Culture on Fanø

Culture is a lot of things. It is music, Arts and Dance. All areas, where Fanø has somthing special to offer. But it is also the villages, the architecture, the history, the artisans and the everyday life on Fanø.

The maritime past is an important part of the culture, even today. The 18th and 19th century houses in Nordby and Sønderho, build by the sailors and inspired of what they saw on their journeys. The traditional dance and music, all very much alive today.



Eat & Drink 

Being a World Heritage Site gives commitments. That includes our food. On Fanø we have focus on quality and local production.

Sønderho - Denmark's Most Beautiful Village

A visit to Sønderho is a must when you visit Fanø as it has won the award of Denmark's most beautiful. As you walk in the small streets, with the pretty old houses, you feel as being in another age of time.

Nordby - Fanø's Capital

The ferry to Fanø goes from Esbjerg to Nordby. Being already on the ferry, you will get the first impression of the island and Nordby. A small, cosy town, characterised by the many lovely houses from the 19th century and surrounded by beautiful nature.

The Painters on Fanø

For more than 150 years Fanø has been a hot spot for artists who come here for shorter periods or decided to live here. The light, the landscape and the beautiful village of Sønderho, has attracted many artists.

History and traditions

Fanø is an island with an exciting history. The maritime trade with sailing ships in the 18th and 19th century, Denmarks first seaside holiday resort, and the bunkers from the 2nd World War.

The Atlantic Wall on Fanø

Grey bunkers can still be seen in many dunes around Fanø. These are a remnant of the Atlantic Wall, which was a huge defensive system stretching from northern Norway to Spain


Throughout the past 100 years and up till today Fanø has attracted a constant stream of artists, who more or less settled down on the island.

The house, with its authentic interior, is an outstanding example of everyday life in the home of a captain´s widow in Sønderho.

The museum has many  accurate ships' models of the many different types that were built in Fanø. Wall pictures tell about the seaman's life and pictures give an impression of life aboard and ashore. The costume collection show how women dressed at work and on festive occasions. 

This almost 300 years old building may appear quite modest. However, it houses a comprehensive collection of rare and beautiful things: furniture, utensils, tools, etc. In addition to the domestic items there is the more exotic collection of sailors' mementoes. 

The Mill, a dutch smock model, was built 1895 on the outskirts of Sønderho. It was in use until 1923. The mill is unmanned.  You are allowed to go where you please both in- and outdoors, but always at your own risk.

The Fire Station dates back to 1868, it is one of the oldest and best 
preserved in Denmark.In addition to the old fire pump, a variety of traditional fire-fighting equipmenthas been gathered throughout the years, presenting a vivid impression of fireservice of that time.

Sønderho Church was built in 1782 and the construction is quite unique. According to local tradition, it was built as a narrow nave with a built-in transept. As the population grew, extensions were added

An ideal place for bird watching! Sønderho Strandsø started out as a project to restore the natural wet lands and reestablish the bird life and population found here. The area is hidden and can only be reached by foot. 

Nordby Church is a beautiful and highly distinctive church in the so-called 'assembly hall' style with seating for 700. In 1971-72, the church was restored to the appearance it had in 1786. 

The Memorial at the new church-yard is a monument to those who lost their lives at sea. It was made by the sculptor Elo in 1955 and represents a Fanø woman and her children sitting watching the sea for their father to come home. 

The Fanø costumes no longer have any practical purpose but are still used at festive occasions. 

A lifeboat was vital to the communities along the west coast. The Station dates back to 1889. The lifeboat was horsedrawn, crewed by 12 strong and courageous villagers.The boat is still fully equipped with the traditional tools. 

Recommended partners

The sheep are the foundation of the farm shop and workshop. Sheep breeding has been done since 1970 and Gotland fur sheep since 1984.

Kunstladen is the biggest shop on Fanø. If you are looking for a nice gift, clothes or yarn for knitting - Kunstladen is the place to go.