The country’s true Vikings

In the year 1066, less than a month before the Normans – a group of Norsemen who had centuries earlier settled in northern France – won the famous Battle of Hastings, the good gentlemen of England defeated a horde of fierce invaders from the east at Stamford Bridge. Little did they know then, but these proved to be the final ever Viking offensives launched against the island, although Chelsea’s fans will testify that there have been plenty more battles at Stamford Bridge.

But while it’s fair to say that nowadays true Vikings are hard to find, it’s not impossible. Just 45 minutes northwest of Copenhagen, in Frederikssund, you’ll find a whole community of the roaring, mead-drinking, sword-fighting, meat-stuffing Danes every summer.

Because since 1952 – when 669 men decided to rest their razors and let nature take its course on their faces – it has been a tradition to stage a Viking play every summer in the Viking town in Frederikssund.

Viking Play
This year Torben Sekov has taken up the battle to direct Hagbard og Signe, a play to honour ancient times and Norse mythology. Odin, the Zeus of Norse mythology, is displeased with the half-god Loki and kicks him out of the gods’ world, Asgard. Loki comes up with a sneaky plan for his return, but it involves the death of a young infatuated Viking warrior. 
Kalvøen, Kalvøvej 28, Frederikssund; starts Fri, ends July 14, performances Tue-Sat 20:00, Sun 16:00 (also Sun June 23 at 20:00) no play on Tue June 25; tickets: adults 175kr, under-14s 50kr, under-5s free adm, package deals include a tour and/or food; 4731 0685;

Don’t miss this unique chance to sail in an exact copy of a Viking ship on Roskilde Fjord. The 90-minute tour is sure to make you feel the rush the Vikings felt when they set sail and went on raids. This exceptional experience only became part of the programme last year.
Kalvøen, Vikingebopladsen, Frederikssund; starts Fri, ends July 13; Fri 17:00 (June 21 only), every Sat 10:30, 13:00, 15:00 & 17:00, every Sun 10:00, 12:00 14:00, 17:00 & 20:30; duration: 1.5 hours; 125kr; 4731 0685;

Viking Markets
The Viking Markets offer a taste of what it was like to live back in the days when big-bearded men sailed to war in longboats, brought home beautiful women and celebrated with meat and mead by the bucket-load. Near the entrance to the Viking play venue, you’ll find the Northern Market, where you will find stalls selling jewellery, woollen items, knitwear, felt hats and shoes, as well as smoked and salted herring and homemade salt. You can also buy food, mead and beer here. The Southern Market is situated next to the Viking town. Known as “the historically accurate market”, it is the home of Viking groups from all over Denmark who make and present their own pieces of work.
Kalvøen, Frederikssund; starts Fri, ends Sun, open Fri 18:00-20:00 & Sat-Sun 10:00-20:00; free adm & free parking

Viking town
In 1994 a Viking town, showing how the Vikings lived, was built to complement the Viking play. Visit the little town of 21 houses and explore the housing of the historic people, on your own or join a tour, to learn a bit more about the feared warriors.
Kalvøen, Vikingepladsen, Frederikssund; free adm, download audio guide for free at or book a tour on 4731 0685

Frederikssund Viking Festival
Frederikssund, north Zealand, at the north end of the H and C services on the S-train; starts Fri, ends July 14;