Danish summer affords us more time to be outdoor as much as possible. Ophelia Wu shares her top picks of outdoor activities in the area.
Pictures: Terumi Mascarenhas
Lolland and the surrounding areas have many magnificent landscapes to offer, from lakes to beaches, ancient sites to cliffs, and perhaps some of the world’s most hidden gems even locals have yet to discover.
We all know the benefits of being in nature, bringing only positivity to our mind, body, and soul. Lolland is a beautiful island for all sorts of outdoor activities. Separated from Southern Zealand by Smålandsfarvandet Sound in the Baltic Sea, it is the fourth largest island of the Danish archipelago.
“Lolland being an island, is blessed with beaches.”
With 480 square miles (1,243 square km), you can explore anything from irregular coastlines and fjords, historic castles to ancient cultural landscapes. There are forests in the north and east, while dunes and dikes protect the southern coastal regions from flooding. Nakskov, Maribo, Sakskøbing, Rødby, and Nysted are the main towns where a royal residence, Ålholm Castle and many surviving historical manor houses dating back as early as the 15th century still stand. There is something for the whole family, couples, groups or even solo. Take some time off and explore a new nearby place; you might be surprised and fall in love with the country more.
Nature is your best friend
Since there are countless breath-taking spots, we have put together a few of our top picks for a tranquil day out that nourishes our body and soul and stimulates our adventurous side that might be hiding somewhere. First of all, you may want to download the Naturlandet app before planning your trip to Lolland. There is an English version, and it offers self-guided nature tours and experiences on cycling, hiking, horse-riding or kayaking adventures and more, so you’ll be able to go on an excursion safely.
Walk the walk
One of the best travel tips is to explore a new place on foot; one accidental turn might lead you somewhere magical. The term “walk it off” has its value; walking meditation is one thing, mindful walking is also one; it reaps many benefits, whether you enjoy a walk outdoors or exercise. Halskov Vænge Forest is one of the most historically significant forests, the 2.5km (that’s only about 3,280 steps) trail through this small forest holds 72 bronze age burial grounds and six large Neolithic passage graves. The tranquillity and the peaceful ambience is a perfect place to clear your mind.
Another one, namely the Danish Monastery Route, a hiking trail from Tårs to Vordingborg divided into ten stages with distances from 9km shortest and 24km longest. This route will take you through idyllic villages and towns, vast open landscapes, farmlands and churches. You don’t have to be spiritual to take on this route, but who knows, maybe you’ll get some fascinating insights or eureka moments while hiking.
Wine lovers, this one is for you! Frederiksdal Gods at the Frederiksdal Manor stretches 6.5km; it’s an aroma sensory journey filled with the smell of ocean breeze and fresh cherries. There are three different trails: a 1.3km yellow trail, a 2.1km red trail, and a 4.3km blue trail. Each of these will give you diverse nature adventures and insights into the history of the Frederiksdal Gods estate, making you understand how modern farming works. For example, if you want to see how cherries are grown:
Take the blue trail.
If you want to visit a deer park, take the red one, and if you wish to roam around the garden belonging to the estate, take the yellow trail.
Don’t forget to try the famous Frederiksdal Cherry Wine and plan a visit to tour the cherry orchards and gardens if time allows.
Whether you follow these routes or a simple walk around the island, always remember to dress appropriately, follow all the safety measures and respect the land- as many of them are ancient.
Bike your way around
With routes ranging from 4km – 820km, and if you’re a keen biker like the Danes, the island is your playground. Follow the Baltic Sea coastlines and beautiful landscapes. As part of the Baltic Sea route, the 168km Lolland-Falster stretch will take you through the magnificent Baltic Sea coastline, some of the best beaches, nature reserves, and Danish beech forests of Denmark. Architecture, cultural and history lovers will want to ride along the 30km route, which starts at the harbour in Stubbekøbing and takes you through market towns to fishing villages along minor roads. Discover historical monuments and the red limewash church in Åstrup. Stop by one of the cute little villages for lunch or dinner and market places selling fresh local produce.
Lolland is known for its flatness, but this route, known as “The Lollandian Alps”, will take you on the hills of Ravnsby Bakker, be ready for another breath-taking undulating landscape. This area of large hills and valleys in Ravnsby Bakker had formed around 20,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when the ice moved back and forth. Large, deep holes like features in the area were formed by “dead ice”, blocks of ice deposited under the ground and melted slower. So you can imagine, the natural landscape itself is already worth a visit. Not only will you be able to witness the historical trace of the last ice age, but you’ll also find castle ruins of Ravnsborg. So even though this 36km route might sound a bit hilly, it is suitable for everyone, a must for those geology enthusiasts.
Vitamin sea therapy
It’s hard to visualise Denmark offering some of the best white sandy beaches, so be sure to spend some time at one or a few whenever you can. Lolland being an island, is naturally blessed with many gorgeous beaches. Mainly along the southern part of the island, the choices are limitless - from child-friendly, calm water beaches to surfing possibilities and water recreation, summer is the best time to hit one of these beaches and soak in some sun. Vitamin sea therapy is one of the best, free therapies for anyone, especially those living in Denmark with long dark winter days.
Close to the market town of Nakskov and situated in a Natura 2000 protected area around Nakskov, the fjord has a diverse birdlife and is the second-longest bathing jetty in Denmark – Hestehovdet Beach. The 190 km long bathing jetty is child-friendly with shallow waters, an excellent place for a family day out. You can also hop on a tour of Nakskov Fjord with the Mail Boat or play crazy golf and beach volleyball.
Saving the best for last
There are countless things to do in Lolland; it’s tough to boil down to just a few, so go to Lolland and enjoy the beautiful landscape the island has to offer! Treat yourselves better and enjoy the outdoor while days are still long and warm.
Four things we love!
The Dodecalith: A unique and distinctive monument of giant stone sculptures accompanied by music. A must-see!
Maribo Cathedral: Experience the large and beautiful Maribo Cathedral, look at the crypt where Leonora Christina was buried and explore the old abbey ruins.
Aalholm Castle: Aalholm is one of Denmark’s few preserved medieval fortified castles built in the 13th century.
Den Grønne Verden: The Green World restaurant serves up locally-produced foods, creating unique taste experiences in beautiful surroundings.