Denmark isn’t just home to cosmopolitan cities, it’s also got some stunning countryside to explore and this includes the Lake District or Lakelands (Søhøjlandet). Located a short distance away from the Danish second city of Aarhus and Billund, the home of Lego, the Lake District has fantastic places to visit providing ample opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as hiking and swimming but within easy reach of major towns and cities. Here’s a look at some of the places to visit.
Silkeborg bills itself as the outdoor capital of Denmark and it’s well set up for visitors who want to base themselves in a major town but within easy reach of the countryside.
The town itself is full of restaurants, bars and shops as well as a museum, an aquarium named Aqua and an art museum. Some of restaurants and bars are located on the banks of the river with outdoor seating which are ideal for a warm day.
If you want some countryside without travelling too far out of the town centre, head to the park area of Odden, which is located within the middle of a large lake. It feels a world away from the main streets of Silkeborg and is the perfect place for a stroll.
Skanderborg may not be a large settlement, but it’s still worth a visit. The town features a large lake and with boat rides available and ladders are provided if it’s warm enough for a swim, as well as a lighting system to advise if the water conditions are good.
Its also home to a unique church – Skanderborg Castle Church which is set in the remains of the former castle. Originally founded as a medieval castle, it was rebuilt in 1562 and although the castle was demolished in 1770 its chapel remains. The site also has a beautiful cemetery and its raised location provides excellent views.
The remains of the WW2 German air force headquarters in Denmark can also be found in the forest of the edge of the town, but it does have limited opening hours. Skanderborg has a range of shops with a high street in the centre of the town featuring a bakery, a wine shop (it also sells beer from the local brewery, spirits and chocolates), clothing stores, banks and more. There’s also a budget supermarket on the outskirts.
“The Sky Mountain” of Himmelbjerget was originally believed to be the highest point in Denmark but this was later found not to be the case. However, it’s still a fantastic place to visit with stunning views, picturesque scenery and wonderful walking trails to explore.
Himmelbjerget is 147m above sea level with the lake Julsø is at its base. Atop the hill is the 25m Himmelbjerg Tower which can be seen from the surrounding countryside and the tower itself is open to the public for a small fee.
It’s well set up for visitors with hotels, car parking and boat services across the river but there is plenty of surrounding woodland to explore to find peaceful spots and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery. There are also hiking trails to follow through the woodland to Ry and Silkeborg if you fancy a longer hike.
Ejer Bavnehøj and Møllehøj
So what is Denmark’s highest point? It’s actually the site of a former dairy farm named Møllehøj. If you’re visiting, you’ll probably spot nearby Ejer Bavnehøj first as a result of the large tower on top of it.
It’s an honesty tower so you post your coins straight into a slot in the building to pay your admission fee (or use MobilePay if you have no change) and wide-ranging views of the surrounding countryside are on offer after ascending the staircase.
It’s only a short walk over to Denmark’s highest point and it’s definitely not a strenuous hike to reach it! It’s a case of following the signs alongside the farm to reach Møllehøj. It’s marked with a millstone and an information board to show you that you’ve reached the lofty heights of the country’s highest point – 170.86m above sea level.
As Ejer Bavenhoj and Møllehøj are just a short away stroll from each other you can visit the highest and third highest points of Denmark within the space of about half an hour – there’s not many other places where you’d able to do that! (Interested in how Denmark’s highest points are defined? This guide from Visit Denmark has more info.)