In the
land of the
Viking king

Odense – Kerteminde

On this stage you can visit the last Viking king of Denmark and see the grave of an early Viking king. You will venture out into a verdant landscape where the people of the Stone Age gulped down oysters. Today you can taste the best smoked salmon in Denmark. You can quench your thirst with apple juice and enjoy cherries in 100 different ways.

It is a region of sheep, cattle and pigs, bred with care and love. Just as it has been since the age of the Vikings. Take all your senses on a journey that began 1,200 years ago.


Manor houses on this route

Practical links to points of departure and destinations:

Discover Odense (Click here)

What to see in Odense (Click here)

Food and drink in Odense (Click here)

Accommodation in Odense (Click here)

Discover Kerteminde (Click here)

What to see in Kerteminde (Click here)

Food and drink in Kerteminde (Click here)

Accommodation in Kerteminde (Click here)

Find out more on:

Arts and crafts en route

There are a large number of artisan workshops and galleries on the actual route – or just a short detour away.

See the options here:

Food and drink en route

You will pass a number of farm shops, cafés and restaurants, all serving great food and delicious drinks. Many of the eateries are so popular that you need to book a table in advance. When it comes to everything else, it is merely a good idea.

Nybro Orchards. 25 km. A farm shop selling fruit and all sorts of apple juice. Lille Salbyvej 54. 5370 Mesinge. Phone: +45 22 50 67 38

Café Kirkeladen. 29 km. Mesinge. This is a totally laid-back sort of place. A place where you can enjoy great Danish food made from fresh ingredients. It is an extremely popular place, so it is a good idea to book a table. Phone: +45 60 15 50 58. Email:

Røgeri Hindsholm and Trattoria. 53 km. The smokehouse was founded on the belief that only the very best is good enough. The small, outdoor trattoria with just six tables is open in spring and summer. It is a good idea to book a table one day ahead Stavrevej 4, Måle, 5300 Kerteminde. Phone: +45 6611 2503 or +45 3032 6603.

Bicycle and luggage service during your trip

Complimentary luggage service

I sommerens højsæson (1. juni – 31. august), giver vi dig gratis bagagetransport fra sted til sted, når du skifter overnatningssted – fx på Herregårdsruten Fyn rundt.

Du skal bestille bagagetransporten minimum 4 dage før afrejse – og både det overnatningssted, du forlader, og det, du er på vej til, skal være bemandet i tidsrummet kl. 10-17. Se mere og book din bagagetransport her. (


There are various public toilets en route, for example at:

Munkebo Bakke

Min Købmand, Mesinge

Where to charge electric bike:

Min Købmand, Mesinge

Bike friends:

More than 200 Bike Friends are ready to help you if your water bottle is empty or you need air in your tyres. Many of them can also help you if you run into mechanical problems. Learn more about the concept and find a Bike Friend near you here.

Find out more on

Route download to gpx

The Route



Harald Bluetooth at the pinnacle of his power.

It is a bit difficult to see, but Nonnebakken has one of the five, maybe six, ring fortresses that Harald Bluetooth built to exhibit his power, when uniting Denmark.

It was an enormous feat of construction. First, the Vikings levelled the area. Then they built two large ramparts: the outer one is 180 metres in diameter; the inner one 120 metres. There were also palisades made of solid oak planks, 16 long houses, an inner circular road and 2 streets parallel to the north/south and east/west axes of the fortress.



The last Viking king of Denmark

Canute IV was the last Danish king to try and unite the Danish-English Empire. Based on his previous experience, his plan was to wage war from the sea. By raiding England, his men would become rich, famous and notorious. He assembled a fleet of about 1,000 ships. They lay in wait in the Limfjord. Another 600 ships were supposed to join them. But the fleet never sailed. Canute never showed up. This resulted in a rebellion against him. It ended tragically with the murder of Canute. His brother and 17 hirds (the bodyguards of the day) were also slain. It all took place on 10 July 1086 in St Alban’s Priory in Odense. This marked the end of the Viking Age. Following his death, in 1100 Canute IV was canonised, thereby becoming Canute the Holy. Reports of miraculous occurrences at Canute’s grave and shrewd political manoeuvring paved the way for this great honour. People flocked to Canute’s grave. Indeed, this may have been one of the reasons that the population of Odense increased. Canute the Holy lies in the crypt of St Canute’s Church, the cathedral of the city of Odense.


