Søby is the enterprising town in the north-west corner of Ærø, and with its ferry connection to Als in Southern Jutland, it is also Ærø's 'Gateway to Europe'.
While it is the smallest of the three main towns on Ærø, Søby takes first place when it comes to delightful surroundings. The town is composed of both small, timberframed houses, and more modern new builds – all located around the harbour, which is just a few minutes’ walk from everything in the town. Søby is also surrounded by a great many stretches of beautiful countryside, sights and attractions, which are all well worth a visit.
Town and habour in unison
The harbour in Søby is a thriving hub of activity. It is the home port of Ærø’s commercial fishing fleet, the site of the biggest workplace on the island (Søby Shipyard) and home to the island’s only 100% electrically powered ferry, the M/F Ellen. As a natural extension to the harbour, you will find the marina and a wonderful sandy beach, with a fine jetty and crystal clear water. There is both a playground and a mini-golf course within easy reach, and the area is perfect for families with children. At the highest point of the town – and just a 3-minute walk from the harbour – there is a wonderful church from 1745, and close by stands Søby Mølle (Mill) which is considered to be the town hallmark.
A neighbour to Skjoldnæs lighthouse and golf course
If you drive north through the village of Haven, you will come to one of the most attractive lighthouses in Denmark: Skjoldnæs Lighthouse, which flashes its warning out across the water at night. Built in 1881, the round building is made of Bornholm granite and stands 22 metres tall. From the top of the tower, there is a magnificent view in clear weather, taking in the Baltic Sea, the waters of the Little Belt and the South
One of the most beautiful seaside links in Europe has been laid out in the area around the lighthouse. In 2022, you can take part in the Ø-Golf (Island Golf) tournament here.
Located close to stretches of magnificent countryside, Søby offers plenty of places to spend the night, including Søby Camping with its wonderful sea view. The town also has a well-stocked grocery store and a local baker, and is famous for its strong local dialect. The villages around Søby are home to a variety of small farm shops and great destinations for day trips. For example, hike over Søby Volde (Earthworks) to Vester Mølle (Mill), make the most of the great fishing spots on Næbbet, or take a walk around Vitsø lake and admire the rich birdlife. Whereas Marstal and Ærøskøbing are known for their beach huts, Jørbæk Strand beach on the edge of Søby has a number of fisherman’s cabins that are still in use today.
Every summer, Søby provides the setting for the local art college’s free exhibition. And from May to September, the sweet tones of classical music can be heard, when world-class names from the world of classical music give concerts at the manor