10 Darling Danish Towns in Denmark you Don't Want to Miss | Oregon Girl Around the World

10 Darling Danish Towns you Don’t Want to Miss in Denmark

I love a Cinderella story. I like to cheer for the underdog. And while I live in the big, modern Danish capital and really do love it, I often seek out the simple. The slow. The little and quaint. For a bit. For the balance. And Denmark can do that. Charm you and court you with lots of little tiny town choices. What does it take to be the most darling Danish town? It depends.

A Danish village comes complete with cobblestone promenades and half-timbered houses. Colorful facades and maybe a fancy castle. Some sit near farms that are plum full of fresh produce. For me, it’s perfection if they are situated near water. But you if you’ve been reading along, you know that. So let’s take a look. These are the best. Don’t ask my teen, for he may disagree. But these are the towns that do it for me.

Let’s start on the west side of the country and work our way east towards the capital. I’m jumping to Jutland.


JYLLAND |  JUTLAND

1. EBELTOFT

Gem of Djursland, Ebeltoft sits on the west side of Jutland. Chock full of cobblestoned charm, little Ebeltoft is the perfect gateway to explore nearby Mols Bjerg National Park which lays claim to the highest hill in Denmark. That’s saying a lot around here. Half-timbered houses and purveyors of ice cream will surely make you happy after you’ve been swimming in summer.

DON’T MISS:
  • Put on your hiking shoes and make your way to Mols Bjerg National Park.
  • Check out the ancient castle ruins in nearby Rønde; Kalo Slotsruin.

2. LØKKEN

Lovely little Løkken sits on the northwest coast of Denmark. It is rugged and windswept with wide sand beaches. But don’t worry, this adorable wee village sits snug and calm behind the dunes with coffee shops and cafés and candy to create.

DON’T MISS:

3. SKAGEN

Sitting at the very tippy top of Denmark is Skagen. But don’t say SKA-gen. It’s more like Skā-en, minus the g. However you say it, you’re sure to be swayed by the beautiful light and little yellow houses. This fishing village is famous for its painters and you can see why. It’s beautiful here. See where the North Sea and the Baltic combine.

DON’T MISS:
  • Take the Sandormen, the “Sandworm” tractor ride out to where the Baltic and the North Sea meet.
  • Climb up inside the Tilsandede Kirke, the (not-so) sand covered church.
  • See the Danish masters and meet their fisherman muses at the Skagen Museum.
  • Play in the surf at Gamle Skagen.

FUNEN | FYN

4. KERTEMINDE

Find your way to Funen, the oft-overlooked island that sits in the middle of Denmark. While Fyn may be tired of her big sister Marsha, er I mean Copenhagen, she has plenty to offer. With fields full of rye and poppies and fewer people, you’ll find wide open spaces here to explore. We love quaint Kerteminde right on the water. It is a perfect base to explore the area and try the produce.

DON’T MISS:
  • Find your way to Fyns Hoved and smell the sea air with views over the Odense Fjord.
  • Meet the sea creatures and seals at the Fjord & Bælt Museum.
  • Fish for Seatrout in the early summer as the pass close to shore.
  • Buy fresh produce from a farm stand. Pick apples in fall.
  • Explore a Viking ship burial in nearby Ladby.

SJÆLLAND | ZEALAND

5. DRAGØR

Dragør was my first and definitely still my favorite darling little Danish village. Don’t you know about Dragør? You might want to drop everything and drive right on over. It’s adorable and so close to Copenhagen.

DON’T MISS:
  • Wander through the old town and out to the harbor.
  • Share yummy brunch with your family at Fru Munk.
  • Take a dip in the warm Øresund with views out to Sweden.

6. HELSINGØR

Take the regional train from Copenhagen or the ferry from Sweden and head up to Helsingør. Here you will find Hamlet. Or his castle that is. So say the Danes. Kronborg Castle sits on the water majestic and magical. Time your visit in summer and see Shakespeare come alive with actors and action. Plenty of places to pause for a bite along the old town squares.

