In North Funen, you can experience a plethora of different landscapes and natural areas within a relatively short distance. The ice age has clearly left its mark, and whereas the north-eastern part of North Funen has its wide open spaces, the southern part is undulating with lots of hills and valleys. The landscape is home to numerous “pearls” which provide the perfect pre-requisites for fantastic natural experiences, big and small. So, don’t forget your binoculars, camera and a flask of coffee while you’re travelling around.
The North Funen tidal flats and Flyvesandet – a 2,000 hectare wildlife reserve
Agernæs Flak, adjacent to Flyvesandet, is the largest tidal flat area on Funen. Thousands of birds search for food in the shallow water and many different species can be spotted from Flyvesandet with a good pair of binoculars.
Flyvesandet gets its name from Funen’s only sand dunes, and here, along the coast, you may be lucky enough to find fossils, spot seals and see the forest meet the sea. Storskoven, near Flyvesandet, is totally unique. The forest is one of the finest places in Denmark to experience insects and it is also home to the largest natural oak populations on Funen. You get around by means of special paths. A total of 50 hectares of the forest is protected in order to preserve its extensive biodiversity.
Æbelø – Geology, cultural history and a world-class natural environment
With its rugged appearance and green trees stretching all the way out to the blue Kattegat, Æbelø is one of Denmark’s most beautiful islands.
At Østerhoved, you will find a cliff with a seabed that is over 50 million years old.
Wild fallow deer and mouflons (Corsican mountain sheep) help tend the natural environment and, if you tread carefully, you may be lucky enough to spot these animals at close range. Since 2011, a couple of white-tailed eagles have been breeding on Æbelø and, every spring, it is a source of great excitement if this majestic bird of prey decides to lay eggs in the nest there. There is a fantastic 6 km long hiking trek into the centre of the island, of which 1.5 km of it is in knee-high water. If you take the trip to Æbelø, you should be particularly mindful of the tide timetable and the strong winds (see DMI.dk).
Gyldensteen Strand – One of Funen’s largest marine environment restoration projects
I 2014, the Aage W. Jensen Nature Conservation and Wildlife Protection Foundation removed the old seawalls bordering the Little Belt in order to re-establish one of Funen’s most important bird habitats.
The old fjord was once again filled with sea water and, in the innermost section, a shallow fresh water lake was established to the great delight of the local wildlife.
The 660 hectare area has become a totally unique natural site. It is highly accessible with paths, benches, viewing spots, presentations telling of the embankment’s history and a modern school room. At Gyldensteen, you will also find one of Denmark’s highest birdwatching towers with a fantastic view across the numerous newly-established islands. This impressive project simply has to be seen and experienced.
Odense Fjord – 6,000 hectare nature reserve
The eastern boundary of North Funen extends out to Odense Fjord. The fjord is home to a particularly valuable natural environment of international renown. Throughout the year, you can experience a wealth of both breeding and staging birds at different locations. Some years, the sea eagle breeds there and can be spotted regularly.
At Enebærodde, which lies in the northernmost part of the island, you will find Funen’s largest heath area. There are numerous “secret” spots on the headland for you to discover. You get around by means of special paths. The trip is approximately 12 kilometres. Vigelsø is the largest island in the centre of the fjord. Originally, Vigelsø was three islands, but damming between the islands doubled its area. There are beautiful natural surroundings, birdwatching towers and a school camp on the island. During the summer season, you can sail there on “Lunden” from Klintenberg, or take a trip in a kayak.
Remember – As a rule, you must stick to all the paths and trails, unless the signs indicate otherwise. Take good care of nature – tread carefully and show consideration.