This is a personally colored guide to the areas surrounding Star World Championship 2017. Hopefully painted with a brush that gives you inspiration to explore the romantic and fertile southern part of Fyn and the island of Tåsinge.
Of course we start in the picturesque village of Troense itself. This is where the races take place and the racing village is placed.
The building at the corner of Grønnegade and Strandgade with a little tower on the roof used to be a school, then it became a post office and until a few years ago a maritime museum. Now it is a private house.
At the opposite corner you find the only shop in Troense. Storm's Corner (Storms Hjørne) is a minimarket run solely by volunteers.
But why not take a closer look at the surroundings?
It could be a morning or afternoon walk up the street Badstuen and turning down a marked footpath to the left at the far end of the row of houses on your left hand side. Follow the path along green fields and end up in Grønnegade (Green Street). Then turn down left towards the harbor again. This is only a short but very beautiful walk through the heart of Troense. You could continue along the sea on Troense Strandvej a little to the right at the end of Grønnegade.
Another and somewhat longer walk would bring you past Valdemar's Castle and further along to the more than 400 year old oak tree "Ambrosius-egen". This is an enormous oak tree under which the Danish poet Ambrosius Stub wrote some of his poems around 1750.
If you want to see the memorial stone of Elvira Madigan you may continue the walk into the wood Nørreskoven (North Forest) in front of the oak tree. At the far end of this first path you turn left and then down the first path to the right. Continue straight forward till you meet some different tall green Thuja-trees (Western Red Cedar) and a marked stone on the left side.
This is leading to the place that remind us of the tragic romantic drama that took place here the 19th of July 1889. On Google Map you will find a point called "Elvira Madigans Mindesten". With the location point on your mobile phone it is easier to find the memorial stone of Elvira Madigan. It is a good idea to go back along the sea. There are some very nice places with a good view of Lunkebugten where the races take place.
A tragic death
Elvira Madigan was a 19 years old talented tightrope circus princess when she met the far older Swedish lieutenant Sixten Sparre.
Sixten fell in love with Elvira and saw a lot of her performances in Sweden. They started writing letters to each other. After about two years they eloped to Denmark. Sixten Sparre was married and had two children and had just deserted the Swedish army.
In Denmark they stayed at Hotel Ærø for a month before they went to a small lodging in Troense. Doing so they tried to avoid the brother of Elvira who had just arrived with another circus to Svendborg. They expected to return to the hotel in Svendborg, but Sixten Sparre who was 35 did not get the expected financial support from his family.
Instead they prepared a lunch packet and went into the woods where Sixten first shot Elvira and then himself. They were found with a calm expression on their faces it was told. There is a nice memorial grave at Landet Kirkegaard (Landet Churchyard).
The walk takes a little more than two hours from Troense (about 10 km). You could also do this tour on a bicycle.
The castle just outside Troense was build during the reign of King Christian the Fourth in 1644. He built it to his son Valdemar Christian. Unfortunately Valdemar died in a war in Poland. Some years later in 1677 the castle was given to the naval hero Niels Juel, who had beaten a Swedish fleet in Køge Bay. It was the payment for the ships that he had conquered.
Since then the castle has stayed in the family Juel. All of Tåsinge was a part of the estate.
Just a few months ago the owner Niels Krabbe Carlsen Iuel-Brockdorff died. His daughter Caroline who has been married to Rory Fleming, a nephew to James Bond author Ian Fleming, is the natural heir to the castle. But it seems that the estate might be run by the son of Rory and Caroline. Their son Alexander is only 12 years old. Caroline Fleming, being a single mother with three children, is living in London. Caroline Fleming is internationally known as one of the women in the TV-series Ladies of London.
The castle has a museum of a hunters collection of trophies, one of the biggest in the world (The Hunter and Trophy Museum). It is possible to visit most of the castles private rooms and the extensive gardens. Entry fee for adults: 105 DKK (valdemarsslot.dk).
Where to eat on the island of Tåsinge
Troense Hotel is an obvious choice facing Troense harbor with panoramic views of Svendborgsund. Open: 12-21.
Bregninge Kro (Bregninge Inn) is located in the middle of Tåsinge, just beneath Bregninge Church. They serve traditional Danish food in a charming old cottage. Address: Sundbrovej 54. Open 11:30-21:30.
Valdemars Slot (Valdemar's Castle). The restaurant at the castle is open to the public at the same hours as the castle itself. That is daily from 10 till 19. (valdemarsslot.dk)
Meet the locals at Tøsingen, the only pub at Tåsinge. It's located near the harbor at Vindeby just a few of kilometers from Troense. Address: Kildevænget 2. Open: 12-20.
