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dunes by the sea
dunes by the sea

Denmark by camper - Vacation in Jutland

Autorin Babsi
Article from Babsi

Today we're going on a journey through Denmark - a journey for adventurers and for culture lovers, for water lovers and for surf pros. There's something for everyone!

We show you our favorite places, the most beautiful cities in Denmark and the coolest surf spots. We also have a few insider tips, suitable camping sites and pitches and much more. Are you ready for a vacation in Denmark with your camper? Then let's start the engine and drive from Hamburg to Sønderborg, in the south of Denmark!So that you don't get bored on the three-hour drive, we'll tell you three cool facts about Denmark:You love the sea as much as the Danes? Then we have good news for you: If you miss the salt water on our trip, you can always make a short detour, because the sea is no more than 52 km away from you!The Danish word for beer is ´Øl` and is pronounced like oil. So don't get confused!We also have good news for cyclists: Denmark was voted the most bicycle-friendly country in Europe again in 2015. That's why almost half of the Danes ride their bikes to work.(Spelling information: We use the special characters of the Danish language. In many translations these are replaced as follows: Å=AA; Ø=Ö; Æ = Ä).

Discover Southwest Jutland by camper

We explore the southwest of Denmark: Sønderborg and the nature in the south of Denmark, experience the Wadden Sea and the island of Rømø and take a look at Esbjerg. Afterwards, we'll go further north to Ringkøbing Fjord. At the fjord you can go surfing and hiking at ´Holmsland Klit`. Your Denmark trip can start!

1. Sønderborg

The promenade at the ´Als Sund`, the strait at which Sønderborg lies, invites you to stroll. During the walk you already see some sights of the harbor town. Landmarks of the city are both the bronze statue ´Butt im Griff` and the ring rider statue on the promenade and the ´Sønderborg Slot`. The castle is now a museum that gives you information on the history and culture of the border region. If you continue walking north from the castle, the ´Alsion` rises up on the other side of the shore. The glass building, opened in 2007, is a research park and campus of the Suddansk Universitet. It also provides space for a cultural center with an impressive concert hall. You have a very good view over the whole city from the 16th floor of the Alsik Hotel. Currently a free registration is necessary in advance. We definitely recommend you to start your vacation in Denmark with a stop in Sønderborg!
The mill ´Dybbøl Mill` on a hill on the southeastern outskirts of the city is also worth seeing. If you want even more cultural input, you can visit the ´Museum Sønderjylland Dybbøl Mølle` (50dkk≈6,70€/person) or the ´Historiecenter Dybbøl Banke` (130dkk≈17,50€/person) afterwards.
Our Off insider tip: Back to nature after your cultural program in Sønderbrog? We take a look at the natural phenomenon ´Black Sun`. In the south of Denmark you can observe an impressive spectacle in the sky, especially in spring and autumn, when huge flocks of birds darken the sky. You can see it especially well from this Park4Night parking lot. You should not miss this natural sight while you're in Denmark.

2. Rømø and the Wattenmeer National Park

The mud flats are the largest national park in Denmark and have been protected since 2010. In 2014 it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage, as it is considered one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world. So during your vacation in Denmark you should also visit the mud flats by camper. Since Rømø is located directly in this national park, the island is perfect for exploring the tidal flats. Via the Rømø Dam - the only road across the mud flats - you can easily drive to the island.
The long sandy beaches invite you to swim, surf and fly kites. On many beaches you can also drive by car, but camping is usually not allowed. You can also read our blog entry on what you should consider when travelling through Denmark by camper.
On the south beach you can watch the beach sailors, kite-wing surfers and kite-buggy pilots as they race across the beach. On windy days there's a lot to see on this part of the beach. If you prefer it a little quieter, you'll find a great spot on Sønderstrand to the far west. The sand is so soft that cars can't drive there. Perfect for relaxing!
Rømø also has a lot to offer scenically, because it combines several typical Danish landscapes. In the east lie the mudflats, dune forests and heathland. In the inland of the island and in the west, the dunes of different ages extend along kilometre-long beaches. Due to the well-developed hiking and biking trails, you can explore the island very well without a camper.
The town of Havneby in the south of Rømø has become an important port for the maintenance of the offshore wind farms as well as for the ferry to Sylt and other places.
On the way from Rømø to Esbjerg you will land in the small town of Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. Here it's recommended to stroll a bit through the alleys and look at the old buildings, which are very well preserved.
Strand mit spielenden Kindern, Kitern und anderen Personen.

