Gråsten Cove

Gråsten Cove

Gråsten Nor

Drejet

5970 Ærøskøbing

Photo: Ulla Friborg

Graasten-nor_Ulla-Friborg

Introduction

It is located on the southern side of Ærø. Together with the meadows Skovsøen and Nørreholm it constitutes the largest stretch of meadow land in the Fyn area.

Gråsten Nor was originally a large shallow area of sea that divided Ærø into two parts with a frail connection along the sea on the south side and with ferries running between Kragnæs and Grønnæs. In 1856, the dike from Kragnæs to Grønnæs was constructed and the large meadow area was drained.

Today, Gråsten Nor lies one to two metres below sea level. When the dike was constructed, the water was directed into a dug out channel with dikes along the northern edge of the cove. Today, the water is mainly channelled from Skovsøen and the cove along trenches and ditches to the landpriel, which runs centrally north-south in the cove.

Pumping ensures that there is no standing water under normal circumstances in Gråsten Nor. It means that the entire area may be used for cropping and hay making.

Habitat description

The dominant type of nature is permanent grass on freshwater and salt meadow. In the middle of the cove lies a well grown broadleaved forest, Norskoven. A broad belt called Drejskoven has been planted along the main road to the south. The interchange between cropping in the summer and flooding during winter and spring creates good growth conditions for many rare plants. By way of example 20–25,000 protected broad-leaved marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. Majalis) bloom there in early summer. You will also find a small population of the endangered dune gentian (Gentianella uliginosa). Additionally, you have ragged-robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), lesser hawkbit (Leontodon saxatilis), red bartsia (Odontites vulgaris), and eyebright (Euphrasia sp.).

On the salt meadows you can find seaside arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima), sea rush (Juncus maritimus), salt sandspurry (Spergularia salina), and common saltmarsh-grass (Puccinellia maritima). Overall, the growth conditions and the selection of plants make the area a very unique location especially for botanists.

Sometimes you can hear the very rare Corn Crake (Crex crex). The Breeding birds include Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and the quite rare European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola). During the migration period, several geese and Common Curlew (Numenius arquata) as well as Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) rest here.

Value

Gråsten Nor has a very high value, particularly due to it being a habitat for rare plants, including the very large population of broad-leaved marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. Majalis) and the presence of the extremely rare dune gentian (Gentianella uliginosa).

Protection and legislation

Gråsten Nor is nationally protected by the Nature protection legislation §3, which has the purpose of protecting the salt and freshwater meadows. The presence of broad-leaved marshorchid (Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. majalis) is also protected.

The area is also part of Natura 2000 area 127, habitat area H111, South Fyn Archipelago and Bird Sanctuary F71. 

Public access

The paths in Gråsten Nor are a part of the project Sport in the Landscape. The route is 8 km long and takes the visitors through most of the cove. The path can be accessed from the parking lot by Drejet and by Ærø Flyveplads (Airfield). Brochures containing info on the area flora and fauna have been placed at the parking lot by Drejet. On the dikes on either side of the cove, you also have ample opportunity to get a view of the water, and from the northern part of the dike you can also look out across the cove.

Hotels nearby of Gråsten Cove

  • Hotel Faaborg Fjord Spa Konference

    27.47 km

    If you wish for a weekend away or a mini break from daily stresses, then a stay at Hotel Faaborg Fjord is good for the soul. Here you find fresh air, light, life and play for young and the young at heart.

    Read more : Hotel Faaborg Fjord Spa Konference
  • Hotel 6400

    41.18 km

    Minimalism can certainly equate to outstanding service and quality. At Hotel 6400 in Sønderborg, there are no superfluous frills, and even the hotel’s name has been reduced to the bare essentials – the city’s postal code.
    Read more : Hotel 6400
  • Brobyværk Kro

    42.9 km

    Brobyværk Kro is situated where the road between Odense and Faaborg crosses the stream Odense Aa. The idyllic inn with the river in the backyard has traditions for receiving guests. Naturally it has been modernised, but the spirit and the cosiness still preserve here, and the cuisine has a good reputation.

    Read more : Brobyværk Kro
  • Benniksgaard Hotel

    57.77 km

    Benniksgaard Hotel is beautifully situated on the highest point at Flensborg Fjord, and the nearest neighbour is the golf course. The old family farm has undergone a very tasteful rustic-style renovation. The chefs cook the menu of the evening following the old traditions but adapted to the palates of the present time.
    Read more : Benniksgaard Hotel
  • Hotel Knudsens Gaard

    58.06 km

    Hotel Knudsens Gaard in Odense emphasizes personal service, high quality and a peaceful atmosphere. The uncontested attention is on the guests, who must be able to enjoy a relaxed stay in green surroundings. The hotel rooms have a homely feel and the restaurant delivers fantastic culinary experiences.

    Read more : Hotel Knudsens Gaard
  • Frederik VI's Hotel

    63.66 km

    Since 1882 guests have enjoyed being pampered at Frederik VI's Hotel. Set amongst the beautiful Funen countryside in it’s own park with a system of forest paths and jogging trails right outside the door and only 10 km from Odense City centre, the hotel boasts tastefully furnished rooms and a highly regarded restaurant.
    Read more : Frederik VI's Hotel
  • Det Nye Bandholm Badehotel

    66.29 km

    Bandholm Badehotel gives you peace for contemplation, presence and beautiful surroundings. Explore the beautiful rooms which are over 300 years old, but newly renovated with an eye for detail as well as tasteful and comfortable decor.
    Read more : Det Nye Bandholm Badehotel
  • Munkebo Kro

    66.66 km

    Experience the cozy atmosphere at Munkebo Kro, located right by the water with a view over Kertinge Nor. Here, you can enjoy well-prepared dishes and explore the harbor town of Kerteminde and the capital of Funen, Odense.

    Read more : Munkebo Kro
  • Tornøes Hotel

    66.81 km

    Kerteminde, on the island of Funen, is the quintessence of rural idyll, featuring fishermen’s cottages and fine merchants’ farms. In the heart of Kerteminde, you will find Tornøes Hotel. The hotel is full of atmosphere, charm and good cheer, with lovely rooms, excellent food and a magnificent view.
    Read more : Tornøes Hotel