The Gendarme Path, from Padborg to Skovby, 6 days
On this trip, you follow in the footsteps of the gendarmes along the beautiful Flensburg Fjord. Get a glimpse into the exciting cultural history and enjoy the fantastic and unique scenery. The hike starts in Padborg, just north of the Danish – German border, and ends in the cosy and beautifully situated town of Sønderborg.
The entire Gendarme Path stretches over 84 kilometres and winds through the scenic landscape along the fjord from Padborg by the border all the way northeast to Als. The hiking trail offers a varied and at times hilly landscape with beautiful views over the area and the fjord. There is ample opportunity to experience rare plants and animals as well as many fascinating biotopes and landscapes – from orchids, frogs and birds to subglacial valleys, cliffs and stone reefs. At the same time, you can explore the history and the many myths and legends that relate to the Gendarme Path and the borderland.
This hike includes the newest stage of the Gendarme Path - the stretch from Sønderborg to Skovby, which opened December 2018.
On the trip, you stay at lovely hotels and B&B’s. Your luggage will be transported to your next overnight accommodation, which leaves you free to enjoy the hikes.
- Hike along the beautiful Flensborg Fjord
- The Gendarme Path – Denmark’s first certified hiking trail
- Enjoy the hike, whilst your luggage is being transported to your next overnight accommodation
- Immerse yourself in the history surrounding the events of 1864 and experience Dybbøl Heights (Dybbøl Banke) and Dybbøl Mill
- Stay in cosy hotels and B&B’s – in the middle of the beautiful landscapes
- Enjoy the view over Sønderborg Bay, Flensburg Fjord, Germany and the Ox Isles
- Experience the unique birdlife at Høruphav with many sea- and wading birds
The daily programme shows, which main meals are included, or not included, in the price of the trip. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner).
Day 1: Arrival in Padborg
Arrival and check in at the accommodation in Padborg. It is possible to check in to your room from 15:00, but if you arrive earlier, you are welcome to leave your luggage and take a closer look at the local area, which among other offers Bov Museum (Oldemorstoft) as well as Kobbermølle (the copper mill), which was the first factory to be built in the Schleswig area. (-/-/-)
Day 2: Padborg to Sandager
After breakfast, your hike along the Gendarme Path begins. The path starts near your accommodation and initially leads you towards Kruså. From Kruså you continue through the beautiful and hilly coastal forest to Kollund. By Kollund beach you’re walking along the coast with lovely views over Flensburg Fjord. Then you walk inland again towards Sønderhav. Situated offshore to Sønderhav are two small islands Lille Okseø and Store Okseø (The Ox Isles). Legend has it, that it was here, or out on the fjord, that Queen Margrethe I died in 1412, on her way home from peace negotiations in Flensburg.
Continue your hike north along the coast towards Sandager and Rinkenæs Overby. On this stretch, you pass several houses that were built as homes for the border gendarmes. (Accommodation in Rinkenæs Overby) (Approx. 20 kilometres) (B/-/D)
Day 3: From Sandager to Iller on Broager Land
From your overnight accommodation, you find your way back to the Gendarme Path, and continue your hike northeast along the fjord towards Broager Land. First through the small town of Rinkenæs Nederby, and further across the Egernsund bridge. In Egernsund, the town’s beautiful red seaman’s church is directly facing Flensburg Fjord, and is of course built of brick from the area. The area you walk through today was formerly the heart of Denmark's brickwork industry, and at Cathrinesminde Brickworks, which you pass by after the town of Broager, you can get a good insight into the history of the brickworks and the workers' lives. The brickworks was in operation from 1732 to 1968, but today they function as a museum. Not far after passing the brickworks, you turn towards the accommodation. (Accommodation in Iller) (Approx. 18 kilometres) (B/-/D)
Day 4: From Iller to Folekobbel on Broager Land
After a hopefully good nights sleep, you find your way back to the coast and the Gendarme Path. Today the hike offers exciting coastal stretches with steep cliffs, beautiful beech forests, cosy villages as well as a further insight into the history of the many brickworks, which previously lay near the coast of Broager Land.
