From Høruphav to Skovby
|Stage length:||10 km.|
|Difficulty:||Easy, on the verge of moderate.
|Loops and detours:||Dansk Glaskunst, Torpedostation at Hørup Klint, Vibæk Mills.|
Use "See map" and "Practical information" in the menu for information on transport, accommodation and shopping a.m. o.
Bring along the route on your phone:
Unfortunately, we experience all too often that guests go wrong on the route at Høruphav, which is why the Web APP is a good help!
can the QR-code and get access to the Web-App, showing the route and special spots on the Mill Stage - if you want the Web-APP of the entire Gendarme Path, you can find it under "See map".
If you wish to have a look at the Web-App - you can find it here.
From the Gendarmerie's old guardhouse at Høruphav Harbour, you walk between the building with toilets and the red warehouse. Follow the route further along the coast - before then you can choose to turn left towards the town of Hørup to buy provisions or visit Dansk Glaskunst, a glass blower that among other things makes the special “Alssten”, where beach stones are enclosed in glass.
Approx. 10-15 meters along the beach a small staircase goes 3-4 steps up. The route continues along the water above the concrete edge. Along the way you meet a concrete staircase with signage PRIVATE AREA and a gendarmerie sign with a red line above - this signage only refers to the staircase itself. Simply pass it without stepping on or sitting on it and continue along the water past some boat bridges. Follow the gravel road to the left up and turn right along the asphalt road, Persillegade. Continue straight along the gorge and down the wooden stairs to the water, where a concrete path goes along the shore to a staircase that leads you above the slope. Enjoy the view over the waters Hørup Hav to the peninsula Kegnæs.
Where the route goes to the left towards land, you can take a small detour to the area of the Torpedo Station, with benches and dismantling piles, built in 1958. The path itself continues up to Hørup Klint, which today is a residential area, over the bridge in the forest and via the road Klinteskoven, then a little to the left and further along a gravel road that leads you along a cultivated field back to the coastal slope with the pillar trees.
The route meanders down over the small stream, following the coast a bit before it goes up again along the coastal slope, past the characteristic stunted pine trees, whose outgoing branches are full of holes after the birds' hunt for delicious larvae.
After passing a lovely beach meadow and the outlet for the brook “Majbæk”, you continue along the coast past the legendary mound “Skrædderhøj”. The path turns left and follows the hedge towards land. Continue right along the asphalt road Mintebjerggryde to the T-junction, where you turn right and follow the same road down to the water again, to the place where the first ferry connection to Midtkobbel on Kegnæs went until Duke Hans the Younger moved it.
Continue along the coast, until the stairs lead you down to a small boathouse, which belonged to the famous German author Siegfried Lenz. Here you have the opportunity to take a small detour up to the last watermill on Als, Vibæk Watermill. If you continue instead up the stairs and along the beach, you will pass the outlet of the sacred stream Vibæk and to Taskland, where the benches invite you to take a short break.
Furthermore, it goes along the coast and hedges with a view over the water to peninsula Kegnæs. In through bushes and narrow places, over the bridge at the brook “Odderbæk” to Kobbertoft, where the path turns left inland, along cultivated fields to Skovby, where the route ends approx. 100 meters after the cosy thatched house with a sign in the local dialect saying Momos hus (Grandma's house).
If you have several miles left in your boots, you can continue along Alsstien´s approx. 64 km. Which runs from Drejet, the dam over to the peninsula Kegnæs, along Als øst's east coast, past Mommark, Blomeskobbel with the Nordic region's largest collection of burial mounds, past the ferry harbour in Fynshav and further along the forest Nørreskoven, into Havnbjerg and Nordborg to end at Ferry Bitten in Hardeshøj. Take the ferry over to Ballebro on the mainland and continue south along Alssundstiens 9.1 km back to Sønderborg
Enjoy nature and the beautiful view of the peninsula Kegnæs
Lillehavs many sea and wading birds
At Hørup Hav between Sydals and Kegnæs, in everyday speech Lillehav, you can see a sea of different sea and wading birds such as long-tailed duck, eiders, common merganser, cormorants, Eurasian oystercatcher and northern lapwing.
