Museum (extended evening hours on Thursdays) and see the exhibitions while the little ones are busy with the museum’s children’s activities.
Option 2: A second possibility is to visit Bornholm’s Medieval Centre in Østerlars, which features loads of fun and educational activities for children.
A few hundred metres from here, you will find Østerlars Round Church. You will find four of Denmark’s seven-round churches on Bornholm – so you have plenty of occasions to tell the kids about the legend of the Temple Knights’ hidden treasure!
If you are hungry for a treat, see if you can put a dent in the cake buffet at Fru Petersen’s Café in Østermarie.
And if you have more time and energy to spare, then continue to the treetop climbing park Nature Park Bornholm close to Rø and challenge yourself among Bornholm’s treetops.
Near the town centre, you will find Bornholm’s Museum, which is everything but a dusty old museum. On the contrary, a museum is an inviting place for entertaining learning for kids, who are fully absorbed when learning how to do archaeological digs or use a metal detector. The museum has several child-friendly exhibits, such as the toy exhibit, where children can play with old-fashioned toys. From the museum, it is not very far to the ceramics museum, Hjorth’s Fabrik, where children can learn how to make ceramics.
A small detour could be a visit to the picturesque landscape of Galløkken, which is on the southern outskirts of Rønne, where you will also find the Military Museum. A big attraction here is the black powder muskets, which you actually get to fire.
After a bit of shopping and a good lunch, your outing can continue to Hasle, where you will find Grønbech’s Gård gallery exhibiting the works of several of Bornholm’s most distinguished artisans. Here the children will quickly find their way to the creative corner, where they can experiment with their own creative abilities within drawing, painting, sculpting as they use the recycled materials laid out for them.
Go for a forest picnic – e.g. by the unique natural playground at the trotting circuit at Hareløkkerne in Almindingen forest – maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch one of the races on the world’s smallest trotting circuits. Continue the day with a guided tour or enjoy a horse carriage ride during the evening. Don’t miss out on a trip up the tower at Rytterknægten vantage point, from where you’ll be able to see most of Bornholm.
Dinner can be enjoyed in one of the pleasant forest inns, and you can take a short detour to try out the echo in Ekkodalen.
Here you will also find the visitor centre for Hammershus castle and a treasure hunt for kids. A stone’s throw away, in fair weather, from the harbour of Hammerhavnen, you can take sailing trips along the imposing rock formations and the many bird colonies and exciting caves along the coastline.
When you start to feel peckish, it’s probably time to go to Allinge for lunch, perhaps at the picturesque smokehouse by the sea. At the quarry museum at Moseløkken, children can become stonecutters for an afternoon and get a whiff of some of the hard labour that previously was carried out in the many quarries that fill the area. From here, you can continue to the Opal Lake, where older kids must try out Denmark’s longest zip line, ending at the shore of the Opal Lake (so remember your swim gear again). End the day enjoying the Sandvig Beach Promenade together. Remember to bring a fishing net and a shovel and send the children off to explore the many small water puddles. Close to the beach is an ice cream shop, which produces ice cream from local organic ingredients – resulting in unforgettable ice cream. Enjoy the view from the terrace on the rocks while the kids are out exploring.