Skippertown and Maritime Atmosphere
Marstal is Ærø’s maritime centre. The centuries of maritime tradition have left their indelible print on this town, the homeport of seafarers throughout history and still to this day. It is not unusual to see a large array of venerable old wooden ships lying at berth here, harking back to those halcyon days when hundreds of Marstal schooners were registered to Marstal Harbour.
Marstal boasts Ærø’s largest marina, which provides great amenities to its guests. It is located just a short walk away from both the commercial centre of the city and Eriks Hale – a stunning soft sand spit with highly photogenic traditional beach huts in all colours . The two well-equipped playgrounds at the marina offer generous barbecue facilities, and two good sailing shops are available to serve the needs of your boat and yourself. If your vessel requires more urgent assistance, Marstal also offers specialised mechanics and a boat builder.
Marstal town is filled with quaint shops and eateries. Here you will also find a bakery, if you want freshly-baked items , a large supermarket with the island’s largest selection of food and non-food products, and Ærø’s highest concentration of retail outlets. Or you can simply buy your goods at the tiny “Min Købmand” – a local grocery store, where the choice of fare is smaller, but the chance of a cosy chat is bigger.
Within easy walking distance of the marina, you can find Marstal Maritime Museum, which is an absolute must if you want get right under the skin of Marstal. This fine museum has so many stories and adventures to share with you that you will want to come back again and again to hear them all. Eriks Hale beach is a pleasure to swim off and wander along: On one side of this picturesque strip of sand with its many charming beach houses is the fresh, deep Baltic Sea and on the other side the calm and shallow Little Sea – perfect for small children.
If you are sailing with a bicycle on board , we recommend a trip out to the small fishing villages of Ommel , Kleven and Kragnæs just a few kilometres away from Marstal. You will be transported to the authentic idyll of the Danish countryside. If you are interested in ancient history, you can find well-preserved archaeological sites such as the passage graves of Lindsbjerg Langdysse and Kragnæs Jættestue and the remains of St. Albert’s Church. Don’t miss out on all the fresh locally-farmed products such as organic eggs and beef, and the region’s best fish and cheeses available at the farm stores after the long flat stretch along the Baltic coast at Drejet. If you take the Nevrestien cycle path along the water, you can easily visit Ærøskøbing by bicycle from Marstal.
It is free to travel by bus on Ærø. The buses run almost hourly every day, and you can usually take your bicycle on board if you wish. Just a few stops away, you will arrive at Rise Brewery, where you can sample some real Ærø beer. Voderup Klint with its beautiful vistas and dramatic scenery can be easily reached by bus and a short walk. At the other end of the island you will find lovely Søbygaard with its impressive exhibitions and historical surroundings.
If you are in Marstal, you must visit Ø-Bolcher (Island Candies). Here Pia makes scrumptious organic Ærø candy. Children and the young at heart may get the opportunity to make their own lollipops, or roll their own sweets. The global bestseller We, the Drowned takes place in Marstal . Take a guided tour of town and bring the story to life by visiting landmarks and other places mentioned in the novel. If you want to see the island from a completely different perspective, Starling Air provides short pleasure flights. Jump on the mail boat to Birkholm and spend the day in beautiful surroundings on this small, quiet island.