Kerteminde – tranquil on the Great Belt

In the northeast of the Danish island of Funen, at the mouth of a fjord, lies the small town of Kerteminde. If you want to experience authentic small-town life without too much tourist hustle and bustle in a quiet atmosphere and still have a few highlights and sights nearby, Kerteminde is certainly a good stop on an island tour in Denmark. And there is even a yellow sandy beach right on the edge of town.

Colorful and traditional – on historical paths in Kerteminde

Kerteminde. A stop for me on a cycle tour in the east of Funen island. The Ladby Ship, the burial site of a Viking prince on Kerteminde Fjord, was the main attraction. Unfortunately, however, it was Monday and all the real museums in the world are closed on Mondays. This left more time to explore the small town of Kerteminde in more detail. This is best done on foot because of the short distances and the pleasantly quiet streets in the town center.

On foot over the Kerteminder cobbles

Town church and Farvergården local history museum

St. Laurentii Church is one of the tallest buildings and can be seen from afar across the Kertemindefjord. This brick church was built on Langegade street in 1476. At that time certainly the busy main street, today Langegade is partly a pedestrian zone and traditional business center in the old town of Kerteminde.

St.Laurentii church of  Kerteminde
St. Laurentii church

Just a few steps away is another attraction – a red half-timbered building. This is the Farvergården – a museum of local history, which is now part of the Østfyns Museer, the East Fyn Museums, through a merger with Nyborg institutions. Here you can discover craftsmanship on three floors, such as a shoemaker’s or watchmaker’s workshop, or learn interesting facts about fishing on Funen. There is a smithy in the basement. A courtyard with its herb garden is part of the exhibition.

The half-timbered house was built in 1630 by a Kerteminde alderman. Dyer Anton Hinke took over the building two hundred years later to practice his profession. Since then it has been known as the Farvergården (dyer’s workshop). Anton Hinke’s heirs sold the building to the new museum association in 1937, which set up a local history museum in the property.

Farvergården local museum in the  Langegade street
Farvergården local history museum
Old town houses in the Langegade of Kerteminde
Row of houses in the old town

By the Funen painter – Svanemøllen and Johannes Larsen Museum

Between small, mostly single-storey, very colorful houses with many striking doors, the road leads north. There, on the edge of the old town, Svanemøllen stands on a small hill. A Dutch-style windmill. Right next to it, a courtyard with white houses is the place of the Johannes Larsen Museum. The building, erected in 1901, was the home of the Danish painter Johannes Larsen (1867-1961), who came from Kerteminde. Many fellow painters of the Fyn school (Fynbomalere) visited Larsen here. They found temporary accommodation in the house’s numerous guest rooms.

Next to Svanemøllen is still the artist’s garden, which not only served as a muse, but was also cultivated for fresh fruit and vegetables. From 1937 to 1961, Johannes Larsen was also the chairman of the museum association Farvergården in Kerteminde. The Johannes Larsen Museum has been part of the Kerteminde Local History Museum since 1984. Today, the Fyn painters dedicate themselves to their art mainly in the surrounding housing estate Møllebakken.

Svanemøllen dutch style wind mill beside the Johannes Larsen Museum
Johannes Larsen Museum at Funen island
Johannes Larsen Museum

Fjord and Belt Center Kerteminde

Of particular economic importance for Kerteminde is the fishing port, the largest on the island of Funen, with a fish auction house and various fish factories. There is also a boatyard where the traditional folk boat for Baltic sailors is built.

Today, Kerteminde’s visitor attractions also include the Fjord and Belt Center, a visitor center dedicated to marine biology, life in fjords, belts and sounds with an exhibition, seal and porpoise station and research facility. Research on marine mammals is carried out in cooperation with the University of Southern Denmark. In addition to the water laboratory, the underwater tunnel is a particular attraction for visitors to the Fjord and Belt Center in the immediate vicinity of the harbour. At the appropriate times, you can watch the seals being fed and trained. You can get up close and personal with crabs and starfish in special touch pools.

Fjord and Belt Center in Kerteminde
Fjord and Belt Center

Fisherman’s wife Amanda from Kerteminde

South of the bridge over Kerteminde Fjord is a granite sculpture of a fisherwoman. This is not just a symbol of the long fishing tradition in the town, but is called Amanda and goes back to a Danish mocking song: „Min Amanda var fra Kerteminde“ … which roughly begins „My Amanda was from Kerteminde….“ The sculptor Robert Lund-Jensen carved the somewhat flighty fisherman’s wife Amanda from Kerteminde in stone for all time in 1954.

