Explore this gem of the Djursland region
Find nature, culture, local food and fun on the east coast of JutlandThe Danes know how to savor summer. Those who have coped with even one long and dark Danish winter will understand why. Here in Scandinavia, you’ll find whole villages and towns dedicated to enjoying the long hours of that sweet summer life. Lovely little Ebeltoft, Denmark is just such a spot. Nestled along a broad bay less than an hour northeast of Jutland’s de facto capital Aarhus, the summer season hums in this charming Danish town. Wander little cobblestoned lanes flanked by colorful half-timbered houses where hollyhocks flock and roses crawl up the walls. Swim or sail in the area’s cool, clear, clean waters. Sample small but juicy ripe strawberries or buy boat caught fresh fish. Hike through the hills of nearby Mols Bjerg National Park and walk the walls of ancient Viking ruins. Or scramble up the mast of a docked tall ship. Ebeltoft has it all. Sitting at the edge of an inlet of the Kattegat Sea, the protected Ebeltoft vig (inlet) offers a big, watery, and sometimes windy basin popular with kite-surfers and windsurfers. Doable as a day trip, but even better for a whole week. Pick a summer house to stay in and fully relish the area’s flavors. This summer – if you can – consider Scandinavia for your holiday schedule and put little Ebeltoft at the top of your list. Read on to see why and what to do when in this part of Denmark.
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WHAT TO DO WHEN IN EBELTOFT
⇒ Meander the streets of the old town
Like most Danish villages, the historic center here is made for wandering. Weave your way along the old medieval city planning maze of small but charming cobblestoned streets. Come summer, the little lanes are a-buzz. Plod along pretty little sidewalks chock full of stokroser (hollyhocks) and happy flower boxes. Peek in the local shops or have lunch in an old Danish Kro, or inn. Find some new to you treasures handcrafted by local artisans or simply cool off and stop for ice cream. It’s not really a Danish summer town unless there is ice cream. And these purveyors don’t stay open year-round. Once the local ice cream shop throws open its doors, it’s the beginning of summer around here. Even if the weather doesn’t always cooperate. In a summer house town like Ebeltoft, you can expect a huge swirl of vanilla softis (soft serve) topped with your choice of drys (sprinkles), whip cream and guf (a sticky marshmallowy sweet plop glooped on top.)
“Come summer, the little lanes are humming. Colorful half-timbered houses offer up pretty little sidewalks chock full of hollyhocks and happy flower boxes.”
⇒ Enjoy all the harbor has to offer
Not surprising to learn that like many of the inviting little villages that line the Danish coast, Ebeltoft is a working fishing port. Make your way down to the Blue Flag marina and explore the harbor. Here you’ll find restaurants, cafes, and a few specialty shops that will have the foodies in your group more than fulfilled. One of the finest cups of coffee in all of Denmark is served from an unassuming spot sitting directly across from the local fishing boats often hawking their catch. Step inside Apelgren Jordt Coffee Shop, open every day from 08.00 for friendly service and some seriously good coffee. Check out Helle’s Hus nearby for the tiniest but most talented little art gallery. Or find some French wine, craft beer, and locally distilled spirits at the nearby Hos Walter. For lovers of smoked fish (raise your hand) you’ll find a delicious variety of options at Hyttefadet Fish and Smokehouse. Next time I want to make a stop at restaurant Stockfleth’s Østers & Bobbelbar. Oysters and bubbles? By the water? Yes please and ja tak. Your little ones might love to tackle crabbing from the dock near Ebeltoft Skudehavn. Really all you need is some bait on a string and net to scoop up the little crustaceans lurking in the seaweed below. Borrow one of the lifejackets from the big red box at the top of the dock to keep your kids safe. Collect a few and let them race down the little tracks at the dock. As always, teach your kids to be careful handling the animals and safely return them to the sea when done.
