Characterful and colorful, the small towns you cycle through along the N8 are a great introduction to Danish culture and lifestyle. An afternoon in a fishing village or market town is a pleasure, giving you the opportunity to discover food, culture, architecture and a slice of Danish life
Stege is one of the oldest of Denmark’s market towns, dating back to the Middle Ages. It is easily identified by the embankment that still encircles the town, the church, the gateway to the mill and all the old rambling streets. In the summer, it's a great place to visit, with events and activities organised by the businesses in Stege and on Møn held in this key town, and a Tuesday market for fresh local produce and more.
Næstved has a distinct character all of its own, along with shops, markets and activities for all. The Næstved Art Town project has resulted in artists from all over the world bringing street art to the gables of the town, and is well worth the diversion. If you want to take a rest from bike riding, set sail in a canoe on Susåen, Sjælland’s longest river, which runs right through Næstved. During the summer, you can sail from the harbour to Karrebæksminde via Gavnø, with the boat ‘Friheden’.
The fishing village of Hesnæs is nestled in an incredibly beautiful spot, right out to the Baltic sea. The small, thatched cottages not found anywhere else in Denmark. The harbour’s 35-metre long table is ideally located for lunch - if you're lucky enough to buy fresh fish from a local fisherman, you can grill it here too. Pomle Nakke Eatery at the edge of the forest has views over the sea and is also recommended. Afterwards, play on the lovely local beaches or take a stroll through the Corselitze Forest.
Sakskøbing is a modern market town full of historical buildings. Seek out Wichmans Farm from the 1770s, the old town hall from 1888 and the Sakskøbing Hotel from the 1880s. The hotel is especially worth visiting if you want to become better acquainted with the delicacies of the region, such as traditional home-cooked food from Lolland or a flounder fillet from Langø.
The harbour town of Svendborg is on the Svendborg Sound and has excellent eateries near the harbour and unique shopping in the old, idyllic streets, along with music venues and regular festivals. Stay for the afternoon or take a longer pause here - it's the start point for island hopping around the south Fyn Archipelago. From Svendborg, you can jump on the ferry to the tiny islands of Skarø, Drejø and Hjortø and to the charming island of Ærø.
Nyborg, Denmark's first capital city, is home to Denmark’s oldest and best preserved castle, dating back to 1170. The castle played an important role in the Middle Ages and is currently being restored. Along with a walk along the ramparts, you can visit the town’s church, ‘Our Lady’s Church’, dating to the 14th Century to get a feel for its history. In the summer, Denmark’s oldest Open Air Theatre performs in Nyborg, and the traditional Danehof Market takes the town back in time to the Middle Ages on the first weekend of July.
If you are looking for a quintessentially Danish town with hollyhocks and rickety old houses springing out of cobbled streets, then you are in the right place. Faaborg is a picturesque town with delightfully coloured houses and tiny streets, set with the archipelago in its front garden and the Alps of Fyn to the back. Time flies as you explore one of Denmark's very oldest towns, it is also a top destination for sailors and the perfect place from which to go island hopping.
The cosy little harbour town of Middlefart has a history going back over 800 years, and is a thriving town with interesting local shops set at the narrowest passage of the Lillebælt. Explore the nature nearby - which includes a large population of harbour porpoises - visit the town's ceramic museum, or try bridgewalking.
This small market town was founded by the Moravian Church in 1773 and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. You can visit the original church and cemetary, whose architecture is the reason for the town's great acclaim. Make sure you visit a local bakery as you cycle through: Christiansfeld's honey cakes are renowned throughout Denmark and baked to an authentic recipe dating to the 18th century.
The historic town of Sønderborg has a beautiful castle that has protected the town for hundreds of years. Inside, you can visit exhibitions about the history of Sønderjylland and Schleswig going back 800 years. Sønderborg marks the start of the N8 route, according to our N8 route guide, and features in stage 14 as well. Sønderborg and Als are connected to mainland Jylland via the stunning King Christian X Bridge. The best view of the area is from 'Point of View' on the 16th floor of the Alsik Hotel.
Aabenraa used to be the main town in Sønderjylland and was known for its maritime industries. The town was built around 1200 AD, and many of the buildings have a historical tale to tell, especially Brundlund Castle, built by Queen Margrethe I in the 1400s. Take a wander through the town and enjoy the characterful old quarter with street names such as Slotsgade (Castle road) and Store Pottergade (Large Potter Street). Follow the promenade from the harbour to find the town beach for a swim before you rejoin the route.
Skælskør is home to a wealth of artists who have made a distinct impression on the already idyllic surroundings. Located between the lowland, the fjord and the Great Belt Coast, the city combines small winding streets with artists workshops, beautiful scenery along Skælskør Fjord, and the child-friendly beach Kobæk Strand.