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Photo: WR

Self-guided Hiking in Jutland's Lake District (Denmark)

A walking holiday with luggage transfers through beautiful lake, forest and river landscapes

  • Self-guided
  • Easy-Medium
  • From £/adult, £/child
  • Apr-Oct, 5 or 6 days
  • Adults, Groups, Families, Solo

Highlights:

  • Climb Denmark's most famous "mountain"
  • Comfortable accommodation in hotels and traditional inns
  • Luggage transferred between overnights
  • Wonderful walking on forest, lake shore and riverside trails
  • Suitable for solo travellers and families
  • Long hiking season April-October

Description »

Explore Denmark's largest natural area

Denmark may not be the first place you think of for a walking holiday, but this small country offers great opportunities for hiking tours through varied and beautiful rural landscapes steeped in history and rich in cultural interest.

Home to more than 50 lakes and more than 220 square km of forest, the Silkeborg Lake District is Denmark's largest natural area and the country's premier location for outdoor activities.

Himmelbjerget, Denmark

Himmelbjerget, at just 147m, is Denmark's most famous "mountain". Photo: WR.

Luggage transfers, charming accommodation en-route and full support

Your luggage is transferred between overnight locations, so you need only hike with a light daypack. Along the way, you'll be staying at a selection of comfortable and atmospheric hotels, bed and breakfasts and traditional inns epitomising the Danish concept of "hygge", or cosiness.

Your tour information will include detailed route descriptions and GPS tracks, highlighted points of interest along the way and attractions you may wish to stop and visit. If needed, telephone support is always available.

Accommodation for Self-guided Hiking in Jutland's Lake District, Denmark

Both tours feature comfortable, atmospheric accommodation in hotels and inns along the route. Photo: WR.

A choice of two self-guided hiking itineraries

Depending on the time you have available and the type of hiking tour you are looking for, there are two options to choose from to discover this lovely area:

  • Option 1 - Himmelbjerg Route: Over 5 days/4 nights, this tour runs on one of Denmark's most beautiful trails, which is also clearly marked and offers easy walking. Daily distances are between 18km-21km and the tour takes from you the village of Laven, along the Gudenåen river and through quiet woodlands to Himmelbjerget, Denmark's most famous "mountain" (it's only 147m high, though!). You continue along Lake Julsø to Denmark's "outdoor capital", Silkeborg, before returning by train to your starting point at Ry.
  • Option 2 - Silkeborg Lake District: A 6-day/5-night tour, this itinerary combines aspects of the Himmelbjerg Route with the Traekstien towpath along Denmark's longest river, with daily distances between 10-21km.
Walking in Jutland's Lake District, Denmark

You'll be hiking through a varied and tranquil landscape of lakes and forest trails. Photo: WR.

Flexible dates and a long hiking season

The relatively mild climate means that Denmark is ideal for hiking anytime from April to October (you should of course be prepared for cooler conditions if choosing a tour early/late in the season). The tour has flexible start days any day Tuesday-Saturday and, unlike many of our self-guided expereinces, also suitable for solo travellers.

So whether your travelling solo, with a partner or friends, and want to explore the beauty of the Denmark countryside in spring, summer or autumn, there should be a date and time for this tour to suit you!

Itinerary »

Option 1: Himmelbjerget (5 days/4 nights)

Day 1: Arrive in Ry

Arrival to the small lakeside town of Ry for your first night. If you are travelling by public transport, accommodation this night is in hotel in the town centre. For guests travelling by own car, accommodation is at lakeside hotel a couple of km outside Ry.

Accommodation: hotel in central Ry or just outside.

Day 2: Ry to Himmelbjerget to Gammel Rye

If you've stayed at the lake hotel the previous night, you begin with a walk along the shore of Lake Knudsø into Ry. From Ry, you head west towards Himmelbjerget. After about 9km, a steep path leads from the lake up to the top of Himmelbjerget, Denmark's most famous "mountain", at 147m. There is a tower at the top offering wonderful views over the lakes.

