Boat headed to Ærø

This Beautiful European Island Is One Of Rick Steves Favorite Spots

By Mina Elwell


While you might associate a beach vacation with sun, sand, and turquoise sea, one of travel expert Rick Steves' favorite secluded beach getaways is the island of Ærø in Denmark.
On Ærø, you can walk down cobblestone streets between rows of colorful pastel houses, many of which have been exactly the same for hundreds of years.
In his book, "For the Love of Europe," Steves called Ærø "a peaceful and homey isle, where baskets of strawberries sit in front of farmhouses — for sale on the honor system."
Rick Steves loves to recommend hidden gem spots, and Ærø is no exception. In 2020, he estimated the island only had 7,000 people living there, and it's never crowded.
This port town has buildings dating back to the 1700s, with even older cobblestone streets. One secluded spot is home to a 12th century church and a 6,000 year old burial site.
Summer is the ideal time to visit Ærø and enjoy a gorgeous sunset on the beach. Since the island is never too crowded, you can enjoy the weather without worrying about crowds.