Unlike its larger Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden and Norway, Denmark is a low-lying country connected to mainland Europe. Lacking surface rock formations, the highest hill is less than 150m high. Walking possibilities therefore are more limited, but you can walk around attractive towns and villages and hike through the surrounding countryside. The larger cities of Ålborg, Århus, Odense and of course Copenhagen give more scope for urban walks. If you want a relaxing place to visit for easy walks and maybe some cycling, Denmark is ideal.
Denmark was among the first countries to reserve city centre streets for pedestrians with the Strøgets of Copenhagen and Århus overflowing with shops, restaurants and fast-food outlets.
The Danes are very committed to maintaining the quality of the environment and this can be seen in the cleanliness of the streets and the attention given to parks and nature reserves. These make for enjoyable easy walks. Good design is another Danish strength, reflected in the architecture and the network of cycle paths and direction signs. Together these make walking and cycling easy and enjoyable. For those who are more interested in a relaxing walking holiday than the tougher challenge of mountain hikes, Denmark is an ideal location, with many interesting things to see during the walk.
Wind turbines are a common feature of the countryside, often owned by farmers rather than big energy companies, taking advantage of the winds which tend to blow across from the North Sea. Denmark was a pioneer in harnessing energy from the wind and the island of Samso near Århus is now leading the way in demonstrating how a zero-carbon community can be established.
A more traditional sight in the landscape is the typical red brick farmhouse with outbuildings set around a courtyard, often next to a group of trees. Larger woodlands break up the countryside, with extensive forested areas on the less fertile central spine of Jutland and around the lakes of Silkeborg. This is one of Denmark's most attractive areas, with contrasting coastal towns such as Ebeltoft north of Aarhus.
Despite being only 147m, Denmark's highest point is called Himmelbjerget ("sky mountain"), hinting at the wry Danish sense of humour. Its height is enhanced by a 25m tower completed in 1875 to mark the Danish constitution granted by King Frederick II in 1849. It can be reached in summer combining a boat trip from Silkeborg and Ry with the 1200m hike to the summit.
There are plenty of sandy beaches as well, with long sandy spits built by the sea along the western and northern coasts of Jutland. The weather too is often shaped by the marine influences, but the continental climate can also spread across the country bringing colder winter weather or long periods of warm summer sunshine.
Denmark also has a rich cultural heritage with many museums and art galleries which can be visited as part of a walking tour around a town or city. Some visitor attractions reflect more ancient history from the Viking period and earlier times.
Getting around the country is easy with a good road network and efficient rail and bus services. Bridges connect the mainland of Jutland with the islands of Funen and Sjælland, where the capital Copenhagen is linked by a bridge with Malmø in Sweden.
There are just a couple of walking stories on the site so far from Denmark, both from the Central Jutland town of Herning. These illustrate the kind of easy walks through town and countryside that can be found in many other parts of this relaxing country.
(To order the stories by name, date, country or type click on the appropriate heading)
|Herning Green Circular, Jutland||Denmark||Countryside and easy hill walks||24/08/2008|
|Herning, Jutland: Town and countryside||Denmark||Town and City walks||24/08/2008|