Svendborg: Feel the music – vibrant city life, fairytale islands, and a wild dolphin
By Heidi Kokborg | Photos: VisitSvendborg
Listen to local musicians while sipping locally made world-class whisky at the docks. Go island hopping in the South Funen Archipelago. Explore cosy alleys with quirky shops. Indulge in culinary temptations and enjoy scenic beach attractions less than a 15-minute walk from the city centre. Svendborg no doubt makes for a memorable weekend getaway – and when you go, don’t forget to stop by the harbour and say hello to Delle, Svendborg’s most cherished, playful resident.
Nestled in the South Funen Archipelago, Svendborg boasts somewhat of a fairytale-like location. Here, you’ll find charming cobbled streets with one-of-a-kind boutiques, idyllic houses and historic cottages that look like something straight out of a film, world-class culinary experiences, locals that know how to enjoy life, and live music like none other.
“We have quite the music scene here in Svendborg. People are constantly jamming and playing music in alleyways, back yards, bars and in the streets. We have live music every single night. It gives the city a distinctive, creative vibe,” says Anja Mia Haas, event manager at VisitSvendborg.
With more than 700 live concerts each year, there certainly is something for everyone. Whether you are a jazz lover or a folk music enthusiast, you dig rock music or just can’t get enough of blues, you’ll find a concert or festival here that is right up your alley.
The sweetness of life
Svendborg is a city that is buzzing with life year-round, from the creative docks area at the harbour and a vibrant city centre with quirky boutiques in the Latin Quarter, to cosy cafés where you can easily linger for hours while sipping coffee and simply watching the lively city life unfold.
“With its cobblestone streets, specialty stores and an abundance of cafés and restaurants, Svendborg offers a city experience with a little twist. It is a really charming city with a very rich cultural life,” says Haas.
An absolute must when visiting Svendborg is treating yourself to local food. Whether you dine in a restaurant, stop by a farm stand or visit one of the many farm shops, your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised.
“The quality is very high, and a lot of the food is locally grown and harvested. Sometimes, we find new and exciting ways to use the ingredients or do a spin on traditional recipes, like the internationally recognised Skarø ice cream that produces sustainable luxury ice cream with innovative ingredients such as seaweed, birch sap and lactic acid bacteria. We also have world-class distilleries that keep winning international awards. We are in many ways a blessed area. In fact, once people move here, they tend to never move away again,” says Haas, herself once a newcomer, with a smile.
Svendborg truly is a place for bon vivants. So much so, in fact, that it was the first Danish municipality to be Cittaslow certified. Cittaslow originates from Italy and is, in its essence, all about slow living, the enjoyment of life, and excellent craftsmanship. It is a way of life that Svendborg fully embraces.
Island hopping with a dolphin
If during your visit to Svendborg you need a little break from city life, the opportunities are plentiful. The South Funen Archipelago consists of 55 islands and islets, and what better way to explore some of them than by island hopping?
“Just a 30-minute ferry ride from the buzzing city life, you can experience the tranquillity of the islands. They offer extraordinary experiences in nature with mesmerising coastal landscapes. Each island has its own history worth exploring,” says Haas.
What will make your ferry ride even more memorable is Delle, Svendborg’s very own dolphin, who is a pure ray of sunshine with his playful nature. He will ‘wave’ you off when your ferry or boat sets sail – he just can’t help it – and he is playful by nature and a pure thrill to be around with.
“Delle came from Scotland two years ago. He is wild, but he has really become a part of the city, and he brings so much joy to everyone living in and visiting Svendborg,” Haas smiles.
When you are done exploring the beautiful islands – although with 55 of them, will you ever really finish exploring? – more experiences in nature await. There are hiking and mountain bike trails aplenty, which take you through the hilly landscape with gorgeous ocean views. You can also go horseback riding, a fun and different way to explore the beautiful nature. Or how about exploring sea life by canoe or kayak? If you want the full nature experience, you can choose to spend a night in a shelter.
“Svendborg is ideal for an active holiday, whether you are craving amazing nature or culinary and cultural experiences. Svendborg will move your heart and mind,” Haas enthuses about the abundance of opportunities for living the good life in the South Funen Archipelago.
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