Your walk continues for a further 3km through the forest to the village of Gammel Rye, where you will spend the night.

Hiking distance: 12-14 km; Height gain/loss: +197m/-142m; Hiking time: approx. 3-4 hours; Overnight accommodation: hotel at Gammel Rye.

Day 3: Gammel Rye to Silkeborg

The path today goes through the Lake District, winding through forest and along a number of lakes.

From Himmelbjerget, you descend to lake Julsø to walk along the shore with some wonderful lake views. There is a campsite here with a cafe. Alternatively, take the solar-powered ferry or rent a rowing boat for a short trip across the water to visit Ålekroen, an old inn by the water renowned for its food.

You continue along the shores of the lakes Borre Sø and Slåen Sø and then to the Denmark's longest river, Gudenåen, walking along the river to end at the lovely town of Silkeborg.

The walking distance today can be shortened if you wish, by taking a steamboat to Silkeborg to enjoy more time there.

Hiking distance: 21 km; Height gain/loss: +270m/-315m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: hotel in Silkeborg.

Day 4: Silkeborg to Laven for train to Ry

Today you follow the Himmelbjerg Route, crossing the river to continue on the northern side as you walk towards Sejs. The first 8km offer some wonderful scenery, and you arrive a Ludvigslyst inn, an ideal place for lunch. Alternatively, you can detour a few hundred metres to the inn at Ålekroen.

At Svejbaek you leave the river and climb for 120m through forest before dropping down to lake Juls&slash;, where a path leads back to the train station at Laven, where you began on Day 1. Here the train takes you back to Ry for overnight (in central Rye or just outside depending on whether you are travelling by public transport or car, as for Day 1).

Hiking distance: 18 km; Height gain/loss: +173m/-174m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: hotel in central Ry or just outside..

Day 5: Departure

Breakfast at your accommodation and departure.

Option 2: Silkeborg Lake District (6 days/5 nights)

Day 1: Arrive in Ry

Arrival to the small lakeside town of Ry for your first night. If you are travelling by public transport, accommodation this night is in hotel in the town centre. For guests travelling by own car, accommodation is at lakeside hotel a couple of km outside Ry.

Accommodation: hotel in central Ry or just outside.

Day 2: Ry to Himmelbjerget to Gammel Rye

The tour begins with a short train ride to Laven (journey time 5 mintues), from where you begin walking about the eastern shore of Lake Julsø and on through forests and meadows to the Gudenåen river and to Lake Birksø.

From here you go west through the forest to Himmelbjerget, Denmark's most famous "mountain", with a climb of 125m to reach the top (147m) to enjoy the view. There are some snack and souvenir shops at the top and an observation tower you can climb for even better views over the surrounding lakes.

Your walk continues on quiet paths to the village of Gammel Rye and your accommmodation for the night.

Hiking distance: 18 km; Height gain/loss: +206m/-154m; Hiking time: approx. 4.5 hours; Overnight accommodation: hotel at Gammel Rye.

Day 3: Gammel Rye to Silkeborg

The path today goes through the Lake District, winding through forest and along a number of lakes.

From Himmelbjerget, you descend to lake Julsø to walk along the shore with some wonderful lake views. There is a campsite here with a cafe. Alternatively, take the solar-powered ferry or rent a rowing boat for a short trip across the water to visit Ålekroen, an old inn by the water renowned for its food.

You continue along the shores of the lakes Borre Sø and Slåen Sø and then to the Denmark's longest river, Gudenåen, walking along the river to end at the lovely town of Silkeborg.

The walking distance today can be shortened if you wish, by taking a steamboat to Silkeborg to enjoy more time there.

Hiking distance: 21 km; Height gain/loss: +270m/-315m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: hotel in Silkeborg.

Day 4: Silkeborg to Svostrup

Today you continue from Silkeborg along the river, following the old two path which was originally created for horse-drawn barges trafficking goods between Silkeborg and Randers.

