Denmark in just 4 days, is that even worth it? We say it is. And especially in the summer months when the days are long and you have a lot of daylight. Many people pass through here on their way to Scandinavia, but not many stop for more than one night – we are happy we had enough time to see a bit more of the country. Even more so after our longer weekend in Copenhagen last December – we really loved the city and wanted to see what the rest of the country is like.
This time we did a 5 week long road trip through Scandinavia & Baltic countries and Denmark was the first one we visited.
Places: Romo island, Ribe, Esbjerg, Aarhus, NP Thy, Klitmoller, Lokken, Furreby, Rubjerk Knude, Rabjerg Mile, Skagen, Hirtshals
How: with our LR Defender
Stayed in: wild camping in our car, campsites
Because we started our trip from northern Germany it didn´t took us all that long to reach the border and we were jumping up and down on the beaches on ROMO ISLAND already around 3 pm. From here, we continued to the far north, to SKAGEN and stopped at ESBJERG, AARHUS, NATIONAL PARK THY, KLITMOLLER, LOKKEN, SKAGEN, HIRTSHALS and some other interesting places on the way. We could not imagine a better introduction into our 3-4 months long road trip. We had sunny and warm weather all the days in Denmark, which made these days even nicer. Read more about all the things we saw and did here.
Denmark is considered to be ONE OF THE MORE EXPENSIVE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES so I strongly recommend you to bring some things with you on the trip. That is, if you are travelling with your own vehicle of course. And that goes especially for ALCOHOL and FOOD. There are NO ROAD TOLLS, you do have to pay for 2 BRIDGES, including the one over to Swedish Malmo.
If you have your trip all planned out by days it makes sense to PREBOOK THE FERRY well in advance, if you need one. Even though Denmark is in the European Union, they use the DANISH KRONE, but we were paying mostly by CREDIT CARD everywhere. In the cities, the PARKING FEES were around 4€ per hour, CAMPSITES per night for 2 pax and a car around 25€, MOTORHOME PARKING with water and toilet around 15€. Copenhagen is even more expensive than the rest of the country.
Officially, WILD CAMPING IS NOT ALLOWED, but we managed to do it 2 times. One time we really had no other option and the other time it just seemed like a nice idea haha. We also went to a camping for one night. Along the roads there are nice REST AREAS areas where you can fill up the water tanks. At finding places to sleep we, as always, used the apps PARK4NIGHT and IOVERLANDER.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN DENMARK
Romo island. Our FIRST STOP ON THIS ROAD TRIP. And not just quite without a reason. I´ve been following some amazing pictures of DRIVING ON SANDY BEACHES in Denmark for some weeks already and Romo looked like the perfect place to do it. Some of my German friends recommended it as one of the best places for camping in Denmark. So we had to go. Directly to LAKOLK BEACH, on the western side of the island.
The sun is shining, it is not too hot and not too cold, nice 22C and the wind is blowing just a little bit. And the sea, oh, THE SEA IS COLD. Too cold for me at least. Anyhow, I like the beach even without the swimming part. We park our black beast at the foot of the SAND DUNES and we go around for a WALK ON THE BEACH. Feels good to stretch the legs a bit after the 450km of driving, There are toilets at the beach as well.
On the sand, you do have to drive with cautioun, but IT IS POSSIBLE TO DRIVE ON THE BEACH WITH A NORMAL CAR or a MOTORHOME which is not a 4×4. But even if you do get into trouble, there are plenty of 4×4 vehicles around that can get you out of the sand. You also have to pay attention to the SEA LEVEL as it can RISE UP VERY QUICKLY. I would not leave the car unattended close to the sea. For that reason we parked closer to the sand dunes.
Our first self cooked dinner and the HUNT FOR A PLACE TO SLEEP can start. Easier said than done. As I said, WILD CAMPING IS NOT ALLOWED and you cannot stay on the beach with your car between 21pm and 7am. We found the first MOTORHOME PARKING. Full. The second one, full as well. After the third one, we gave up and parked ourselves on a small parking just in front of SONDERSTRAND beach. There was no sign you could not stay over night and there were 2 other cars, we were tired so that was our place. The beach itself looked even more wow than the one in Lakolk so it was a great place to be.
We did not spend a cent this day. We brouht lots of food and drinks with us so there was no need. And the FREE VIEW on the beach in the morning wins over any hotel or apartment. Slowly, slowly we were getting into the holiday mode.
Ribe, ONE OF THE OLDEST TOWNS IN DENMARK, really felt like a little village on a lazy Sunday morning when we visited it. We WALKED AROUND THE CENTER, they really have some cute old houses, narrow streets, nice shops and of course, a church on the main square. We could not resist a COFFE & BREAKFAST in one of the cafes, despite the higher prices (we closed one eye while paying the bill).
We really did not have a plan on where exactly we are going. Our only time & geographical guideline was the FERRY TO NORWAY we just booked a week before we left. So we had to be in the north of the country in a couple of days. We had lots of time, so we decided to head to the COASTAL TOWN OF ESBJERG. The town itself was nothing special to be honest, but there were these AMAZING STATUES, which go by the name MAN MEETS SEA. In real, they really look even more ipressive than on the pictures.
Aarhus is Denmark´s SECOND LARGEST CITY and it is situated on the east coast. For some reason, I really wanted to visit it,even though it would have made more sense to just stay on the west coast. But oh well, we like to drive and when I get an idea, I´m happy to realise it haha. So, back to Aarhus. It has lots of INTERESTING MUSEUMS.
