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Podcasts, Stories about life in Denmark

Danish beaches in winter: White light and bitter wind

It might seem like a counterintuitive time to talk about beaches, in the middle of a long, very cold winter.

But in these times of COVID, beaches are one of the few places in Denmark you are currently allowed to meet up with family and friends.

Beaches, parks, frozen-over lakes, these are the big social meeting points at time when cafés, restaurants, bars, shops, gyms, schools, theaters, museums, places of worship, and hairdressers, barbers, and nail salons are all closed.

Slippery rocks and bitter wind
Getting a small group together outdoors is still allowed. And in the white Nordic light, Danish beaches in winter can be a nice place to be – even if you have to put up with sand’s that frozen solid, slippery rocks, and bitter, bitter wind off the icy cold water.

On the side of Denmark facing Sweden, you can walk up the coast along what’s called the Whisky Belt. Whisky used to be very expensive in Denmark, and this is where you’ll see some of the country’s prettiest and most expensive villas.

Coffee, tea, and glogg
You can park your car at Charlottenlund Fort, an old part of the Danish defenses that was never actually used as a fort, and join the dozens of families and friend groups walking up and down along the body of water that overlooks Sweden. On a good clear day, you can see Sweden in the distance.

When you can’t stand the cold anymore, you can come back to a little kiosk selling coffee, tea, and glogg, the traditional hot wine with a little brandy or rum thrown in.

The best beaches are in Jutland
Beaches are popular in the summer too, but I wouldn’t say Denmark is really a beach culture. It’s more of a boating culture. You don’t get a lot of surf music from Denmark. No “Beach Blanket Rugbrød.”

The best beaches in Denmark are not near Copenhagen. They’re on the other side of the country, in Jutland, facing the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.

Surfing and room to drive your car on the beach
That is where you will find the best surfing in Denmark. The conditions are so windy that the water throws up some great waves.

The West Coast beaches are so lovely that they’ve been the subject of paintings for many years. The sand is light and clear, and the sky big and blue. And unlike the Copenhagen beaches, there’s plenty of room to stretch out your beach blanket and enjoy the sound of the waves.

Some places let you drive your car right onto the beach. These tend to be quite popular with German tourists.

Bring a sweater
These beaches are pretty and sunny, but the cold North Sea winds mean they are rarely warm, even during the summer.

So – bring a sweater to put over your bikini. You can enjoy Danish beaches… even if you’re shivering a little.

Photo: Shutterstock

Kay Xander Mellish books

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Buy Kay’s books about Denmark on Amazon, Saxo, Google Books, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble Nook, or via our webshop.

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