Wind and waves on the wild west coast of Denmark.
Let’s look at Løkken
North Jutland lies on the opposite side of Denmark from Copenhagen. And while it may be an effort to make your way west, it is definitely worth it. I’m a west coast girl from the States. I am used to driving west towards the ocean. The sun sets that way. That is where the water should be. To me. And this west Danish coast feels very much like parts of the Oregon Coast (minus mountain ranges and forests of evergreens.)
It is rough here. Wild. And wonderful. I was so happy to finally see it. Experience it. Soak it in. I have written about the Danish coast before. Denmark has a lot of coastlines. Just look at the map. But the shore is so definitively different on the west side of the country. To start off, it borders a completely different ocean.
This is not the relatively calm Øresund or Kattegat, which account for the bulk of Denmark’s Baltic water borders along the eastern side. Nope. It’s the North Sea here. And it brings waves and the wind which shape a completely different shore along west Jutland.
Did you say waves? Yes. Waves. Surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers have all found fun on this coast and take full advantage of the varying levels of swells. A bit further south of Løkken, near Klitmøller and Thy, the Nordjylland coast is familiarly known as “kaldt Hawaii.” Cold Hawaii. And while the term is catchy and maybe even kitsch, there is nothing tropical to talk about here. Surfing and sand are the ONLY similarities. But like Hawaii, the west coast of Denmark is truly beautiful. In its very own way.
Little town on the Northwest coast of Denmark
At the recommendation of our Danish friend, we booked a summer house on the west coast in a lovely little town called Løkken. Påskeferie (the Easter holiday) has just passed. And with five state-sanctioned days off, many Danes dash out of the city. We decided to join them this year.
In the capital, shops shutter and the streets stand empty. But in Løkken, there is life. So THIS is where you all are. Bustling and busy and bursting with visitors, lovely little Løkken is open for business all Easter weekend.
WHAT TO DO IN LØKKEN
TOUR THE TOWN
Løkken sits nestled safely from the elements behind the grassy dunes. Like most little Danish towns, there is a main square and pedestrian shopping area. When the sun is out, cafés spill open and offer lots of places for lunch outside.
Stroll the strand
Løkken is known for its beach. Strand in Danish. In the summer, it gets packed when the little white beach huts line up in rows. It is wide and flat here, allowing for cars or cycles to roll right on the sand.
SPY THE FISHING BOATS UP ON THE BEACH
One of my favorite parts of Løkken were the fishing boats pulled up on the beach.
Here on the north shore we treat friends mo’ betta.
– North Shore, the Movie
Get out there brø. Rent a board or take lessons. The friendly staff at North Shore Surf will gladly hook you up. They even have a sauna and hot tub going on cold days for warming up after. The surf shop and café sit right at the entrance to the beach, so even if you aren’t up for the waves, grab a coffee and chill. When the food cart is open, fresh fisk & tjips or fisk frikadeller are available to enjoy on the deck. Wash down with cold beers, juices and water.
North Shore Surf and Café
Sdr Strandvej 18, 9480 Løkken
MAKE YOUR OWN CANDY
Danes love candy. There are reports that rank Denmark #1 in world for not only happiness, but annual consumption of slik. Candy. Is there a correlation? Maybe. But the house made candy at Bolcheriet in Løkken is sure to make anyone happy. And what if you could make your OWN candy? Even happier. Bolchieret is a modern and socially connected candy factory right on the main square of Løkken.
We were lucky enough to catch one of their events where you can make your own slikkepind. Lollipops. For 25 DKK, children wait their numbered turn as warm lengths of freshly made candy ropes are handed out on plates at the work station. Participants loop their sweet string into a spiral and insert the lollipop stick to secure the treat which cools quickly and is ready to enjoy immediately.
Check their website for upcoming opportunities.
Torvet 1, 9480 Løkken
EXPLORE WWII HISTORY
From sweet treats to world history. 2000 Nazi bunkers from the Second World War still stand along the west coast of Denmark, part of the 8000 bunkered North Sea defense line that strung from France up to Norway. Graffitied and now grown over, some sunken in the sand; they are an eery reminder of a war long gone.
HIKE TO THE RUBJERG KNUDE LIGHTHOUSE
14 km north of Løkken, you will find the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse. It is famous. Famous for being overtaken by a sand dune. A really huge sand dune. Built in 1900, it originally sat 200 meters inland warning ships off shore. Over the years, the wind and water pushed inland and swept sand into the lighthouse and the surrounding buildings. Attempts to keep the sand out became overwhelming and the lighthouse was abandoned to the encroaching dune in 1968. The dune continues to move, an average of 40m/year and there is concern that the lighthouse may eventually fall into the sea in the not so distant future. Current estimates say as early as 2023. Don’t put it off. See it for yourself.
It is an 1 km hike from the parking lot to the dune and the lighthouse. And art installation inside currently allows visitors to climb to the top free of charge. Stunning views from the top.
Rubjerg Knude Fyr
Fyrvejen 30, 9480 Løkken
HOW TO GET TO LØKKEN
You can either take the ferry from Sjællands Odde to Aarhus or the Store Bælt Bridge across Fyn. We prefer the ferry route as it gives a break to the time of all five of us in the car. It takes about five hours depending on ferry timing.
WHERE TO STAY
We found our summer house via Airbnb, which affords flexibility when booking for stays less than a week.