Later in the day, as the river widens, you reach the lake of Sminge Sø, which is renowned for its bird life and has an observation tower. You reach Svostrup, where you will stay at the inn for the night.

Hiking distance: 12 km; Height gain/loss: +48m/-48m; Hiking time: approx. 4 hours; Accommodation: inn at Svostrup.

Day 5: Svostrup to Kongensbro

The path along the river continues towards Kongenbro. Previously prone to flooding, the path has now been extensively renovated and raised, offering great walking.

Soon after the day begins, you will see the Tvilum church across the river, dating from 1250, before continue this easy-going day through tranquil countryside scenery to reach the charming inn at Kongensbro.

Hiking distance: 10 km; Height gain/loss: +41m/-44m; Hiking time: approx. 3 hours; Accommodation: inn at Kongensbro.

Day 6: Kongesbro to Bjerringbro and departure

The Traekstien river path continues and, after 7km, you can take a detour if you wish to have lunch at a local inn.

The river then runs into Tange Sø, Denmark's largest artificial lake, following the trail along the eastern side to reach Gudenåcentralen, the largest hydroelectric station in Denmark, dating from 1921 and now home to an interesting Energy Museum with a range of attractions and a cafe.

4km further on and you reach the end of your tour at Bjerringbo for onward train connections.

Hiking distance: 18 km; Height gain/loss: +94m/-104m; Hiking time: approx. 5 hours; Accommodation: none.

Dates»

Dates 2021 and 2022

Start any day Tuesday-Saturday by arrangement between 15th April and 16th October.

Prices»

Prices 2021 and 2022

Standard Prices  
Option 1: Himmelberget  
Per adult in double or twin roomGBP
Per child (of any age, when sharing with two adults)GBP
Single occupancy for odd-numbered person in groupGBP
Solo travellerGBP
   
Option 2: Silkeborg Lake District  
Per adult in double or twin roomGBP
Per child (of any age, when sharing with two adults)GBP
Single occupancy for odd-numbered person in groupGBP
Solo travellerGBP

What's Included »

Included

Accommodation

4 nights Option 1) or 5 nights (Option 2) in comfortable bed and breakfast, hotel and traditional inn accommodation. Please see itinerary for details of daily arrangements.

Rooms are normally en-suite on all nights. In some cases, alternative accommodation may be used for some nights depending on availability.

Meals

4 (Option 1) or 5 (Option 2) x breakfast. Lunch and dinner is available to purchase locally.

Luggage and personal transfers

Luggage is transferred between overnight accommodation during the tour.

Route information and support

Pre-departure information pack, detailed route description with maps and GPS tracks, telephone support available daily if required.

Not Included

  • 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: 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.
  • Transport: Tickets for local trains/buses necessary for the itinerary are not included - to be purchased locally.

Good To Know »

Required

Health requirements/experience:

You should be used to hiking distances up to around 21km/day over a number of days with light pack.

Recommended min. age normally 16 years (when accompanied by adult 18+), but this tour is also suitable for families with children of any age provided children are comfortable with the hiking distances.

This tour is also suitable for solo adult travellers.

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 "Easy"?

Hiking distances each day are moderate and luggage transfer between overnight accommodation is included, so you only need to walk with a light day pack. The terrain is relatively easy, with mostly undulating tracks rather than steep climbs/descents. The tours feature comfortable accommodation each night along the way. 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.

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.

Equipment/clothes needed:

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.

Minimum number:

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:

Groups

This experience is also suitable for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has a detailed written environmental policy.

Getting There »

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.

Travel Summary:

By Air:

Fly to Aarhus for bus + train to Ry (approx. 1.5 hours). You can also fly to Billund, Aalborg, Copenhagen or Hamburg airports.

Without Flying:

Train to Brussels, Cologne or Hamburg for onward connections to Copenhagen.

Gallery & Reviews »

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