work of art

Kanalvej 154, 5000 Odense C



An exciting 15-kilometre trip

Cycle off the beaten track and visit a magnificent royal grave. The Ladby Royal Grave is the only known ship grave dating from Denmark’s Viking Age. There is no doubt that this is the final resting place of a powerful king. Maybe even the first king of Denmark. We do not know. The Ladby king had been buried before Harald Bluetooth, on a 10-ton stone, inscribed the declaration that it was he who had ‘conquered the whole of Denmark’. The grave was lavish. A warship was carried up onto land. It was filled with weapons, bronze and gold, along with 11 horses with magnificent harnesses, and four dogs. They then constructed a burial mound above the ship. Even in the Viking Age, the grave was subject to looting and desecration. Could it have been Harald who desecrated the grave to strip the old king of his power and honour?

Entering the burial mound is like travelling 1100 years back in history. You can see what remains of the 22-metre-long ship. Many of the magnificent, totally unique finds from the grave are on display in the museum building next to the ship grave. You don’t have to be a total history geek to enjoy this amazing experience.



A new symbol of green transition

The Vikings were shipbuilders. For many years, the Danes continued this proud shipbuilding tradition in shipyards throughout the country. In 2005, Odense Steel Shipyard (colloquially referred to as Lindø) was the largest, privately-owned workplace on the island of Funen, with a workforce of more than 5,500 employees. The shipyard was famous for building what was at the time the largest container ship in the world. It was christened Emma Maersk and launched in August 2006. Though the shipyard was closed in 2012, it is still a record-breaker. The former shipyard area now houses 150 companies, and every day around 2,500 people pass through the gate to Odense Harbour, as the area is now called. There is loads of space here, which is just as well, because this is where the Danish company Vestas make and test their giant offshore wind turbines. Here the largest mobile crane in the world lifts the heavy loads, together with the harbour’s huge landmark, the portal crane, which is visible for as far as the eye can see. It can lift 1,200 tons at a time (the equivalent of 230 African elephants). Along with the harbour’s numerous green jobs in the wind sector, the hallmark of the old shipyard is fast becoming a new symbol of the industry’s green transition.

On your trip, you will be able to see the crane from a distance of 5-38 kilometres.



On the lookout for the enemy

The Munkebo Bakke hill offers a wonderful view of the area. From the tower on the top you can see all the way past Fyns Hoved (The Head of Funen) to the north, and the pylons of the Great Belt Bridge to the southeast. The hill itself towers 58.4 metres above sea level. In the Viking Age, it played a major role in military strategy. From this point they could keep an eye on maritime traffic between Jutland, Funen and Zealand. They could spot a hostile fleet from afar and signal the danger to friends in the area: using a beacon, for example, which the likes of the Ladby King’s subjects could see. Munkebo Bakke offers an uninterrupted view of Ladbyhøjen.

People have lived here from as early as the Iron Age – if not earlier. Back then there was a large hall on top of the hill. It was at least 29 metres long and around 11 metres wide. Another hall dates back to the Viking Age – a classic Viking hall. 8 metres wide and 26 metres long, it had long curved walls and external support posts, indicating that a powerful Viking once lived there. The buildings are delineated in stones, so from the top of the tower you can get a good picture of the size of them.

There are also toilet facilities in the area.



Viking engineering

During the Viking Age, the area around the cove of Kertinge Nor was very affluent. The cove was framed by a number of trading posts. The squires of the area were well off. The fact that the area was so well protected testifies to this fact. The entrance to Kertinge Nor was blocked to foreign ships by a pile barrage at Snekkeled. It was constructed during the Viking Age and maintained up until the 13th century. The barrage was up to 3 metres wide and more than 200 metres long, extending across the opening to the cove. In the middle of the barrage was a 25-30-metre opening, which the Vikings could probably close to keep out enemies.

The construction may be an indication that Kertinge Nor was used as a (winter) harbour for a large Viking fleet. Maybe even Harald Bluetooth’s. There may also have been a hauling site for ships or a small settlement at Dræby. The Vikings established hauling sites in various locations to drag their ships over the ground on rounded wooden runners, smeared with grease and oil. But it is unlikely to have been a permanent facility. Maybe it was a bolthole for the fleet in the event of enemy attack.



