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If you're looking to escape the crowds, then MARSTAL, at the east end of the island and reached by bus from Ærskbing (or ferry from Rudkbing in Langeland), is a good alternative base. Once there, don't miss the superb Marstal Sfartsmuseum (May & Sept daily 10am–4pm; June & Aug daily 9am–5pm; July daily 9am–8pm; Oct– April Tues– Fri 10am–4pm, Sat 11am–3pm; 40kr; Web: www.marstal-maritime-museum.dk ), Prinsensgade 1, a collection of maritime paintings and ship models from Marstal's nineteenth-century golden age, when it was one of the busiest harbours in Denmark.
Most people staying here sleep on yachts or in holiday-home rentals, but there are a few budget options including the youth hostel at Færgestræde 29 (Tel:63 52 63 58, Web: www.danhostel.dk/marstal ; April– Oct), which has dorms (100kr) and doubles (Price: under Kr300), and is conveniently close to the town centre and the harbour. There's also a campsite, Marstal Camping (Tel:63 52 63 69, Web: www.aeroe.dk/marcamp ; April– Oct), almost on the beach and with cabins, too. The reasonably priced, comfortable Marstal (Tel:62 53 13 52, Web: www.hotelmarstal.dk ; Price: Kr500-650), near the harbour at Dronningestræde 1A, is the nicest hotel; some rooms have shared bathrooms. For local information, contact the tourist office (mid-June to Aug Mon– Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9am–2pm, Sun 9.30am–12.30pm; rest of year Mon– Fri 9am–4pm, Sat 9am–12.30pm; Tel:62 52 21 00, Web: www.arre.dk ) on Havnegade 5, near the youth hostel. Bikes can be rented at Nrremark Cykelforretning, Mllevejen 77 (Tel:62 53 14 77) for 50kr per day.
The rest of the island is speckled with fine inns (kros) and working farms such as Graasten Farmhouse, half way between Ærskbing and Marstal (Tel:62 52 24 25, Web: www.graastenfarmb-b.com ; Price: Kr400-500), and the handsome Vindeballe Kro (Tel:62 52 16 13, 3x) at the centre of the island in Vindeballe, simple but with a good restaurant and bar downstairs.