Delightful Danish Beach BreaksPosted on: 10 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Do it all – or nothing at all – on a Danish beach break this summer.
Some of the best beaches in the whole of northern Europe are actually to be found in Denmark – and with summer temperatures generally hovering around a comfortable 20-25c, Denmark offers the perfect environment for a relaxing, get-away-from-it-all beach break.
There is a huge array of beaches stretching around the country’s 7,000km of sandy coastline, over 200 of which have been awarded Blue Flags in recognition of their environment, water quality, safety and facilities.
From empty stretches of pristine sand to busy resorts featuring every activity under the sun, Denmark’s beaches are perfect for families, nature lovers, sports enthusiasts and just about every imaginable kind of summer holiday.
Denmark is full of family-friendly beaches scattered all around the coast. One of the best is Bisnap Beach in North Jutland, which was voted ‘Northern Jutland’s Best Beach’ by the readers of leading Danish newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.
Located just north of the typical Danish fishing village of Hals, this scenic, uncrowded beach is backed by extensive dunes and offers safe bathing and plenty of activities.
The fine sand and shallow waters make this an especially child-friendly option, and the beach’s Blue Flag status is the icing on the cake.
Make It A Bargain Break
August flights are never cheap, but you can fly to Copenhagen with Easyjet in September 2008 for around £27.99 each way.
You can also take a ferry from Harwich, arriving in Esbjerg for £49 per person, or £205 for 2 people with a car through DFDS Seaways.
Novasol offers a wide range of cosy holiday cottage and with prices per cottage they offer great value for families. Prices start from £150 to £250 for up to six people, depending on the time of year. Visit www.novasol.co.uk or call 0870 197 6568 for more information.
Further south in West Jutland, there are some spectacular beaches stretching along the North Sea coastline. One of the most magnificent of the region’s beaches is the 60km stretch of sand between Blavandshuk to Hvide Sande.
Backed by a breathtaking wilderness of towering sand dunes, the North Sea beaches are some of Denmark’s most stunning. Kids will love the ‘seal safari’ boat trips that are available from Esbjerg Harbour, with sightings of Denmark’s largest population of spotted seals being virtually guaranteed during the summer months.
SeaWest (www.strandhotellerne.dk) is one of Denmark’s newest holiday centres and located close to Hvide Sande with spacious, well-appointed, one- and two-storey chalets, where a week at the end of August in a Fisherman’s Cottage costs from £520 for a family of four.
Some of Europe’s widest beaches can be found down in South Jutland, where the enormous stretch of white sand at Rømø is simply breathtaking and offers plenty of room for kite-surfing and sandcastle-building alike!
Many of the campsites (www.danskecampingpladser.dk) and holiday cottages (www.novasol.co.uk) in this area, such as at Haderslev, Aabenraa and Sønderborg are located right on the beach, making for a hassle-free experience.
The island of Funen and its archipelago of southern islands combines some of Denmark’s most stunning scenery with wide sandy beaches and picturesque seaside towns such as the fishing village of Kerteminde.
With its new sea-life centre ‘Fjord & Bælt’, children can get up close and personal with small whales and other fascinating sea life (www.fjord-baelt.dk) or go west to the centuries old harbour of Assens for seafaring history and remarkably well-preserved collection of 18th and 19th century merchants houses.
Some of the best camp sites in Denmark can be found on Funen, with over 40 sites to choose from, including a number of exclusive 5 star campsites such as Top Camp Bogense Strand (www.bogensecamp.dk) with everything from family water parks to private Jacuzzis (www.danishcampsites.co.uk).
Another family favourite can be found at Grenaa in East Jutland. With seven kilometres of white, sandy beach and easy access to the many child-friendly attractions on the Djursland peninsula, Grenaa Strand is an obvious choice for families.
Top attractions in the area include the Tivoli Friheden amusement park (whose rides range from a gentle Ferris wheel to some genuinely hair-raising rollercoaster’s) and the Djurs Sommerland water park, whose 60+ rides include rollercoaster’s, water slides and a kids’ flying school.
The holiday centre at FerieCenter Kattegat (www.kattegat.dk) costs from £626 in June but after mid-August the prices drops to £438 for a standard Type A house on a self catering basis for up to 4 people.
Another great option a bit more inland is the DanParcs holiday centre “Søhøjlandet” near the pretty lake town of Silkeborg (www.danparcs.dk).
Further east on Sealand, the coastline is characterised by sheltered beaches, picturesque fishing villages and countless islands that are ideal for exploring by boat.
South of here are the relaxed, sandy beaches around the islands of Lolland, Falster and Mon, which are ideal for bathing especially Ulvshale on the island of Møn, Marielyst on the island of Falster and the whole of the Lolland-island Baltic coast.