One of the route’s absolute must-sees

In the heart of the stunning fjord landscape, close to the water, you will find Nybro Orchards, where the Nybro family tend 18 hectares of apple trees. The location near the fjord reduces the risk of spring frost, thereby providing excellent conditions for growing fruit. The farm shop sells the full range of Nybro’s products, which can best be described as ‘juice every which way’. The apples come solely from the family’s own orchards As the different varieties mature, they are hand-picked and cold-pressed. That means the juice changes character throughout the season. Try the pure juice or some of their innovative varieties – blended with the likes of cherry, ginger or beetroot.
As well as the juice, there is an abundance of seasonal fruits, vegetables, honey and all sorts of local specialities.



Enjoy a great meal

Enjoy a great meal in Kirkeladen, the second oldest house in Mesinge. No one knows exactly when Kirkeladen was built, but it was probably in the early 1580s. ‘Kirkens lade’ is Danish for ‘church barn’ – and that is what Kirkeladen was: the church’s barn. It was part of the system that preceded today’s tax authority. Way back in the 12th century, the king introduced a tax that he imposed upon all peasants. They had to submit every tenth sheaf of their corn harvest to the church. One third of it went towards running the church and was stored in the church’s barns.

By 1918, Kirkeladen in Mesinge was already listed and today enjoys full Class A protection. So, enter this historic building for a good old Danish meal, made from meticulously selected ingredients.

One peek inside and you instantly relax. The atmosphere is cosy and laid-back. Book a table for lunch or dinner. Or even grab a takeaway sandwich for your journey.

Cyclists, vegetarians and children are all welcome 😉 Just opposite Kirkeladen is the grocery shop. In the car park, you can charge your e-bike, so both you and your bicycle can get that necessary boost of energy.




The Ask Stud Farm is run by Schelenborg Gods, an estate owned by the owner of Lego. It reflects his family’s passion for horses and horse breeding. The setting says it all. For example, the stud farm has its own, fully-fledged, indoor show-jumping arena, which was commissioned in 2022.



From here, you head for Kerteminde

Not much goes on here. Other than the fact that you are heading southeast.
Mind you, though, you are only a few kilometres away from a glimpse of Schelenborg Gods.



If you really fancy a long bike ride, definitely include Fyns Hoved in your route. That will make the journey about 100 kilometres. Or split it into two and spend the night in a shelter or cabin, or one of the charming B&Bs you pass.

Fyns Hoved (The Head of Funen) offers a wonderful experience of nature. The light is something quite special. A number of artists – for example, Johannes Larsen and Fritz Syberg – came here for inspiration. There is an abundance of birds and plants. The walk around the head alone makes the entire detour worthwhile.

Clear archaeological traces have revealed that we are not the first people to appreciate the natural riches of Fyns Hoved. Archaeologists have found lots of stone axes, flint shards and oyster shells, testifying that Stone Age people once sat here, snuggling up around a fire and guzzling one oyster after another.

If you also need a drink and a snack after the trip, visit the charming café/farm shop in Nordskov.



An 800-year-old estate

Schelenborg Gods dates all the way back to the 13th century. Back then it was called Eskebjerg. But that is how things go with estates. They tend to change their name whenever a new owner takes over. In the latter half of the 13th century, the estate was owned by Marshal Stig. In 1287, he was convicted as an outlaw for his complicity in the regicide of Erik Klipping. Marshal Stig also features in a legend associated with Stubberup Kirke, which also figures on your present route.

Today, the owners are more peace-loving. In 1982, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the owner of Lego, bought Schelenborg Gods. This is where he runs the Ask stud farm, breeding horses for show jumping. The estate is also an active farm, covering more than 529 hectares of land and forest.

Schelenborg is not open to the public, so you will have to make do with a glimpse from the road as you cycle past.



What a view!

The church boasts a beautiful, elevated location. The oldest part of the church dates from the 12th-13th centuries. The tower was built in 1600. Its visible position made it a perfect navigation mark and was referred to as ‘The White Virgin’. Like most other churches, Stubberup Kirke was extended on several occasions. The oldest part is recognisable by its round, arched friezes on the of outside the church. The round arches are typical of the Romanesque style of the earliest churches. After 1250, the Gothic style took over. This is reflected in the pointed arches – for example, on the end wall opposite the tower. The nave was extended to the west in the 15th century, and then later expanded again. The tower was built in the 17th century. Take a look inside and notice the carved pulpit (c. 1580) and the altarpiece (1632). The church is also adorned with a number of frescoes.


