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The hills of Nordby Bakker

Samsø is an island in central Denmark, between the big island of Zealand and the mainland Jutland peninsula.


Nationally, Samsø's main claim to fame is that the first potatoes of the year hail from the island. It has more garnered international attention because the heat and energy used on the island is exclusively produced from renewable sources.

Get in[edit]

By ferry[edit]

  • 1 Samsø Rederi. From Jutland, ferries depart from Hou south of Aarhus to Sælvig every two hours between 06:00-20:00. The crossing takes an hour and tickets cost 104 kr for a one-way passenger ticket in high season (52 kr in low season), and 458 kr for a car in high season (205 kr in low season). There is a bus service directly between Aarhus and the harbour in Hou (line 103).
  • 2 Samsø Linjen. From Zealand, ferries depart from Kalundborg to Ballen the number of departures a day dependent on the season. The crossing takes one hour and a half, and tickets cost 109 kr for a one-way passenger ticket in high season (62 kr in low season), and 435 kr for a car in high season (219 kr in low season). To Kalundborg there is direct train connections from Copenhagen once or twice per hour depending on the time of day.

By plane[edit]

While it is possible to take a taxi flight from Roskilde Airport to the island's small airfield, the vast majority of travelers take one of the island's two ferries.

Get around[edit]

Samsø is ideal for bikes. Bring your own or rent one. You can also drive your own car around to most places, as most roads are paved and of a good quality. Samsø has a network of bus routes too.


  • 1 Museum Samsø, Museumsvej 10, +45 86 59 21 50. Visit the Eco Museum Samsø in Tranebjerg. The museum has several departments spread out across the Samsean landscape, and tries to communicate the cultural history of the island through activities, events, exhibitions and restored historic buildings. The headquarters in Tranebjerg are situated in an old restored half-timbered and thatched roof farm from 1917. It has been furnished and decorated as a Danish farmhouse from the 1850s (supposedly wealthy residents) and the garden has several activities going on throughout the summer months, including weaving, spinning and folk music arrangements. A part of the farm house has been dedicated to exhibit Samsø's pre-historic past, from the Stone Age to Medieval times. Other Eco Museum buildings on Samsø includes two old style mills, several different historic farm house types, an old post office, a blacksmith shop and archives on local history. Open from April to October all days. Some locations are only open in June, July and August. Interesting for both kids and adults. 50 kr (headquarters).
  • 2 The Morgan Garage (Besser). Museum of Morgan cars from 1937 to 2017 20 kr.


Brattingsborg Manor
The forest labyrinth

Although cars are allowed and public transportation by bus is available, Samsø is ideal for a bike ride. It allows you to take in the nature and countryside much better, do small side trips and get some fresh air in your system.

Samsø is great for surf fishing. The coast is varied and you can change location easily on an island the size of Samsø, so you should have a good chance of catching a nice fish. Trout, mullet and flatfish are common, great for garfish in May-June.

Soak some sun, play or swim at the beach. Nearly everywhere you go, the beaches are good and accessible. Go to the Stavns Fjord laguna on the northwest coast. Besides the beautiful scenery here, the shallow waters and sandy beaches north (Mårup strand) and west (Sælvig strand), makes for a very good and child friendly beach experience in the summer. Go on a seal safari from Langør with the old wooden fishing boat M/S Tunø[dead link] in the summer.

Pick up some fresh produce from the farmers. The groceries are displayed in front of many farms, when they are in season. You just pay for what you pick up and it is good quality. Strawberries, potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, green peas, you name it. Some sell local honey, pickles or jams as well.

North island[edit]

  • 1 The Samsø Labyrinth (Samsø Labyrinten), +45 2427 3717, . 10:00-17:00 in the summer. The world's largest labyrinth 65 kr for adults, 55 kr for children.
  • 2 Nordby. This is the northernmost village on Samsø. It has a nice old-fashioned village charm, with timber framed houses, thatched roofed farms and a lovely central village pond with ducks. Superb options for eating and also hotels.
  • 3 Nordby Bakker. Nordby Bakker is a very beautiful landscape on the northern tip of the island. The rolling grassy hill slopes offers excellent vistas. It is a protected area and no agriculture is allowed here, except for a few grazing sheep, that help maintain the habitat free of tree and shrub growth. Good site for a picnic.