DON’T MISS:

7. HILLERØD

Here in Hillerød, you will find the fabulous Fredericksborg Castle. This is different than the Frederiksberg Slot in the Frederiksberg neighborhood of Copenhagen. Believe me, you aren’t the first to be confused. Take the Line B on the S-togs to the terminus in Hillerød. Trek towards the cute town and out to the castle.

DON’T MISS:

8. HORNBÆK

I don’t need to toot too loud my love for Hornbæk, pearl of the Danish Riviera. With wide swaths of beach and forested trails, it pleases many. Add in fresh fish markets, antiques to peruse, boutiques to shop, cozy coffee shops for hygge and Hornbæk ticks all the boxes for most darling Danish town.

DON’T MISS:
  • Wade in the water and wiggle your toes in the wide golden sand at Hornbæk Strand.
  • Linger along the lush green paths that lead through the trees in the Hornbæk Plantage.
  • Take a hygge break at Albi’s Kaffebar and Second Hand Shop in town.

9. ROSKILDE

Roskilde rocks even when the world famous music festival isn’t on. This city has ancient roots with both Vikings and Royals. And it really is darn right cute to boot. Run, don’t walk, but I’ll allow you to rock right on over to Roskilde.

DON’T MISS:
  • View Viking vessels dredged up from the nearby Roskilde Fjord at the well done Viking Ship Museum.
  • Visit the stunning Roskilde Church and feel the spirit of the Danish royals buried therein.
  • Rock out at Ragnarok, not the Viking apocalypse, but the museum dedicated to the music and culture that dominates the Roskilde Festival.

10. SJÆLLANDS ODDE

Most people drive right through here on their way to the ferry, but they would be amiss. Stop. Slow down and please try the fish. Odde’s not odd, but super quite delightful. Fishing boats and fish shacks add color and charm.

DON’T MISS:
  • Toodle around Odde Havn, the harbor.
  • Wait with the locals for delicious smoked fish at Odden Fisk.

Did I do it? Did I tempt you? Do you know of these towns? Did I miss one? Do tell me. Here’s what left on my little town Denmark wish list:

UP NEXT: Svaneke and Gudhjem on the island of Bornholm.
WISH LIST: Ribe and Fanø

Know someone who needs to know about this cute Danish digs? Share it! Or save it. And see them for your very own self! Cheers from Denmark, Erin10 Darling Danish Towns in Denmark you Don't Want to Miss | Oregon Girl Around the World

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Looking for Giants | A Day out in Denmark Seeking the 6 Forgotten Giants | A Public Sculpture Treasure Hunt by artist Thomas Dambo | via Oregon Girl Around the World

Let’s go Hunting for Giants in Denmark

Being outside with your littles communing in nature can be magical. Add in the mystery, giddy anticipation and energy generated when following a treasure map to find real live GIANTS in your midst – and that magic goes next level.

The 6 Forgotten Giants

An Open Air Sculpture Treasure Hunt

Danish artist Thomas Dambo and a merry crew of volunteers have hidden six epic sculptures in the woods south of Copenhagen. Who wouldn’t be merry while creating such magic? Thomas uses reclaimed and recycled wood to assemble the giants that you will find. And while they may not be breathing themselves, they will surely breathe life into your littles. And not so littles. Fun for all ages. And what joy to discover.

THE 6 FORGOTTEN GIANTS | Map from ThomasDambo.com

Last weekend, we set out to find some. We started in reverse order driving to the farthest one from Copenhagen first. You will need a car for this trip, or much more time. Only two of the giants live near each other.  And while part of the fun is seeking and finding, admittedly the artist’s maps are really quite vague. I don’t want to ruin the fun and divulge all the secrets. But maybe offer just a few tips to start you on your own giant trek.

#6 Teddy Venlig | Teddy Friendly | Hakkemøsen in Høje Taastrup

Teddy is a perfect place to start. He was the easiest to find and a fun friendly giant. Set along the lake at Hakkemøsen in Høje Taastrup he offers his arm to help you across.

