Fanø is a 56 square kilometer, elongated sandy island in the Wadden Sea near Esbjerg. In April 2005, it was decided that Fanø Municipality – like several other islands – should be retained as an independent municipality. Throughout history, Fanø has been characterized by shipping, but today it is mainly dominated by tourism.
The locals usually feed themselves at the tourist trade or take the ferry to Esbjerg to work there. The tourist attractions include the beach and nature. Today there are around 2,500 holiday homes and several hotels on Fanø. Tourism and holiday rentals are Fanø’s most important income.
There are good opportunities to find amber and the rich wildlife on Fanø includes, among others, a myriad of wild rabbits. Fanø is also part of the Wadden Sea National Park. The Danish part of the Wadden Sea was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.
Fanø is a culture with galleries and an art museum, with the cultural-historical villages of Nordby and Sønderho.
The beach itself is a large area of activity. There are optimal conditions for beach sailing with kite-buggy, land-boarding, kite and windsurf or kite flying. There is an extended bike path on Fanø, so it is easy and quick to get around on the small island.
Of course, everything is not sports. Going for a walk in the woods, looking for amber, playing miniature golf or going out to the seals at Galgerev are activities for everyone to join.
The Fanø Art Museum located in Sønderho, is a beautiful little art museum, which since 1992 has had an address in Kromann’s listed building. The museum owns a string of works of art, both by older and younger artists. Thanks to the museum’s patrons for many years, Alice and Tage Sørensen, the museum was expanded in 2013 with a new extension, which has made it possible to create a good variety in the exhibitions, so that the museum can show both current art and art from the museum’s own collection. Each year there are 3 to 4 changing exhibitions of both younger artists and artists from the collection.
The art collection was founded by Ruth Heinemann, married to the painter Reinhard Heinemann. She was supported by former Prime Minister Viggo Kampmann, Minister of Culture Julius Bomholt and Esbjerg’s mayor Henning Rasmussen.
The museum has a collection of more than 1,200 works by well-known and lesser-known artists, but artists who all in one way or another have or have been associated with Fanø. From the end of the 19th century until today, there have been various artist colonies on the island, where the artists have come to the island and found inspiration in the Wadden Sea, Fanø’s nature and culture, and mutually helped and influenced each other.