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Hidden Gems
The North Sea Trail: Løkken to Skagen  The Natural Adventure Company

The North Sea Trail: Løkken to Skagen

Overview

On this unique self guided walking holiday, you will have the chance to explore the varied landscapes of Denmark’s North Sea coast – dunes, heathland, forests, lakes, fishing villages and pristine white sand beaches. On many of these beaches, you will find old German bunkers from World War II; a reminder of the historically strategic importance of this region as a gateway between the two seas. Starting from the popular seaside resort of Løkken, you will make your way north to Skagen – the very northern tip of Denmark, where the North Sea meets the Baltic. The coastal paths alternate with forest trails among the characteristic dune plantations which cover a large part of the region. These plantations were established to prevent sand drift but were only partly successful. Evidence of this phenomenon can still be found in such dramatic sights as the Sand-Covered Church and the mini-desert of Råbjerg Mile, with its towering inland dunes.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Løkken

Arrive in the pleasant beach resort town of Løkken and take a stroll along its charming streets lined with small, yellow-washed houses, cafés and restaurants. Its beach is one of the most beautiful in Denmark and is popular with surfers. You can enjoy ice cream on the pier while enjoying the fabulous sunset over the North Sea.

Day 2: Løkken – Lønstrup I 15 km

You leave the town of Løkken following а ridge along the dunes. You will first have a view over the rooftops of the town, before reaching a viewing point over the beach, lined with numerous German WWII bunkers. After a short stretch along the wide sandy beach, you climb up some steps to a cliffside path leading to the village of Nørre Lyngby. You can stop to enjoy lunch here in a dramatic clifftop setting before following the trail inland towards a small forest. You emerge from the forest at the foot of the large dunes which are home to the famous lighthouse of Rubjerg Knude. The lighthouse was moved 70 metres inland in October 2019, to prevent it from falling into the sea. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the wonderful views before following the coastal path into the charming fishing village of Lønstrup.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 4 hours, ↑105 m ↓97 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Kirkedal (Lønstrup) or similar

Day 3: Lønstrup – Hirtshals I 20 km

Today’s walk begins with a raised sandy path at the foot of the high dunes along Lønstrup beach. The route then veers inland through an area of typical Danish summerhouses. Returning to the coast, you follow a sandy path along the dunes, parallel to the sea. After a couple of kilometres, you reach the banks of a small river – Liver Å – which leads you down to the beach. You turn inland once more, through the Tornby plantation, before a stretch along the beach after Nørre Tornby. Finally, you enter the port town of Hirtshals via its impressive clifftop lighthouse.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 5 hours, ↑108 m ↓117 m
  • Accommodation: B&B by the Sea (Hirtshals) or similar

Day 4: Hirtshals – Tversted I 18 km

Today you will walk from east to west along the coast to the small and charming seaside village of Tversted. A large part of the route follows peaceful forest trails through the dune plantations of Lilleheden and Uggerby. After 14,5 km you reach the Uggerby Å river, whose tranquil waters are popular for canoeing and trout fishing. Crossing the bridge, you then follow a raised boardwalk along the bank of the river which leads you to yet another pristine white sandy beach. You walk along the beach until you reach another stream – Tversted Å. Follow a sandy path upstream which will take you to the Café Fisk seafood restaurant in the centre of Tversted.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 4-5 hours, ↑82 m ↓82 m
  • Accommodation: B&B Gl. Skagensvej (Tversted) or similar

Day 5: Tversted – Hulsig I 22 km

The first part of today’s route takes you through the beautiful dune plantation of Tversted Woods. You will pass some small idyllic forest lakes, followed by the thatched Østerklit mill – the last working roof mill in Denmark. Shortly after Skiveren campsite (where you can stop for lunch at the café), you descend from the high dunes onto the beach, via a wooden staircase. You follow the beach for almost 4 km, then turn inland onto a narrow sandy path amid heather and moorland. Gradually, the dazzling white sands of the drifting inland dunes of Råbjerg Mile come into view. You will cross the edge of the 40-metre high dunes before following more peaceful forest paths through the Bunken dune plantation to the sleepy hamlet of Hulsig.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 hours, ↑93 m ↓93 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Inger in Hulsig (depending on the availability or the season you may stay in Skagen instead of Hulsig – see below**)