In Skelde Kobbelskov, you pass by several well preserved round and long barrows (burial mounds) Remains of skeletons, flint axes and jewelry of amber have been found in the burial chambers. In the cliffs along the coast, you might also find fossils of ancient marine life. The day finishes with a short transfer from Folekobbel back to the accommodation. (Accommodation in Iller). (Approx. 18 kilometres) (B/L/D)
Day 5: From Folekobbel on Broager Land to Sønderborg
After a short transfer back to Folekobbel, you continue towards Gammelmark and Vemmingbund. Vemmingbund is located at the bottom of the bay at Dybbøl, and is an old fishing village, which offers the area's best swimming beach. From Vemmingbund you continue up towards Dybbøl Mark, and the route here offers truly stunning views of Sønderborg Bay. North of Dybbøl Mark is Dybbøl Banke, which in April 1864 was the scene of the battle of Dybbøl. If you have the desire to delve deeper into history, you will find the History Center at the top of Dybbøl Banke (Dybbøl Heights), where you step directly into the history of Denmark during the war between the Danes and the Prussians. This is also, where you find Dybbøl Mill. Continue along the path across Alssund towards Sønderborg town and Sønderborg Castle. (Approx. 16 kilometres) (B/L/-)
Day 6: From Sønderborg to Skovby
Today you walk along the final kilometres of the Gendarme Path from Sønderborg to the small town of Skovby on Als. The first few kilometres of the day’s hike will be along the water through the south eastern part of Sønderborg. Soon you will get the feeling of being in the countryside where there is plenty of room for adventure and beautiful views over the bay, Sønderborg Bugt, and Broagerland towards the west. On a clear day, you can even spot Germany in the horizon. Just before reaching the forest, Sønderskoven, your hike will take you past the so-called “shooting beach”, where, in May 1945, the bodies of 5 Danish resistance fighters were found buried. Today the beach is a peaceful place, but during the Second World War, the beach was sealed off and the Germans used it as a military shooting range. Continue into Sønderskoven, which is a beautiful coastal forest offering both old grave barrows and steep cliffs with large trees balancing right on the edge.
The landscape opens up as you exit Sønderskoven and you continue the hike with splendid views over fields and meadows. Just before reaching Høruphav, you get to the nature reserve “Trillen”. Originally, the area consisted of two separate islands but over time, sand deposits have joined the two islands to the mainland. Between the former islands and the mainland is today a wetland area, which supports an exciting diversity of bird- and plant life. Continue through Høruphav, past the cliffs of Hørup Klint, and an old torpedo station dating back to 1906. During the occupation of Denmark, the Germans seized the torpedo station and there were rumours of secret and mysterious experiments on-site. Most of today’s hike follows the coastline apart from a couple of detours into the rural hinterland. After Mintebjerghav you can take a small detour past the Vibæk Watermill, which is idyllically situated on the edge of Vibæk – the holy brook on South Als. Continue towards Kobbertoft and Skovby. The hike ends in Skovby after hiking for approx. 19 kilometres hike. Here travel arrangements have been made for you to be taken back to Sønderborg. The trip ends in Sønderborg late afternoon. (B/-/-)
From Sønderborg, trains depart for destinations throughout Denmark. Alternatively, you can travel by bus to Padborg/Bov. Another option is to extend your trip and stay another night in Sønderborg.
The daily programme is planned based on the latest available information. Changes may occur.
Dagsprogrammet er udarbejdet på grundlag af de senest tilgængelige oplysninger. Der tages forbehold for ændringer.
On this trip you stay at Inns, hotels and B&B’s. On day 4 you will be picked up at the end of the hike and taking to your accommodation. On the morning of day 5 you will be taken back to the place where your hike ended the previous day. Standard accommodation is a double room. Single rooms can be booked for an additional fee.
The accommodations vary in standard. Some places have own private shower and toilet, where others have shared facilities. Great effort has been made to select good places close to the Gendarme Path. Common for all accommodations is the high standard of hosting. Your hosts are dedicated to offering you a great experience.
The trip generally includes breakfast and dinner. Please note that dinner is not included on day 1 and day 5. In addition to this, a packed lunch is included on day 4 and day 5. If required, a packed lunch for day 2, 3 and 6 can be ordered (one day in advance) and payed for at the accommodation. At one location, you’re required to make the packed lunch yourself.
The daily programme shows, which main meals are included, or not included, in the price of the trip. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner).
