Follow the ‘ancient road’ Hærvejen through the inland dunes of Sepstrup and Vrads Sande
Cycle along the disused rail line Bryrupbanestien – ‘Denmark’s most beautiful railway’
Explore the king’s town of Jelling and the beautiful lakeside town of Silkeborg
Visit the trickling springs at the source of Denmark’s two biggest rivers
Enjoy the views over the beautiful fjords of the medieval towns of Vejle and Horsens
Self-guided cycling holiday in East Jutland
This self-guided cycling holiday in Denmark’s eastern part of Jutland offers beautiful landscapes of gently rolling hills, inland sand dunes, forests, lakes and fjords, as well as the opportunity to explore the history and heritage of the region, from Viking times to the industrial age.
The trip starts in the charming town of Silkeborg, the capital of Denmark’s beautiful lake district. Leaving Silkeborg, you cycle south to Nørre Snede via the old medieval pilgrimage and trade route Hærvejen, which goes through the very scenic inland dune areas of Sepstrup and Vrads Sande. From Nørre Snede the route continues along Hærvejen, passing the sources of Denmark’s two biggest rivers: Gudenåen and Skjern Å. Take a break in the king’s town of Jelling and go on a historical exploration around the church where you will find the famous Jelling rune stones and two giant burial mounds.
Your next stop is the lovely town of Vejle, beautifully situated on the fjord of the same name, which you will be following for a while the next day towards Horsens Fjord. This stage will bring you through a hilly landscape dominated by Purhøj hill, which was once one of the great meeting points for witches in Northern Europe. Before you reach the old medieval town of Horsens, you can visit Boller Castle where King Christian IV’s wife Kirsten Munk was kept under house arrest after she had cheated on the king.
Shortly after leaving Horsens you turn to follow the Bryrupbane path, which runs along a disused rail line between Horsens and Silkeborg, known as ‘Denmark’s most beautiful railway’. You follow this path to the small town of Brædstrup and en route you cross The Uncovered Bridge, which lay hidden inside a dam for 85 years. After the town of Bryrup you cycle through Velling Forest where you will have stunning views over three lakes. Visit the old Vrads Station, which now works as a restaurant and a little shop. Your trip ends back where you started; in the charming lake town of Silkeborg.
The trip includes luggage transport, route description, maps, GPS tracks and comfortable accommodation.
|7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS||From €790 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for groups of 4 or more. Please enquire for info.
|BIKE RENTAL||If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. All bikes are provided with adjustable seats, locks & puncture repair kit. The cycling route is relatively flat and undemanding, so our 7-gear city bikes should be sufficient for most cyclists. If you prefer extra gears then we recommend going for the mountain bike option.
Bike hire prices (5 days)
|ACCOMMODATION||On this trip you will stay in four comfortable hotels and a lovely B&B. The hotel rooms are en suite, while there are shared facilities in the B&B. A substantial breakfast is included every day.
It is possible to book extra nights at all the places.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day, subject to availability, between April 1st and October 31st.|
|DIFFICULTY||This trip is rated as easy to moderate overall and is suitable for all cyclists with average physical fitness. The terrain is mostly flat with occasional small hills. You cycle on dedicated cycle paths and along quiet minor roads, with a section on forest paths between Bryrup and Vrads Station on day 6.|
Day 1: Arrival in Silkeborg
Your cycling holiday starts in Silkeborg where you will be staying in a lovely hotel close to lakes and forest. If possible, arrive early so you have time to explore this charming lake district capital that has a lot to offer. We recommend a trip on the beautiful lakes with Hjejlen, which is the world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer. You can also visit some of the attractions in the town itself, such as Museum Silkeborg (which exhibits the famous bog body Tollundmanden), Northern Europe’s biggest freshwater aquarium AQUA or the Museum Jorn, dedicated to the famous Danish painter Asger Jorn.
Day 2: Silkeborg to Nørre Snede
Distance: 36 km
On your first cycling day, you ride through the Funder Hills and then turn onto the ‘Ancient Road’ Hærvejen, which leads through Sepstrup Sande and then Vrads Sande. Both areas are inland dunes; a result of natural as well as human-influenced sand drifts over thousands of years. Covered in heather, crowberry and juniper, the two areas of inland dunes lie between large heath plantations and long rows of pine trees dating from the end of the 19th century. As you reach the tiny village of Vrads, you will find a charming old grocery store which offers the perfect opportunity to refuel.
South of Vrads, you continue between the Torup and Tingdal lakes before entering Palsgård forest, which is one of the oldest plantations in Jutland. If you want to learn more about the forest, you can visit the old forester farm, which has been converted into the forest museum Palsgård Skovmuseum.
Shortly after, you ride through Nørre Snede and reach your accommodation for the night.
