Christiansø is a unique place. You can not find such a special group of islands anywhere else in Denmark. The old fortress of King Christian V has not changed since its foundation in 1684. The islands have their own circadian rhythm and the rugged nature of the unique landscape offers an unrivalled experience, giving you a sense of the special atmosphere and peace.
You will find Ertholmene about 20 km north of Svaneke and these consist of 2 inhabited islands: Christiansø and Frederiksø (which are connected by a suspension bridge), the bird sanctuary Græsholmen and a good deal of skerries – including the easternmost point of Denmark, Østerskær.
Visit the islands, which from 1725 were used as a place of banishment for lifetime prisoners as for example Doctor Dampe, who was a prisoner here from 1826 to 1841 accused of “high treason and lèse-majesty”.
Ertholmene (Christiansø and Frederiksø) are owned by the Danish Ministry of Defence and the houses, which can only be hired, are domicile for the about 90 residents. Every year, about 45,000 guests visit the islands!
On Christiansø you won’t find any cars and only one single mammal, the hedgehog. In return, you can find nesting eider ducks everywhere, which prefer these quiet islands as a breeding place.
On the bird sanctuary Græsholmen more than 10,000 couples of herring gulls are brooding and the birds razorbill and guillemot breed here as the only place in Denmark. In spring and autumn millions of little birds fly over the Baltic to and from the breeding areas in the north and large numbers of migratory birds look for food and rest on Christiansø before their next departure. → Read more about the islands’ fauna here
In the summertime the blue Baltic invites you to dive off the rocks or the → bathing jetty on Frederiksø and whatever the time of year, you can walk the length and breadth of the islands and always find something new, no matter how many times you visit.
Christiansø and Frederiksø are a natural park and a protected area. Therefore several restrictions apply when you walk around the island. → Read more here
Below you’ll find some handy and useful information about Christiansø and Frederiksø. → Here’s a map over the islands (PDF)
The islands are a popular place for yachtsmen. → Read more about the harbour on Christiansø and Frederiksø
If you don’t have a boat you also have the possibility to stay overnight at the cosy inn Christiansø Gæstgiveri, that has 6 rooms for rent. Also, a small pitch at Hertugindens Bastion (The Duchess’ Bulwark) gives you the possibility to enjoy the islands during the quiet hours, when all the one-day guests have left. → There are even several other possibilities for accommodation.
At the restaurant of the Christiansø Gæstgiveri you can enjoy a delicious dinner with lots of fresh fish and other specialities, which are transported to the islands with the mail boat, Peter. At the small grocer’s shop, you can buy fresh dairy produces, meat and vegetables.
A passenger ship of → Christiansøfarten manages the crossing between Bornholm and Christiansø. You can visit Christiansø from Gudhjem and the trip takes about 1 hour.
Please bear in mind that dogs are not allowed on the islands due to several open water reservoirs. If you have to rely on a guide dog, you are allowed to bring it with you – but the dog needs to be put on a leash while you are on the islands.