3. The port city of Esbjerg

On our vacation in Denmark, we next reached the modern port city of Esbjerg, (only founded in 1868). At the harbor you can experience how fish was sold in the auction hall in the past every Wednesday of the peak season. Fresh fish is always sold at ´Havnens Fiskehus`, although it usually lands in other harbors. To the north of the harbor is Esbjerg's main attraction, the Fishing and Maritime Museum. Directly opposite on the shore you can find four 9m high sculptures of men, the ´Mennesket ved Havet`. It's definitely worth walking 2km along the shore to see them.
In the city center you can find very modern sights as well as historical looking buildings, because at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when Esbjerg was built, people liked to build in baroque, gothic and renaissance style. The ´Skt. Nikoaj Kirke` in the east of the harbor is one of the landmarks of Esbjerg.
You can see the variety of buildings particularly well at the market square ´Torvet`, where the former Posthuset in Danish brick Gothic meets the castle-like former court and detention building. The bank building, also adjacent to the market square, completes the different architectural styles with playful Siena Gothic. On the way back towards the sea, you can discover the ´Stjernedrys` in the dark, a light installation consisting of 288 lights, reminiscent of stars. The ´Musikhuset` as well as the water tower ´Esbjerg Vandtårn` can be found at the end of the street with the stars in the ´Byparken`.

4. Ringkøbing Fjord - the surfing paradise for all newcomers

Our vacation in Denmark continues north to Ringkøbing Fjord. The 40km long and 10km wide fjord is only connected to the North Sea at a small spot and therefore perfect for all surfers. The wind is strong and the waves are nevertheless rather low. In addition, water sports enthusiasts can still stand in the shallow water a kilometre from the shore, which is especially helpful for surfing beginners. From Bork to Skarven in the south of Ringkøbing Fjord, vacation homes are lined up next to each other. In both places there's also a surf school with rentals.
Further along the coast towards the north is the 35km long and up to 3km wide ´Holmsland Klit`. The coastal road 181 leads over the dune chain which is up to 30m high in some places. If you prefer to explore the spit by bike or on foot, the small gravel paths closer to the sea are ideal.
The coastal town that gives the fjord its name invites you to stroll. The promenade gives the historic town a bit of modernity. In the alley to the ´Torvet` are buildings from the early 17th to 19th century. It used to be a trade route between the harbor and the marketplace and ends at the church from the early 15th century. The ´Gammel Sogn Kirke` with its lime paintings from the 12th century can be found in the west of the town.
Blick auf das Meer und die Dünen von Dänemark.

Discover North Jutland by camper

Our journey continues to Skagen - where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet - and on to the university town of Ålborg.

1. Klitmøller and Thy National Park

Thy, also called Cold Hawaii, is the surfing paradise of Denmark. All those who like surfing - whether surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing - should definitely plan a stop in the Thy region during their vacation in Denmark. The beaches around Klitmøller are the centere of the surfing paradise. Here you can rent boards and take surfing lessons. Other recommended (of the more than 30) surfing spots are in the very south of the national park in Agger or next to the ´Nørre Vorupør Mole`.
In addition, the national park in northwest Denmark has a great nature experience to offer. Around the ´Lodbjerg Fyr` you can go on great hikes and small walks. The impressive thing about the nature is that tall grass grows in the soft sand and partly also big trees. Barely 100m further, the flora in this national park already looks completely different.
Our Off insider tip: Take a detour to Stenbjerg. The ´Stenbjerg Landingsplads` is a beach section where you can see the whitewashed sheds of the fishermen built around 1900. Many small, colorful boats are moored on the beach. This section of the coast is not only a beautiful photo opportunity, but also a great beach to relax and get away from other tourists!

