||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Danish Wikipedia. (May 2012)|
Livø is a 320-acre Danish island with approximately 10 year-round residents. The island is located in the Limfjord, about 20 minutes by boat from Roenbjerg in the middle of the Limfjord. It is midway between Nykøbing Mors, Løgstør, Fjerritslev and Thisted. Northeast of the island lies Løgstør Bredning while Livø Broads lies west and south of the island.
Livø has been a protected island since 1977. It is accessible by ferry daily between 1 April and 1 September. Dogs and motor vehicles are not permitted on the island. It is possible to walk around the entire island in one afternoon, which is about 10 km total distance. Livø is notable due to its natural beauty, especially at the central, shallow part of the island near Louisehøj and Louisedal, where a hilltop towers 43 meters above the sea. The island is a moraine, pushed up by ice from Løgstør Broads in the last Ice Age. On the cliffs overlooking the sea at the northwestern edge of the island, it is possible to see layers of material that were pushed together during the Ice Age, including jetties and steep clay slopes. The eastern and southern parts of the island are flat land with a wide beach ridge that continues south and ends in the protected Livø wildlife area, which is partly inaccessible to visitors. Herds of fallow deer live in this protected area, and the wildlife here are several generations old. The area is also designated as a seal sanctuary and seals breed here in July–August. The northern part of the island is covered with a forest where various types of trees grow, with a heath in the northernmost part. The northern part of the island is 1/3 organic farms, 1/3 woods and 1/3 heath, grasslands and salt marshes.
Livø island has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and for long period after 1150 was home to the Vitskøl Monastery. The chapel was built in the early 1700s. After 1911 the island was taken over[clarification needed], then for the next 50 years was used as a prison island and populated by criminals and the mentally ill, along with staff and their families. The population did agricultural work, ran workshops, tended the forest, and produced dairy products. Birgit Kirkebæk is the primary researcher on this period of Livø's history.
In 1971 the island was briefly occupied by a number of artists, including Bjørn Nørgaard and Per Kirkeby. Their attempts at farming failed due to lack of proficiency, and their occupation of the island ended when the police intervened.
The island is currently used for educational and recreational purposes. The SF Socialist People's party runs an annual three-week summer camp on the island including political, cultural and practical elements. A second annual camp of about 200 people with mental disabilities, called Activity Week, takes place in September. Viborg Karate school hosts an annual karate camp including Swedish, Belgian, Polish, Dutch and Danish participants.
The town today consists largely of a street with a grocery store and a tiny power station from 1950s, along with the town's inn and cafeteria. The island produces its own beer, called Livøl, available at the grocery store and inn. There is also an educational camp facility with 275 beds.
The island is known for the annual Livø Jazz Festival, as well as being featured in a television series about the Danish islands, where island ranger Per Gjættermann discussed Livø's natural beauty.