Nyborg, Funen, Denmark

The idyllic island of Funen looms large in Denmark’s history. The country’s first constitution (1282) was signed at moated Nyborg Castle, founded in the late-12th century as one of several royal fortifications along the Great Belt strait. Nyborg was considered Denmark’s capital from the early 1200s to 1413 since Danehof, the medieval parliament, met at the castle through that period; it was also the official king’s residence. During the 16th century, the town’s Old Torvet market square became the site of annual jousting tournaments — a tradition that continues today as the Danehof Medieval Festival, held each June. Nyborg also is home to the 80-foot-high Dyrehave Mølle, one of the country’s tallest windmills. Blanketed in woodlands and rolling pastures, Funen’s many castles, manor homes, timber-frame buildings and thatched-roofed farmhouses appear straight out of a fairytale — not surprising, given that the beloved Danish author Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark’s third-largest city. Pay a visit to the H.C. Andersen’s House, a whimsical, state-of-the-art museum that opened in 2021, before wandering the atmospheric old town.