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bineba Skagen - A travel report by Sabine
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Skagen,  Denmark - flag Denmark -  Nordjylland
16265 readers

bineba's travel reports

Skagen – Lysets Land – Land of Light

  20 votes
Page: 1 2
If you get into a car and drive as far north as possible in Denmark you'll eventually arrive in Skagen, Jutland’s northernmost town, where North Sea and Baltic Sea meet.

The harbour in Skagen
The harbour in Skagen
Skagen lies at the utmost tip of North Jutland, surrounded by rugged landscapes, sand dunes and miles of white, sandy beaches. The harbour of Skagen is on the eastside, where the calm Baltic Sea, or Kattegat as it is called here, makes it easier for ships and ferries to arrive. About 4km away on the west side is Gammel Skagen, on the North Sea or Skagerak, where the surf pounds the shore and people come every night to watch the beautiful sunsets.

The area has got a special kind of light, which gave the region its nickname, and attracted many painters to the town at the end of the 19th century, and it seems like the rough fisherman and the artists got on fine and made Skagen the unique place it now is. Fisherman still go out to catch fresh fish every day like they used to do centuries ago, but today there is also a yacht marina and ferries go to Sweden and Norway from here.

The painters of the so called Danish Golden Age also left their legacy, there are several outstanding art museums with the Skagens Museum (www.skagensmuseum.d-k) having the largest collection of paintings by artists who lived in the area, and dozens of galleries and workshops for ceramic and glass objects.

Favourite spots:
Where Skagerag and Kattegat meet
Where Skagerag and Kattegat meet
Who could resist standing with one foot in the North Sea and the other one in the Baltic Sea? In Skagen, or to be more precise in Grenen, you can. You drive for ca. 5km, past three lighthouses, until you arrive at a car park. From here you have a choice of how to get to the end of the sandy stretch where Skagerak and Kattegat meet. You can, for a small fee, ride on the Sandormen, a vehicle I would describe as a mixture between a bus and a tractor that takes you within meters of ‘the’ spot.

Or you can, and I would definitely recommend this option, walk the half hour along the beach. You’ll walk past the grave of Holger Drachmann, one of the Skagen painters, and a bunker on the beach, but after that it’s just you, the sand, the sea and the sky (and the other people who chose to walk). Winds can be strong and swimming is forbidden due to the strong undercurrents, but do watch the two different kinds of seas: one gently lapping at the sand, the other with meter-high breakers.

What's really great:
Rabjerg Mile
Rabjerg Mile
16km to the southwest of Skagen is Rabjerg Mile, Danmark's largest drifting sand dune and it is absolutely amazing. It is 2 km long and 800m wide and up to 40m high and the fine white sand moves at a speed of up to 20m a year. It started its journey in the 1600s during the great sand drift and has been moving east, 4km so far. Another 4km and it will have reached the Kattegat, burying everything beneath them.

This place is very popular, but big enough to find your own little spot and to sit down and ponder the amazing powers of nature. There is no charge to visit the dune, no tacky souvenir shops, just a car park. And amazingly no litter.
There is a bus service from Skagen during the summer.

Tilsandede Kirke
Tilsandede Kirke
5km south of Skagen, in the nature reserve of Skagen Klitplantage, awaits you the strange sight of Tilsandede Kirke. As you approach the church from the car park, where there is a small snack bar and toilet facilities, you walk along the sandy path through heather and suddenly see a massive white church tower.

As you come closer you realise that that’s all that is left of what was once the biggest church in the area. It was also a victim of the great sand drift in the 1600s. Built in the mid 14th century by the end of the 18th century the worshippers had grown tired of having to dig themselves into and out of the church and the King of Denmark consented to it being closed. The main body of the church gas been demolished, but the tower still stands and you can climb up for a small fee during the summer months.

Email the local tourist bureau and they will send you brochures of Skagen and the Land of Light. Accommodation of any kind in Denmark is of a very high standard and here you’ll find something for every pocket: campsites, youth hostels, hotels, farms, etc.

You really are in luck if you like fish and seafood, here it couldn’t be served fresher. In Skagen, right by the fishing and yacht harbour on Fiskehuskaj, is a row of converted fish warehouses and guess what? Everyone of them is a fish restaurant with rows of tables and wooden benches out front. So how do you choose between them?

It all depends of how much you want to spend and what kind of service you would like. If you are happy with self-service and eating your cod and chips of a plastic plate you can, or you can go for a more upmarket option with table service, proper china and a more refined cuisine. We opted for the latter, as our holiday was mainly self-catering and we thought we’d deserve a treat. We were not disappointed with our choice, the Skagen Fiskerestaurant, the food was delicious.

Other recommendations:
Cottage in Gammel Skagen
Cottage in Gammel Skagen
Gammel Skagen, is a different kettle of fish (excuse the pun) from Skagen. Many people have their holiday homes here and although there are quite a few restaurants, life here is much more sedate. Every evening people meet up by the kiosk on the beach to watch the sun set in the west.

One thing you will notice is the colour scheme of the houses. They are yellow (there even is a colour called Skagen yellow!) with red roofs with white trimmings. Apparently the houses used to be painted white, but one year, before transport was what it is today and you couldn’t just nip down to the nearest DIY shop, the wrong paint arrived and the people liked it so much that they stuck with it.

Published on Friday July 22th, 2005

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Wed, Aug 03 2005 - 08:29 AM rating by britman

Another great report!

Tue, Aug 02 2005 - 10:06 PM rating by tokyomike

Great report! I want to go there! And I loved the nice ending about the paint. I guess they are a people who accept there fate and love it ;)

Mon, Aug 01 2005 - 05:28 AM rating by magsalex

Great report. Been to some parts of Denmark and this looks like another possible destination!

Sun, Jul 31 2005 - 08:56 PM rating by gloriajames

nice report!

Mon, Jul 25 2005 - 11:11 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi


Sat, Jul 23 2005 - 03:23 PM rating by mistybleu

This sounds like a nice quiet place to visit. Nice report


Sat, Jul 23 2005 - 11:47 AM rating by eirekay

Terrific detail and wonderful pictures to go with it. Great Report!

Sat, Jul 23 2005 - 05:25 AM rating by rangutan

Wonderful place and report.

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