Hike through history on "Denmark's Camino"
The Haervejen trail in Jutland is the best known hiking route in Denmark and dates from the Middle Ages - a trail not only of great natural scenic beauty, but great historical and cultural importance, and now designated a European Cultural Route.
This 9-day self-guided hiking tour will take you through landscapes of rolling heathland, cool, quiet forests and glittering lakes. You'll be walking in the footsteps of pilgrims, traders, soldiers and kings. Until the arrival of the railways, the route was a vital artery connecting the town of Vibory to Hamburg in Germany.
The landscape is varied and very attractive, with many lakes along the way to take a cooling dip in summer. Photo: WR.
The tour takes you between two of Denmark's most historically important towns, from Viborg, with its beautiful cathedral and medieval streets, to the town of Jelling, where you'll find Europe's finest Viking monuments.
Luggage transfers and detailed tour information lighten the load
With daily distances around 16-21km and 7 full days of hiking, Self-guided Hiking on Haervejen is a moderately challenging tour, but is accessible for a wide range of hikers. With many points of interest to stop and explore along the way, you take the trip at your own pace - stop for picnics along the way, investigate the churches, museums and monumments you will pass, and take dips in the lakes to cool off on a hot summer's day.
With well-marked trails and detailed descriptions, this tour is suitable for solo travellers as well as those hiking with others. Photo: WR.
Your main luggage will be transferred to your next accommodation each day, so you only need to hike with a daypack.
You will receive a detailed tour description with maps and GPS tracks, not only making finding your way easy but enriching your experience with information on the many points of interest along the way. If you have any questions or difficulties, daily telephone support is available, making this tour also very suitable for solo travellers.
Comfortable local accommodation
Each night brings you to a new place, with accommodation in small, locally-owned bed and breakfast accommodation (plus one night in traditional inn). Breakfast is included each day, with lunch and dinner available to purchase locally.
The Jelling Stones, where your tour ends, are among the finest Viking monuments in Europe. Photo: WR.
Flexible dates from spring to autumn
With its relatively mild climate and accessible landscape, this self-guided hiking route can be done anytime from April to October, giving you the chance to experience the Danish countryside in spring, summer or autumn. Together with the option to start any day by arrangement, you have maximum flexibility for your trip! Whether you're hiking with a partner, group of friends or as a solo journey, Self-guided Hiking on Haervejen will be an enriching and educational experience leaving you keen to return to discover more of Denmark!
Day 1: Arrive in Villborg
Arrive in the town of Viborg, which was the most important town in Jutland during the Middle Ages. There's plenty to see here - the old town centre and cathedral, houses dating back to the Middle Ages, Sortebrødre Church, a remainder of the old Dominican Abbey, and Søndermarks Church, where a 10m embroidery depicts scenes you will see on the hike to come.
Accommodation: bed and breakfast in Villborg.
Day 2: Viborg to Dollerup Bakker
Your first day of hiking leads you south in the forest of Liseborg, with the first 8km through tranquil forest paths to an old inn on the banks of Lake Hald. The path continues along the lake for 3km to reach the heather-covered hills of Dollerup Bakker, a protected area for its outstanding natural beauty and natural heritage and with lovely views over the lake below.
Hiking distance: 15 km; Height gain/loss: +150m/-150m; Hiking time: approx. 4 hours; Overnight accommodation: bed and breakfast at Dollerup Bakker
Day 3: Lake Hald to Thorning
Your hiking tour continues through the small village of Skelhøjea and on quiet forest paths through an area with a number of protected burial mounds including "The Cave of Jens Langkniv" (a Danish Robin Hood-style character), a 4000-year-old long burial tomb. Your hike then leaves the Haervejen trail for a while to Thorning, where you can visit a museum dedicated to the Danish writer Blicher.
From here it's 2km along a quiet country road to reach your accommodation. If you're feeling tired, your accommodation hosts will be happy to come and pick you up!
Hiking distance: 16.5 km; Height gain/loss: +124m/-86m; Hiking time: approx. 4 hours; Accommodation: bed and breakfast near Thorning.
Day 4: Thorning to Lake Bølling
You continue to the stream at Haller Å, where old cart tracks still mark the land, and reach the beautiful heathland area of Grathe. This is an important spot in Danish history - here Svend Grathe was killed in a battle with Valdemar the Great, marking Jutland’s victory over the regions of Sk7aring;ne and Zealand. Your way passes through lovely forest at Stenholt, leading to the north shore of Lake Bølling. Here you leave the Haervejen trail to make your way to the village of Engesvang for overnight.
Hiking distance: 20 km; Height gain/loss: +135m/-120m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: bed and breakfast at Engesvang.
Day 5: Bølling Sø to Sepstrup
The first part of your hike takes you to the lake at Bølling S&slash, formed in the last Ice Age and best known as the place where the naturally mummified corpse of Tollund Man (now displayed at the museum in Silkeborg) was found, dated from 400 years BC.
You'll be walking along the eastern side of the lake today before crossing a stream into a rolling landscape of heather-covered hills and old oak trees. Relatively speaking (for Denmark!), this part is one of the most "mountainous" landscapes. There's a small detour to Hørbylunde hill, offering a beautiful view at the end of the path.
