Most visitors go to Ærøskøbing, or perhaps Marstal, then return to the pleasures of south Funen. But if you like to cycle or have rented a car in Funen, you can explore the southern tier of the island, going from Marstal, the port in the east, all the way to Søby at the northern and far western tip of Ærø. There are several attractions along the way, although you can just enjoy the landscape for its own idyllic beauty.
Take the coastal road going west from Marstal (signposted VEJSNÆS). From here continue west, following the signs to Store Rise, where you can stop and visit Rise Kirke, originally a Romanesque church dating from the latter part of the 12th century. Later, vaults were added and the church was enlarged twice, the last time in 1697. The altarpiece inside dates from 1300 and depicts the suffering and resurrection of Christ. Its carved work is from the town of Schleswig, now in northwestern Germany. The tower is similar to that of the church at Bregninge. It was originally roofed in oak tiles but these were replaced in 1957. In the churchyard wall, facing the vicarage garden, an old porch known as "the Monks Door" (ca. 1450) can be seen.
In a field in the rear of the church, you can view Tingstedet, a 54m (177-ft.) Neolithic passage grave believed to be at least 5,000 years old. Archaeologists have claimed that the cuplike markings in the biggest stone (close to the church) indicate the site may have been used by a "fertility cult." A footpath leading from the church to the Neolithic site only a short walk away is clearly marked.
If you'd like to break up the driving tour, you can drive less than a kilometer (1/2 mile) south of the village to Risemark Strand, one of the island's few sandy beaches. Many of the other beaches on Ærø consist of shingles.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.