In the spring, the area is visited by large bird migrations. Then it is possible to see northern shoveler and Eurasian wigeons in beautiful splendour, and geese such as greater white-fronted and barnacle geese, which are winter visitors from Russia.
The eider is a large, powerful duck with a rather angular head profile. The male in splendour is a fantastic sight with his peach-coloured breast and the white-black-green head. The female is more discreet in the colours with brown, transverse plumage.
With its metallic green top and the long feather top the northen lapwing is quite easy to recognize. Its wings are broad and rounded and it has a characteristic voice, vuii-o-vuiip-vip-vip-euvii, which has given it its Danish name.
The northern shoveler is one of the most special and conspicuous ducks in Denmark. The beautiful, colourful plumage and the strange, spoon-shaped beak make males in summer attire easy to recognize. The female's plumage is very similar to that of the mallard, but the bird is clearly smaller, and where the mallard has a yellow beak, the beak of the mallard is almost black.
The Eurasion wigeon is a medium-sized swimming duck with a large, round head and a relatively short beak. The male is unmistakable in a summer suit with his reddish-brown head and yellow blaze. The females are more anonymous in the plumage. Unlike other swimming ducks, the Eurasion wigeon generally uses their voice more. They have a characteristic whistle, hence their name.
The white-fronted goose is a medium-sized goose. The plumage is gray, the legs orange and the beak almost pink. The adult bird can be recognized by the dark transverse stripes on the belly and the white forehead that has given rise to both its Danish and its scientific name.
The barnacle goose is known on the white face, the black neck and chest, the gray back and the light belly. From a distance, it can be confused with the barnacle goose, but this one has a darker plumage and lacks the white face mask. The Canada goose also has a very contrasting black-and-white plumage, but is significantly larger, has less white on the face and has a light breast. Often one discovers the birds on the voice, which is a loud bark.
Keep a close eye on harbour porpoises along the coast
Especially on a quiet day without waves, you may be lucky to see the harbour porpoise's back moving in the so-called "harbour porpoise roll" through the water. It is also possible that you first hear the sound of its breathing which sounds like a phouiiie. The harbour porpoise is one of the smallest toothed whales and the only whale species that breeds in Denmark. In the bay “Sønderborg Bugt”, rock reefs have been recreated, which, among other things, will make it easier for the harbour porpoise to find food, and the waters around the island of Als have been designated as a marine habitat area to give wild life like the harbour porpoise better protection and living conditions.
The first form of industrial enterprise meets the secret experiments of later times.
Ferry service across Hørup Hav
In the Middle Ages, domestic pigs were released on Kegnæs for fattening through eating mast, and part of the crossing has probably taken place from Mindebjerghav to Midtkobbel. When Duke Hans the Younger took over Kegnæs, he found the road too long and the ferry was moved to Høruphav, at Kegnæs a ferry inn was built and the area is still called Kegnæs Færge. Later, Duke Hans the Younger had a dam built on the headland E´ Drej (Drejet) and the increasing traffic via the country road meant that the ferry service ceased in 1960.
Research station at the cliff at Hørup Klint
As part of weapons training, in 1906 the German Empire constructed a torpedo station in Høruphav, which acted as a German torpedo adjustment station during the First World War. During the Second World War, the German occupying forces converted the buildings into a research station for the German navy. The entire area was sealed off with landmines, barbed wire and electric fences, and on the harbour in Sønderborg a sign was erected that prohibited all photography and painting. The research station was therefore shrouded in mystery and myth making – was it here that development work took place on the dreaded V-rockets? Today, it’s known that V-rockets weren’t developed at the research station at Hørup Klint. Instead, experiments took place with radar and infrared equipment aimed at developing methods to jam Allied bombers’ radar navigation systems and prevent radiolocation of German submarines.
