Text and Photos by Lara Büsing
Northern Jutland. A mystical, fairytale place – said to have traveling sand dunes that will transport you to the desert, a strip of land at the end of which two waters meet and some of the most delicious seafood you will encounter on your travels through Denmark. It is easily accessible from the heart of Jutland, preferably by car, so you can catch up with your inner explorer and discover landscapes and small towns unreachable by train.
What you need to do as a first step to escape the hectic city life that you are probably usually accustomed to, is finding a cozy hotel on the seaside, far enough from small settlements so you will feel like you are the only person on that particular beach, but close enough to all the places you want to see so that you don’t spend more time in your car than necessary. Obviously, you should also consider the weather and opt for a rain free weekend, or at least bring your rain boots. To us, the perfect place became real in the form of the Svinkløv Badehotel. A very traditional, hidden-in-the-dunes kind of place, with an understatement philosophy apparent in their easy-going atmosphere yet five-star-worthy kitchen. It is a simplistic concept with high quality products – everything the Danish mentality has to offer. Due to no wifi availability it is the ideal weekend get-away. Though not exactly cheap, it is well worth spending the extra crown on.
When you have had enough relaxation in the laid-back hotel, it is time to take a trip to Aalborg, the fourth biggest town in Denmark. With its cute shops and many cafés you need to be prepared to want to spend more time here than what was planned. Let yourself get lost in the little alleyways of the old town, pop into the occasional church, have a look at the historical cloister and wander the grounds of the red and white castle. After that you could head up to Skagen to see the tip of Denmark and on the way explore other beaches on the northern coast.
Løkken beach has some amazing views with its long white-sand stretches and distinctly blue ocean. What is special about taking this route is that you can drive directly onto the beach with your car and not only that, you can also continue on your way to Skagen with the wind-swept dunes to your right and the sun-glistering waves of the ocean to your left. Just remember to drive up when you reach Lønstrup as that is presumably the last possibility to reach a cement road again. Be prepared to get some stunning sightings of half ruined bunkers, sunk down from the dunes, sprayed with graffiti. You will not believe your eyes when you see it. Reaching Skagen, you should continue straight to Grenen and walk on the sandbar towards the pointy end, where the Skagerrak and the Kattegat seas meet. Watch the sky change its color to some pastel wonders and slowly stroll back into the village of Skagen. The yellow houses there with many small shops make it an endearing village.
Head towards the marina and find a seat in the setting sun in front of one of the red fishing huts that have been converted into a promenade of fish restaurants. On those rustic wooden benches, in the midst of drunk Swedish sailors, you need to go for the rejer or honestly any other seafood they offer. It is great. If you’re lucky, a live band will start playing and you will feel like you have died and gone to heaven – Danish style.
On another day you should take your car and drive in the other direction, towards the Western coast. Take a trip to Klitmøller on a windy day, otherwise known as “Cold Hawaii” because it is the European kite and surfer’s paradise. On the way there, the scenery is more than stunning, crossing the Limfjord with its shallow waterways and many small islands. If you get the chance, try the very tasty Limfjord oysters.
A good final destination here is the beach in Vorupør with colorful fishing boats and some innovative ice cream flavors. Back at the Badehotel, take a last long walk on the beach, watch the intense sunset and sip on one of their superb wines, while still pushing away thoughts of your coming week back in reality. Relish those last moments in the North and plan to come back as soon as possible.