Nowhere in Denmark is located more than 50km from the sea. Nationwide there are sandy beaches, not least along the west coast. And you’ll find holiday cottages nestled among the dunes in the coastal wilderness and woodlands.
Denmark has 72 inhabited islands with unique traditions, heritage and nature. There are ferry services to most of the islands. Here there are seaside hotels, cottage B&Bs and holiday homes.
With hundreds of kilometres of cycle-friendly roads and designated cycle routes, Denmark offers a wide choice of cycle holidays.
Active seaside sports
The Danish west coast is a prime location for active water sports. The Thy National Park in North Jutland is one of Europe’s best windsurfing locations. You can go blocarting on the islands of Rømø and Fanø in the Wadden Sea National Park. And there are hotspots for paragliding by the mighty drifting sand dunes and wild beaches of North Jutland.
With an ancient maritime tradition, Denmark offers the chance to explore green islands and venture on daytrips on board vintage sailing ships. Among the offerings is sailing in reconstructed Viking ships at the Viking Ship Museum.
Denmark offers a chance to hike through scenic nature along official designated routes. There are also three official pilgrimage trails: one along the Ancient Road (Hærvejen) that follows the rolling hills of the Jutland Ridge, one on the island of Møn (called Camønoen) and one that follows the cloister route (Klosterruten) in North Sealand.
With no mountainous flash floods and with easy-flowing waters, Danish rivers are family-friendly locations for canoeing. Among the popular locations are Gudenåen in Jutland and Mølleåen by Copenhagen.
Summer in Denmark is also a time of open-air heritage festivals. Among the highlights in historical and scenic settings are the Medieval festival (Danehof Marked) in Nyborg on Funen and the Viking Moot (Vikingetræf) close to Aarhus. There are also activities throughout the summer at medieval and Viking centres at several locations nationwide.
There are major open-air museums in or close to Denmark’s four largest cities. Here, farms and townhouses have been relocated brick by brick to create living museum environments with heritage workshops, costumed staff and hands-on activities.
Denmark is home to the world’s first LEGOLAND and to the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park. The Djursland area close to Aarhus, the Billund resort region and the Danish capital region all offer a whole host of family attractions. See the regional guides for further info.
Denmark has 4 coastal national parks and there are two UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites. Nature abounds with wide-open beaches, woodlands, windswept heaths, green islands and rolling farmlands.
A kingdom for more than 1,000 years, Denmark offers a wealth of royal and aristocratic heritage. There are castles, palaces and manor homes nationwide.
Summer is an inspiring time of year to visit parks and gardens. Copenhagen abounds with romantic parklands. The city also has one of the world’s largest urban nature reserves. And castles around the nation offer the chance to visit splendid estates with rose gardens, mazes and more.
The waters of Little Belt between Funen and Jutland are known to have Europe’s highest concentration of porpoise, which is a small whale no larger than a dolphin. You are guaranteed sightings on porpoise-watching trips in the area. You can also spot porpoise on trips from other locations, including Øresundsakvariet in Elsinore.
With sand banks and abundant fish, Denmark is a natural habitat for seals. You can join ranger-guided seal safaris in the Wadden Sea National Park. But there are also seal-watching trips in many parts of the country, including Copenhagen.
Some of Denmark’s finest restaurants are to be found by the seaside, including at coastal hotels. Fishing towns are also great places to discover Danish seafood, such as at the smokehouses.
City summer stays
Danish cities offer a wide choice of attractions and cultural experiences, not least in the capital Copenhagen. Summer is a time of outdoor food and music festivals. And there is also far more to Copenhagen than heritage attractions; it’s also a city of design and shopping – not just in the city centre but also in its liveable neighbourhoods. Aarhus is also a green and inspiring destination with grand new museums and events.
With only a few hours of darkness during summer months, Denmark offers the chance to experience bright nights. On 23 June, Midsummer’s Eve is celebrated with bonfires along the beaches. And the northernmost town of Skagen is famed for its radiant bluish summer light.