Svendborg, the capital of the Archipelago
Svendborg with about 30.000 inhabitants is situated about eight kilometers from Troense by road and five by boat. It is the lively capital of the Archipelago. You can reach Svendborg from Troense by bus number 250 (fynbus.dk) and by the veteran ship Helge built in 1924 (svendborg-havn.dk).
To see what is going on in Svendborg you can get information at this website: visitsvendborg.dk. You are also very welcome to visit the tourist office at the harbor. Apart from SvendborgEvent it also houses Maritime Centre Denmark, an office that offers a range of old wooden sailing ships for rent. It is possible to see and buy a lot of local quality products from all over southern Fyn. Fyn is known as the garden of Denmark.
If you arrive early the biggest food market in Scandinavia take place in Svendborg Saturday the 24th and Sunday 25th of June. Both days 10-17. If not you still have the chance to experience the traditional colorful food and green market on Saturdays at the central square Torvet next to Our Lady's Church (Vor Frue Kirke).
The pedestrian area of Svendborg holds a lot of old fashioned historic charm and the many specialty shops, cafés, bars and a lot of good restaurants are a pleasant surprise.
Svendborg is one of the few Danish towns by the sea that still have a very active harbor with coasters, ferryboats to 4 different islands, shipyards, a lot of pleasure boats and a part of the harbor dedicated to many impressive restored wooden ships.
The harbor is also home to The Danish Yachting Museum situated in one of the large buildings that used to be a part of the now closed Svendborg Shipyard. Open daily from 10-15, Fridays 10-14, weekends 10-18, Monday closed. Entrance fee: 65 DKK. This summer the museum celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Nordic Folkboat (Nordisk Folkebåd) with a very interesting special exhibition (lystsejlads.dk).
Last year more than 700 live music events took place in Svendborg. Every weekend nights about 5-8 bars and cafés present live music. Please ask at the race village for further information.
Going to the Beach
You can find a lot of smaller beaches in the Archipelago. One of them is just next to Valdemar's Castle where Helge put in.
But the most famous are the one just in front of the Christiansminde Hotel and Smørmosen at the island of Thurø a short distance away.
From the terrace of the hotel's restaurant you have a magnificent view of Svendborgsund towards Tåsinge. And the very popular Christiansminde Beach is beneath the hotel.
Smørmosen Beach is the biggest of the two surrounded by forests and with a beautiful view towards the island Langeland and Fyn. You will have the opportunity to test out one of the most fun crazy golf courses in Europe. It is hand made and challenging. Add to that a lot of free activities along the beach. It is a very good place for kids.
If you prefer to play real golf you'll find a nice golf course just outside Svendborg (svendborggolfklub.dk)
According to the American travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler Egeskov Castle is one of the 50 most beautiful places in Europe. I fully agree. The castle is situated in Kværndrup only 16 km north of Svendborg.
The medieval castle from 1554 is taken right out of a fairytale and it is still the private home of Count Michael Ahlefelt-Laurvig-Bille. The lush gardens are an aesthetic delight. And the park has enough exhibitions, events and playgrounds to keep the entire family busy for at least a whole day. At the moment there is a special exhibition of a paper doll and her wardrobe cut by the storyteller H.C. Andersen. Open daily 10-19. Entrance fee to the park: 190 DKK. Check this world class attraction out at egeskov.dk.
Odense is the biggest town on Fyn with nearly 200.000 inhabitants. It is definitely worth a visit. And it is the native town of the world famous storyteller H.C. Andersen (visitodense.dk).
It is a must to visit the house of H.C. Andersen (museum.odense.dk/hcandersenshus) and see the surrounding exhibitions. Every day 10-17. Entrance fee: 95 DKK.
I would recommend a stroll down the main shopping street Vestergade. Turn down the small Vintapperstræde with its cosy bars and restaurants, or further down Brandts Passage with a more cultural attitude.
It is a special trip to take an old excursion boat down Odense Å. You may step off at the very animal friendly Odense Zoo (odensezoo.dk) or continue to the restaurant Carlslund in the forest. It is renowned for its traditional omelet topped with lots of bacon rind. Odense Åfart (aafart.dk). Price: 90 DKK.
You may also want to walk a little further after Carlslund to visit Den Fynske Landsby, which is a charming museum showing how people on Fyn lived in the villages at the time that H.C. Andersen was alive in the 19th Century. Entrance fee 60 DKK (museum.odense.dk/denfynskelandsby)
OBS! All entrance fees mentioned above are for adults. Please check prices for kids at the websites.