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Cycling East Jutland and Samsø Island

Cycling East Jutland and Samsø Island

Overview

Biking in Denmark is special compared to other countries, because of the local cycling culture, and the numerous designated bike lanes, passing through towns, forests, green fields, along lakes and the seashore. Enjoy a week of sandy beaches, wind in your hair, salt on your skin, fairy tale views, idyllic rural life, fascinating museums, Nordic cuisine, romantic villages and quaint bike paths. The itinerary will also take you to the green and sustainable island Samsø. The tour starts and ends in Aarhus, European Capital of Culture in 2017, boasting old cobblestone streets, charming squares, many cafés and trendy shops, where you can book extra nights before or after your cycling adventure.

Highlights

  • Charming Aarhus with its cafés and museums
  • Sandy beaches, green forests and blue sea
  • Some of the highest points in Denmark
  • The beautiful Lake District with “The Sky Mountain”
  • Samsø – the beautiful island known as Denmark’s “renewable energy island”

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Aarhus

Today you arrive in the beautiful town of Aarhus. The hotel is situated in the city centre within walking distance of the main sights: the Old Town, the Cathedral, the Marina, the art museum Aros (famous for Your Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson), the Concert Hall, the Latin Quarter and the vibrant cafés along the river.

Day 2: Aarhus to Ry | 41 km

You start the tour with an easy cycilng day, leaving the city on the cycle path along the stream “Aarhus Å”. After a couple of km you are away from the urban noise, and cycling through wetlands and along lakes, before reaching a hilly stretch of road. On bike-friendly country roads you continue down and westward into the diverse, rich Danish countryside reaching the small provincial village Ry located on the banks of Gudenåen – the only real river in Denmark.

Day 3: Ry to Silkeborg Round Trip | up to 70 km

Today you have different options. You can take the boat ’Hjejlen’ from Ry to Himmelbjerget and walk from the lakeside to the top, take a canoe trip on the lakes or cycle around the area. You can also bike to Silkeborg. The 51 km route, with a 300 m ascent, will take you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled countrysides in the Central Jutland Region, as you cross from the hilly moraine terrain into a flatter landscape. First, you ride north, around one of the many lakes, Salten Langsø, through clearings in the woodlands, replete with blueberries, junipers and heather. The path follows an ancient railway track, passing by Vrads Station with vintage trains and a café. Finally, you reach Vrads Sande, a unique landscape of inland dunes. The stage ends in Silkeborg – the ”capital” of the Lake District, home of the museum of one of Denmark’s major painters, Asger Jorn. From Silkeborg, you can take the train back to Ry, or you can bike along the northern bank of the river Gudenåen back to Ry. With this extra 19 km/ 145 m ascent, you get a nice tour through hilly woodlands and with beautiful sights along the way. If you want to spend more time in Silkeborg, you can take the shorter and more direct route to Silkeborg along the northern bank of Gudenåen, and take the train back.

  • Cycling for the day: up to 70 km depending on the chosen route
  • Accommodation: Knudhule Badehotel or similar

Day 4: Ry to Odder via Skanderborg | 43 km

Today you cycle along some of the nicest lakes in Denmark with beautiful views to the highest ”mountains” in the country – all less than 200 m above sea level. Burial mounds, the Øm Monastery and the many archaeological finds indicate the vibrant history of the area. Skanderborg is one of the exciting places to visit today and today’s stage fits well with a lunch break here in this charming lakeside town. After Skanderborg, you continue past Stilling Lake and back into the hills, where you’ll have a view of the sea before you reach Odder.

Day 5: Samsø Island | 70 km

Visit this unique island known for its microclimate and organic farming. A one-hour ferry trip takes you to Sælvig (fare not included), and the tour takes you around the northern part of Samsø with its unique hilly seaside landscape. Everything on Samsø is small and pretty, with untouched beaches and charming villages with cafés and markets offering local organic produce.

Day 6: Odder to Aarhus | 34 km

From Odder you cycle to the east coast where you’ll find attractive areas with holiday homes and you will have a view of the many wind turbines. In very few places in Europe, you can find beaches and great cycle routes as close to a city as is the case with Aarhus. You will pass Norsminde Fjord where you find the lock that divides the sea from the lake. It is a very fishing spot, and it is a nice place for a picnic. Hereafter you cycle through Marselisborg Forest to Aarhus Bay, leaving the coastline to cycle past the Danish Queen’s summer residence, Marselisborg Palace, before arriving at the city centre.

Day 7: Departure

Departure after breakfast, or treat yourself by extending your stay in Aarhus, so you can explore the museums, soak up the relaxing atmosphere and enjoy the many forests and beaches.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in comfortable en-suite rooms in nice 3* hotels. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Hotel upgrade is possible (upon request).

Click to view our default hotels for this trip

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops or ordered at your accommodation the day before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Difficulty & terrain

We have graded this tour moderate (read more about difficulty grades), with daily cycling distances ranging between 35 km and 70 km, mostly on flat terrain with occasional small hills. The tour is suitable for cyclists in good physical condition. You ride along bike paths and minor roads. We will provide GPS-tracks and a road book with day descriptions and highlights. It is possible to download the route to a GPS device or your smartphone.

When to go

The trip can start each Sunday, between 21 May and 10 September. Departures on other dates are possible upon request for a min. of 8 people (rates depending on the group size). Biking in Denmark is perfect from May until September. You will enjoy comfortable weather and daylight during the summer from very early morning until late evening.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Aarhus and Billund. Copenhagen is also a good option.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • 6 overnights as detailed in the itinerary
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer when changing hotels (up to 2 pieces of luggage per person, max 20 kg for both items; each item – no more than 15 kg)
  • Detailed route notes (1 x per room) & GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Ferry ride to Samsø island
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Bike rental
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights in Aarhus before and after the trip
  • Bike or E-bike rental
  • Bike insurance

Bike rental

You can rent a touring bike (unisex model) with adjustable saddle height and Schwalbe Marathon Plus anti-puncture tyres. It is also possible to rent an E-bike with 7 internal gears, 8Fun hub motor in the front wheel and battery in the luggage carrier. The bike has 5 levels of power assist and a maximum speed of 25 km/h. All bikes come with a waterproof saddlebag, bell, bottle holder and a lock. Always remember to lock your bike! It is also possible to rent a children’s bike, children’s seat, children’s tag-along, children’s Burley and helmets. 

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