South island[edit]

  • 4 Energy Academy (Ballen). Visit the Energy Academy and learn more about how Samsø evolved into a community powered completely by renewable energy.
  • 5 Samsø Festival. Samsø Festival near Ballen on the southeast coast, is an annual music festival and worth a visit if you happens to be around. A couple of other small festivals [dead link] might also be worthwhile, including the Samsø Chamber Music Festival or the Children's Culture Festival perhaps.
  • 6 Samsø Golf Club (At the village of Besser, south of Stavnfjord). Play some golf at the 18-hole seaside golf course at Besser. Very varied field with natural waterholes, rolling hills and a great view. Certified by the Peugeot Golf Guide as one of Denmark's 14 best golf courses.
  • 7 Horses, Nørreskiftevej 31, 8305 Samsø, +45 29651127, . At Nørreskiftegaard near Ballen, you can try horse riding. 75-375 kr.
  • 8 Vesborg lighthouse. 11:00-18:00 in the summer. You can enter the lighthouse and it has a café and souvenir shop. 15 kr.
  • 9 Brattingsborg Manor. Tuesday and Thursday in the summer 10:00-16:00. You can have a look at the romantic Manor, and for a fee you can experience the beautiful English-style garden from 1870 here. The manor also rents out apartments and cottages all over Samsø for tourists. 40 kr for the garden.


With plenty of fresh local produce, good dedicated cooks and a broad interest in organic farming and experimentation, Samsø offers many good to excellent dining opportunities. Cafés and restaurants are to be found all across the island.

  • 1 Samsø Perlen, Sælvig 48 (at the ferry terminal in Sælvig), +45 86592500, . Tu-Sa 10:00-21:00; Su 10:00-16:00 in the summer. This restaurant also has take-away and they bring out all across the island for 50 kr extra. It is also a hotel.
  • 2 Smokehouse Langør, Langør 25 (AT the Langør harbour), +45 61519165. 08:00-22:00. Smokehouse and restaurant with big terrace with a great view. 110 kr fish cakes.
  • 3 Carlos Corner, Langgade 15, Tranebjerg, +45 27 29 45 20. Closed Sundays. A cosy lunch eatery with attached café, wine, liquor and gift shop in the center of Tranebjerg. Great open-faced sandwiches, plenty of seafood options, but also other dishes. Cakes and coffee and many luxury liquors to go along. Sometimes arrangements or musical events.
  • 4 Maarup Havn, Mårup Havn 1, +45 81933322. Cozy and quiet atmosphere at the small harbour. The menu consist of mainly seafood, but also Bulgarian tapas. The wines are from Bulgaria 150 kr mains.

Ballen has the most restaurants:

  • 5 [formerly dead link] Dokken, Strandvejen 83, Ballen, +45 86591072. Lunch and evening dinners with traditional Danish food. Discotheque every Saturday night in the summer (above 18, show identity).
  • 6 SAK, Aavej 10, Ballen, +45 28 77 38 77, . Every day. Gourmet restaurant with plenty of local produce. Lunch and evening menus.
  • 7 Skipperly, Havnevej 9, Ballen, +45 86 59 10 18, . Lunch 12:00-15:00, dinner 18:00-21:00. Great quality lunch and evening menus every day of the week. Modern Danish cuisine with plenty of local seasonal produce, including seafood.
  • 8 Behrnt, Åvej 21, Ballen (in Ballen Badehotel just east of Ballen Harbour), +45 20349319. Ambitious restaurant focusing on products from the island. 280 kr mains.
  • 9 Røgeriet, Havnevej 3 (right at Ballen harbour). Small seafood restaurant.


