A Glimpse of Traditional Seafaring Life
Folks from relatively stress-free Copenhagen go to Funen to relax; to really get away from it all, they go to Aero, its offshore little-sister island with picture-perfect villages, rolling hills, and patchwork farms. It’s a popular sailing center south of the island of Funen, which is ringed by some ninety smaller neighboring islands, many privately owned.
Low-key life in Aero centers around salty, perfectly preserved Aeroskobing, a market town in the 1300s that reached prosperity as a sea captains’ town in the late 1600s. The principal pastime is browsing its small shops and viewing the cobblestone streets lined with winsome, sometimes gently listing, half-timbered houses decorated with red geraniums and lace curtains.
Although lively and lived in, Aeroskobing is a heritage town, the only one in Denmark to be protected in its entirety. Denmark is a nation of bicycle riders, and touring by bike is understandably popular on both Aero and Funen, where more than 580 miles of marked bike paths crisscross the gentle curves of the islands’ topography. Aero’s empty country roads, sometimes single-laned, meander past old windmills and thatched houses whose painted, decorative doors are unique to the island.
The last two weeks of July, a small but well-known music festival jazzes things up considerably, jolting Aeroskobing forward into the 21st century, if only for a few summer afternoons.