A week in Denmark reveals best of island landscapes, writes Petra Reinken.
Island-hopping on a bicycle is a good way to experience the natural variety of Denmark's southern seas up close.
With a combination of bicycle and ferry boat, in a good week of travel you can explore the Baltic Sea island world from Als to Aero, Langeland, Lolland, and all the way to Falster and Mon.
Aero offers perhaps the prettiest scenery. On the eastern side of the small island the bicycle trail leads from Soby to Marstall, although riders must fight their way up the hills.
The reward from the top is a long downhill glide and a panoramic view of the sea. There are hardly any cars on the road, which is lined with tiny and lovingly-restored rustic houses.
Riders should stop at Aeroskobing, a tiny town that hails back to another period - cobblestoned roads lead past small, half-timbered houses, many of them preserved monuments, from the 17th and 18th centuries. Even the supermarket and post office are concealed behind the artfully maintained facades.
Travel guides often call Aeroskobing a "fairytale city".
Before you can finally experience some flatland cycling on Lolland, there is first the route from Aero with its constant uphill and downhill riding on Langeland.
This leads through lonely forests and prehistoric stone graves.
The ferry ride from Spodsbjerg to Tars on Lolland takes about 45 minutes. Once there, visitors can scarcely avoid coming across the traces of the Reventlow family.
For more than 200 years, the Reventlows owned farmsteads on Lolland. The family manor was in Pederstrup and houses the Reventlow Museum. One key patriarch was Christian Ditlev Reventlow (1748-1827), a reformer who made a major contribution to improving the living standards of the peasants.
Falster and Mon assure you that you can see the greatest variety of landscapes in the shortest span. Starting from Falster island's tourism town of Marielyst, the bicycle trail to Stubbekobing goes through forested areas along the seashore. The oaks and ash trees grow to the edge of the cliffs. There are hardly any people around.
The island of Mon can be reached from Falster, first with a mini ferry to Bogo and from there via a bridge. Mon has one of Denmark's most beautiful natural sites. The Mon Klint are chalkstone cliffs rising more than 100m on the eastern side of the island.
For those who have had their fill of bicycle riding, it's just a short distance to the southern part of Seeland, where you can board a train for the capital Copenhagen. There, life seems to virtually explode all around you.
All those people who were missing on Denmark's islands appear to have converged here.
- AAPBy Petra Reinken