Hakkemøsen
Hakkemosevej 6, 2630 Taastrup
30-minute drive from central Copenhagen

At Hakkemøsen, park your car in the farthest parking lot, after you have entered the park. Take the trail towards the lake at the end of this parking lot. Follow the trail around to the right and curve around the lake. You should find Teddy waiting for you in under 5 minutes.

NOTE: Hakkemøsen park has a fun adventure course for kids, as well as fishing, camping and fire pits. You could make a day out of an adventure just here alone.

#5 THOMAS PÅ BJERGET | Thomas on the Mountain | Vallensbæk MOSE

Thomas was the most difficult to find, hiding on the backside of a hill in the Vallensbæk Mose. We had to ask a few fellow giant hunters for tips and finally found him lounging with his long legs stretched out down towards the valley below.

 

#4 LILLE TILDE LITTLE TILDE | VALLENSBÆK MOSE

Little Tilde was a group favorite. What a sweetie with her not-so-little tail curling out behind her as she stands watch across the lake.

 

WHERE TO FIND THOMAS AND TILDE

Vallensbæk Mose
Rendsagervej 5, 2625 Vallensbæk

Take the Vallensbæk exit off Route 21 and then left onto Vallensbækvej. Follow it straight across to Rendsagervej and enter the parking lot for Spisetedet Mosen. Park here.

Vallensbæk Mose is beautiful and scenic setting with both paved and wooded paths. Grab food or slow down for lunch from the Spisestedet Mosen near the parking lot. Or maybe an ice cream reward once your hunting is done! No other options for food and water out in the park. Keep an eye out for baby geese and friendly goats.

SPOILER ALERT: Someone has geolocated Lille Tilde and Thomas on the Mountain on Google Maps for you.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Plan on an about an hour per giant. Especially if you don’t take the Google hints. It took our group with littles in tow about three hours to find Teddy, Tilde and Thomas. Take it slow, enjoy the journey.

WHAT TO BRING:

MAP: Your treasure map – x marks the spot.

WATER: Bring your own reusable bottle – no fountains on the trail.

GOOD SHOES: Make sure they’re sturdy, you’ll be walking over hill and yon.

A JACKET: Preferably waterproof, weather changes quickly in Denmark.

PICNIC: Or snacks for your seekers. Pack out what you don’t eat.

SMILES: Patience and a good attitude – some are quite tricky to track down.

Looking for Giants | A Day out in Denmark Seeking the 6 Forgotten Giants | A Public Sculpture Treasure Hunt by artist Thomas Dambo | via Oregon Girl Around the World

Get out there and explore! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

Next up: Oscar Under the Bridge, Sleeping Louis and Hilltop Trine. Stay tuned.

This post was featured on the Lonely Planet Kids Blog for May 2017 Family Travel roundup.

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Tin Box traveller
Tulip time | 3 ways to feel the bloom in the Netherlands | via Oregon Girl Around the World

Tulip time | 3 ways to feel the bloom in the Netherlands

It’s almost tulip time in the Netherlands.

Feel the bloom around North & south holland

It’s happening. Can you feel it? It’s springing up all over Northern Europe. Where you are too? Phew. We made it. Or at least I did. Even when armed with the tools for some cozy Danish hygge to help survive the dark days, I am always happy to see the first harbingers of spring when they happen. Here, it is the tiny white blooms of vintergækker, or snowdrops, that appear first on the scene. Even when they are surrounded by sprinklings of snow, I know that the rest of spring is blooming soon.

The peak of the spring season in Northern Europe brings blue skies, blooms, buds and blossoms. In the Netherlands, this means tulips. Whether you call them tulips, two-lips, chew-lips, tulipes, tulipaner or tulpen – they will soon be pushing up pretty all over the Netherlands. Between the end of March through mid-May, it is tulpomania further south in the Netherlands. And as there are many, many different varieties of tulips; there are as many ways to enjoy them. Continue reading “Tulip time | 3 ways to feel the bloom in the Netherlands”