Valdemars Slot

Castle in Troense

Ideal as a boat-trip excursion from Svendborg, this lavish palace is crammed with antique furniture, Venetian glass, 17th-century Gobelin tapestries and little eccentricities like a toilet hidden in a window frame, a secret ammo store and Niels Juel's sea chest pasted with engravings. In the attic, the Jagt & Trofæmuseet ( displays a grisly horde of hunting trophies.

Not to be confused with the much older fortress at Vordingborg, this Valdemars Slot was originally built in 1644 by King Christian IV for his son Valdemar Christian, who died on a Polish battlefield before the place was completed. Badly damaged in the Danish-Swedish wars, the castle was gifted to naval hero Niels Juel, who transformed it into the baroque mansion you see today.

Sailing to Valdemars Slot from Svendborg on the M/S Helge passenger ferry is a pleasure in itself, and you don't need a castle ticket to walk around the eastern decorative pond, to stand on the narrow strip of beach near the jetty, to buy ice cream in the sparse baroque pavilion-cafe or to lunch at the semi-smart restaurant in the castle's vaulted cellars. However, there's a 25kr admission charge to enter the western ornamental park.

To return to Svendborg a different way, you could walk 1km to pretty Troense village and catch the half-hourly bus back from Mærskgården/Lodsvej (24kr, 28 minutes).