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Romo: sandy island 6 miles by causeway from mainland Denmark.

Colorful folk life, quaint straw-thatched houses, and windswept dunes bring summer visitors to Romo, just off the west coast of Denmark. Connected to the mainland by a 6-mile causeway, it's a popular destination for inexpensive and relaxing beach vacations.

As you drive across the two-lane causeway, pastureland gives way to grassy moors, scattered patches of heather, and Romo's trademark: sand, Sand created Romo and today makes up 40 percent of its nearly 38 square miles.

Reasonably priced lodging, a large campground, and sweeping beach views make the area around Lakolk an attractive and relaxing base, despite its garish mall, "pommes frittes alley." The towns of Havneby, Kongsmark, and Toftum also have hotels, motels, and campgrounds. Reservations are recommended in summer; for details on lodging and how to reserve, write to the Danish Tourist Board, 655 Third Ave., 18th Floor, New

York 10017, or call (212) 949-2333.

Romo attracts windsurfers and swimmers, who can drive right to the brisk waters of the North Sea. The tourist board can arrange 2- to 4-hour tours in English of the tidepools, bird life, and wildflowers. It also has information about horse and bike rentals.

Two jaunts and a day trip from Lakolk A whaling captain's estate and a seamen's church are an easy half-hour drive from Lakolk, ideal outings for a rainy day. Reserve a full day, however, for a ferry

trip to the German island of Sylt.

A whaler's country estate. In the farmhouse and on the grounds of Kommandorgard National Museum in Toftum, you can see examples of the wealth and variety of goods )8th-century whalers brought back to Romo.

The brick farmhouse, built in 1746, displays Dutch tiles, English porcelain, and hand-painted Danish and Dutch furniture, but no beds. To take advantage of the central chimney's warmth, people slept on mattress-covered cupboards built into the walls. The attached barn also protected the living quarters from the relentless wind.

To reach the museum from Lakolk, drive east toward the causeway, take a left at the light, and continue for 1-1/2 miles. The museum is open from 10 to 6 daily except Mondays, May 1 through September 30. About 1 1/2 miles north, just outside Juvre, look for a garden fence made of whale jaws dating from 1772. Since no wood or stone is found on Romo, you'll also see other unusual building materials--such as thatched roofs and purplish walls made of ground mussel shells.

A historic seamen's church. Named after the patron saint of sailing, St. Clemens Church in Kirkeby was originally built in 1514. The structure was expanded in the 18th century as whaling increased the islanders' fortunes. Whaling captains who were rescued at sea donated the model ships hanging from the ceiling.

Behind the white stucco church, gravestones brought back from Flanders capture the lives of captains and their families. Nearby, you'll see the markers of British airmen killed in World War II.

Thursday nights from July 13 through August 17, concerts featuring a variety of semiprofessional ensembles are held in the church. Concerts begin at 8; admission is free.

St. Clemens is on Route 175, 2-1/2 miles south of Kongsmark. The church is open from 1 to 4 Mondays and Thursdays, 9 to noon Tuesdays and Fridays.

Visiting the "German Riviera." From Havneby, you can take a ferry to Sylt, connected to the mainland by railroad bridge and known as the German Riviera. Although nearly a million passengers pass between Romo and Sylt each year, the two islands are very different. Romo appeals to campers, hikers, and seaside picnickers, while Sylt is for those who want to bask in more luxury.

To reach the ferry terminal, drive through Havneby on Route 175 and take a left on Kilebryggen. The 45-minute trip runs seven times a day in summer.
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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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