Tunø: the car-free Danish island

Masa Mesic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Tunø island measures around 3,5 square kilometers and has a tiny population of 112 inhabitants. To reach Tunø, you have to take a ferry from Hou, which takes just over 50 minutes. 

Tunø is a small Danish island located in the Horsens archipelago, close to the island of Samsø. The fun and interesting part about Tunø is that it is a car-free island, where nature has been very well preserved. That being said, the only means of transportation are bikes and tractors that have wagons attached to them. The local tractor cab is called Traxa-Vagn; in total, there are 6 of those tractor cabs on the island, and each can take around 15 people on board. 

© istock/torstengrieger

As you can imagine, not only is this a small island population-wise, but also the fact that you don’t have any vehicles on the island makes the atmosphere even more special. In case you get lost or have no means of transportation, Tunø island is so small that it would literally take you around two to three hours to walk or hike around the island, which is quite unique. 

© istock/Mariusz Switulski

Tunø village

Tunø is the perfect island if you are looking for a quiet escape, where you can unwind, and spend loads of time in the nature with fresh sea air. The main place to explore first is where the ferry brings you over, and that is Tunø By (village). It is a very cozy and cute village, which has the basic facilities and institutions for the local population. If you’d like to rent a bike, Tunø village would probably be your best bet to do that. 

Tunø cliffs and church tower

Once you reach Tunø, you can decide to take a guided tour by one of the local guides or explore the island by yourself. One of the few things that should be on your bucket list is hiking on the beach by the cliffs (Klinten). The Danish coastline tends to get quite windy, so do make sure you buckle up properly. Second, try and visit the Tunø Kirke (church tower), which is also a lighthouse, and the only one that exists in Denmark as a combination of the two. You can get a magnificent view from the tower, of the entire island, and the nearby surroundings. 

© istock/Mariusz Switulski

Local food and specialties 

I must mention that due to the preserved nature, Tunø is very abundant in its agriculture and in cultivating all sorts of vegetables. Speaking of local food and fresh produce, in case you need to grab a bite, then stop over either at Mejeriet Tunø or the Tunø Røgeri

Mejeriet Tunø is a lovely place that serves not only delicious food but also has live music and a magnificent panoramic view overlooking the seafront.

© Mejeriet Tunø

Tunø Røgeri, or also known as the smokehouse, is famous for its smoked dishes, just as the name suggests. At the Tunø Røgeri, you can mainly order smoked seafood and fish, but can also try other Danish specialties such as pork. I would recommend ordering some smoked salmon or mackerel (both are part of the traditional Danish cuisine). Round up your order with a glass of white wine. 

© istock/Rimma_Bondarenko

Visit Tunø, the car-free Danish island, go sightseeing and enjoy some delicious smoked seafood. Experience the island's nature uniqueness! 

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