Do you want to explore and immerse yourself in the island’s nature, then bring snorkelling gear, binoculars, bicycles (rental bikes available) and hiking shoes!
The wild rabbits
Seeing a little wild rabbit jumping happily around is not an unusual sight on Endelave, which is often referred to as the "Rabbit Island". Since the late 1920s, the island has been populated by wild rabbits.
The wild rabbits originally travelled from Germany to Denmark in 1920 and they are now mainly found in the southern part of Jutland, in addition to the islands Fanø, Als, Lolland, Bornholm and Endelave, where they were exported to for hunting- and meat production purposes.
The rabbits are light brown. You can distinguish a hare from a rabbit as the rabbit is smaller and has shorter ears. The hare also has black ear tips and much longer hind legs.
The rabbits’ breeding season starts in February. During the 10 months a year they breed, they can have between three and four litters, each with between two and eight cubs.
The population varies greatly from year to year. Some years there are only a few hundred – other years there might be up to about 15,000 rabbits. If the population becomes too large, it often regulates itself through diseases.
Because of the rabbits, Endelave is a popular destination for hunters. From 1 September to 1 February, certified hunters are allowed to hunt rabbits and approx. 5-6,000 rabbits are shot every year.
Øvre – the northern part of Endelave
If you go to Endelave’s northern tip, which is called ‘Øverste Ende’, you can experience the same phenomenon as at ‘Grenen’ near Skagen in Northern Jutland: A surf created by onshore wind on one side of the tip and calm waters on the other side.
If you love swimming, Endelave’s beaches have very clear water and the shore is suitable for diving. Because of the water’s purity, you can find many seedlings and a rich wildlife underwater. Click here to see a video of a snorkelling trip at Endelave (2013).
Øvre, the northern part of Endelave, is a nature reserve and you here you can meet grazing sheep, which maintain the landscape.
Ride your bike around Endelave
A good way to experience Endelave’s splendid nature is from the saddle of your bike. A 20-kilometre-long bike ride will bring you close to the island’s plants and wildlife. Along the route, you will find information boards, where you can read about the island. The route starts from the harbour, where you will find an introduction to the route. The route is partly asphalt, walking trail and beach, so in some places you will need to get off your bike and pull it along.
A rich birdlife – find the best viewpoints
If you are lucky, you can see up to 65 of Denmark’s’ 200 nesting bird species while you visit Endelave. The best place to watch the birds is in the north-western bay between the harbour and Øvre – a place called ‘Flasken’ (‘the bottle’).
The tide really changes this area and during low tide, it is almost completely dry. The area is a wildlife reservation and hunting is not permitted. If you visit the viewpoint, you can enjoy an excellent view. Remember to bring your binoculars, so you can see if your favourite bird is nearby. If you like watching birds, these are some of the good places to go:
- Flasken: Here you’ll find many waders and ducks. The population of plover, sandpiper, curlew, godwit and Brent geese can be particularly dense here.
- Kloben: Here you’ll find ordinary waders and ducks. There is also a chance you might see gadwalls, ruffs and little-ringed plovers near the coast and on the beach meadows.
- Klinten: Here you’ll find sand martins and the very rare breeding bird black guillemot.
Møllegrunden seal reservation
On a little sand reef north-west of Endelave, there is an important breeding reservation for Kattegat’s seals. This is where the spotted seal breeds. In addition to the seals, you are also likely to see big hordes of cormorants.
The reef, as well as the ocean around, is a no access zone, however, if you sail past it – either on your own or on the ferry – there is a good chance that you’ll see the seals.
Troldeskoven – the forest at Louisenlund mansion
In the area around Louisenlund mansion, you’ll find the island’s largest deciduous forest. Parts of the mansion forest, which is centuries old, remain here. The forest contains many old Danish trees. In some places ivy and honeysuckle grow between the trees and up the side of the tree trunks, giving the forest a jungle-feel.
Medicinal herbs and the herb route
If you like aquavit and being outdoors, we recommend that you follow Endelave’s ‘herb route’ where you can pick herbs and plants for use in your very own herb aquavit.
Depending on which flowers, stems and roots you choose, your aquavit will be ready to drink within a few days, weeks or months.
Put on your walking shoes and set out on one of the routes, which are 3 km, 4.5 km, 6 km, 6.5 km, 7 km and 13 km (bike route) long respectively.
In Endelave Medicinal Herb Garden, you can find a map of the routes.
In the town of Endelave you will find many farms and houses and the town has maintained its cosy, country-style charm. There is also a school, a library, a grocery store, shops and eateries.