Day 6: Hulsig – Skagen I 13 km

A shorter stage today, as you make your way along the east coast of the sand spit known as Skagen Odde. A quiet tree-lined road takes you through the picturesque Hulsig Heath. This takes you to yet another idyllic beach, this time on Jutland’s more sheltered east coast, on the shores of the Kattegat (Baltic). After 4 km you turn inland toward the woods of the Skagen dune plantation. Here you will find another example of the spectacular forces of nature at work in this region: the picturesque whitewashed tower of Den Tilsandede Kirke, (sand-covered church). The tower is all that remains of what was once the region’s biggest church, the main part of the church having fallen victim to the relentless sand-drift over the centuries. You will have plenty of time to explore the town of Skagen on arrival. Denmark’s most northerly town is characterised by its distinctive yellow houses with white-picket fences. Skagen is also renowned for its wonderful natural light, which attracted and inspired the famous Skagen painters to make the town their home. There are numerous galleries and museums in the town, as well as some excellent seafood restaurants located in the harbour’s iconic redfish warehouses.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 3-4 hours, ↑33 m ↓42 m
  • Accommodation: Foldens Hotel (Skagen) or similar

Day 7: Skagen Circular Walk I 15-21 km

Your final walk takes you to the northern tip of Denmark, where you can observe the waves of the Kattegat (part of the Baltic Sea) and Skagerrak (part of the North Sea) crashing into each other at the tip of the sand spit. You can even stand at the tip with a foot in each sea! You will pass numerous historic lighthouses and navigation markers, which were used over the centuries to guide ships between the two seas. Today’s walk can be shortened by taking a bus from Gammel Skagen (Old Skagen, also known as Højen) after 15.5 km.

  • Walking for the day: 15-21 km, 4-5 hours, ↑44 m ↓44 m
  • Accommodation: Foldens Hotel (Skagen) or similar

Day 8: Departure

Your walking holiday along the North Sea Trail comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Departure or you can extend your stay.

What to Expect

Accommodation

On this walking holiday, you will be staying in charming B&Bs and comfortable hotels. Please note that we try to book rooms with en-suite facilities wherever possible. Depending on availability; however, it may not always be possible at the B&Bs, and on some days, you will have to use shared facilities – this does not affect the price. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

**NB! Hotel Inger is open from the end of May until the end of August and is the only accommodation option in Hulsig. Outside its season or when it is fully booked, we will book one more night in Skagen for you, and you can use the local train from the end/to the start of the trail – the train runs every 30 min, the journey takes 10 min. The Skagen Hotel is located directly opposite the train station in Skagen.

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 be bought from local shops. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Difficulty & terrain

This is an easy to moderate tour (read more about difficulty grades). It is appropriate for walkers with limited experience and requires a basic level of fitness. Walks have a relaxed pace with time to take in the views and surroundings. The trails are very well marked and easy to follow. The North Sea Trail is signposted with a white ‘N’ shaped like a wave on a blue background. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

This trip is available from mid-April until mid-October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date within the season. Denmark’s weather is mild in the summer and cold in the winter, with western winds blowing warm air across most of the country. The warmest month is July with an average temperature of 17-18°C.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options and route planner

By plane

Recommended airport: Aalborg

You can also fly to Billund or Copenhagen.

By train or bus
  • From Aalborg Airport – take bus 71 direct to Løkken Bus Terminal (departure every hour, journey time: 55 min).
  • From Billund Airport – first, take bus no. 43 to Vejle (bus runs every 30 min, journey time 30 min). From there, you take a train to Aalborg (2 h 25 min) and bus 71 from Aalborg to Løkken.
  • From Copenhagen Airport – take a train to Aalborg (5 h 15 min) then bus 71 to Løkken.
  • To Aalborg Airport – regional trail 75 to Hjørring (1 h 14 min), then take bus 71 to Aalborg Airport (1 h 20 min)
  • To Billund Airport – regional trail 75 to Frederikshavn (37 min) then bus 973X to Aalborg (55 mins), train from Aalborg to Vejle (2 h 25 min) and then bus 43 to Billund Airport (29 min).
  • To Copenhagen Airport – regional trail 75 to Frederikshavn (37 min) then bus 973X to Aalborg (55 min) and train to Copenhagen Airport (4 h 55 min)
  • If you have to return to Løkken – regional trail 75 to Hjørring, then take bus 71 to Løkken

See up-to-date train schedules here: https://www.dsb.dk/en/. You can plan your trip in Denmark here: https://www.rejseplanen.dk/webapp/index.html?language=en_EN or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast included – where possible the rooms at the B&Bs will be with ensuite facilities, but we cannot guarantee this at all places (no discount for a room with shared facilities)
  • Luggage transfer when changing hotels (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
  • Pre-departure pack and detailed road notes and maps
  • GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group who require single rooms (subject to availability)
  • 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 along the way can be booked on request
  • This tour can be arranged as 5 days/4 nights with a start in Hirtshals and end in Skagen

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