Discovering northern Jutland
Looked down upon by city-slickers back east for its slow-lane image, northern Jutland is just the place for anyone looking to get away for a week or a day
Known as ‘the land of light’ because it has more daylight hours than anywhere else in Denmark, the northern Jutland region has something to offer everyone, young or old.
What separates northern Jutland from many other areas of Denmark is its natural beauty. The west coast is home to Denmark’s first national park, Nationalpark Thy, which covers a total of 244 sq km. Further to the north is Denmark’s large sand dune, Rubjerg Knude; and at the country’s northernmost point, Grenen, you can stand in both the Skagerrak and Kattegat seas at the same time.
Looking to make use of all that light? Northern Jutland is awash with great sunbathing beaches, which can be found all along the region’s coastline. Whether you travel to the west or to the east, you will find a great place to swim. All this nature also provides plenty of opportunities for those who are interested in an active holiday – biking, hiking, horseback riding and even hang-gliding, you’ll find something here to cater to your sense of adventure.
But that isn’t all that northern Jutland has to offer: the region is also rich in art and culture. The town of Skagen has been inspiring artists since the early 20th century. The university city of Aalborg offers many art museums and installations. The region also has strong American roots, and you will find many places named after American culture plus real American-style restaurants. The area also boasts the world’s largest US Independence Day celebrations outside the US.
Northern Jutland is also kid-friendly, with a large variety of attractions that cater to children. Get your thrills at the amusement park Fårup Sommerland. Go to the Aalborg Zoo and watch the polar bears romp. Or head to one of the region’s many museums and learn how to make salt the old-fashioned way or follow in the footsteps of the Vikings.
There’s even something for young adults in northern Jutland. As a university town, Aalborg is always bustling. Check out the popular street Jomfru Ane Gade, where all the best bars and nightclubs are located. At the harbour, there is a swimming area and a park that are just right for lounging with friends as you enjoy a beer. Day or night, Aalborg is active.
But maybe you want to get away from it all. With seven health spas bearing the Wellness Danmark seal of approval, northern Jutland is the destination of choice for those who are looking for a little pampering. There are also a number of small towns where you can rent a summerhouse, kick back, enjoy the smell of the sea and just relax.
Whatever type of holiday you’re looking for, you can very likely find it in northern Jutland.
With the region’s endless beaches, it is easy to find a summerhouse rental or campsites where you can stay. The towns of Blokhus, Løkken, Lønstrup and Tversted are all great options on the west coast. In the east, be sure to check out the towns of Hals and Aså. When visiting Aalborg, consider Cabinn and Helnan Phønix Hotel Aalborg. Those looking for a one-stop holiday should consider Feriecenter Øster Hurup. Close to the beach and featuring activities for the kids – including an indoor waterpark should the weather decide not to co-operate – it is an ideal place to settle down for a week.
Our pick: Rent a summerhouse in Hals. Besides the great beaches, the town itself is an experience with its charming market square and harhour front.
Northern Jutland offers numerous options for an active holiday. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or barely off training wheels, the Mors Tourist Bureau has cycling tours to suit any ability level, and many are organised with families in mind. Some also give the option to either rough it (stay at campsites) or take it easy (stay in a hotel). Looking for something for the whole family to do? Head to the town of Nykøbing and visit Jesperhus, northern Europe’s largest flower park. If you’re not into flowers, there are plenty of other places to visit, including a jungle zoo and a 4D cinema. And don’t forget Fårup Sommerland, an amusement park in a forest that also claims to be Denmark’s best camping area.
Our pick: Mors Rundt. This five-day cycling tour is an easy-going, family-friendly route around the island of Mors. It provides a great opportunity to mix relaxation with an active holiday. Visit visitmors.dk to book.
Like the area itself, the regional gastronomy has a lot to offer. With so much water everywhere, it makes sense that northern Jutland is known for its seafood. From fresh fish and Limfjord oysters to pink lobster, many of the region’s restaurants take advantage of the ocean’s bounty and offer fresh meals made with creatures caught nearby. Head out to the town of Løgstør and visit Restaurant Kanalfogedes Køkken to try the oysters. Looking for a hip and trendy place to eat? Visit Aalborg’s youthful downtown area, which has numerous cafés, such as Ulla Terkelsen, London – named after Denmark’s most indefatigable foreign correspondent. Want a more American dining experience? Head up to the town of Sæby and check out Highway 69, an American-Italian inspired restaurant serving up ribs, steaks, burgers and more.
Our pick: Ulla Terkelsen, London. The cafe atmosphere is great, the seating is comfortable and the portion sizes are great for the price. Dessert here is also a must (facebook.com/CafeUlla)
Looking to go someplace that will please everyone in the family? From fulfilling Dad's sense of adventure to Mum's need for relaxation and the kids' need to play, northern Jutland is sure to have something for everyone. The region boasts numerous natural areas, including Denmark's first national park. And when youre looking to get back to civilisation, Aalborg, the country's fourth largest city, has everything you could want, including zoos, shopping centers, restaurants.and clubs.
Looking for great beaches? The region is literally surrounded by them. Northern Jutland is also the gateway to Norway, and the fast ferry from Hirtshals to Kristiansand makes a day trip possible. Looking for some history? The are is known for the large Viking graveyard in Lindholm Høje and the Franciscan Friary Museum, which is found under the walking streets of Aalborg. No matter what kind of holiday experience your family needs, northern Jutland can provide it.