Every year during the summer, Danes pack their bags, dust off their passport and put on that never-aging fanny-pack, but this year, the year of Corona, the summer holiday is going to look a bit different. It is very likely that borders across the world will still be closed, or at least that it will be much more challenging to visit another country. So, why not make the best of it, and plan a staycation here in good ol’ Denmark? If you are new to Denmark, you might have visited the city you live in, Copenhagen, and maybe one or two other cities, but Denmark has a lot more to offer, and this summer is the perfect opportunity for you to explore.
Here are 7 suggestions on where to go, and what to visit this summer.
- Sjælland – Zealand
The easy thing would be to tell you about Copenhagen, but I think you all know about the parks, the castles, the museums, Christiania, the canals and so on. But have you ever thought about visiting the areas outside of Copenhagen? Take Dragør for instance. In Dragør you will first-hand witness what ‘HYGGE’ is. If you walk the crooked streets you will see the classic Danish timber-frame houses with thatched roofs, in multiple colours. So if you are interested in the old, classic Danish architecture, visit Dragør.
If you go to the south of Sealand, to Kalvehave, you can cross a bridge and visit a tiny piece of heaven called Møn. Surrounded by turquoise waters Møn is a very popular holiday destination with several interesting initiatives such as Camønoen, a hiking trail for all nature lovers. Møn is also the perfect place to go, if you like looking up into the dark night and watch the stars, since Møn in one of the darkest places in all of Northern Europe. Møn is furthermore housing many creative Danish souls, so there’s a good chance that you will trip over a gallery and see Danish art first hand.
- Nordjylland – North Jutland
In the Northern part of Jutland, you find Skagen. Skagen not only offers beautiful landscapes and white sandy beaches, but is also home for significant Danish cultural history. This is where the Danish painters ‘Skagensmalerne’ found their inspiration and created their iconic works, from the unique light, the traditional fishing industry, and the water surrounding them. It is also where you will find the Danish equivalent to the Sahara Desert; Råbjerg Mile, the largest dune in Denmark. Worth a visit is also ‘Den tilsandede Kirke’ (the church buried in sand), where you will witness first hand the powers of nature. So, if you’re amazed by light, white sand, Danish cultural history, and nature, Skagen is definitely the place to visit.
- Fyn – Funen
Fyn, the beautiful island between Sealand and Jutland, with the most calming accent. This is where you find Odense. Odense is the third largest city in Denmark, and where you can visit the home of our beloved H.C. Andersen. However, what I would like to highlight about Fyn, is the Southern part of Fyn called Det Sydfynske Øhav. Det Sydfynske Øhav consists of 55 islands and islets, and is a unique area with a rich bird life, amazing beaches, a thriving fishing- and coastal community, and in general just incredibly beautiful. Whether you like to hike, visit museums, meet the locals, explore the cuisine, rest on the beach and much more, this is where you should go. The old Denmark meets the modern Denmark, with restored old buildings next to fashionable hipster shops and cafés.
Det Sydfynske Øhav
- Nordvestjylland – NorthWest Jutland
Vestjylland, or Westjylland as we say with a heavy accent, is the pearl in the mussel. It has so many things to offer; sandy beaches, exceptional seafood, views overlooking the clear blue oceans, amazing waves perfect for surfing, and the nicest, most humble people. Maybe you know Hvide Sande? Maybe you know Esbjerg? Maybe you know Thy? It’s all located here. Klitmøller has been branded Cold Hawaii, since it is ideal for windsurfing and people come from across the globe to hit those waves. In Hanstholm you can visit Det Gamle Røgeri, and get the most amazing seafood that will make you feel more full than ever. In Thy you can visit Nationalpark Thy and witness Danish nature at its finest, with a history dating back to the Ice Age. This is also where you find Lodbjerg Fyr, a newly restored lighthouse located in the middle of the moor. In Nørre Vorupør you find not only the traditional Danish fishing boats and a thriving fishing industry, but also sandy beaches, and the newly opened Havbad (harbour pool), where you can swim in the middle of the beaches next to Vesterhavet. It doesn’t get any better than that!
- Østjylland – East Jylland
On the East coast of Jutland, you find Aarhus. Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark, and has a lot to offer for nationals as well as internationals. From the Botanical Garden, to Aros, to DOKK1, to the architecture at Aarhus Ø, to the newly opened Havnebad (harbour pool), to Moesgaard Museum and much more; everything is worth a visit. Aarhus is called Smilets By (city of smiles), which is no surprise, if you go there and meet some of the locals. A little North of Aarhus you find Mols and Mols Bjerge (mountains). Nationalpark Mols Bjerge is a 180 square kilometre landscape dating back to the Ice Age. With a rich flora-, fauna-, and insect life, this is where you will witness the importance of maintaining our biodiversity. If you appreciate nature at its finest, a beautiful coastline, and a rich animal life, this is where you should go.
Nationalpark Mols Bjerge
- Sønderjylland – South Jylland
In the South of Jutland you find Tønder. Tønder is for you if you want to walk straight into Danish cultural history, with castles, historical buildings, and a special kind of calmness.
North of Tønder you find Rømø. Rømø is an island with the most amazing sandy beaches, dunes, and an exceptional view out on the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea National Park, the largest national park in Denmark, is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which is no surprise if you go for a visit. There’s a spectacular wildlife, and it consists of shallow waters, tidal flats, sand banks, barrier islands, marshlands areas and more. It is characterised by an ever-changing natural environment due to tidal waters. When visiting Rømø, overlooking the Wadden Sea, you will feel a sense of peace and tranquillity. It is that beautiful.
Visit Rømø og Tønder
- Øerne – The islands
This one is actually worth a post of it’s own; the Danish islands. Denmark consists of Jutland and app. 1419 islands, with 443 named, and 72 inhabited. Out of these I will dwell on Bornholm, Fanø, Fur, and Samsø. From Hou, right outside Odder, you can take the ferryboat to Samsø. Samsø is an amazing island with beaches, fishing, crooked streets, and a peaceful people. This is also where you find the best Danish potatoes.
From Esbjerg you can reach Fanø by ferryboat. Fanø is also an island with amazing beaches. It is like Rømø placed in the middle of the Wadden Sea, and has a rich birdlife, a wonderful cultural history with singing and dancing, and it is the perfect place to look for amber.
From Branden, North of Skive, you can take a ferryboat to Fur. Fur is a somewhat small island, but the landscapes are mesmerizing. It is know for its ‘moler’, and if you’re lucky you will find fossils. But beware that it is not part of the ‘Danekræ’ legislation (artefacts with a unique natural history value) before you put it in your pockets.
Last but not least we have Bornholm. You can go to Bornholm by plane or by ferryboat from either Køge or Copenhagen via Ysted, Sweden. Bornholm is home to an amazing cultural history with ruins and cliff’s. It has the most amazing sandy beaches at Dueodde, and you can enjoy the famous one-meter long Krølle Bølle ice cream. The nature is beyond this world and you have to experience it to understand what I mean.
One thing all the islands share is that they are home to many Danish artist’s because of their unique peacefulness and tranquillity. You should make it your mission to visit an island a year; I know I will.