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Samsø Island
Landscape of Samsø island
Country Denmark
Municipality Samsø municipality
Coordinates 55°52′0″N 10°37′0″E / 55.866667°N 10.616667°E / 55.866667; 10.616667
Area 114.0 km2 (44 sq mi)
Population 4,124 (2006)
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal codes 8305
Samsø island (left center) is east of Horsens

Samsø (Anglicized: "Samso" or "Samsoe") is a Danish island in the Kattegat 15 kilometers (9 miles) off the Jutland Peninsula. Samsø is located in Samsø municipality. The community has 4,300 inhabitants[1] (2009) called Samsingers and is 114 km² in area. Due to its central location, the island was used during the Viking Age as a meeting place. The etymology of the island's name is unknown.[2]

In 1997, Samsø won a government competition to become a model renewable energy community. Now 100% of its electricity comes from wind power.[1][3]


General information

The island is very popular among French, Welsh and Irish people for strawberry picking during the months of June and July every year. In Denmark, the island is well-known for its early potatoes. The first few pounds of potatoes usually fetch prices around £100, and are considered a great delicacy. Ballen's beach and village are popular with visitors; it is served by the bus which runs around the island, including the ferry terminals. In clear weather, you can see the peninsula of Helgenæs to the north. Geographically, the island is divided into three areas:

  • the North Island
  • the Stavns Fjord
  • the South Island
Samsø island (upper left) is north of Funen, west of Zealand Island & Sejerø.

Renewable energy

In 1997, Samsø won a government competition to become a model renewable energy community. At the time Samsø was entirely dependent on oil and coal, both of which it imported from the mainland.[1]

An offshore wind farm comprising 10 turbines (making a total of 21 altogether including land-based windmills), was completed, funded by the islanders.[4] The people of Samsø heat their homes with straw burned in a central heating system and they power some vehicles on biofuel which they also grow. Now 100% of its electricity comes from wind power and 75% of its heat comes from solar power and biomass energy.[5] An Energy Academy has opened in Ballen, with a visitor education center.[6]

Norse mythology

On this island, Saxo Grammaticus relates that there was a legendary battle when the Swedish champion Hjalmar and his friend Orvar-Odd fought against the twelve sons of the Swedish berserker Arngrim. This battle was once famous, since it also figures in Faroese ballads, in Orvar-Odd's saga and in Hervarar saga.

According to the Hervarar saga and the Waking of Angantyr, the mounds of the slain berserkers were haunted. This did not stop Arngrim's granddaughter Hervor from approaching the mounds and demanding the enchanted sword Tyrfing from her father Angantyr.

"Samsey" (-ey being an earlier Norse form of -ø) is the island upon which Odin, under the name Jalk, learned Seid magic.


  1. ^ a b c Denmark's Wind of Change
  2. ^ Politikens nudansk ordbog (1992), entry: Samsø ((Danish))}}
  3. ^ The Island in the Wind
  4. ^ [1] Danish Island Is Energy Self-Sufficient April 4, 2007
  5. ^ [2] CBS news 2007/03/08
  6. ^ Samsø Energy Academy

External links


  • Gudrun Krüger: Tourism in the Kattegat area - Analyzing the travel behavior of Samsø tourists to enhance the tourism potential of the island. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag, 2009. ISBN 3639148495.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Samsø is an island in central Denmark.


Samsø is a quite island mid way between Zealand and the Jutland peninsular, not making much noise about itself. Nationally its main claim to fame is the first potatoes of year always hails from the island, while it has more recently garnered international attention since the heat and energy used on the island is exclusively produced by renewable sources.

Get in

While it is possible to grab a taxi flight from Roskilde Airport to the islands small airfield, the 2900 DKK Samair[1] charges for single flight with up to 3 passengers, leaves the vast majority taking one of the two ferries connecting to the island.

Samsøtrafikken[2] ferries departs Kalundborg on Zealand to Kolby Kås on the islands west coast up to seven times per day between 6.40 and 20.15 on weekdays. The crossing takes an hour and fifteen minutes and the heavily subsidised tickets costs 15 DKK for a one way passenger ticket, and 43 DKK for a car. To Kalundborg there is direct train connections from Copenhagen once or twice per hour depending on the time of day.

The same company also runs ferries from Hov south of Århus to either Sælvig or Kolby Kås every two hours between 8 - 20. This crossing takes an hour and tickets cost 11 DKK for a single passenger ticket, and 33 DKK for a car. There is a bus service directly between Århus and the habour (line 103).

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