Like many Scandinavian countries, Denmark is a cosmopolitan and modern society with a proud history going back to the Viking Age, making it a fascinating holiday destination in Northern Europe. Although it is often overlooked by tourists ‘doing the Continent’, Denmark’s rolling countryside and gleaming cities have much to offer holidaymakers.
Mainland Denmark is located on the Jutland Peninsula, with 482 islands (including Zealand, Fyn, and Bornholm) in the Baltic Sea making up the rest. The landscape is a patchwork of dairy farms, small towns and fishing villages, and verdant countryside; while gleaming cities like Copenhagen and Århus maintain an effortlessly chic style with Michelin-starred restaurants, buzzing nightlife, and world-class shopping.
Denmark’s long history is evident in the 18th-century settlements, thousand-year-old churches, and Neolithic tombs scattered around the country; remnants of Viking settlements are still evident in coastal towns like Roskilde.
Denmark is often cited as the happiest country in the world according to contentment surveys , and it’s easy to see why when you look at the clean streets, efficient public transport systems, and progressive social policies. For visitors, this relaxed and friendly attitude is just one aspect of a pleasant holiday in Denmark.
With such an interesting and diverse coastline made up of miles of unspoilt sandy beaches, fjords and small coves to the lake districts, rolling hills and gentle valleys dotted with windmills, Denmark offers so many wonderfully unique sightseeing opportunities. Gazing upon the many captivating moated castles, picturesque cobble-stoned villages and towns, and rickety buildings, there’s no need to guess where Hans Christian Andersen got his inspiration for his world famous fairy tales.
Take a week to cycle through the beech woods in the countryside, spend a day out in the Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen, explore the sleepy Medieval villages, or jump aboard a ferry to explore the islands and marvel at the awesome bridges, such as the 16km (10 miles) oresund link to Sweden. With such a huge coastline and emphasis on fishing, sampling some of the freshest fish in the country is also an absolute must, as is a visit to the Viking Ship Museum that is devoted to honouring Denmark’s bold ancient mariners.
The country is small and boasts an excellent road and rail transport system, and numerous ferry connections to the myriad offshore islands. Another great way to see the country and get a real feel for it is by bicycle.