2. Blokhus, Løkken, Lønstrup - the Jammerbucht

The camper trip continues along the Jammerbucht to Blokhus. In the small tourist village, small boutiques meet with restaurants and fish stalls. To reach the main attraction, you have to walk through the village. The more sand there is on the streets, the closer you are - to the car beach. There's almost always something going on here and many people go swimming all year round. On warm days, an ice cream man even drives along the beach in his ice cream truck. So you can cool down at any time. The beach is overlooked by a huge beacon painted rust red, which was rebuilt in 2006 as a reconstruction of an old sea mark.
We leave Blokhus and drive on to Løkken. With a four-wheel drive, this stretch can be partly negotiated on the beach; if you want to be safe, you'd better drive the few kilometers on paved roads. In Løkken, the ´white city` awaits us from May to September. The 485 white-painted beach huts with their black roofs are used by locals and tourists. However, overnight stays in the wooden huts are not allowed. In Løkken you can also drive to the beach by car and park there. In the ´tourist stronghold` you can also find some restaurants, fish stalls, campsites and more parking spaces.
The next stop on out vacation in Denmark is the ´Lønstrup Klit`. From Løkken, the dunes turn into steep cliffs consisting of hard clay and soft sand layers. At the highest point of the cliff, ´Rubjerg Knude`, a shifting sand dune has formed. In the middle of this, the lighthouse of the same name, ´Rubjerg Knude Fyr`, has defied the sandstorms for over 100 years. The drifting sand museum, which was located there until 2002, unfortunately fell victim to its own theme. In the meantime, the shifting sand dune moved further inland again. However, the cliff edge is getting closer and closer to the tower and it is uncertain how long it will remain there or when it will have to be relocated.
To get to the beach, you can walk down one of the few steep staircases down Lønstrup Klit - please only use these places, as other places are life-threatening! By car you can drive down the ramp in Nørre Lyngby.
Weiße Strandhütten am Strand von Dänemark.

3. Hirtshals and Skagen, the northernmost city in Denmark.

We leave Hørring to the left - or better to the east - and continue to Hirtshals. The harbor town can impress not only with its large harbor - many ferries leave from here and cross to Føroyar, Iceland and Norway. You can also find the Oceanarium, where divers feed the fish at least once a day, near the harbor. In the city center and at the harbor you can watch the hustle and bustle at the quays. A little outside the city stands Hirtshals' lighthouse, elevated on a hill, from which you have a very nice view of the sea, the passing ferries and freighters and the whole city. Around the lighthouse is the ´Bunkermuseet` underground. You can see the bunkers from WW2 for free in the bunker museum. At the foot of this hill is a large camping site. You can find more detailed information about it in our blog entry about our camping tips.
Skagen is best known for the sand spit ´Grenen` or ´Skangen Gren`, which marks the northernmost point of Denmark. From the parking lot, you can take several short walks (about 3-4km) to the point where the North Sea and Baltic Sea meet. For those who don't want to walk, there is a tractor-drawn cart that will take you to the beach. Once on the beach, you can see very clearly where the rather flat, gentle Baltic Sea meets the rough, wild North Sea, especially when there is a swell. If you are lucky, you can even see a few seals swimming by or sunbathing on the beach.
The town invites you to stroll along the harbor or through the streets of ´Gammel Skagen`, the old town, to watch the fishermen at their harbor piers, the fishing spots, to marvel at the huge yachts and cruise ships or simply to enjoy the many small, colorful houses.
Our Off insider tip: During your vacation in Denmark, we also recommend a stop at the ´Råbjerg Mile` walking dune. The dune is located just south of Skagen. The impressive thing about this dune is that it is inland and moves - no matter what structures or roads are at this point. The ´Råbjerg Mile` is about 5km from the sea and moves 15 metres towards the northeast every year. We recommend you to go to the dune with flip-flops or light shoes, then you can feel the soft sand between your toes.

4. Ålborg - third largest city in Denmark

Ålborg is idyllically situated on the Limfjord and has a lot to offer architecturally and culturally. The city is perfect to explore by bike or on foot. So we recommend parking the camper a bit outside of the city.
The city center of Ålborg is small but nice. In several squares you can find churches, mostly painted white or made of brick. Many sights, such as the ´Ålborg Rådhus` and the ´Jens Bangs Stonehouse` can be found in the ´Østerågade`. In the ´Jomfru Ane Gade`, Ålborg's Reeperbahn, there's a lot to see and drink, especially in the evenings and at night. We recommend that you explore the city center on your own and let the small alleys take effect on you.
The ´Ålborghus Slot`, the castle of Ålborg, is definitely not a castle in the classical sense. The white-red half-timbered buildings from the 16th century look more like a nicer riding stable or something similar. We would say a visit here is not necessary. Quite the opposite is the ´Ålborg Centrale Havnefront` on the Limfjord. This is definitely part of a city walk through Ålborg. The ´Uzon Center` planned by Jørn Uzon, which is a research center and exhibition building, is particularly impressive from the outside. The center in Ålborg was one of the last realized buildings by the Danish architect, who also designed the Sydney Opera House and many other spectacular buildings. But the harbor front has even more to offer. Towards the east rise the ´CREATE Aalborg University`, the Nordkraft Cultural Center and the futuristic-looking ensemble of ´Musikkens Hus` and the Conservatory with its round windows.
On the other side of the castle square, the waterfront and the ´Jomfru Ane Parken`are lively with young people playing basketball, skating and much more. Just outside the city at the harbor is the ´Ålborg Streetfood Køkkenfabrikken`. Here, in addition to plenty of food and drinks, events are always offered or live concerts are played. The clientele is very international and rather alternative. If you drive or walk further, you can watch the leisurely drifting SUP paddlers between the mainland and the island of Egholm, or the windsurfers as they whiz across the water. In the ´Vestre Fjordpark` young and old can be found having fun in the water. The public swimming pool also has a diving tower, a small water course and beach volleyball courts.
Our Off insider tip: From Ålborg's observation tower, the Ålborgtårnet, you have an amazing view. However, the elevator of the landmark towering 105m above the sea game costs 40 crowns (≈5,40€). To save some money, you can also visit the rooftop bar of the Salling department store. The building is located in the city centre, which gives you a very nice view in all directions. In addition, unlike the tower, the rooftop terrace is not glazed, which makes the view a bit clearer.
Die Stadt Alborg in Dänemark aus der Vogelperspektive.

