Renting a car to get out of the city and rekindle your relationship with nature is easy in Denmark. With windswept coastlines, lush forests and endless grasslands, you’re never too far from the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.
From the northern tip of Denmark’s mainland to the cluster of islands south of Copenhagen, you’ll find plenty of hiking trails that will give you a taste of Danish life beyond its quaint villages and hygge culture.Car hire copenhagen
Just one hour 30 minutes’ drive south of Copenhagen you’ll find Denmark’s friendliest hiking trail, Camønoen. Stretching 175km around the islands of Møn, Nyord and Bogø, hikers can pull on their boots to explore the historical and cultural landscapes the region affords. Camønoen forms part of the longer Sjællandsleden trail, which spans across the island of Zealand.
Various stages along the way offer beautiful vistas and more challenging stretches along dramatic coastlines and through blankets of forests and open fields. Those looking to complete the whole trail can begin at the Museum of Møn and either camp under the stars or opt for a B&B for their overnight stays.
One of the most magnificent features along the trail is the view of Møns Klint. The 120-metre-high chalky limestone cliffs that plunge directly into the Baltic Sea below are home to a unique variety of flora and fauna, including 18 species of orchid.
Along the south of Funen stretches one of the longest of Denmark’s brilliant hiking trails. Øhavsstien (The Archipelago Trail) winds 220km along the southern coast, passing by manor houses, open countryside, market towns and idyllic villages.
Drive just two hours from Copenhagen to find yourself among delicate poppy fields and glorious coastal expanses. The region is popular with bird-watching enthusiasts thanks to its international recognition as a birdlife habitat.
The trail is divided into seven stages, giving hikers the opportunity to complete shorter sections of the path as day hikes and combine their visit with other points of interest in the region, such as the 17th-century Valdemar’s Castle.
Half an hour from Aarhus, you’ll find Mols Bjerge National Park. Positioned in the east of Jutland, the area boasts 180km² of grasslands, forests, lakes and beaches. Spanning from the coastlines of Kattegat in the east to the dense forests of Kalø in the west, the region also encompasses the spectacular hills in the south at Mols Bjerge and outwash plains of the Ice Age to the north.
Direct yourself to one of the trailhead car parks in the national park before exchanging four wheels for your hiking boots. Follow any of the yellow-dot marked trails to uncover some of the 30+ sites of cultural significance. Take in panoramic 360-degree views from one of the charming hillsides of Agri Bavnehøj, Trehøje, or Stabelhøje, or cool off in the summer months with a swim at one of the lakes nestled within the national park.
The oldest of Denmark’s national parks, Thy National Park is a moody destination characterised by dramatic seafronts, expansive sand heaths and large lakes. Known as ‘Denmark’s last wilderness’, there are more than 200km² of trails to explore on foot.
Situated on the west coast in the north of Jutland, Thy National Park offers a variety of walks suitable for beginners through to experienced hikers. Many of the park’s notable attractions can be accessed by car, but to experience a more intimate encounter of the countryside, visitors should take advantage of the numerous walking trails.
One of the best hikes in the region is Redningsvest (the North Sea Trail) from Agger Tange to Hanstholm and on to Bulbjerg. The route takes five days across dunes by the sea, but can be broken into smaller day hikes for those short on time.
Tucked away in the north of Jutland, an hour and a half drive from Aarhus, you’ll come across the town of Brønderslev. Beyond the castles, museums and parklands of this northern Danish town are a number of green hiking trails for nature lovers. Many of the trails guide you through leafy forests, beside scenic creeks, over hills and through valleys that are typical of the region.
Hiking through The Great Forest of Dronninglund, visitors will be able to explore the highest hill in the region, Knøsen, as well as experience a gravity-defying phenomenon: a bewitched hill that sees water run uphill instead of down.
The area also hosts part of The Ancient Road Hærvejen, which makes up more than 500km of hiking and cycling routes throughout Jutland. The trail, sometimes known as Ox Road, is steeped in 4,000 years of history and served as the main arterial route through central Jutland in the middle ages.