If you love nature, an excursion to Mandø island, a small island of 8 km2 with only 40 inhabitants in the middle of the Wadden sea, is a must-do in Denmark. The small access road which gets flooded twice per day makes this day trip an unforgettable experience.
How to get there
In order to get there you need to take a 7 kilometers long gravel track. But be careful. Due to the tides the road is flooded twice per day and, in stormy weather, the water can rise up to three meters high.
You can go by private car, tourist tractor (regular timetables start in May) or by bike. As we were travelling with a campervan end of April, we decided to take our bikes.
We started our tour at half past nine in the morning without really knowing when the flood would come. The big parking where the tractors leave is around 2 kilometers from the entrance of the gravel track away. In April, there was no official information about the tides but we were lucky to cross a local car that told us that the highest water level of 41 cm was expected at 11 am and that we had to hurry in order to arrive on the other side on time. The gravel track did not make it easy to drive but the landscape was just beautiful and we were alone in the world. The only signs of life were the hundreds of birds around us.
What to do
Even though the island is super small and quite empty during low season, there are a few things that you can do:
Visit the Dutch windmill
When arriving on the island, the first thing that you will see is a Dutch wind mill from 1832 which was in use until WWII.
In April, it was not possible to enter the mill but it is still a good spot for pictures. During high season, there seems to be a shop inside the mill which uses all its profits for maintenance of the historic building.
Walk in the dunes
Just behind the windmill, beautiful dunes offer a great observation point. There are several walking paths. From the top, you can enjoy the beautiful view on the Wadden sea.
Bike tour around the island
If you travel by bike, you can bike around the island. The whole tour is about 10 kilometres. However, the road is protected by dunes so that you need to climb up in order to enjoy the view. We did only one side of the tour starting from the village. Sheep of all ages walk freely on the island and you might cross a few of them on the road.
Where to take a break
There are actually a few restaurants and cafés on the island. However, in April, most places were still closed. We still found a nice and cosy place called Café Mandøpigen. The interior is just beautiful and the staff super nice. It is a great place to take a small break after a visit of the island before taking the bike back to the main land.
Shall I go?
I must say that we loved our day trip to Mando island and as the title of this article suggests we felt like being alone in nature, and what a beautiful nature. However, we went outside the season when tractor busses had not started to run. In summer season it might be a bit more crowded out there. Still, we would definitely recommend a day trip to this small island. But be careful about the tights.
To see what it really looks like, also check out our youtube Video on our timeoffaroundtheworld channel.