SUSTAINABLE CRABBING AND FISHING EXPERIENCES AROUND THE WORLD
TAKE AN OYSTER SAFARI IN THE WADDEN SEA
- Cozy and cute | Apelgren Jordt’s Kaffebar
- Buy fish directly from the boats in Ebeltoft Harbor
- Lifejackets to borrow at Ebeltoft Skudehavn
⇒ Learn a little local history
For those who want to get a sense of what made this place and its history, step inside Den Gamle Rådhus, or the old town hall. Built in 1789, the pretty building now houses a petite museum offering insight into the region – usually staffed with friendly locals who love to share a nugget or two about their town. And don’t miss strolling down the two streets to the right and left of the town hall. Overgade and Juuls Bakke lanes are especially cute during the summer season. Den Gamle Rådhus | Ebeltoft Museum Torvet 2A, 8400 Ebeltoft, Denmark Entrance | FREE Open | Tue – Sun 10.00 – 16.00
- Den Gamle Rådhus | Ebeltoft Museum
- Overgade street with hollyhocks and colorful half-timbered houses
⇒ Climb aboard a Danish tall ship
You literally can’t miss the three masts and rigging of the Fregatten Jylland as it sits stately in the middle of the Ebeltoft waterfront. Once a Danish warship from 1860, the massive tall ship now houses a museum with activities and informative displays that will interest your entire crew. Teens – maybe not as impressed with the (desperately needing an upgrade) figure scenes on board the ship – will still love the experience of climbing the rigging for views from above. Harness in and safely climb up to see the city and ship from 22 meters above the deck. Book in advance for one of the three limited time slots daily between May and September for an additional cost. Or plan to take a guided wee sail for an hour around the harbor. Both experiences cost an additional DKK 75. Fregatten Jylland S. A. Jensens Vej 4, 8400 Ebeltoft, Denmark OPEN | Daily 10.00 – 18.00 during summer peak season (26 June – 1 September) TICKETS Adults | DKK 145 Children 4-17 | DKK 90 Children 0-3 | Free Seniors +65 | DKK 125 Family (2 adults + 2 children | DKK 380 Optional 1-hour sailing tour or climbing the ship’s rigging DKK 75 (Book ahead to ensure space)
⇒ Explore the serene scenery
Between the sea and the forest, you’ll find many ways to get back to nature near Ebeltoft. Ride your bike or take a walk along the water on paths through protected nature preserves out to Ahl Plantage. Beautiful Ahl Strand (Beach) affords shallow and warm (ish) waters come sunny days and is a popular place for kitesurfing on windy days. For those who like to hike, check out the many trails through Mols Bjerg National Park. Here you’ll find rolling hills hidden with historic monuments and evidence of ice age impacts. Find more information about educational opportunities, guided tours and local environments at the Mols Bjerg Visitor centers open all summer. Mols Bjerg National Park Visitor Centers Kalø Slotsruin | Molsvej 31, 8410 Rønde, Denmark HOURS | 11.00 to 17.00 Daily with a guided tour at 14.00 Visitors Center Øvre Strandkær | Strandkærvej 7, 8400 Ebeltoft, Denmark HOURS | 10.00 to 16.00 Daily with a guided tour at 14.00 Maltfabrikken | Maltvej 8, 8400 Ebeltof, Denmark HOURS | 11.00 to 17.00 Daily Vibæk Strand in Ebeltoft, Denmark HOURS | 11.00 to 17.00 Daily with activities on the beach at 14.00
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK WHEN IN EBELTOFT
⇒ Sit in the garden of a classic Danish Kro
Historic, cozy, and serving all the Danish classics, taking lunch at a Danish Kro is about as authentic an experience as you can consume. In two of the oldest and crooked-iest abodes in town, you can enjoy a traditional Danish frokost, or lunch. When the weather is wonderful, take a table on the flowerful patio at Mellem Jyder on Juulsbakke and sample dishes like smørrebrød, topped with fish or fresh seasonal produce. Or book a table at the “crooked inn,” Den Skæve Kro further down the street.
