After you’ve checked the progress of the bog’s rejuvenation at Lillevildmose, there is so much more to experience in Denmark –exquisite landscapes, comfort food and groundbreaking cuisine, thrilling water sports, and a storied history. In much of Denmark, there’s an emphasis on sustainability, particularly with infrastructure developments. And in this Nordic nation, you are never more than about 30 miles from the sea.
By Melissa Lease
1. Møns Klint – Located on the Baltic Sea, the stunning white chalk cliffs rival England’s White Cliffs of Dover and are now part of a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve site encompassing over 130,000 acres.
2. The Wadden Sea (Vadehavet) – A national park and an important migratory stop in the spring and the autumn, it is famous for its Black Sun – starlings flying in clusters that can number in the tens of thousands.
3. Grauballe Man – Near Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city (and 2017’s European City of Culture). The body of this remarkably intact victim of a long-ago sacrificial ritual was discovered in 1952 in one of Denmark’s bogs. While painstakingly preserved with the methods available at the time, some of what had been protected for over 2000 years, however, was not entirely safe among trophy hunters. At some point during the preservation process, one of his testicles went missing. It has never been recovered. The rest of him can be viewed at Moesgaard Museum.
4. Danish Design – Arne Jacobsen’s home and Bellevue Beach Park, north of Copenhagen- The revered 20th century architect and furniture designer remains astonishingly relevant and influential. If it’s sunny (it probably won’t be!), venture out to Klampenborg, on Øresund, just north of Copenhagen – it boasts Bellevue and the famous Jacobsen-designed lifeguard tower. If it’s raining (it probably will be!), stop by the Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen instead.
5. Kronborg Castle, Helsingør – You might know it as Elsinor in a certain Shakespearean play about an ill-fated Danish prince. While sacked by the Swedes in the mid-1600’s, it remains worth seeing. Not to be missed is the dungeon, atmospherically dark and niter-encrusted, and which includes a statue of Holger the Dane, a King Arthur-related legend.
6. Fur Island – Geologically unique with only about 900 inhabitants, Fur Island offers camping, a museum, and artists’ studios and workshops.
7. Surfing at Klitmøller – Nicknamed Cold Hawaii, the area is home to a small surfers’ colony and also boasts wind and kite surfing, as well as stand-up paddle boarding for those bold enough to brave the brisk waters.
8. Food – While the virtuoso chef, ingredient forager, and Noma Restaurant co-founder Rene Redzepi receives most of the buzz, particularly with his recent reopening of Noma as an urban farm, delicious smørrebrød/open-faced sandwiches can be found in most Danish restaurants or easily assembled at home.
9. Rold Skov – Also known as the Troldeskov/Troll Forest because of the gnarled trunks of its beech trees, it was once a hideout of highwaymen. A disused limestone mine now offers winter shelter to several species of bats.
10. Skagen and the Råbjerg Mile – Beloved of painters in the latter part of the 1800s, the area is now a favorite for beachgoers, cyclists, and campers. Råbjerg is one of the largest moving sand dunes in Europe.
11. Anholt – A sparsely populated island midway between Denmark and Sweden, it is famed for its varied scenery that includes a desert-like area, forests, dunes, and heath. It is often possible to spy on the spotted seals at the sanctuary on Totten.
12. Bornholm and the Ertholmene Archipelago– the Northern coastline of this Baltic island’s is ringed by dramatic and rugged cliffs that are dotted with caves which play host to a variety of seabirds. Head south for fine sand or take a ferry and explore the nearby Ertholmene Archipelago.
13. Samsø – The electricity needs of this island of over 3500 inhabitants are satisfied entirely with renewable energy. There is a focus on cross-generational organic farming and the island has a goal to be completely fossil fuel free by 2030.
14. Greenland – Answer the call north and head to this fabled land, an autonomous Danish territory. Depending on the season, explore by foot, boat, dog sled, plane, or helicopter.
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