The South Funen Archipelago
The South Funen Archipelago (www.detsydfynskeoehav.dk) comprises 55 islands and uninhabited islets south of Faaborg and Svendborg. Shaped by glaciation around 18,000 years ago, these geological bumps were initially hills and ridges but became islands when sea levels rose and water eventually burst through the Langeland Gap, partly drowning a Stone Age culture and creating what a recent Faaborg exhibition dubbed 'Funen's Atlantis'.
Above water, the islands are some of Denmark's true gems for those with a little time to explore. Most of the islands have summertime bike rental and overnighting opportunities. While Tåsinge and Langeland are connected to Funen by road, for most of the islands you'll need to take a ferry. Delightful Ærø is the best known as a holiday destination but several others are easy to reach by scheduled summertime boat services, whether from Faaborg (Lyø, Avernakø and Bjørnø), Svendborg (Drejø, Skarø and Hjortø), Marstal (Birkholm) or Rudkøbing (Styrnø).
With the Ø-hop ticket, midsummer visitors also have a way to island hop using the Sea Hawk, which links Avernakø, Drejø and Skarø four times daily, starting and ending its run in Svendborg. Further connections have been mooted, of which the most advanced is the reintroduction of a Marstal–Rudkøbing service, tentatively planned for 2019.