How to spend summer holidays in Denmark

When you think of Scandinavia what comes into your mind? Being wrapped up warm and cosy on cold winter nights? Cocoa by candlelight? You could be missing a trick. Summer is when Denmark truly comes alive. 

Why visit Denmark in summer?

With over 400 islands and thousands of miles of dramatic coastline, Denmark is the perfect place to spend your summer. Everything is so close together and easy to get to, giving you the freedom to explore your surroundings, unwind and recharge, away from the stresses of daily life.

From romantic drinks on a Copenhagen apartment balcony on a balmy July evening, to a home-cooked family dinner in a traditional summer house, or a sizzling beach barbeque with friends as the sun sets below the ocean, here's how to have a summer vacation in Denmark you'll never forget.

Danish Beaches: Europe's Best-kept Secret

Most people don't think of beach holidays when thinking of Denmark. Time to turn that around. Summer in Denmark gets nice and hot and with hundreds of islands to choose, Denmark has many beautiful sandy beaches, rolling dunes and hidden coves.

Unlike most European beaches, in Denmark there’s always room for everyone. No endless rows of sunbeds or rushing to find the best spot. Days at a Danish beach like stunning Søndervig in West Jutland are easy and relaxing, whether you want space to enjoy the beach with your children or find your own peaceful spot to lie back on.

For more active beach-lovers, there are plentiful activities on offer, such as fishing, kayaking, kitesurfing and windsurfing. At Klitmøller Bay in North Jutland, sometimes known as Cold Hawaii, you can experience some of the best windsurfing conditions in Europe.

Swimming in the sea is very popular in Denmark and with over 200 Blue Flag beaches around the coast, Denmark offers you some of the cleanest natural swimming areas in Europe. So come dive in, the water's fine!

Summer Houses: Where The Danes Stay

When the summer hits many Danes migrate to their summer houses. These traditional Danish holiday homes are beautiful, rustic and authentic places to enjoy the summer in the best countryside Denmark has to offer.

While many of these summer houses are privately owned, there are around 40,000 holiday homes for rent in Denmark. They tend to be located in picturesque areas, often near inland water or the coast and are decorated with individual, Danish style.

Holiday homes are spread throughout the country but there are some well-known summer house areas, namely North Jutland, the West Coast, the islands of Rømø and Fanø, eastern Fyn, Falster and Bornholm.

Copenhagen: Summer In The City

Denmark's capital city of Copenhagen is not to be missed in summer. Sure, it's a magical place to spend your winter break, but in summer the city truly opens up like a flower to reveal an urban playground for everyone to enjoy.

Copenhagen's beautiful cobbled streets are filled with restaurants, bars and cafes. With so much on offer, the city is perfect for socialising and partying on a warm summer evening. Vesterbro has a particularly buzzing vibe thanks to the vibrant and trendy Meatpacking District and the many flea markets that spring up during the summer months.

Beyond Copenhagen, Denmark's other cultural cities, like Aarhus and Aalborg, really blossom in summer. From outdoor events, concerts and picnics in the park, to urban swimming in the cities' harbours, there's a unique urban summer experience waiting for you, but without the overcrowding and stress of most European cities.

Island Getaway: Your Secret Escape

Want to get away from it all this summer and leave the modern world behind? How about an island-hopping escape? Look no further. Denmark is the perfect place to relax and hide from the rat race. 

Here you’ll find more than 400 named islands (72 of them inhabited) and tons of beautiful harbors and quiet beaches to escape to. Most of the small islands can be reached by ferryboat any time of the year, but summer is the perfect time to get outside, hit the water and explore.

With so many islands to explore, the sheer breadth of choice can be daunting. That's where we come in. From the beautiful sandy beaches and great fishing opportunities of Samsø to the fairy-tale houses of Ærø, there's so much of hidden Denmark to discover, but here are our top island choices for the perfect summer adventure.