Funen (Fyn in Danish) is Denmark's proverbial middle child. Lacking Zealand's capital-city pull or Jutland's geographic dominance, it's often overlooked by visitors, who rarely do more than make a whistle-stop visit to Hans Christian Andersen's birthplace, Odense.

Certainly the master of fairy tales makes a worthy favourite son and Odense is a lively cultural and commercial centre. But there is much more to Funen. Thatched farmhouses, picture-book coastal towns and grand Renaissance castles dot the island’s patchwork of fields and woodlands. There's a remarkable Viking-era ship grave near Kerteminde. Rolling southern pastures and orchards grow some of the country's best produce. Curiously minimalist shelters are set up for cyclists and kayakers. And handsome harbour towns give access to a yacht-filled archipelago of idyllic seafaring islands. All in all, if you take the trouble to explore, you'll find Funen is a microcosm of the very best of Denmark.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Funen.