Exploring the Best of Western Denmark

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Western Denmark offers travelers the opportunity to explore cities and nature, all within short drives. The lively cities of Aarhus and Aalborg offer a mix of history and contemporary vibes, while the smaller cities of Ribe and Odense will charm visitors with their cobblestone streets and history-from the Viking Age to Hans Christian Andersen. Explore the coastline line for its UNESCO National parks, plenty of beaches and its delightful seafood! And be sure to visit LEGOland-this is home to the original Legos!

The following is just a sample itinerary focusing on the highlights of west Denmark.

For custom luxury travel and tours to Copenhagen, Denmark or Scandinavia, please contact one of our travel experts.

Download PDF itinerary here: 
Exploring the Best of Western Denmark

Day 1
Billund-Aarhus | Photo by Robin Skjoldborg

Upon arrival into Billund on your KLM flight, pick up your rental car and head north to Aarhus. Your drive is approximately one hour fifteen minutes.

Although Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city, it is rather compact and easy to manage on foot. The city has a lively port, a pedestrian only canal area and the historic Latin Quarter. Møllestien is a residential cobblestone street lined with historic cottages each painted a lively color,

Your guide will meet you this afternoon to explore this charming city. Begin with a visit to Den Gamle By, an open air museum taking guests through three centuries of Danish history. Step into the homes and business of the past from the 1800s to 1920s and onto the 1970s. The 75+ historic buildings were relocated here from all over Denmark.

Your guide will also show you the Viking Museum, a small underground museum located on the former grounds of the city’s Viking origins.  Artifacts were discovered in the 1960’s when the ground was dug for new buildings. In addition to the artifacts displays, you can see how Aarhus was developed over the past 1200 years.

Continue to ARos, the Aarhus Art Museum, which features Danish art from the past 300 years, highlighting the Danish Golden Age and Modernism. Be sure not to miss the rooftop exhibit created by Olafur Eliasson.  The rainbow panorama is a circular walkway which provides great views of the city al in different hues of the rainbow.

This evening, we suggest exploring Aarhus Street Food, with its lively atmosphere and plenty of great options for delicious food.  If looking for something a bit more upscale, the city has several Michelin star, Bib Gourmand and Michelin plate restaurants.

Afterwards, take a stroll along the harbor to see some stunning architecture- DOKK1, the Dome and the Iceberg.

Exeter Services

Guide (3 hours)

Hotel

Comwell Dolce Wyndham

Day 2
Aarhus-Aalborg | Photo by Bang Clemme Film

Today depart for Aalborg. Drive time is one and a half hours.

You may want to make a slight detour on your drive and visit the Moesgaard Museum, overlooking the sea. The museum is about fifteen-minute drive south of Aarhus. The museum explores the culture, nature and architecture. Take a stroll along Prehistoric Trail to see burial mounds and restored prehistoric homes. Find forest, beaches, and parks.  Inside the museum dive into the history of mankind.  The highlight of this museum is Grauballe man which is the world’s best-preserved bog man from the Iron age.

This afternoon, your guide will meet you to explore Aalborg. Fans of architecture will want to visit Utzon Center, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the same man who designed the Sydney Opera House. Sitting near the Utzon Center on Aalborg’s waterfront is the Musikkens Hus, home to the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. You may also want to visit the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, designed by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The museum displays modern and contemporary pieces from international artists as well as Danish artists. The city’s waterfront has been revitalized in the past few years.  Take a stroll through Jomfru Ane Park.

Your guide will also show you Hjelmerstald, Aalborg’s colorful Old Town, the town is picture perfect with its cobblestone streets lined with crooked houses.

Located below one of the busiest streets in Aalborg, you will find the Franciscan Monastery. Dating back to 1250, walk among the medieval ruins, viewing artifacts from the city’s history.

Exeter Services

Guide (3 hours)

Hotel

Comwell Hvide Hus

 

Day 3
Aalborg-Skagen-Thy National park | Photo by Daniel Villadsen

This morning, depart for Skagen, known for its characteristic yellow houses.  Your drive time is just over one hour. Skagen is an artist colony and the Skagen Museum holds a great collection of works from artists throughout the years. Anchers House is the former home of two artists from the late-1800-early 1900’s.  The artwork and furnishings are original to the home.   Drachmanns House is a lovely example if a half-timber home, featuring works by the painter Holger Drachmann.