We decided not to visit them, firstly because it was so sunny outside that we didn´t want to be somewhere inside for hours and secondly, because of the very high entry fees. Instead, we splurged a bit on the food side and had lunch and very expensive beers in a cool FOOD HALL. Soon, our apetite for bustling busy city feel was satisfied and we decoded tofind a place to sleep in THY NATIONAL PARK.
NATIONAL PARK THY
The drive itself was nice, but once we got to the park area it was even nicer. LAKES, FJORDS, sea channels, forests, fields – yup, very nice, even though no hills at all. We found a CAMPSITE STRAANDGARDEN in a little coastal town, THISTED, directly at the sand dunes and very close to a beach for just 20€ a night for 2 persons and a car.
Not bad at all, the price was excellent for this prime location. Even though surrounded mostyl by large (German) motorhomes, we found a spot where we had peace – the plots are quite huge over here and you really get enough privacy. Another yummy dinner, a SUNSET WALK ON THE BEACH and a good night sleep. Oh yes and a warm shower as well. Shower is always good. THE SUN SETS REALLY LATE OVER HERE, around 11 pm it is still quite bright. We had to get used to that a bit, but the long days were very convenient for travelling.
Not so far from our campsite, we stopped at this smaller coastal town on the way. KLITMOLLER is world famous for being a PARADISE FOR WINDSURFERS. It is even called the „COLD HAWAII“, I guess for good reasons. It is a cool spot for a stop for a quick walk around and admire the old WOODEN FISHING BOATS. If you have more time you can try out the windsurfing – there are lots of WINDSURFING SCHOOLS offering classes for beginners in the town.
Just when I thought Romo island is pretty much the only place where you can drive your car on a sandy beach in Denmark, we arrived at LOKKEN and guess what? We could do that here too! So much fun. The sun was shining and it was like a perfect BEACH DAY. If you are not so lucky with the weather, you can rent one of these WHITE LITTLE BEACH HUTS to hide from the wind or rain, but still enjoy the beach. Again, we were NOT BRAVE ENOUGH TO SWIM, we used the beach to relax in the sun, read books and rest a little bit.
All the way through the country we were seeing such WOODEN HUTS along the roads, selling BERRIES, POTATOES, EGGS, WOOD, VEGETABLES and other HOME MADE PRODUCTS. There is no person in them, you just pay the products by sticking the money into a small box. Not sure this would work in all the countries, but here it seems to be doing just so.
FURREBY BEACH BUNKERS
Good thing I was googling the coastal road this morning and found this awesome place more or less by accident. We sometimes forget how easy and convenient its is to travel with all this help from technology. Anyhow, we are happy we got to see these BUNKERS FROM THE WWII.
These mighty CONCRETE BUNKERS are scattered along the sandy beach just a few kilometres down the coast in LOKKEN and they used to form the so-called NORTH ATLANTIC WALL during the war times. In the past decades, the sea has moved and replaced them all over the beach. It is a really interesting walk around, plus, if you are brave enough, you can swim as the beach is nice on its own.
RUBJERK KNUDE LIGHTHOUSE
When the visibility is good, you can already see this amazing ABANDONED LIGHTHOUSE on the top of a huge cliff, covered with sand dunes from the BEACH IN LOKKEN. There used to be a CAFE and a MUSEUM on the top, just next to the lighthouse, but they fell apart due to the movement of the cliffs. They say the lighthouse is facing the same destiny, that is why this whole are is totaly abandoned.
There are NO FENCES on the top of the cliffs so you really need to WATCH YOUR STEP a bit, especially if you are there with smaller kids. But the VIEWS ARE LEGENDARY and the LIGHTHOUSE trapped between the SAND DUNES makes some great photo opportunities.
There is a bigger PARKING PLACE (free of charge) close to the road, but you will have to WALK AROUND 20 MINUTES to the top of the cliff. Once on the top, you can walk around in any direction you want, but as I said, watch your steps on the cliff edges.
RABJERG MILE SAND DUNES
Our last stop of the day was at this magnificent SAND DUNE, which happens to be ONE OF THE LARGEST IN EUROPE. The dunes at RABJERG MILE are constantly moving, every year they move for about 15m towards the forest and away from the sea.
The HIGHEST SAND DUNE PEAKS reach up to 40m and walking around here is really something special. There are NO ENTRY FEES and the PARKING IS FREE as well. In the summer months when there are more tourists, there is a so-called SUMMER BUS which comes from SKAGEN and also stops here.
SKAGEN is the largest town in this northern part of the country. The city is PRETTY TOURISTY, there are lots of SHOPS, RESTAURANTS and quite a big PORT. We decided to spend the evening and the night on its suburbs, AT THE BEACH. We found lots of little passages that lead between the sand dunes to the sandy beach. We took one, made dinner and enjoyed the great VIEWS OF THE SEA until sunset.
We found A SPOT TO SLEEP just a couple of 100 metres further, at the end of DAMSTEDVEJ ROAD. There is a convenient SMALL PARKING, toilets and trash. The beach is just meters away and there is a pretty HIGH SAND DUNE – climb on it and you will be rewarded with great views.
We spent the last day having a LATE BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH and catching a FERRY IN HIRTSHALS. We were off to KRISTIANSUND in NORWAY. In Hirtshals you have the last chance to do your groceries before facing the more expensive Norwegian shops. You can also fill up the gas, allthough it might not necessarily be more expensive in Norway.
So, that´s it. SHORT BUT SWEET! If we could choose right now, we would do it again and we´re happy we didn´t just rush through the country but we go to see all these nice places. I´m sure we will be back some day.