West Zealand – full of surprising escapes
Unknown to many expats, West Zealand hosts a myriad of great escapes – perfect for a one day excursion when the weather is announced to be good. An easy and picturesque one is cycling around Glenø.
By Bente D. Knudsen
Pictures: Landsudvikling Slagelse, Henrik Terkelsen, Ulla Fibiger, Hans Prag, Renny Rosenlund/Agersø, Visit Vestsjælland
But how to find your way and where to go? Fortunately the tourist organisation VisitVestsjælland, has set up 10 cycling routes – where they guide you so that you can bicycle through the countryside, enjoying the scenery, feeling the wind in your hair, inhaling all the scents; from the perfumed flowers growing in the ditches along the road to the cows in the fields and the sea breeze.
They call them the 10 new culinary cycling routes and they take you through Zealand’s West Coast and combine good exercise with locally produced food and unique nature. Bring your bike, or rent one, and capture a taste of West Zealand. It’s the growing trend for buying ecological or locally produced food that has inspired the regional tourist agency, VisitVestsjælland, to set up the 10 cycling routes in cooperation with local producers and farmers. The idea is – if you go during July and August – that you will be able to buy local produce on your way and make some recipies when you come home.
However as the rides take you through alternating landscapes; in some places the sea and land merge into one, while in others, the coastal landscape rises sharply and steeply, they can be enjoyed now as well – even if the local produce has not yet been harvested – it being so early in the season. You will encounter idyllic harbours, where you may find an open smoking where you can have Røget sild (herring) or makrel (), or find an nice inn or bistro in the pleasant villages.
From beginners to advanced level
All 10 routes vary in length, from 11 to 20 kilometres, making it possible to find a route suitable for both experienced as well as inexperienced cyclists. The longest one is on the amazing island Sejerø, particularly known for its many rabbits (there are no foxes on the island) and the shortest route of 11 kilometres takes you around the island of Glænø.
Detailed maps describe each route and the sites along it. On the site www.visitvestsjælland.dk you can download (pdf format) maps and details for each route (unfortunately still only in Danish).The road maps illustrate quite clearly which way to go, so even for non-Danish speakers it should be possible to manage.
Examples of routes:
Route 1, 18 km: Your starting point is Bisserup and you end in Rude Skov. You will make stops at Bisserup Harbour, the location of Denmark’s first ecological sea farm, the vegetable farm Ellemosegård and end your trip in Rude Skov, with great views of the Holsteinborg Estate. The estate’s park is open all year round, and during the summer guided tours on Wednesdays and Sundays enable you to visit the castle.
Route 2, 11 km: This route takes you around the small island of Glænø, you travel to Glænø by passing a dam (no sailing needed).This trip is very family friendly as you stop at the farm Haremosegård where you can pet both goats and rabbits. You can also fish or bathe from the local beach located right next to Grønholtgård another local farm where you can buy squash, garlic and numerous other vegetables.
Route 5, 16 km: Take the ferry to Agersø, a small quaint island full of history and local folklore. The ferry leaves from the harbour of Stigsnæs every hour (see www.aofaerger.dk for more information – the ferry to Omø also sails from here, this is for route 6). You can rent a bike here at the old iron smith, Den Gamle Smedje, or Agersø Kro.The route takes you past an old Dutch windmill and Agersø skanse, built during the war with England to keep the British navy at bay, it still has the old canons on display. Enjoy the small picturesque harbour with the colourful fishing boats featuring a nice barbecue area and children’s playground, or have lunch at Agersø Kro, a popular local spot (reservations recommended).
Tinggårdsvej 2, 4592 Sejerø
Phone: 5959 0291
Havnevej 20, 4230 Skælskør
Phone: 5819 4204
Fri Bikeshop Gørlev
Kirkevangen, 10 4281 Gørlev
Phone: 5885 5265
Egholmvej 4, Agersø, 4230 Skælskør
Phone: 5819 8003
Cykeludlejningen på Omø
Omø Havnevej 97, Omø, 4230 Skælskør
Phone: 4464 2404
Skælskørvej 34 4180 Sorø
The local tourist organisation VisitVestsjælland has made agreements with a number of shops, who have agreed to help tourists with maps and information provided by them. Find information:
Lindegade 2-4, 4400 Kalundborg
Kirkepladsen 10, 4220 Korsør
Algade 14, 4281 Gørlev
Algade 11, 4230 Skælskør
Route one takes you past Holsteinborg Castle