Autumn on the Gendarme Path
Unplug and drop down a gear or two with your spouse/partner or a friend. The Gendarme Path in Sønderjylland is the perfect destination if you need a change of scene for a couple of days. You can experience great hikes, fascinating history and, not least, plenty of opportunity to relax and spend time together at the former convent at Als Kloster, which will be your base for seeing what Sønderjylland has to offer.
The Gendarme Path in Sønderjylland is the ideal destination if you wish to combine great hiking with time spent in the company of your travelling companions. The Gendarme Path runs along the edge of Flensburg Fjord, through woodland, on the beach and – on one day of your stay – through the city of Sønderborg.
Alsie Express, Denmark’s best domestic airline, flies you from Copenhagen to Sønderborg. You’ll be picked up from the airport in Sønderborg by one of Destination Sønderjylland’s local drivers, who’ll fill you in on a little local history while driving you to your overnight accommodation. The drive from Sønderborg Airport to Als Kloster only takes 15-20 minutes.
Your overnight accommodation, the former convent at Als Kloster, is situated between Sønderborg and Høruphav on the island of Als. Originally, the buildings were ordinary farm buildings. In 1989 the farm was bought by Roman Catholic women’s congregation Religious of the Assumption, which converted the entire property into a convent. Nuns of several different nationalities moved into the convent, where they then lived their lives. Here they offered refuge to people who were in need of a break from their hectic everyday lives.
With the convent as a point of reference, the new Catholic church in Sønderborg was designed. The belfry in our courtyard is more or less identical to the one standing in front of the church in Sønderborg. Our bells have called the nuns to Mass here at Als Kloster on a daily basis. In 2001, however, the Religious of the Assumption decided to gather all its activities on Zealand.
In 2021, Als Kloster was taken over by new owners, who describe the place as follows: The cosy and homely feel of a B&B – combined with the more exclusive and professional atmosphere of a hotel. We call it a farm hotel, because we’re establishing the business in what was originally a farm.
With Als Kloster as a base, you have plenty of opportunity to explore the Gendarme Path, which actually runs just past the former convent. Destination Sønderjylland’s driver picks you up in the morning (you can agree the pick-up time with the driver when he collects you from the airport on the day of your arrival) and drives you out to the path. On the first day, you’ll be driven to Skovby, where the Gendarme Path begins. The hike back to Als Kloster is around 13 km. En route, you’ll pass the mills at Vibæk Møllerne, where there’ll be plenty of time to look around. The facility, which dates back to the 18th century, consists of a watermill and a windmill.
On the second day, you’ll be driven to the windmill at Dybbøl Mølle. The hike is only 10 km, which gives you plenty of time to begin the day with a visit to the iconic windmill and History Centre Dybbøl Banke. The Gendarme Path runs past Sønderborg Castle, which is also well worth a visit. If you’d prefer a longer day of hiking, then you can arrange this with the driver.
Your stay includes full board (excl. drinks). Breakfast and dinner are served at Als Kloster, which also provides a packed lunch to keep you going during the day.