The day hikes are between 16 and 20 kilometres. The day-to-day programme states a certain number of kilometres per day. This is an approximate estimate as the length of the hike depends on, which accommodation has been reserved for you and how close/far from the Gendarme Path the accommodation is situated.
Your luggage will be transported to the next accommodation, leaving you to carry just a small backpack with the few things you might need during the day such as a packed lunch, water, waterproof clothing, camera etc.
HOW TO GET THERE
Start: First day is an arrival day with no hiking. The trip starts in Padborg. You are responsible for the transportation to the starting point of the trip (by public transport or own car). Trains run to Padborg from the rest of the country. Busses run from Padborg to the place of your accommodation. See www.rejseplanen.dk for more information. You can check in from 15:00. The Gendarme Path starts approx. 700 metres from your accommodation in Padborg.
End:The trip ends late in the afternoon in Sønderborg (after a hike of approx. 19 kilometres and a 20 minute transfer from Skovby to Sønderborg). Sønderborg has a train station and from here trains run to the rest of the country. If your car is parked in Padborg, you can catch a bus from Sønderborg back to Padborg. You have the option of extending your trip by an extra night in Sønderborg. See www.rejseplanen.dk
THE GENDARME PATH
The word ”gendarme” can be traced back to the French “gens d’armes”, which means “men under arms”. The French gendarmes were elite soldiers and served in the 15th century as bodyguards for the king. Since then their tasks evolved to include assistance to the police in critical situations.
The border gendarmerie was formed in 1839 to protect customs officials at the Duchies border along the River Elbe. After the defeat in 1864, the Danish border moved north to Kongeåen - and in 1866 the gendarmerie followed. At the Reunification in 1920, the border gendarmes once again moved south and patrolled along the current boundary from the Wadden Sea in the west to Als's southern tip in the east.
Along the Gendarme Path, the gendarmes walked their fixed routes through the borderlands. They were constantly looking out for smugglers who tried to bring goods in or out of the country without paying the customs, which was one of Denmark's most important sources of income for centuries.
In 1958, the border control passed to the police, and the gendarme corps became history after more than 100 years in operation. However, the Gendarme path remained and in the 1980s, people started to realise the true value of the Gendarme Path in terms of its fantastic natural setting and its recreational values.
Today, the Gendarme Path stretches 84 kilometers from Skovby on Als, through Høruphav, Sønderborg, past Dybbøl and Vemmingbund, around Broagerland, Rinkenæs, Kollund and to the Danish-German border by Padborg.
You follow the coast most of the way, and hike through a beautiful and varied landscape with forests, fields, marshes, meadows and impressive coastal cliffs with magnificent views. In 2015, the Gendarme Path was included on the coveted list of "Leading Quality Trails - Best of Europe", which is the highest certification we have of hiking routes in Europe. This means, among other things, that it is really well signposted, and that accessibility is well maintained.
- Overnight stays at Inns, hotels and B&B’s
- Breakfast all days
- Lunch day 4 and day 5
- Dinner all days – except day 1 and day 5
- Hiking map (1 set per couple/group)
- Transport of luggage between accommodations (1 piece of luggage per person, max. 15kg)
- Person transfer from and to the Gendarme Path on Broagerland
- Person transfer from Skovby back to Sønderborg
- Information, recommendations and practical advice
- Product liability insurance
- Fee for travel guarantee fund (Rejsegarantifonden)
- Transport from your home address to the starting place of the trip and return.
- Extra night accommodation in Sønderborg. DKK 600 per person in double room incl. breakfast. DKK1050 per person in single room incl. breakfast
- Additional luggage fee for solo travellers DKK 1050
- Lunch day 2 and day 3 (can be ordered your accommodation one day in advance)
- Extra set of hiking maps (can be ordered, DKK 200)
- Optional: Cancellation insurance, 6% of the total price of the trip
- Supplement for single room accommodation DKK 1050
- Booking fee DKK 145
- Ledige pladser
- Individual tours (24GEN-6)
- Duration: 6 days
- Date: Own choice of departure date from 01/04 to 31/10
- Difficulty grade: 1-2
- Accommodation grade: 2-3
- Luggage transfer while you hike. Price shown is per person based on two people travelling together. Additional charge applies for solo travellers.