Gateway to Europe
Søby’s quaint houses snake up the steep hill above the harbour, which is dominated by Søby Shipyard; Ærø’s largest private employer is central to the character of Søby, bringing life and activity to this small town. The narrow streets and alleys are full of atmosphere and tranquillity.
Søby is a pleasant place to wander around, and here you may luckily stumble across Finn’s Bakery and enjoy Danish pastries of the highest quality. Up on the hill is the diminutive but beautiful Søby Church and the town’s only grocery store, Dagli’Brugsen, which offers a good selection of food products including a variety of local specialities for those after the real taste of Ærø.
Søby Marina is both well run and cosy, offering good facilities including a charming outdoor barbecue area with picnic tables and a cookhouse – feel free to season your grill with the fresh herbs grown in the vicinity.
Attractions within easy walking distance: Overlooking the town is Søby Windmill. Explore and enjoy this fine rare example of classical mill architecture. A relaxing game of crazy golf awaits just a few minutes’ walk from the marina, or simply take a walk along Søby’s sandy beach and dip your toes in its clear waters.
If you have a bicycle on board, we highly recommend a trip out to Vester Møller (Western Windmill), which is located in lush countryside just a short ride away from Søby. Close by also lies the abandoned and highly photogenic Vitsø Windmill, which is a pleasure to explore inside with its old exposed wooden gears and cogs, and outside in its serene and idyllic freshwater lake surroundings. A stone’s throw away from here, you can bathe in the fresh Baltic Sea from the jetty at Søby Camping, or you can stop by Fies Knit and pick up an island souvenir made from locally produced natural-coloured yarn.
A pleasant bike ride to Skjoldnæs will bring you to one of Europe’s most beautiful sea-side golf courses. For a small fee, you can also climb to the top of the picturesque Skjoldnæs Lighthouse and be rewarded with fabulous views over the Baltic Sea to the coastlines of northern Germany and southern Denmark.
At the golf course, you can also turn right onto a non-signposted dirt gravel road to Næbbet (the Beak), which is a popular fishing spot with very deep water. Here you will also find an incredibly beautiful wetland area with lots of birds.
Don’t miss out on the ride to the beautifully restored manor house of Søbygaard, where you will find exciting art exhibitions and activities.
Uniquely, travelling by bus on Æro is free. The buses run almost hourly every day, and you can usually take your bicycle on board. A few bus stops from Søby, you will reach Bregninge and its cosy farm shop Uldgaarden . Further along the route, the bus will bring you within easy distance of the unique landscape at Voderup Klint – one of Ærø’s most impressive vantage points and a place of great natural beauty. Also, don’t miss out on a trip to Rise Brewery, where you may get the chance to taste the local beer and see how it is produced.
Vitsø Nor is a great nature experience: Wander around the cove and enjoy the unique bird of one of Denmark’s richest nature reserves. Get a map of the cove at one of the island’s tourist offices. Check out Ærøshoppen for its fine selection of Ærø handicrafts, handmade candles and other exciting things. In the shop you can have a go at making your own candles – a nice activity for both adults and children. At Sæberiet (the soapery), Ærø’s small producer of organic salts, soaps and teas, you can enjoy the beautiful herb garden. Find out about the methods of production and pick up a souvenir from the small farm shop. Catch the bus or cycle out to Vitsøhus and experience the beautiful permaculture garden or take a nature tour on a Segway.