A week at the Gilleleje Holiday Centre in North Sealand (www.danskfolkeferie.dk), for example, costs from £931 in July but after mid-August the price drops to around £645 for a week in a type B house for up to six 6 people on a self catering basis.
Alternatively, further south on the little island of Møn a week at the Camping Møns Klint (www.campingmoensklint.dk) costs from approximately £200 for a family of two adults and two children.
Sharp-sighted beachcombers on many of Denmark’s beaches may be rewarded with genuine treasure in the form of particles of golden amber.
These nuggets of prehistoric pine resin can be found in many places, though the oldest known example (carbon-dated to be around 170-million years old) was found on Bornholm, an island in the Baltic Sea that’s famed for its wonderful beaches and stunning scenery.
Other good places to hunt for amber include the beaches of West Jutland, Kattegat and Østersøen.
Conditions for both amber- and fossil-hunting are best after a storm, when the waves cast exciting discoveries all over the shore.
Meanwhile, down in the southern Sealand region (www.visiteastdenmark.com) the erosion of the dramatic cliffs at Møn make this area ideal for fossil-hunters and the opening of the GeoCenter at Møns Klint (www.moensklint.dk).
Skagen, located right up on the extreme north-eastern tip of Denmark, has long attracted artists to the region thanks to the strangely pure quality of the daylight that’s given the North Jutland region its nickname, the ‘Land of Light’.
Many hundreds of paintings of the local area can be viewed in the Skagens Museum (www.skagensmuseum.dk), after which visitors can discover the artists’ renderings of the views and scenery in real life.
Skagen’s beach – a long finger of the finest sand surrounded by waters of the brightest blue – is one of Denmark’s most iconic natural sites.
Wide, open beaches combined with fresh winds from the North Sea make South and West Jutland an ideal place to try out a variety of water sports.
Windsurfing is popular all along the West Jutland coast, while down on South Jutland’s island of Rømø the wide, sandy beaches are perfect for kite surfing and beach sailing (also known as blow-karting).
At 1½ miles wide at a low-tide, Sønderstranden beach offers the best conditions for these two activities in the whole of the country.
There can be few more imposing backdrops to a beach holiday than the dramatic Renaissance masterpiece that is Kronborg Castle (www.kronborgcastle.com).
Located atop a sandy peninsular near the town of Helsingør, Kronborg Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is famed as the fictional setting for William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Hamlet.
Over on the west coast, history comes to life at the Viking Museum and nearby Viking Centre (www.ribesvikinger.dk), located just inland from the wonderful beaches to the south of Ebsjerg.
Wildlife abounds around Denmark’s coastline and there are many exciting species to be discovered within easy reach of the beach.
Skagen in North Jutland (www.visitnordjylland.com) is a well-known hotspot for migrating birds, which congregate here in some numbers in the springtime before continuing their journeys across the Baltic Sea.
Over on North Jutland’s western coast, the white sandy beaches within the newly-designated Thy National Park (www.thy.dk) are just a stone’s throw away from exciting wildlife in the hinterland.
Top billing goes to nearby Bygholm Vejlerne, the largest bird sanctuary in northern Europe, where bird species include ducks, waders and exotic-looking spoonbills.
Danish cuisine relies heavily on the dairy, cereal, pork and seafood products that grow readily in the country’s Scandinavian climate.
Certain regional recipes are well worth searching out, such as the traditional home-made sausages found in South Jutland.
One of the most distinctive regional ingredients, however, is the delightfully salty ‘Wadden Sea lamb’ that is raised on the coastal grasslands of West Jutland. The delicious meat can be discovered in restaurants all across the region (gb.sydjylland.com).
Best Of Both Worlds
The island of Funen and its surrounding archipelago of smaller islands combine the best of both worlds, with stunning scenery and wide sandy beaches lying within easy reach of Odense, Denmark’s third-largest city.
Known as one of the oldest towns in Denmark and the birthplace of children’s storyteller Han Christian Andersen, this medieval city has some interesting attractions such as the Hans Christian Andersen Museum (www.odmus.dk) and the superb collection of galleries, cafés and cinemas at Brandts Klædefabrik, housed in a former textile factory (www.brandts.dk).
Funen’s beaches are well known for their multitude of water sports, which include sea kayaking and sailing around the islands.
Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity of spotting seals and even whales when exploring these pristine coastal waters.
Getting to Denmark from the UK has never been easier. DFDS Seaways (www.dfds.co.uk) sails from Harwich to Esbjerg, while Sterling (www.sterling.dk), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (www.flysas.com) and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) fly to various Danish gateways from several UK airports.
For more information on Denmark including the latest offers log on to the Danish tourist board website here.
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