Perhaps most famous for having the world’s first – and still Europe’s biggest – LEGOLAND, Southern Jutland also has a whole lot more to offer family travellers. From the marshlands and sandy tidal flatlands of the Wadden Sea National Park to the rolling hills, river springs, beaches and woodlands of Vejle, nature is one of the great attractions. It also boasts Scandinavia’s oldest town, unique Viking heritage centres and, within 25 km of Billund Airport, you’ll not only find LEGOLAND but also an exotic safari park. There is something for everyone in Southern Jutland.
Living crafts and battling Vikings
Scandinavia’s oldest town, Ribe, has more to offer than its cathedral and historic townhouses; it also has a Viking heritage centre where you can experience living crafts, costumed interpretive staff and fun and educational activities. The centre also hosts a Viking festival with battling Vikings, authentic crafts and markets (30 April – 6 May 2012).
Ribe Viking Centre
Open: 30 April – 19 October
UNESCO World Heritage
1,000 years ago the Viking kings Harald Bluetooth and Gorm the Old erected two rune stones in the town of Jelling to mark the birth of the nation. These rune stones, two royal barrows and Jelling Church, Denmark’s oldest, now enjoy UNESCO World Heritage patronage. In recent years, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a giant stockade and scores of Viking longhouses in the area – a fortified town! Visitors enjoy free admission to the Royal Jelling Visitors’ Centre. And a Viking market is held from 7–8 July 2012.
Royal Jelling Visitors’ Centre – free admission
Open: All year
Europe’s first drop coaster and real live penguins!
The world’s first and still Europe’s largest LEGOLAND features a wide range of fun and educational activities. There is the splash battle Pirate’s Bay and the underwater Atlantis, where real sharks guard the treasure. And there is Miniland with miniature world landmarks made of more than 50 million LEGO bricks. New this year is Polar Land with Europe’s first drop coaster and real live penguins! The coaster sends you crashing through the icecap and into a whirlwind Artic tour. The new attraction opens in May.
Open: 31 March – 28 October. Note rides are not open all days
Location: Billund, near the airport
A hands-on science centre
An open-air science centre with hands-on fun activities. The centre lets both children and adults learn about the climate, environment and the forces of nature. Lift a car single-handed. Watch an 18-metre spouting geyser and learn about digital technology the fun way. Family package holidays available.
Open: 1 April – 24 October 2012
Location: close to Sønderborg
A safari park with gorillas, lions and wildlife
One of Europe’s most modern zoos with open habitats and fun educational activities for children. There are more than 70 different species, a third of which are endangered. You walk past Gorilla Island and drive through open savannahs with lions, giraffes and elephants. Givskud Zoo also has a bush camp where groups (min. 20/max. 34) can sleep next to African wildlife! Package deals available.
Open: 21 April – 21 October 2012
Location: 25 km from LEGOLAND and Billund Airport
Exceptional tidal conditions forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands permit a highly diverse flora and fauna in this coastal area of south western Denmark known as 'the Wadden Sea'. The wildlife of the Wadden Sea includes millions of birds and fish, hundreds of seals and a copious amount of oysters. The area is rich in biological diversity and most activities such as seal safari, oyster hunting, angling, amber hunting and the Black Sun phenomenon, allow participation by people of all ages.
Bounty from the tidal flatlands
Hunting for oysters on the vast tidal flatlands of the Wadden Sea National Park is a fun, family experience. You won’t find any natural pearls but it’s a great way to teach children about the bounty of the sea and taste fresh, natural oysters. Tours are organised by rangers from the Wadden Sea Centre (February–April).
Wadden Sea Centre
The graceful dance of starlings
You don’t have to join rangers on guided tours to discover the natural spectacle of migrating starlings as they swarm across the sky. Every year millions of starlings gather on the marshlands of Southern Jutland, a phenomenon called Black Sun (March/April + September/October).
Wadden Sea Centre
Visit their natural habitat in the national park
Join ranger-guided boat safaris to the natural habitats of indigenous grey seals in the sandy flatlands of the Wadden Sea National Park. Seal-spotting is a fun activity for children and a great way to learn about nature.
Wadden Sea Centre
With wide-open nature, Southern Jutland has much to offer holidaymakers that won’t even cost a penny. There are also festivals and heritage attractions with free admission – with something for everyone.
Kiting on the island of Rømø
Kitebuggies race across the vast sandy flatland of the island of Rømø in the Wadden Sea National Park. Great to watch – but why not bring a kite of your own and watch it catch the wind on a sunny day? The island hosts an annual kite festival with huge floating kites (7–9 September 2012).
500 horsemen and family entertainment
Scandinavia’s biggest tilting tournament takes place by Sønderborg Castle. 500 horsemen take part in the 3-day event, which also brings military bands, markets and a funfair to town (6–9 July 2012).