There is an age-old myth, which claims that Marshal Stig was secretly buried in the church. He was convicted in one of the highest-profile criminal cases in the history of Denmark – the murder of Erik Klipping in Finderup Lade. However, at least 4 churches allege that they house the tomb of Marshal Stig. And there is no way of knowing which of them – if any – is right.



A beautiful, but abandoned island in the sea

From your coastal route, out in the Belt you can see the island of Romsø. Romsø is an approximately 1-km2 moraine mound, left behind by the large glaciers in the last Ice Age, after they had finished remodelling the landscape of Funen. Since 1604, the island has been the property of Hverringe Gods. For many years the island was inhabited. Its heyday came after the Lighthouse Authority built a lighthouse there in 1869. In the 1920s, there were 51 inhabitants, virtually self-sufficient thanks to their farming, fishing and livestock. The old buildings still exist and can be hired for courses etc. You can still see the remains of old farming tools on the island. The old stone walls, which formed field boundaries, are also still standing.

You can visit this deserted island. There is a boat that operates from Kerteminde during the tourist season. A visit to the island is a very special experience, given its silence, undisturbed wildlife, plains, small woods and clear blue skies. It is totally unique.



The best smoked salmon in Denmark

Røgeri Hindsholm was the brainchild of Per Knuppert, a philosopher, owner and smoking expert. After a spell in Italy while a philosophy student, Per spent a total of 5 years there. He studied and wrote about cultural differences in Europe. His work resulted in a study of traditional Italian production methods such as salting, fermentation, smoking, maturation and ageing. He used his Italian experiences to develop gourmet meat and cold-smoked salmon products. Per worked on product development from 2010 to 2013, before he thought Røgeri Hindsholm was ready to serve customers.

At the smokery, Per and his staff make top quality products. They are all based on the very best ingredients, and the result of the skill and the time it takes to achieve superb quality. Today, Røgeri Hindsholm supplies some of the very best chefs in Denmark alongside a handful of top gourmet restaurants in Rome. What is more, the smokery’s salmon has been designated the best smoked-salmon in Denmark.

There is a small open-air trattoria with 6 tables. It is open during the spring and summer from Thursday to Sunday, when guests can arrive between 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm. It is a good idea to book a table at least one day ahead.

The shop is open all year round from Thursday to Sunday between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm.


+45 6611 2503
+45 3032 6603



Beautiful woodland and a headless coachman

The history of the estate can be traced back to about 1300, when a turreted castle was located on the site. In or around 1550, the then owners, the Lykke family, built a moated castle in the style of Egeskov Castle. The current main building dates from 1795. The estate is currently owned by Count Niels Iuel Reventlow, and has been in the ownership of the Iuel family since 1737.

A legend has it that all the estate’s former lords rise from their graves at midnight on New Year’s Eve and speed towards the estate. They have to be back in their graves before the first cockcrow. They whizz off in a golden carriage, drawn by four black horses. With a headless driver!

In the past, an estate like Hverringe needed lots of staff. So, there were many dwellings attached to the estate. Look for the blue post boxes and count the number of dwellings that are still owned by the estate.

Young widow imprisoned in 1627




Enjoy your visit to one of the most charming towns on the Manor House Route. It was awarded the status of royal borough in 1413. This gave the city exclusive rights to trade, crafts and other civic activities in the area. Kerteminde also benefited from Odense’s wretched harbour conditions. As a result, the city made money as a port of discharge and winter harbour for Odense. Nonetheless, the 1672 census revealed that Kerteminde had only 640 inhabitants. The town has successfully preserved much of its ancient medieval centre. Enjoy it. Find tips for activities in Kerteminde under the section ‘Practical links to points of departure and destinations’.


Work of art

Hans Schacksvej 2, 5300 Kerteminde



Practical links to points of departure and destinations:

Discover Odense (Click here)

What to see in Odense (Click here)

Food and drink in Odense (Click here)

Accommodation in Odense (Click here)

Discover Kerteminde (Click here)

What to see in Kerteminde (Click here)

Food and drink in Kerteminde (Click here)

Accommodation in Kerteminde (Click here)

Find out more on:


Once you have cycled from Odense to Kerteminde or vice versa, you have earned a fine badge as proof of your efforts. Download it as an image here and save it in your photo archive. Share your achievements with your friends. Upload your badge, for example, on Instagram using hashtags such as #herrregårdsruten, #ivikingekongensland, #bikeislandfyn etc.