When you step ashore on the island Hjortø, try to imagine the island back when, in the beginning of the 20th century, 64 people resided on and lived off Hjortø. Here were fishermen and farmers, teacher and dairyman and children who grew up and stayed on the island for generation after generation.
Hjortø is one of the smallest inhabited islands in Denmark, and today it has seven registered residents and 13 homes. Most of the island’s farms and houses are located in the village Hjortø By, about 500 metres’ (0.3 miles) walk from the harbour. The four farms in the village have been there since 1820.
No humans lived on Hjortø in the early Middle Ages. The island was used for horse breeding until the first Hjortø islanders in modern times arrived at the island, presumably sometime in the 15th-16th centuries.
Family ties on Hjortø
At the harbour you will find a small island museum, whose exhibits include a genealogical table of the island’s residents. It gives an impressive overview of everyone born and raised on Hjortø and shows how there are still families with ties to Hjortø who are directly descended from the island’s residents in the 16th century.
The small museum at the harbour also functions as the service building of the harbour, and it is the only place on the island to buy an ice cream. Everything else you need must be brought to the island, which has neither grocery store nor eateries, but instead beautiful nature with a view to the water in all directions.