Skagen, the Top of Denmark. Basically a beach between two oceans, illuminated by a magical light that has inspired artists for decades. A haven for seafood, home to a brewery with the same name and a favourite summer destination for the Danish society. There are plenty of things to do and see besides lazing on the beach enjoying a clear blue and plastic-free sea. Whether you’re a fan of the outdoors, a culture connoisseur, a shopping addict, a fun-loving family or all of the above, Skagen has something for you. Here’s our Top 5 pick of Things To Do on the Top of Denmark.
Denmark’s largest moving sand dune that hasn’t been stopped by planting, and this overwhelming natural scenery is an inevitable excursion. The dune consists of a 1000 m long and 1000 m wide sand pile, holds approx. 4 million m3 sand and rises 40 m above sea level at its highest point. It moves more than 15 metres every year by the wind towards the waters of Kattegat.
Lunch at the marina
A trip to Skagen is not complete without a seafood lunch. How often can you savour freshy caught produce from the sea – risk-free that is because Denmark is extremely cautious, almost fastidious about food hygiene. When it comes to guaranteeing a vacation without a runny tummy, fastidious works! The waters of Kattegat and Skagerak meet just north of Skagen and just like its Italian counterpart down in the “heel” of Italy (check out our article about Seafood of Salento), this equals savoury, fresh seafood.
The marina is packed with restaurants and it’s convivial charm makes it a perfect place to try today’s catch and enjoy a cool beer or crisp white wine while checking out boats, birds and boys.
The tip of the top. Grenen translates to “The Branch” because this elongated beach branches out into the sea. Or rather two seas, as the waters of Skagerak and Kattegat meet and kiss. It’s a compulsory practice to stand with a leg in each ocean, looking out and literally watching waves of two seas clash upon each other. It’s a 1 kilometre hike along the coast from the parking lot, but a beach bus runs every 20 minutes and will drive you there, if your legs are too short or too tired.
A stroll through swanky Old Skagen
While Skagen is facing east, Old Skagen or Gammel Skagen / Gl. Skagen faces west and is the northern beginning of the Danish west coast. Gammel Skagen is the epitome of the nostalgia, romance and indulgence of the Denmark and is the hotspot where the upper class likes to hang out. Located in the first dune row to the North Sea on the west coast, Gammel Skagen is one of Denmark’s most iconic tourist destinations. A visit is complete with coffee and cake at the historic Ruths Hotel.
The Sand-covered church
The church, which bears the name of Sct. Laurentii (Saint Laurence, the guardian saint of seafarers) was probably built in the second half of the 14th century. Sand migration began in the 16th century and reached the church at the end of the 18th century. The congregation had to dig their way into the church when they wanted to attend services. This weekly struggle against the sand continued until 1795 when the church was closed by royal decree and today, only the tower of the ancient church is visible.
There are tons of other stuff to do as well, like visiting Skagen Grey Lighthouse that has been converted into a centre for migratory birds, you can go shopping in the many specialised stores, visit Skagen Museum to check out the famous Danish artists that captured the magical light of the area. There is also an eagle reserve for the nature oriented, a teddy bear museum for the kiddies and a Natural History Museum if you want to find out which herbs you can find in the area to use for schnapps.
Check out the tourist information sites below for more info.
- Skagen official Tourism website
- Northern Jutland official Tourism website
- VisitDenmark official Tourism website