Copenhagen is the most popular tourist destination in Denmark. With an urban population of 1.3-million, the city plays host to roughly nine-million annual visitors. With a horde of events, annual festivals, dining options, an amazing nightlife, historical museums, art galleries and such, it’s easy to see why the capital city of Denmark is so popular. Though it may be alive and vibrant with scarcely a dull moment, this is not what every traveler seeks. Some prefer laid back and quaint.
The extreme northern portion of Denmark is referred to as the “Top of Denmark” and this is where those thinking outside the city life box go when they want to get away. This northernmost area consists of Frederikshavn, Hirtshals, Hjorring, Lokken, Lonstrup, Skagen, Saeby and Tversted, and winter or summer there is plenty to do in a non-hustle-bustle kind of way.
The Top of Denmark still receives its fair share of visitors but they are spread out over a larger area and the numbers dwarf those of Copenhagen, coming in at a couple of million, give or take. They come for a number of reasons. Here are a few of them.
When two seas collide, one might imagine a tremendous fury of unfathomable rage as their currents cross paths. There are only several places in the world where this actually happens and Skagen, Denmark, the countries northernmost city, happens to be one of them. But the scene is not furious or threatening at all. The two seas meet in peace. And it’s quite a spectacle.
Appropriately referred to as the “two-seas” phenomenon, visitors come to witness a rare display of nature where the Skagerrak and Kattegat seas become formally acquainted. Over millions of years, they have formed a sandbar which resembles the long branch of a tree. Though swimming is not allowed on either side due to strong undertows, walking between the two of them is. And people come from all points to do just that. Imagine being able to dip each foot in a different sea at the same time.
In addition to this tourist drawing feature, Skagen is a wonderful summer destination full of nature with blinding white sand dunes and beaches leading to clear inviting waters. The Skagen Grey Lighthouse is a center for migratory birds and offers virtual tours for learning about their many annual visiting species. Eagleworld allows visitors to get so close to eagles and falcons they can hear their wings as they fly. Skagen is also home to Europe’s largest aquarium with 70 tanks and over 6,500 varieties of fish.
Quaint hotels and B&B’s are plentiful and every morsel of every bite of food in every restaurant is as fresh as it gets. Especially fish.
If quiet mornings sipping exquisite coffee while staring into the billowing morning sea mist as it slowly dissipates is to anyone’s liking, go to Lonstrup. Through the centuries this tiny fishing village has maintained its charm, and the setting is as picturesque as it can get.
The landscape surrounding the town has been forming since the Ice Age. The sea level was higher during the Stone Age leaving high cliffs and an amazing view of where the shoreline once was. Breakwaters form sandy lagoons where the sea waters are calm and quiet making for perfect beach spots. Shell collecting is a popular pastime and the flora and fauna of the surrounding area are lush and untouched.
Also known as the “City of Crafts,” Lonstrup offers the ideal setting for a vibrant arts community. Everything from wood carvings, textiles, ceramics, pottery, stone sculptures, jewelry, glass-blown items, and art galleries, are in abundance.
Think of anything from a private beachside cabin with no close neighbors, to a small B&B, to a tiny exquisite hotel with all of the modern amenities and luxuries, and you’ll find it in Lonstrup.
Lokken is best known for its pure white beach huts lined up in a row and fishing boats perched directly on the sand. It’s an almost unbelievable sight to behold. In town, the sand covered streets are lined with intimate cafes set in casual and relaxing atmospheres. A visit to Lokken is to experience the rest of the world seemingly disappearing.
Summer or winter, visitors come to Lokken to stroll the beaches and gaze at the horizon as they scavenge for treasures washed up on shore. Each season offers its own perspective and interpretation of nature, and each one is truly spectacular.
Lokken is full of events and activities, including its annual children’s sand-sculpting competition. Water sports such as skimboarding and surfing are popular, and the annual chihuahua dog show is a hoot. Pony rides, circus performances, children’s bowling, tractor-tours, and even a chance to make your own lollipop are all fun things to do.
For those who enjoy chasing a tiny white ball around, Lokken has an excellent top-rated golf course.
Saeby is an old market town and it’s the ideal locale for families. The calmness of the water makes the beautiful beaches ideal for children because they can safely play at the water’s edge and hunt for shells. Because of this, the town offers an array of family-oriented activities. Saeby is also considered one of the best places for would-be anglers to try their hand at some early morning surf fishing.
Saeby is still a market town of sorts with private shops and boutiques lining the streets and alleyways, and many visitors go there mainly for the shopping. Of course, there are the small coffee shops and cafes for taking a load off during a busy day of buying things, or perhaps a locally brewed beer or glass of wine in a friendly tavern might be more to someone’s liking.
Accommodations from private homes to swanky hotels to everything in between are available. Have no concern about where to eat, the fare will be outstanding no matter where you decide to go.
If being immersed in big city life is of no interest while you’re on vacation, consider the Top of Denmark for the ultimate in relaxation and beauty.