With an area of 118 km2, narrow roads, numerous cycle paths and beautiful scenery devoid of hills, the island of Læsø is an ideal starting point for a cycling tour. This route is 54 km long, but can be split into separate sections or otherwise deviated from. Following a pleasant 90-minute crossing on the Læsø ferry from Frederikshavn, we arrive at the harbour in Vesterø, which is characterised by the attractive redpainted fishing and wooden houses. It hasn’t always been like this. Before the harbour was established in 1872, travellers had to sail as close to the beach as they could and then wade the last few metres onto dry land. In the harbour you’ll find the museum cutter FN 162 “Ellen”, an attractive Danish seine cutter, which is owned today by Læsø Museum.
Vesterø Harbour – Rønnerne Along Strandvejen we set course towards Søndre Church with its unique murals from around 1510 depicting the Three Wise Men and on towards Rønnerne and Læsø Saltsyderi. This is a reconstruction of the salt-seething works which made up the primary source of income for the inhabitants of Læsø for five centuries. At this open workshop you can hear, see and inhale the mysteries of the production of salt as it took place in the Middle Ages. Rønnerne is a waddensea with a number of islands featuring unique birdlife – so take a pair of binoculars with you.
Rønnerne – Byrum - Danzigmann
From Byrum we continue to Museumsgården, one of the old seaweedroofed farms on Læsø, which today is preserved as an openair museum. Whilst heading towards Østerby Church, we can enjoy the view out over Bovet – a large bay – that forms Læsø’s south coast. A narrow strip of tidal meadow merges into waddensea, which stretches far out to sea. Large areas of Bovet can be dry during the summer. On clear days, rocks and islets are raised in mirages and appear to float above the water. The rocks were deposited by melting icebergs during the last Ice Age. The trip then continues towards Danzigmann – the name is a relic from the sailing ship era. A ship from Danzig was beached there in 1741 and the local inhabitants referred to it as “the Dantziger Man”. On the fine bathing beach, you can be fortunate enough to find amber. Standing on the high dunes with a pair of binoculars look to the west and try to pick out the seals on the rocks that make up the reef known as Sælhunderev.
Danzigmann – Østerby Harbour
We cycle back towards Østerby and on to Østerby Harbour, where we find Læsø Fiskeindustri, which buys up all the fish and Norway lobster that is landed on the island. The lobsters are washed, graded, packed and sold, primarily to Southern Europe. The fish are sent on to the mainland or sold at Thorsen Fisk at the harbour. The lifeboat station is the first of its type that was established on Læsø. It was built in 1871 as a lifeboat and distress rocket station.
Østerby Harbour – Vesterø Harbour
On our way back to Vesterø Harbour we pass Læsø Seaside golf course and cycle through the relatively new woodland area of Læsø Klitplantage. During the 1930s the Danish state began planting areas with Scotch Pine and Sitka Spruce. Prior to this, Læsø had been treeless for several hundred years due to the fact that timber was used in Læsø’s salt production. On Storedalsvej, in one of the forest’s old tool sheds, we find Bihuset, where pictures tell the story of the wonderful world of the bee. In observation hives we can see the brown bees feeding their larvae, making honey, dancing, etc. On days with a western wind, the trees provide good shelter for cyclists and if you’re lucky you may see roe deer. From Plantagevej we can take a detour to Holtemmen, which is a wetland with many interesting and rare species of plants. Back at Vesterø Harbour we can relax with an ice-cream at Havnebakken before boarding the ferry once again for the crossing back to the mainland.