Overnight: Nørre Snede
Day 3: Nørre Snede to Vejle
Distance: 37 km
Today you follow a protected stretch of Hærvejen, along gravel roads and old wheel tracks which exude history. Via a small detour, you can visit the trickling springs from which Denmark’s two biggest rivers – Gudenåen and Skjern Å – rise and flow in opposite directions: east and west. A little further on you pass Saint Peder’s spring, which has attracted pilgrims for centuries due to its healing powers.
You continue through an open agricultural landscape with scattered forest and an old inn from 1609, until eventually you reach the kings’ town of Jelling; one of the most important towns of the Viking Age. The Jelling Monuments (a collective term for the church of Jelling, the Jelling stones and the two giant burial mounds), are without doubt Denmark’s most important historical monuments. In fact, the Jelling Monuments are considered Europe’s finest Viking Age monuments, and since 1994 they have enjoyed UNESCO World Heritage status. In other words: If you are interested in Viking heritage, Jelling is the place for you! Also well worth checking out is the ‘Kongernes Jelling’ visitor centre, where you can learn more about Christianity’s introduction in Denmark and the beginning of the Danish monarchy.
From Jelling you continue past Fårup lake, eventually reaching the beautifully located fjord town of Vejle.
Day 4: Vejle to Horsens
Distance: 41 km
You leave Vejle via a very scenic path along the fjord. To your left are steep slopes with tall beech trees and deep ravines. These slope forests are protected by the EU project Natura 2000, which aims to protect especially valuable natural areas. After Bredballe you reach Tirsbæk Beach, where you can take a small detour to a 16th century Manor and go for a walk in the lovely, terraced renaissance garden.
From Tirsbæk you continue through forest and sometimes along the fjord towards Daugaard Beach. You then turn away from the fjord towards the towns of Daugaard and Bjerre on quiet country roads with an extensive view over the hilly landscape. After Bjerre you can see Bjerrelide, which is the large hill crest formed during the last ice age that can be seen from most of the Horsens region. The highest hill is Purhøj, which is actually an old burial mound from the Neolithic period and was once one of the great meeting points for witches in Northern Europe.
You continue your cycle through the Klokkedal valley towards Horsens Fjord. En route you pass Boller Castle. The castle, which is surrounded by a moat, is from the 16th century and it was here King Christian IV put his wife Kirsten Munk in house arrest after she had cheated on him. Take a walk in the surrounding park, where you will find the 1.000-year-old ‘Boller Oak’, Jutland’s oldest oak tree.
Shortly after you reach Horsens Fjord and follow The Planet Path into the old medieval town of Horsens.
Day 5: Horsens to Brædstrup
Distance: 29 km
Your route from Horsens follows Bryrupbanestien, a disused railway line which once ran between Horsens and Silkeborg through lush valleys, open fields, heather covered heaths, and old beech forests. In its time it was known as ‘Denmark’s most beautiful railway’.
Shortly after the village of Østbirk the path leads you across Den Genfundede Bro (the uncovered bridge). The bridge rises 15 m over the Gudenåen river, and when it was built in 1899 it was the tallest bridge in Northern Europe. In 1929 however, the bridge was already outdated because the track gauge had changed, so it was covered with sand and equipped with two pipes for the river to run through. Instead of a bridge you now had a dam with a hidden bridge inside. In 2014 the old bridge was rediscovered and dug out and today it is one of the area’s great attractions and picnic spots.
You continue through the valleys of Gudenåen and cycle through the old villages Tønning and Træden. Situated on opposite sides of the path, they each have their own medieval church. Eventually you reach Brædstrup where you will find your next hotel.
Day 6: Brædstrup to Silkeborg
Distance: 33 km
From Brædstrup you cycle on towards Bryrup, passing the village of Vinding with its small 12th century church. In Bryrup you can stock up on supplies before you continue through Velling Forest. This part of the route runs parallel with a 5 km preserved part of the old railway. When the railway was shut down in 1968 it was decided to preserve the rail tracks from Bryrup to Vrads and during the summer you can see an old vintage train going back and forth on this stretch. Your route crosses the preserved tracks several times and you will pass some of the old stations where you can still see the old signals you had to hoist to stop the train. It is an incredibly beautiful stretch with stunning views over the lakes Kvindsø, Kulsø and Snabe Igelsø. At the end of the preserved rail, you can visit the old Vrads Station, where you will find a small restaurant and shop.
From Vrads Station you cycle through the lake district’s Salten Ådal valley and Tømmerby marsh, with its rich birdlife. You pass the town of Them, skirting the edge of the Sønderskov forest that borders the lovely Lake Borre before finally arriving back in the charming lake district capital of Silkeborg.
Day 7: Departure from Silkeborg
Your cycling holiday comes to an end unless you have booked any extra nights. If you have the time you should spend some of the day in Silkeborg and maybe take a boat trip on the beautiful lakes to Himmelbjerget (‘The Sky Mountain’) where you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view over the lake district.