Ærøskøbing, with its narrow lanes and picturesque 18th-century houses was historically Ærø's chief town, and remains the primary port for ferry connections.
Ærø measures roughly 20 km from northwest to southeast and varies in width from around 4 to 8 km.There are three small towns on the island: the largest is Marstal with a population of 2,266. Fourteen villages and a number of farms complete the island's pattern of settlement.Ærø is endeavouring to become self-sufficient in energy, and in 2002 a figure of 40% self-sufficiency in renewable energy was reached.The initiatives have attracted high international recognition and Ærø is considered to be one of the world's leaders in the field.Gråsten Manor House was abolished in 1766 and the buildings were demolished. This is marked by the memorial stone at Olde Mølle (English = Ancient mill).
At the union, the old Code of Jutland from 1241 was applied and even today some of those rules are still valid.More than 2,000 islanders (a third of the island) travelled to Copenhagen to protest the closing of the historic school.Ultimately, the government allowed the Maritime School to remain open. It provides a third of Marstal's power consumption.There are some burial mounds on the island, as well as an old Ting place. Burial mounds, passage graves, and dolmens bear witness of human activity through more than 10,000 years.As for its more recent history, the period of the duchies is of special interest.The island's beaches also attract anglers and artists.