We spent a very short time in Denmark, just two days, as part of a Scandinavian cruise. Our first port was Copenhagen which is very friendly and colorful. The port it relatively close to the downtown area, about a 20 minute walk, but they also provided a free shuttle from the cruise terminal to the downtown area. Since this was my first visit (and I didn’t know much about Denmark) I opted for a tour of two famous castles, Frederiksborg and Kronborg. This would also take us to the the towns of Fredensborg and Elsinore along with a downtown visit to Copenhagen.
We started the day at Frederiksborg Castle, the grounds were beautiful and the history of royal family (one of the oldest in the world dating back to the year 935 and is over 1000 years old!) was interesting. The castle was built in the early 17th century and today is a museum and the home of the Denmark National Portrait Gallery. The guide provided a good overview of Danish history, wars, and monarchs up to current times.
Our next stop was brief, to Fredensborg Castle, the summer residence of the Danish royal family today. We were not able to visit inside, but again beautiful gardens and landscaping surrounded the castle.
I love Shakespeare so this next stop was the highlight of my day, Kronborg Castle. This is the castle that is referenced in Hamlet (Elsinore Castle) and we had a guide/actor who gave the tour as Horatio. This made the story come to life even more and I highly recommend tour if you are a Shakespeare fan!
We enjoyed a lovely ride back through the countryside back to downtown Copenhagen where we walked around and enjoyed some shopping and visiting the Little Mermaid statue before sailing on to our next port of call.
Our next port of call was Skagen (pronounced Skahn) at the northern tip of Denmark, this was a beautiful (although very windy) town. We decided to take a bike tour from the port. We had a local tour guide whose family had lived in Skagen for several generations as fishermen that gave us a great history and highlights of the area.
Our first stop was The Sand-Covered Church, built in the 1300’s it was abandoned in 1795. Due to drifting sand the church entrance would get buried and have to be dug out by parishioners. Services are still held outside of the church during nice weather today.
We cycled along the coast both on and off the beaten path enjoying the views, below is a view of Klitgaarden in the distance. This is a former summer residence for the Danish royal family, but today is a retreat for artists and scientist.
We enjoyed the entire day in Skagen, but the highlight of the day was the trip out to Grenen. This sandbar juts out where the Baltic and North seas meet. It’s about a 1-1/2 mile walk along the beach to put your feet in the very cold water here, it is really breathtakingly beautiful, so remote and untouched. You can walk back along the beach or pay for a ride in the trolley to get back to the parking lot, we opted for the ride so that we could enjoy the scenery on the ride back.
I would welcome the opportunity to visit more of Denmark and especially the peaceful and friendly area of Skagen, we will definitely be back!