Exploring the local tourist attractions over the Easter break - come rain or shine!
Photographs: Visit Denmark / Unsplash
Text: Heather Storgaard
Eastern Jutland has a highly seasonal tourist season, thanks mainly to the windy, cold Danish winters. The trend is for many attractions, cafes and restaurants to close over the winter, re-opening with the area coming back to life for the Easter holiday break. As everyone in Denmark celebrates the reappearance of the sun and longer days, I feel like those of us living in touristy areas experience a bigger 360 than most.
However, like much of Europe following the pandemic, Denmark has issues with local businesses finding enough employees, threatening the re-opening of some businesses. For example, last year, Aarhus restaurant Vesterlauget took over the running of the food outlets at Skødshoved Badehotel. The food offerings were very popular with locals and visitors alike, but Vesterlauget could not continue at the hotel for the 2022 season due to staffing issues. It seems particularly tragic when local businesses are forced to close despite being successful and healthy, and at the time of writing, Skødshoved Badehotel is still searching for a 2022 partner.
While winter gives a chance for hygge by candlelight, Christmas and unlimited festelavnsboller, the coming of spring and easter traditions signal Danish life moving outdoors. My father-in-law enlists our help to move excessive garden furniture out from the barn to the cliff-top and seems to migrate there for the summer, seeking the most sun and sea hours possible. Swallows join us out there, mainly nesting in the cliffs, barn, carport and any other corner of the farm they can find their way into.
"After the slog of post-Christmas winter, the amount of bank holidays in the Danish spring manages to shock me year on year."
After the slog of post-Christmas winter, the amount of bank holidays in the Danish spring manages to shock me year on year. With five days off at Easter, followed by Store Bededag (Great Praying Day) and Ascension Day in May, spring is full of time off work for short breaks and days out.
Here are some local-to-me businesses or attractions to visit over your Easter break, with options for sunny or rainy weather:
Sletterhage Fyr is a lighthouse, from which you can walk along the coast to the “German Tower”, with a view of the sea, farmland and mud cliffs. You will have sailed past if you have ever taken the Copenhagen to Aarhus ferry. The famous ice cream and pølser (hot dog) stand is back from the first weekend in April to make it a proper day out, although this is one I would only recommend for a sunny day!
Apelgrens Coffee Bar in Ebeltoft is an open all-year-round gem, with speciality coffee and brilliant muffins and pastries. You will almost always run into other internationals who holiday, work or live in the town. The terrace and small harbour nearby are perfect for walks in the sun, while the cosy interior is a great place to hide from the wind and rain.
Ebeltoft Gårdbryggeri doesn’t open its doors until later in the spring, but it is still possible to drop in and buy your beer to-go at the weekends. The beer is organic and ranges from lagers to IPAs and easter-beer, of course!
Lübker Spa is a must for relaxation and luxury and is a great escape for an afternoon or day when family time cooped up in a summer house gets too much. Unaffected by the weather, you can enjoy your own world of relaxation.
Gammel Estrup is one of Denmark’s fairy-tale evoking castles. While my husband mainly associates it with childhood school trips, the castle is suitable for all ages and has beautiful grounds to walk in.