Head off the beaten track to take in the rural charm of northern Denmark, where shifting sands and pretty fishing villages have been inspiring artists for centuries. In between a central stay among historic Copenhagen's cutting edge, you’ll start with Aalborg’s still-standing Viking heritage and lauded creative scene before you sweep up the coast to Skagen. This idyllic seaside town is a true step back in time, its historic galleries set in a red-roofed village that’s cloaked in fields of green. It’s all complemented by a private city tour, scenic country drives and stays in leading hotels.
Day 1: UK/Copenhagen
Flying out to the Danish capital, pick up your hire car at the airport and make your way to your central accommodation – a neoclassic jewel with sleek, contemporary rooms. Although you'll have more time to explore with two nights in Copenhagen at the end of your trip, you might want to begin in style with its world-famous restaurant scene, design sensibilities and historic architecture. How best to take it all in? Make like a local and cycle.
Days 2-3: Aalborg
Hopping between islands, you'll drive out through rural Denmark to northern Aalborg and your hand-picked hotel – a contemporary jewel whose timber-accented rooms feature pretty city views. Then, to get your bearings, we’ve included a private tour. Your expert guide will bring you between everything from traditional pastry shops and the 12th-century cathedral to the city's cutting-edge waterfront and giant murals painted by international street artists. There's also plenty of time to explore under you own steam. The Kunsten gallery is an award-winning work of art in its own right, the local brewing culture is superb and the burial site of Lindholm Høje is full of Viking intrigue.
Stay: Comwell Hotel Hvide Hus
Day 4: Aalborg to Skagen
After breakfast this morning, you’ll head north towards Skagen. We highly recommend taking the scenic route, swinging along the coast to take in the great dunes of Rubjerg Knude that swirl around its turn-of-the-century lighthouse. Wholly abandoned, it’s an ethereal scene that is set to plunge into the sea in the coming few years. Then, it’s on to nearby Lønstrup, a former fishing hamlet turned seaside retreat that’s become a favourite among artists and craftsmen. Be sure to stop at its studios to watch the potters and glass blowers at work before continuing on to Skagen.
Stay: Color Hotel Skagen
Day 5: Skagen
Staying in Skagen’s only four-star accommodation, you’ll be treated to the likes of Finnish saunas, wine-cellar indulgences and a pool terrace wrapped in green fields. However, you’ll want to explore what is Denmark’s northernmost town, positioned where the Baltic and North Sea meet. The result? The world’s largest sandpit – scenery that’s inspired generations of painters, their work immortalised in a superb spread of galleries and boutiques, along with the excellent Skagen Museum, which you'll enjoy included entrance to. But, it’s also had a destructive effect, exemplified by the 18th-century Sand-Covered Church and – back on the coast – a great, mile-long dune that creeps east at a rate of 15 metres a year. In between it all, don’t miss out on the just-caught seafood.
Stay: Color Hotel Skagen
Days 6-7: Copenhagen
Winding your way back by ferry or bridge to Copenhagen, you'll end with two nights in the Danish capital. While your accommodation is just a stone's throw from the world-famous Tivoli Gardens – the world's second-oldest amusement park – there's plenty more to see. Royal palaces are burnished in painting masterworks, museums house genuine Viking treasures and open studios bear all the secrets to those Danish chairs. Indeed, a passion for design runs throughout the city, from its impeccable cafés to its hip boutiques.
Day 8: Depart for UK
Following your final breakfast, make the short drive to Aalborg, dropping off your hire car at the airport before catching your flight home.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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