Stand at the northernmost point in continental Europe at Grenen, where two seas collide.

Continue your drive by heading down along the west coast to Råbjerg Mile, where you will find a large migrating sand dune. The drive is about one hour.  In this area, you will find the Rubjerg Knude Light House. The lighthouse began operation in 1900, serving as a beacon for almost 70 years.  The coastline has been eroding and the lighthouse and several other nearby historic buildings were moved further back to prevent falling into the North Sea.   One building that did not survive the sand migration is the St. Laurence Church. Parishioners had to dig through the sand to enter the church until it was closed in 1795.  Today only the tower stands as a reminder of mother nature’s force. 

Afterwards, head further south, to the Thy National Park. Your drive from Skagen takes about 2 and half hours. Tonight, you have the opportunity to sleep right in the park.  Your tented accommodations provide all the comforts while enjoying the nature surrounding you.

If you prefer not to “glamp” then we highly suggest the Svinkløv Badehotel, set right on the dunes.  The historic hotel has undergone a stunning renovation.

Exeter Services

None

 

Hotel

101 Glamping/ Svinkløv Badehotel

Day 4
Thy National Park | Photo by Mette Johnsen

Today, explore Denmark’s oldest national park- Thy National Park. This Park has it all- ocean, sand dunes, forest and lakes.  You can enjoy hiking, biking, paddleboarding, horseback riding and even surfing!  Surfers have flocked to this area, aptly named “Cold Hawaii” for its excellent surfing conditions.

The Park also has an abundance of culinary delights and a tour can be arranged to seek out mushrooms and berries. 

After enjoying your outdoor adventures, head onto Ribe, drive time is about 2.5 hours.

Exeter Services

None

Hotel

Hotel Dagmar

Day 5
Ribe | Photo by David Zanardi

This morning, explore the oldest town in all of Scandinavia. Ribe’s history dates back to the 700’s when it was a trade town for the Vikings. Your guide will take you through the cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered houses. Visit the Viking Museum to learn about the origins of the city. Step into the cathedral and climb to the top for a wonderful view of the city.  Your guide will discuss the witch hunts that took place here as well.

Ribe is the home town of Jacob Riis, author of the book “How the Other Half Lives”, documenting the poor in New York City in the late 1800’s.  Follow the life of Riis from Denmark to New York and learn how he brought to life the tragic details of the New York Slums earning him respect from President Roosevelt.

If interesting in learning more about the Vikings, head to the Viking Center which has recreated a Viking village. See traditional Viking buildings, learn their trades and sample their food.

This afternoon, you may choose to take head out to the Tirpitz Bunker Museum. The bunker was built in 1944 by Nazis forces but was never completed once the Germans surrendered the next year. The remains of the bunker have now been turned into a gallery space.  Tour parts of the dark former bunker halls which then open onto bright rooms lined with glass walls to the sea, Learn the history of the building, the coastal area and see the country’s largest collection of amber.

Later, make your way to Henne Kirkeby Kro, a historic inn with two Michelin stars.

Exeter Services

Guide (3 hours)

 

Hotel

Henne Kirkeby Kro

Day 6
Wadden Sea | Photo by Niclas Jessen

Today explore the Wadden sea National Park, which features one of the world’s largest tidal flats.  The Park has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site and has a rich ecosystem and is a breeding ground for birds and seals. Be sure to visit the Wadden Sea Center, with its thatched roof and timber siding, the thoroughly modern interior is quite a contrast! The center provides a great overview of this remarkable area.

Head to Mandø, a small island in the Wadden Sea, accessible only during low tide via a road that is placed on the very bottom of the sea. This is the best place for oyster picking in Denmark. Strap into some wadders and learn how to pick oysters from the seabed and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

If you visit during the spring or fall, you could see the Black Sun. This phenomenon is when thousands of starlings fly and circle synchronized, turning the sky black.

A bit more south, you can climb the Marsk Tower. Rising 100 feet out of the landscape, the winding staircase provides a dramatic sight and affording an expansive view across the marshlands.

Exeter Services

Oyster Safari

Hotel

Henne Kirkeby Kro

Day 7
Wadden Sea-Billund | Photo by Lars Roed

Today, depart to Aalborg airport to turn in your rental car and meet your departing KLM flight.

Exeter Services

None

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