In the same direction, about 6 km along the southern shore of the fjord, you come to the village of Ladby. In the mid-1930s, a pharmacist and amateur archaeologist found the above-mentioned ship’s grave in a mound just outside the village. Today you can not only visit the excavation site, but also an exhibition center with the „Carpet of Ladby“ and a replica of the Viking ship on the fjord – the Viking Museum Ladby.

Viking ship Ladby - Dragon at the Fjord near Kerteminde (Danmark)
Viking ship „Ladby dragon“

If you head north from Kerteminde, be sure to visit another burial mound near Martofte. The Stone Age barrow Mårhøj is already 5000 years old and can be entered as a passage grave! (or rather it can be fought over, the stone setting is too low for walking. A flashlight is required!) For me, this visit was one of the highlights of my cycle tour, especially in view of its age.

Stone age burial mount Mårhøj with passage grave in the north east of Funen island, Danmark
Stone age burial mount Mårhøj

Travel tips for Kerteminde

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Getting there to Kerteminde

You can easily get to Kerteminde by car or rental car* from the E20 highway via the Langeskov exit and regional road 315 (coming from Odense) or Nyborg V (coming from Nyborg or Zealand) and regional road 165 in a northerly direction.

Map of Danmark - Kerteminde at Funen island

It is quite pleasant to cycle to Kerteminde on the smaller side roads. Only before the Fjord Bridge do all the roads come together, and there you have to follow the main road even by bike. There are hardly any separate cycle paths outside the villages (only north between Martofte and Viby on a former railroad line).

Public buses run from Nyborg or Odense to Kerteminde (bus company Fynbussen). In both cities there is connetion to train traffic.

Accommodation in Kerteminde

Maritime tourism, from bathers to deep-sea anglers, plays an important economic role in Kerteminde. Accordingly, there is a wide range of different accommodation from simple vacation bungalows to vacation apartments and hotels in Kerteminde. A small selection recommended for your visit:

The centrally located ***Tornøes Hotel* is housed in historic buildings and is just a short walk from the old town, the Fjord and Belt Center, the harbour and the fjord. The hotel also has a restaurant with a terrace and a view of Kerteminde Fjord. Breakfast is available at the buffet. Guests are accommodated in various room categories from twin rooms to suites. Some of the rooms are wheelchair accessible and the hotel has an elevator. For a fee, the hotel organizes various sporting activities in Kerteminde such as horse riding, diving, fishing, canoe hire and bicycle hire.

Tornoes Hotel Kerteminde
Tornøes Hotel* with access to the old town

A beautiful vacation apartment with two bedrooms* is located in a modern apartment building with large sunny windows very close to the north beach of Kerteminde. The vacation apartment is located on the ground floor and is therefore also suitable for guests with restricted mobility. A well-equipped kitchen allows full self-catering. There is free parking at the house, including a charging station for electric cars.

Jytte’s Annex is a vacation home* for two guests near the north beach of Kerteminde. The garden and sun terrace can also be used. Self-catering is possible with the simply equipped kitchen. You can park in the associated parking lot.

Vacation home colony at the northern beach
Vacation homes at the northern beach

For art and culture lovers, the Købmandsgaarden* in the old town of Kerteminde is the perfect accommodation. Several double rooms have been set up in an old merchant’s house. There is a shared bathroom and shared toilets (i.e. not in the rooms). Coffee and tea facilities and a snack bar are available. If you like, you can share your experiences of Funen with other guests in the communal lounge.

Købmandsgård Bett & Breakfast

Weather for the beach day (or not)

The weather forecast for today and the next three days in Kerteminde is shown in the adjacent overview. The north beach of Kerteminde is located north of the town center near Svanemøllen.

A south beach begins immediately south of the pier of the fishing harbor or the mouth of the fjord.

Northern beach of Kerteminde
Kerteminde north beach with free air shower

Shopping for self-catering

There are smaller stores in the town center. But if you want everything in one place so that you don’t have to waste time shopping, there is a Superbrugsen shopping center and Netto discount north of the Fjord and Belten centers.

More adventures on Danish islands?

Renaissance Schloß Egeskov auf der dänischen Insel Fünen

Egeskov Castle and Park – The moated castle on the oak piles

Nyborg with Olsen gang

Nyborg – fortress town of a strengthening Denmark *The Olsen Gang is here too!

Cycling at Langeland island

Cycling across Langeland – beaches, nature reserves, windmills … a rural idyll

To Kerteminde with your friends!

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View over the Fjord to Kerteminde
View over the Fjord to the old town of Kerteminde
Reference to *advertising links

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