To East Jutland by camper

We drive to the Djursland peninsula. Afterwards we continue to Århus.

1. The Djursland peninsula

North of Århus, Djursland offers a natural change from the cities of Ålborg and Århus. The ´Mols Bjerge` national park offers the perfect conditions for hiking and beautiful excursions in the unique landscape. Ebeltoft is a small, idyllic and typical Danish town in Djursland. Its charm comes from the merchants' and craftsmen's courtyards in the traffic-calmed town centre, which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

2. Århus - The Capital of Culture

Our next stop is Århus, which was elected European Capital of Culture in 2017. In the second largest city in Denmark, there's much to see and experience. Due to the large university as well as the many small and large colleges, Århus is - measured by its inhabitants - the youngest city in Denmark and very lively. Because there is a large pedestrian zone in the city centre and the streets are narrow, we recommend to park the camper a bit outside of the city centre (e.g. here).
We start our city tour in ´Århus Ø`. The new building district in the northeast of the city looks very futuristic and testifies to the architectural affinity of the Danes. Besides the ´Isbjerget`, a white painted house complex with blue glazed balconies, you can marvel at many other special buildings. Just look around in the quarter and let yourself be inspired!
Further south on the waterfront rises a star-shaped building. It houses ´Navitas,` a joint project between Aarhus Universitet and industry to promote startups. It also offers space for coworking spaces. Before we reach the ´DOKK1` cultural centre, we stop at the ´Endless Connection`, a fountain consisting of circles at ´Havnepladsen`. We make a short detour to the ´Århus Domkirke` and the ´Århus Teater`. Back at the harbor, we pass DOKK1 and walk along the canal towards the city center. At the point where the ´Århus Å` makes a bend, you will see ´Vadestedet`, the stone steps inviting you to linger, drink coffee or just soak up the sun, on the right side towards the city center. After a short break we follow the course of the river a bit more and walk up the hill to ´ARoS`, which is hard to miss.
We recommend a visit to the art museum ´ARoS` in any weather conditions, because even when the weather is nice the exhibitions, which are spread over 10 floors, are worthwhile. At the end of the art experience you can still walk around the rainbow-colored glass ring, which is located on the box-shaped brick building. Not only the view over the whole city is impressive, but also the play of colors through the colored glass completes the cultural adventure.
Not far from the largest art museum in Northern Europe is the ´Møllepark` with the adjacent ´Møllestien` alley. The picturesque street with its small, quaint residential houses and flower gardens from the 13th century often serves as a photo and drawing motif.
At the end of our city walk in Århus we still stroll through the shopping street ´Strøget`. A little south of this street we reach the ´Århus Street Food`-Market, where we fortify ourselves for the onward journey.
Our Off insider tip: ´Den uendelige bro` - the circular and therefore infinite bridge is located a little south of Århus. From there you not only have a wonderful view of the harbor, but you can also watch the kayakers with their boats and the big freighters docking and unloading. The best time to go to the bridge is early in the morning at sunrise or sunset. A walk on the beach around the bridge is also worthwhile if you need some time out from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Bunte Brücke in Aarhus.
We hope you have enjoyed your vacation in Denmark so far. Next time we will travel northeast. Are you coming with us?

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