The day ends at the hamlet of Sepstrup, where you will be met for transfer to your accommodation.
Hiking distance: 20 km; Height gain/loss: +177m/-145m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: traditional inn near Sepstrup.
Day 6: Sepstrup to Nørre Snede
After a short transfer back to Sepstrup, you walk south through a landscape of inland sand dunes, formed by drifts over millenia and draped in heather, crowberry and juniper bushes. Later in the day you enter the forst of Palsgård forest, one of Jutland's oldest forest plantations - take time to stop at the museum and learn something of its history, before reaching your accommodation just outside the town of Nørre Snede.
Hiking distance: 21 km; Height gain/loss: +244m/-257m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: bed and breakfast near Nørre Snede.
Day 7: Nørre Snede to Kollemorten
The day starts with a walk through the town and a good chance to pick up provisions for lunch. The town's church has a well-known granite baptismal font, one of the finest in Denmark. The pilgrimage site of St. Michael's nearby is the most likely reason for this sparsely-populated and traditionally poor area to have such a comparatively grand church.
You continue past Røbaek Lake and on the Haervejen trail. Take a small detour to visit the springs which are the source of Denmark's two largest rivers - Guden7aring;en and Skjern Å, and try out the supposed healing properties of Saint Peder's spring.
You follow a quiet country road to Kollemorten where you are met for transfer to your accommodation for the night.
Hiking distance: 19 km; Height gain/loss: +190m/-155m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: bed and breakfast at Give.
Day 8: Kollemorten to Jelling
Today, as you near the end of your hik, the Haervejen trail goes through a landscape of farmland and scattered forest. There are a number of points of interest, including the old inn n Harresø Kro, which dates from 1609. The route ends in the "King's town" of Jelling, a very important town in Viking times. The Jelling Monuments (consisting of the church, the stones, and two burial grounds) are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered Europe's finest Viking monuments.
Scenically, this day is not as varied as other parts of the route, but if your feet are getting tired by now, you can shorten the day's walk with an easy public bus connection to Jelling to allow more time to explore the town when you get there.
Hiking distance: 17.5 km; Height gain/loss: +70m/-80m; Hiking time: approx. 4 hours; Accommodation: bed and breakfast in Jelling.
Day 9: Depart from Jelling
After more than a week on Haervejen, your trip is at an end. Hopefully you've not only enjoyed the beautiful of the landscapes along the way, but experienced something of Danish culture and learned something of Denmark's rich and varied history!
Dates & Prices»
Start any day by arrangement between 1st April and 31st October.
|Per person in double or twin room||GBP|
|Single occupancy for odd-numbered person in group||GBP|
What's Included »
8 nights' accommodation in bed and breakfast, traditional inn and campsite accommodation. Please see itinerary for details of daily arrangements.
Rooms will be en-suite as far as possible, where these facilities are available at the accommodation. Occasionally alternative accommodation may be booked if standard accommodation is not available, and this may influence slightly the hiking distance required on a particular day.
8 x breakfast. Lunch and dinner is available to purchase locally.
Luggage and personal transfers:
Luggage is transferred between overnight accommodation during the tour. Personal transfers are also included as per itinerary on Day 5 (Sepstrup to Paarup Kro), Day 6 (Paarup Kro to Sepstrup), Day 7 (Kollemorten to Give) and Day 8 (Give to Kollemorten).
Route information and support:
Pre-departure information pack, detailed route description with maps and GPS tracks, telephone support available daily if required.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Lunch: Lunch can be ordered as a picnic lunch from the accommodation (additional charge payable locally) or purchased from shops or cafes en route. Tour information will give details of the possibilities for each day.
- Dinner: For Day 1 and Day 8, a range of options are available in Viborg and Jelling. During the main part of the tour, options are more limited. Dinner can be arranged at the overnight accommodation (additional charge payable locally) or your hosts will advise on other options in the area. Tour information will given details of the possibilities for each day.
Good To Know »
Recommended min. age 16 years (when accompanied by adult 18+). This tour is suitable for solo travellers.
You should be used to hiking distances up to around 21km/day over a number of days with light pack.
The terrain is relatively flat or undulating, with only moderate height differences each day. Walking is on surfaced or unsurfaced tracks and paths in heathland, forest and rural terrain.
What makes this "Medium"?
As a 9-day tour with 7 full days' hiking, this tour will be more challenging than a shorter trip in similar terrain. Weather and temperature conditions experienced during your tour, as well as the time of year you choose (the tour is possible from April to October) can also affect the level of challenge.
However, hiking distances each day are moderate and the terrain is not challenging. Your main luggage will be transferred each day between overnight locations, so you need to hike only with a day pack. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable local bed and breakfasts/traditional inn.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
No minimum number required. This tour is suitable for solo travellers as well as participants travelling with one or more companions or as a group.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Canoe Getaway in Skåne (3-5 days, 2 hours from Copenhagen)
This experience is also suitable for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has a detailed written environmental policy.
Getting There »
See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!
Detailed information on travel will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
NB: Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Aarhus for bus + train to Viborg (approx. 2 hours) for arrival and back from Jelling on departure. You can also fly to Billund, Aalborg, Copenhagen or Hamburg airports.
Train to Brussels, Cologne or Hamburg for onward connections to Copenhagen.