- Den Skæve Kro | Ebeltoft
⇒ Sit outside at the new Maltfabrikken
The former malt factory from 1861 fell out of use in the late 1990s. A push from locals and area citizens to refurbish and re-open the historic building into a cultural center and food space has been more than well-received. Take a spin through some of the building itself and sample some of the fresh beer brewed right here. A lovely spot to sit outside for lunch, just beware when the weather turns and you have to hold your own table umbrella from flying away. Maltfabrikken Maltvej 8, 8400 Ebeltoft
- Front of the new Maltfabrikken Culture Center
⇒ Eat in a field at Ebeltoft Gaardbryggeri
This was probably our favorite stop. Outside Ebeltoft itself, the journey out to the Ebeltoft Garden Brewery was lovely in and of itself. More locally brewed beers and juices and lemonades are on tap out here. Pack a picnic and borrow one of their communal grills. Bring a ball for the kids to kick on the lawn. Small bites and eats available on-site – check the website for community dinner events throughout the season. Ebeltoft Gårdbryggeri Skovgårde Bygade 4, 8400 Ebeltoft
HOW TO GET TO EBELTOFTDrive, ferry, bicycle or bus your way
Ebeltoft is only 45 minutes northeast of Aarhus on the Jutland side of Denmark. From Copenhagen, you can drive the entire way, crossing both the Store Bælt bridge and Lille Bælt bridge and then north, which will take you nearly 4 hours. OR. You can drive to Sjællands Odde and take the ferry to either Aarhus or Ebeltoft directly. Plan on about 1-hour and 15 minutes to get to the ferry, then a 1-hour and 15-minute ferry ride to Aarhus plus an additional 45 minutes from there to reach little Ebeltoft. If your travel allows and you can plan to catch one of the limited direct ferries, you’ll hit Ebeltoft in only 55 minutes straight from Sjælland. In summer months, this route books up quickly, so plan ahead and buy online at Molslinjen. FERRY TO AARHUS OR EBELTOFT www. molslinjen.dk You can also book a ticket for a Flixbus from Copenhagen all the way to Ebeltoft, which takes about 4.5 hours. Or try the Kombardo Expressen bus from Copenhagen to the ferry and then to Aarhus. From Aarhus, catch the public bus 123 to Ebeltoft. If you have a rejsekort, (travel card) you can use it to check in.
RECIPE FOR AN ADORABLE DANISH SUMMER TOWN:Take:
- 1 part meandering Medieval center
- 1 part seaside fishing harbor
- 2 parts charming cobblestoned corridors
- Colorful half-timbered houses
- Museums full of interesting local history
- A bevy of clean beaches and serene waters offshore
- Fresh ripe strawberries from regional farm stands
- Fish direct from the fishermen right at the shore
- Locally brewed delicious craft beer
- Seriously good coffee lovingly prepared
- Cones swirled with softis the size of your face
- A bit of culture
- Locally produced arts
- Hollyhocks and climbing roses about every building
- Bake under the long hours of the Danish summer sun, but temper for potentially fickle Danish weather.
11 thoughts on “Enjoy a Slice of Danish Summer Town Life in Adorable Ebeltoft Denmark”
It is so pretty, like a town from a children’s picture book. I hope you’re well, how’s the corona situation now ?
Hej Tanja – Denmark is doing pretty well at the moment, moving along with vaccinations and there is now no mask mandate and borders are opening back up to vaccinated visitors. Cheers from Copenhagen!
Oysters and bubbles by the sea sound divine to me, the kids would adore the stawberries and icecreams, my other half the local craft beer and us all the cooblestoned streets with colourful houses and the coast! Thank you for letting us daydream about the Danish summer and Ebeltoft, all eyes are on that UK Green list ! Cheers from sunny London -also such a treat, like Danes, all of us in here love so much our sweet short & summers!
That’s so beautiful! We didn’t get there but I’d love to go back and explore a bit more! #Culturedkids
Thanks so much for this beautiful tour! We loved Denmark, and Aarhus was a great base – we’ll have to return to experience a true Danish summer. Ebeltoft is now firmly on my radar – so much quiet charm, and beautifully captured too. #CulturedKids
Thank you for sharing your description of and love to the small town I live in. My wife and I moved to Ebeltoft 14 years ago and we have at no point regretted that.
Take a small biking trip to one of the beaches. Is the wind from west you go to east-facing beaches and the other way around if the wind comes from east.
If you want the cycle in the hills Ebeltoft is part of the nationalpark Mols Bjerge, so enjoy the ride and the view from the many hill tops.
When we moved here we decided that we will not travel during the summer – we want to enjoy the twon and what it offers.
Lucky you! What a lovely spot, especially in the summer! I have been lucky to spend a week with a friend @keribloomfield who has a house over there. One of my favorite places in Denmark. Thanks for the nice comment! Cheers, Erin
I enjoyed your article about my hometown and recognized all the places you describe. I only miss a mentioning of the Glass museum it is right next to Fregatten Jylland and it is full of beautiful glass art from all over the world.
Ah thanks for the local tip Mette! What a lovely place to be from. I will add the Glass museum to the post – tak!
I loved reading this overview of what sounds like an amazing place to visit. It is indeed on our radar with a trip from Oregon (Bend) this August! Our family will enjoy a day trip here and can’t wait to check out your recommendations.
Hi! Amazing you get to visit Denmark! Will you be staying in Aarhus? Otherwise Ebeltoft is a little far for a day trip from Copenhagen!