Tag Archives: path

Walking on Alsstien

There are many interesting paths for hiking around Als. One of them is “Alsstien” which runs along the east coast of the island. The path is close to the coast most of the way with some beautiful seascapes, going along pebble stone beaches, through beech forests and past ancient megaliths.

The whole path is around 73 km long and is in the official maps divided into three sections going from

All of Alsstien 73km hiking route from OSM

The path is in very varied terrain as the video further down will show. It is marked with blue signs with a white man. In places the route is not well marked and having the maps above at hand can be well worth it.

Together with two friends I decided to try and walk a section of the path. More precisely the section from Sarup in south to one of the shelters in Nørreskoven. We were not completely sure of how long this trip would be but expected it to be about 20-25km that we could cover in 4 hours.

View Hiking Alsstien (Nørreskoven) in a larger map

It turned out to be 18 km to the first shelter in Nørreskoven where we decided to stay for the night. The good thing about these shelters is that you do not need to bring a tent as you have a roof over your head. In our region the shelters offered by the kommune are mapped here.

Shelter in Nørreskoven

There is a small area were it is allowed to camp, a fireplace with a handy grill that can be raised and lowered according to the fire. When we arrived there was a family of about 10 people who had camped in tents on the grass area.

In the shelter a local drunk had already set up but there was still room so we decided to stay next to her which turned out to be a bad idea as she kept us awake most of the night.
All in all it was part of the experience and this was the view that greeted us as we woke up.

View from the shelter

We had thought of continuing the hike the next day but we were in for some heavy rain so rather than keep going we decided to backtrack a bit to a place were we could get picked up.

I shot some video from our hike. It’s in Danish and quite long but could be useful if you want to get an overview of the different landscapes along the route:

For more information about the path have a look at Britta from Blitzschuh’s account.

Gendarme path sonderborg

Hike or Bike the Gendarm Path

The Gendarm path, known as Gendarmstien in Danish, is the former border guard patrol path between Denmark and Germany. It was in use from 1920 until 1958, where each gendarm (or border guard) had a specific section of the coastline to patrol. They would walk along the water as best they could and thereby created a small walking path.

By Bent Rasmussen
Picture by Bent Rasmussen – used with permission

The Gendarm path is one of Denmark’s best know and popular walking routes and follows a very scenic landscape along the coast of Flensborg Fjord. The full length of the path is 74km from Padborg in west to Høruphav on South Als.

Gendarm Path Sonderborg

Trekking the 74km s not something we planned to do at one go, especially in our unfit state! However, walking the path is a good way of enjoying and experiencing the natural beauty of the area. So our aim is to get through all the path in smaller chunks.

This is our progress so far. We will add more as we cover more of the path:

  • Sonderborg – Horuphav: Hiked on 23rd September 2012. Easy path through open fields and forest, with views over Flensburg fjord. You can walk closer to water, but if you follow the marked path this does not happen much. Buses running from Sonderborg to Fynshav or Kegnaes and back stop close to the start of the Gendarmstien in Horuphav, making it a pleasant Sunday trek on a nice day without having to backtrack.
  • Sonderborg – Vemmingbund: Biked on 23rd July 2012. Beautiful views along the water’s edge. If you are not much into hills, the path along the water is easily manageable (from someone who abhors cycling up hills with a passion) and you can walk up the hills if you prefer. However, if hills are your thing you can knock yourself out on the various side paths. Perfect on a warm summer day as the sea breeze keeps you cool
  • Looping Broager Land peninsula: A mountain bike ride with lots of different vistas and road conditions, through forests, over beaches and fields.

If you are interested in following the trail yourself, the tourist centres in the area have developed a leaflet with maps of the path divided into 10 manageable chunks. The leaflet is only in Danish or German, but a map is a map so you should be able to find your way around. The path is also well marked on the ground with small wooden poles with a blue border guard on them.

Gendarme path sonderborg

Enjoy Autumn Outdoors

The leaves are turning red and brown, it’s getting cold and windy and the Danish schools are getting close to the Potato Holiday – autumn is here.

Intense autumn

Monday October 17th the municipality in Sonderborg is celebrating the end of a project called Naturnet Als and the inauguration of a new set of walking guides (pamphlets and info boards) on nature paths on the island of Als.

After a speech by the vice-mayor a number of activities are provided by local organisations:

  • Crab catching from the bridge
  • Know your Danish trees
  • Bird spotting with the help of a guide at the bird tower
  • Plant spotting
  • Learn about fish and animals from the lake from biologist and fishermen.
  • Presentation of the new folders.
  • Pancake making over fire
  • There is pumpkin soup and bread + a beer/soft drink for each visitor
  • A character called Chapper from a kids TV show will sing nature-rap-songs(?!)

Read more in Danish

UPDATE 12/10/2011: You are encouraged to take bike or bus to the event as parking will be an issue on the small roads. For parking opportunities (and a one way street introduced for this day to help traffic flow) see the map here.