Visiting Denmark’s Lake District 6

Visiting Denmark's Lake District

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

Silkeborg fountains

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.

Bridge to Odden in Silkeborg

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.

Silkeborg bar by the river

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.

Views of Odden, Silkeborg

Skanderborg

Quirky public art in Skanderborg

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.

Boat in Skanderborg

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.

Skanderborg Castle Church

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.

Views from Skanderborg Castle Church

Himmelbjerget

Himmelbjerget Tower

“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.

Woodland around Himmelbjerget

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.

Views from Himmelbjerget Tower

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.

Julsø at Himmelbjerget

Ejer Bavnehøj and Møllehøj

Ejer Bavnehøj

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.

Ejer Bavnehøj plaque

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.

Views from Ejer Bavnehøj Tower

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.

Møllehøj millstone

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.)

Møllehøj views

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6 thoughts on “Visiting Denmark’s Lake District

  • Sheree

    Is it just me or does Silkeborg look a lot like Canberra (Australia), with the water feature? Hahaha. Strange thought, I know, but it hit me straight away! This is a great list, thank you so much for sharing <3

    And P.S., I'm not sure if "MobilePay" is so common in Denmark that it doesn't raise an eyebrow, but that idea seems REVOLUTIONARY to me! Absolutely brilliant! I've been stymied on so many occasions by my millennial brain neglecting to withdraw/carry cash. So I hope it spreads!!

    • Kaleigh Post author

      MobilePay is really common on Denmark – we saw a flea market in Copenhagen and every single stallholder had their MobilePay number on a sign, so much easier than hunting for cash!

  • mr. Lasse Ene

    It is such a beautiful region. I have been there a few times as a kid. Did you go here in November?

    In the summer you can rent canoes and paddle along the lakes and rivers for weeks if you like. Or hike in the large forests. Thought you might want to know.