Peberbjerg and Hold-an
On the map, you will find special names. "Peberbjerg" or Pfeffebjerre in everyday speech is believed to be named from a hillside where “peberskræppe” (horseradish) grew. Up by the main road towards Skovby you will also find the name "Hold-an", here they supervised that the gate to the Majbølgårds Kobbel (field) was closed after passing and hold them, which left the gate open.
Siegfried Lenz´ boathouse
The German author, Siegfried Lenz (1926-2014), had strong connections to Denmark. For many years he owned a house by Lebølløkke, which he used in the summer. Here he wrote, among other things, the books "Tysktime," Forhistorien "and" Eksercerpladsen "as well as" Kummer mit jütländischen Kaffeetafeln ". Siegfried Lenz worked from the morning until the afternoon, but in the evening he liked to take his Faroese boat out of the boathouse and enjoy the water.
E Kegnæs kukkere
“E kukke” is the Alsic name for the cuckoo and the term "de Kegnæs kukker" originates from the time under Rittmeister Wolf Rathlou (from 1666 to 1684), who had the right of disposal of the peasants on the peninsula and terrorized them to the extent that many even moved. When the bailiff had sent the men to work, the Rittmeister visited daughters and wives or had them brought up to him at Hjortholm. These visits was not without consequences and result was the sarcastic name over at island Als - because the cuckoo lays eggs in other birds' nests and leaves them to incubate and raise its young.
The mill industry - from greatness to decline
The mills were the first form of industrialized enterprise in the country.
Throughout the ages, there have been 75 mills on the island of Als, of which 10 were watermills. Some of the mills have been destroyed by explosive fires, but most of the mills have had to succumb to modern times and today there is only 1 watermill and 4 windmills on Als. Manufacturer Mads Clausen was a big supporter of mills, and thanks to his financial assistance, it has been possible to restore several mills, including the mill plant at Vibæk.
The Vibæk Mills is one of the few preserved mill plants with both water and wind mill in Denmark.
The last watermill on Als is located by the sacred stream, Vibæk, on Sydals. The watermill originally stood higher up the creek, but was taken down and rebuilt on this site in 1756, it has been in operation until 1938, after which it fell into disrepair. The mill was restored in 1957 and thus saved a large piece of cultural heritage. On site there is also the only preserved oven chimney with malt kiln on Als. Malt was used for beer brewing, and the malt kiln was used for drying the barley sprouts or “green malt”.
The mill plant also includes a windmill that was built to dispense with the sinking water level in Vibæk. The original windmill was built in 1835, but apart from the foundation made of boulders, an arson fire destroyed everything in 1983. The foundation for Vibæk Møllerne is working to have the windmill rebuilt and fully functionally, but there is still some way to go. The current mill is used for changing exhibitions.
Vibæk Mølle 3, Vibæk
Legends and myths
Deadly mounds and insidious hook men
The murder of Hans Skrædder
The mound “Skrædderhøj” is located near the farm “Majbølgård” and is previously thought to have been called Thabergs-, Toborrigs-, Tobris or Taaferoyhøj. A bestial murder led to the mound being renamed - it was in this place that the body of Hans Skrædder from Hørup was found, tied on hands and feet. It is not advisable to walk past Skrædderhøj at midnight, because then you can meet the killer's ghost and it is said to be extremely creepy!
Beware of “e kråghmånd”
Sure, you pass quite a few streams and brooks on your way, but the “åmand” (neck or water spirit) has never gained a foothold on the island of Als - perhaps because the streams are not deep enough. On the other hand, you will find “e kråghmånd” or “Krogmanden” (hookman), who sits in wells, underground urine tanks and ponds with his hook and waits to be able to pull curious children down to him, where they then drown.
Give a hand with the laundry or swing the scythe when harvesting at the mills
Experience "the good old days" at Vibæk Møllerne
When the Vibæk Mills invites you to activity days, you can take part in some really nice days around the old watermill. Daily chores and use of tools from the old days are shown and if you are fresh, feel free to give a hand.