  • 1 Samsø Bryghus, Østre Ringvej 22, Nordby, +45 86 59 68 98, . Try the Samsø Bryghus brewery and farm in Nordby. Here local organic brews of all kinds are produced from scratch. With more than 11 standard brews, you should be able to find a favourite. The many flavours of beer can be enjoyed in a nice attached café.The café also sells hot meals, cake and assorted organic and locally produced groceries such as wine, candy, vegetables, meat and even yarn. The meat and vegetables is produced on the farm. Every Tuesday evening in the summer you can participate in a beer tasting and guided tour. Reservation required. 100 kr.
  • 2 Høst. 11:00-17:00. You can have a glass of wine or champagne on the terrace. It is also a fashion store.


There are plenty of options for a place to stay on Samsø, but the island is a popular destination in the summer, so you might not always get what you hoped for.

  • 1 Ballen Strandcamping, +45 86 59 12 10. Check-in: 15 April, check-out: 30 September. A camping ground near the town of Ballen on the east coast. Bring your own tent, rent or bring your own caravan or rent a small cottage. Most sites have sea view. 92 kr per person (46 kr for children).
  • 2 Ballen Badehotel, Aavej 21, Ballen, +45 86591799. Historic high-end seaside hotel from 1928 in Ballen. The hotel restaurant Restaurant Behrnt serves excellent gourmet food, mentioned in The White Guide (2015). Good choice for romantic weekends or mini-vacations. Several room type options.
  • 3 Flinch's Hotel, Langgade 23, Tranebjerg, +45 86 59 17 22, . Historic high-end and old-fashioned city hotel from the late 1800s in Samsø's capital of Tranebjerg. At Flinch's Hotel you can both eat and sleep. High quality dining. Good choice for romantic weekends or mini-vacations.
  • 4 Casa Tua, Svedskegyden 2, Nordby (Go to the central pond in Nordby), +45 86 59 69 22. Small charming town-hotel in Nordby with both double and single rooms open throughout the year. Dogs allowed. The price includes breakfast. From 600 kr.
  • 5 Oasen, Søndre Møllevej 5-7 (Nordby), +45 22 27 44 23. Check-out: 10:30. Small rooms but huge common areas. It used to be a school. kr 800.
  • 6 Sælvigbugtens Camping, Staunsvej 2 (On the west coast near Stavns Fjord), +45 86 59 07 07, . Beachside camping ground in the Sælvig Bay. Family oriented with playgrounds, space for kids activities and bicycle rental. Bring your own tent or rent a hut or a room. Open from April through October.
  • 7 Klitgård Camping, Campingvej 7, Nordby, 8305 Samsø, +45 86591722.
  • Summer house, +45 86 59 00 80. You can rent one of the many summer houses on Samsø for an extended stay.

Stay safe[edit]

It is fairly easy for you to stay safe on Samsø, but be aware of your surroundings and take care of the environment and the bird life here. A few areas are closed to human traffic when the birds are breeding and nest their eggs, as many species are nesting on the ground. Keep your dogs on a leash and don't let your pets run wild. Don't start a fire outside of carefully marked fireplaces. If you go by car, drive carefully and be aware of both bikers and hikers, as the roads are often narrow.

Go next[edit]

  • 1 Tunø (A boat regularly ferry passengers to and from the nearby island of Tunø). Tunø is a small car-free island and is perfect for a day trip. It offers good quality beaches; sandy, shallow waters that are child-friendly; and good opportunities for surf fishing as well. There is a small central village on Tunø and most of the residents are farmers. It is a beautiful, slow-paced island and there are several options for staying here overnight. You can bring your own tent to the camping grounds, or pay more and stay in a small cosy house in the village, at the old inn or you can rent a summerhouse for an extended stay. The four-day music festival Tunø Festival is held every year in early July.
  • Depending on how you got to Samsø in first place, you can either take the ferry to Zealand (Kalundborg) in the east or to Jutland (Hou south of Aarhus) in the west.
This city travel guide to Samsø is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.