A distinctive old church in the main town. Credit: Steen Jeberg CC BY-SA 2.5
The remote Bornholm Island, almost equidistant from the coasts of Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Germany, is a convenient and worthwhile stopover for any yacht cruising the Baltic. Nevertheless, it’s often seen as being hard to reach – a factor that increases its allure in the eyes of many.
The island is also reputedly referred to as Solskinsøen (Sunshine Island) thanks to the summer weather in this part of the Baltic. This tends to be dominated by high pressure and light to moderate winds, plenty of sun and gloriously long days. Average daily maximum temperatures in summer reach 20 degrees Celsius, while rainfall is restricted to only seven or eight days per month.
Cobbled streets and old low-built houses in Rønne. Credit: Politikaner CC BY-SA 3.0
Rønne, the island’s main town has a population of just 13,000 and is a low key stereotypically Scandinavian settlement with low-rise red timber buildings around the port. However, this belies the efficient, friendly and up to date 300-berth marina in a separate harbour to the north of the main port. This has 70 dedicated spaces for visiting craft and by arrangement can accommodate yachts of up to than 30m in length and 2.7 metres draught. It’s important to note that some of the berths are only for shoal draught motorboats – be sure to check an up to date detailed chart. This harbour is protected from the west by a substantial breakwater, while a pair of overlapping floating wavebreaks prevents swell entering from the north.
The marina is in a quiet part of the town, with a decent sandy beach adjacent, yet it is only a 400m walk to the town centre. It’s also well away from the commercial docks, where an increasing number of cruise ships dock and which can also provide facilities for superyachts. Most marine trades are available near the marina, including a boatyard with a 12-tonne crane.
Part of the main harbour in Rønne.
A former herring fishing port, Rønne has a rich history, having been ruled by Sweden and Germany in the past. It has been settled for more than 1,000 years and the town centre features cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and several good museums. In total, Bornholm and the neighbouring small island of Christiansø have a further 26 mostly small harbours. Many of these have been blasted out of the rocks, making this a fascinating mini cruising area in its own right.
As well as ferry services to the Danish mainland, Sweden and Germany, Bornholm has an airport with direct flights to Copenhagen year round, plus additional destinations in the summer.