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Your arrival point is Rønne, the capital of the island, but not the most compelling reason to visit Bornholm. There are far more rewarding targets away from the main town, which lies on the western coast facing the island of Zealand and is the site of the major harbor and airport.

But, once here, you'll find Rønne has a certain charm as you walk its historic Gamle Stan (Old Town), with its cobblestoned streets flanked by cross-timbered houses, many of them brightly painted in such "sunshine colors" as yellow and orange.

The best streets for seeing Bornholm as it used to be are Laksegade and Storegade, plus the triangular sector lying between Store Torv and Lille Torv. You'll find even more charm in many of the island's smaller towns or hamlets.

Because of Soviet aerial attacks in 1945, most of Rønne was left in shambles, so what you see today is essentially a modern town with a population of some 15,000 people. The parents of today's inhabitants rebuilt Rønne wisely in the postwar years, opting for an old-fashioned architectural look, which makes most of the houses look older than they actually are.

If you arrive by ferry, you'll notice St. Nicolai Church, dedicated to the patron saint of seafarers, on Harbor Hill, towering over the small South Boat Harbor just below. It wasn't until the 18th century that locals moved ahead with plans for a large trading harbor here. Even today the harbor is still expanding to service ferries and the many cruise ships that call at Rønne in increasing numbers.

Should you experience that rare hot day in Denmark, you'll find that vast stretches of sand lie both south and north of Rønne. These beaches are popular with Danish families, many from Copenhagen, in summer.