Experience the nature of North Jutland
The sea, the sand, and the wind are a primordial force and an attraction in themselves and they have shaped North Jutland since the dawn of time. This is a place where you will find some of the best seaside resorts and the finest sandy beaches, but also where nature bares its teeth, with the sand and the waves eating up a chunk of the landscape every year. North Jutland is both rough and gentle, with dramatic cliffs, hilly landscapes, primeval forests, moorland, and sand dunes. A piece of Denmark that still seems untamed, where the wind blows right through you.
You can choose to experience the nature of North Jutland on hiking trails, pilgrimage routes, cycle routes, horseback, surfboard, or mountain bike. Here are some of the region’s highlights:
Shifting sands have been a problem in these parts, with the drifting sand burying roads, houses, fields, and churches in blankets of sand. Pine trees and lyme grass were planted in the 19th century to stabilize the sand, but the drifting dune known as the Råbjerg Mile was left as a nature area. And it’s a special treat to let your feet sink into the Mile’s mini desert of sand dunes covering an area of 1km2, which is moving from east to west at a rate of around 15m per year.
Råbjerg Mile vej, Skagen
At Grenen, on the tip of Jutland (and mainland Europe), you can see one of the most-visited natural phenomena in Denmark, where the seas of the Skagerrak and the Kattegat crash into each other. The light here is something special and a sunset cruise is a must, even if you hardly get to enjoy it all to yourself. The beach is immaculate, but bathing is prohibited because of the very strong undercurrents.
Thy National Park
Denmark’s first nature park is also the country’s largest wilderness, with a beach, dune heaths, lakes, marshland, and forest. It’s home to large desolate areas and rich animal, bird, and plant life, as well as an incredible landscape that can be explored on foot, by bicycle, or on horseback. You can also fish and pick berries and mushrooms for your own consumption.
The west coast is famous for its wide and endless sandy beaches, while the strong winds and big waves have turned the coastline around Thy and Klitmøller into a surfer’s paradise nicknamed Cold Hawaii. Here you’ll find the ideal conditions for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and paddleboarding, but if surfing’s not your thing you’ll still find the coastline impressive and a great place for cycling (a large area of the beach contains hard sand) and hiking.
Lønstrup cliffs and Rubjerg
Experience the forces of nature at one of North Jutland’s most amazing cliffs, the Lønstrup cliffs. At the highest point, Rubjerg Knude, stands a lighthouse, which is moving ever-closer to the edge. When the lighthouse was built in 1900 it was 200m from the cliff edge, but the sea and sand have eaten away at a few meters of the cliff every year since.
Bulbjerg cliffs have been called Denmark’s only bird mountain and they look like the kind of rocks you see on the Faroe Islands. These limestone cliffs are 47m high and are home to breeding gulls. They are situated in lonely majesty out on the coast and from the top you have an excellent, albeit storm-swept view of Jammerbugten bay.
At 8,000ha, Rold Skov is Denmark’s largest forest and is a beautiful and diverse nature area with lakes, marshland, streams, hills, and old limestone quarries where fossils can be found. You can enjoy all kinds of activities in the forest – cycling, hiking, running, swimming, skiing, and more.
Text: Lise Hannibal
Published: December 12, 2016