Bornholm – by car or by bike? How to get there, where does the ferry come from?

Less than 100 km north of Kołobrzeg is Bornholm – a trip to the Danish island is an interesting proposition for those looking for a break from the noisy and hasty reality. You can go to Bornholm by car, but you can also consider taking your bike with you.

The number of islands in our part of the Baltic Sea is limited. Bornholm is located between Poland and Sweden. It is one of the most isolated islands in this area. Unfortunately, this translates into difficulties getting to Bornholm. For years it was possible to reach Bornholm by the Jantar ferry that departed from Kołobrzeg and took pedestrians and two-wheelers on board. Due to the pandemic and economic turmoil, Kołobrzeska Żegluga Pasażerska has suspended the connection to Nexø, which will not be extended until at least 2022.

How do I get to Bornholm
Since the suspension of the passenger ferry connection from Koszalin, getting from Poland to Bornholm has become more challenging – motorists have to use ferry connections from German, Danish or Swedish ports.

Ferries to Bornholm

Those wishing to come to Bornholm by car can choose from Bornholmslinjen’s routes from Sassnitz on the German island of Rügen, Køge in Denmark and Ystad in southern Sweden. You can reach Ystad by ferry from Świnoujście, from German ports or by arranging a trip through Denmark and the Øresund Bridge, which of course comes at an extra cost, but can be a distraction – the more nothing stops you from getting a ticket from one gate and go back to another.

Bornholm - Classical Buildings
Although the people of Bornholm live slowly, they do their best to keep their homes, restaurants, guest houses, hotels and their surroundings in pristine condition.

It is approximately worth assuming that the cost of transferring a car and five people in either direction should be close to PLN 1,000 (the hardest part is to choose the most expensive connection to Sassnitz). Why indicative? Ferry tickets to Bornholm are sold on a similar basis to airline tickets – at a bargain, more expensive, but with the possibility of cancellation or free change of date, and the occupation of a particular connection on a specific day also has a significant impact on the price. As a result, the ferry in the middle of the week is much cheaper than on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

Ferry to Bornholm
Even during the week and before the season starts, the ferry connection to Bornholm is very busy. If you want to plan a holiday trip at a suitable time, you should now look around for tickets.

The sooner we plan the trip, the better, as the number of places on the ferry is of course limited, which is felt most strongly when we try to buy a ticket for rather rare connections from Køge or Sassnitz. The Ystad-Rønne line has the highest capacity. It is facilitated by the operation of a fast catamaran, which in favorable conditions can reach more than 60 km / h.

Bornholm - book ticket
The number of facilities for electrician owners is constantly growing. The ferry company on Bornholm offers the possibility to charge the battery of the vehicle.

In the spirit of the times, the shipowner also provided other amenities – at the stage of buying a ticket, among other things, you can pay extra for the possibility of top-up from the electrician. However, in such a situation, you must check in for the ferry at least half an hour before the scheduled departure. During our trip to Bornholm, there was no need to top up the electricity along the way. The electric battery of the Volvo XC40 contains so much electricity and the consumption of even the top version with two engines is so low that you can travel from Copenhagen to Ystad from Copenhagen, see the biggest tourist attractions on the island and come back on one charge .

Bornholm - electric cars
Wallboxes are the optimal way to charge electric cars – their installation does not cost a fortune and within a few hours they replenish the electricity supply, guaranteeing mobility on the island the next day.

Car charger network in Bornholm

Of course, nothing prevents you from replenishing the electricity in Bornholm as well. According to current trends, a network of charging stations is developing there – emphasis has been placed on AC chargers that are cheaper and less demanding in terms of infrastructure (and thus not the fastest charging stations), which, however, are successfully enough to charge the vehicle battery. during an overnight stay in a hotel or guest house. In Denmark, electromobility is developing more slowly than in Sweden or Norway. This includes the effect of moderate government support, which focused on relatively small discounts in vehicle registration.

Bornholm - landscape
The traffic on Bornholm’s roads is not great and motorists and other road users use them in compliance with the law. Also notable is the lack of advertising, roadside clutter or a small number of signs – only the important ones are posted.

Driving around Bornholm, regardless of the driving type of the car, gives the driver time to recharge the batteries. Traffic is light and predictable, the road surface is well maintained, the roads are not covered with hundreds of advertising banners or billboards. There is no litter along the road. Instead, there is order and the ubiquitous greenery. Bornholm has a fairly regular shape and is small in size. The longest of the diagonals is about 39 km, and the shorter – 30 km. As a result, most car journeys, regardless of destination, take less than 30 minutes.

Bornholm - the coast
The photo was not taken on a tropical island, but on the rockier northern part of Bornholm.

Bornholm by bike

There are no fewer than 235 km of cycling routes on Bornholm, with around 105 km – even inexperienced cyclists can handle it in one day, due to the moderate elevations (the northern part of Bornholm is higher than the south).

You might as well slow down the pace of travel and focus on looking around every corner of charming villages or searching for natural attractions – we recommend a visit to Sorte Gryde cave, Helligdomsklipperne Holy Rocks, Jan Jons Chapel chapel or the ruins of the medieval Hammershus castle. During the trip we often come across fish smokehouses (røgeri), self-service stalls selling agricultural products or shops selling local handicrafts, ceramics, preserves, honey and beer.

Bornholm - John's Chapel
The spectacular rock cliff – called John’s Chapel by the locals – is located in the northeastern part of Bornholm.

1/3 of the bicycle routes have been plotted on the routes of discontinued railway lines. This allows you to travel far away from traffic by bike. Even if users of different vehicles share the road, it is not dangerous or stressful. On Bornholm, no one is in a hurry or trying to overtake cyclists without keeping a safe distance. Any of the local drivers can easily put themselves in the role of an unprotected road user – suffice to say there are more bicycles on Bornholm than cars. If you want to plan your trip by bike, you can use the maps available on the official website of the island.

Is it worth going to Bornholm?
Even in cities, we will not encounter any advertisements or flashing banners. Low buildings are also characteristic. Most of the houses are historic. During the war, only the towns of Rønne and Nexø were bombed by Soviet bombing.

Some people planning a holiday on one of the Baltic islands may ask themselves a question: Danish Bornholm or German Rügen. There is no definitive answer. The more accessible Rügen also has cycling routes, cliffs and widely understood tranquility. It does of course matter whether we go there in the middle or at the end of the season.

The bridge to Rügen leads through Stralsund – UNESCO-listed towns with the medieval old town and the impressive Ozeaneum, the third largest aquarium in Europe. Even more tranquility and the unique charm of old Scandinavian buildings speak for Bornholm. According to Scandinavian customs, contact with nature is not rationed – the above attractions can be admired without buying tickets, while in Germany you have to pay for the entrance to the Köningsstuhl chalk cliff, and you also have the option to enter the museum.

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