5 days

Walk to the top of Denmark’s most famous ‘mountain’ and explore the gorgeous lakes and woodlands in one of the most beautiful areas of Jutland. With more than 50 lakes and a forest area which stretches for more than 224 square kilometers, the Silkeborg Lake District is the largest natural resort in the entire country.

Enjoy a heavenly hiking trip in Denmark’s lake district with gorgeous lakes and woodlands.

Climb to the top of Denmark’s most famous ‘mountain’ with a stunning view of the lake district.

Explore charming Silkeborg, which is one of the most beautifully located towns of Denmark.

Walk along Gudenåen and enjoy splendid views over the lakes to Himmelbjerget.

Option to shorten the walks by cruising the lakes of Silkeborg on the world’s oldest coal-fired paddle steamer.

Hiking the Himmelbjerg Route: Discover Denmark’s ‘Sky Mountain’

Self-guided walking holiday along Himmelbjergruten

The Himmelbjerg Route is one of the most beautiful tracks in Denmark, as well as being extremely well-marked and easy to walk.

Your hiking holiday starts in the pretty lakeside village of Ry. You begin your first hiking day by taking a short trip (5 mins) on the local train to the small nearby village of Laven. From Laven, you follow Gudenåen – Denmark’s longest river – through Jutland’s largest and most famous lake and woodland landscapes. You will climb to the top of Himmelbjerget, which is the most famous ‘mountain’ in Denmark (although at only 147 m altitude, the climb is very manageable!). You will stay overnight in the charming nearby village of Gammel Rye (Old Rye).

The next morning you will make your way back down to the shore of lake Julsø, before following a tranquil lakeside path all the way to the Lake District capital of Silkeborg. Here you will find many interesting attractions, including the AQUA Aquarium & Wildlife Park and a museum dedicated to the famous Danish painter Asger Jorn. If you wish to shorten your walk, you also have the option to do part of the journey by steam boat. There are numerous excursion boats sailing between Silkeborg and Himmelbjerget, including Hjejlen; the world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer.

Your final walking day takes you from Silkeborg back to Laven along a beautiful track, which sometimes follows the banks of Gudenåen and sometimes veers onto woodland paths. Here, you board the local train once more for the short journey back to Ry.

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS From €710 per person sharing*

*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers


In comfortable hotels on a bed and breakfast basis.
AVAILABILITY You can start on any day from Tuesday to Saturday, subject to availability, between April 15th and September 15th.
4 nights in comfortable hotels and B&Bs
4 breakfasts
Luggage transfers while you walk
Detailed maps and route notes
GPS tracks
24/7 telephone support
Flights and travel insurance
Transport to and from Ry
Lunches or dinners
Personal expenses (drinks, phone calls, tips, etc.)
Any other items not mentioned in the program
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Singe room supplement

Day 1: Arrival in Ry

Your hiking holiday starts in the lakeside town of Ry. Depending on whether you are travelling by public transport or by car, your accommodation will be either in the centrally located Hotel Ry or in Knudhule Badehotel, which is situated by Lake Knudsø about two kilometres from the centre of the village.

Overnight: Hotel Ry / Knudhule Badehotel


Day 2: Walk from Laven to Himmelbjerget & Gammel Rye

Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 206 m | Descent: 154 m | Time: 4½ hrs approx.

Your day starts with a short train ride to the small nearby station town of Laven (5 mins). Here you begin your walk along the eastern shore of the tranquil lake Julsø. then through forest and meadow, you follow the river Gudenåen, which takes to you right into Ry Marina on the northern shore of lake Birksø. You then walk around lake Birksø and make your way westwards along forest paths toward Himmelbjerget. After about 6 km and a 125 m ascent you reach the top of Himmelbjerget (147 m), where you can enjoy a fantastic view over the lakes. Visit the small shops selling souvenirs and snacks and read about the historical folk meetings on the ‘mountain’. You might also climb the Himmelbjerg Tower to get the ultimate view over the Lake District. From Himmelbjerget, you follow quiet and pleasant forest paths to your accommodation in the village of Gammel Rye.

Overnight: Gammel Rye


Day 3: From Gammel Rye to Silkeborg

Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 270 m | Descent: 315 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

Today’s route will take you through the Lake District along a well-marked path, which meanders through the forest and along the serene shores of numerous lakes.

From Himmelbjerget you descend to the edge of Julsø lake, where the ferries dock at Hotel Julsø. From here, you continue along a small path that runs along the banks of Julsø with stunning views over the lake. After a short while, you reach the Skyttehuset campsite at the Svejbæk passage. Here you can enjoy a refreshment in the café that has a lovely lake view. You can also take a small solar-powered ferry or rent a rowing boat and row to the other side of the Svejbæk passage (88 m) to have a bite to eat at Ålekroen – an old inn with tables by the water , which is renowned for its great food.

The next section takes you along the lakes of Borre Sø and Slåen Sø. The water in Slåen Sø is said to be so fresh and clean that you can drink it! You continue along a narrow strip of land between lakes Brassø and Vejlsø to the banks of Denmark’s longest river; Gudenåen. You follow the riverside path along Gudenåen into the heart of the beautifully located town of Silkeborg.

If you wish to shorten your walk today, you can  jump on one of the historic steamboats and enjoy a gentle cruise to the Lake District capital of Silkeborg.

Overnight: Silkeborg


Day 4: Walk from Silkeborg to Laven and train back to Ry

Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 173 m | Descent: 174 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

Walking out of Silkeborg, you follow the Himmelbjerg Route along the railway across Gudenåen to the northern side, where you continue along the banks of Gudenåen towards Sejs, looking out at the barges and canoes on the river. After eight spectacular kilometers you reach Sejs/Svejbæk, where it is possible to have lunch at the old inn Ludvigslyst or, if you prefer, you can take a detour of 600 m down to Ålekroen at the Svejbæk passage.

From Svejbæk you follow the track away from Gudenåen and climb 120 m through a large forest landscape before descending once more to the shore of lake Julsø. A lakeside path takes you back to the small train station at Laven, where you began your hike on day 1. From here, it is just a 5-minute train ride back to Ry, where you will stay once more in either Hotel Ry or Knudhule Badehotel.

Overnight: Hotel Ry / Knudhule Badehotel


Day 5: Departure

Your walking holiday comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us.

Getting to Ry

  The nearest airport is Aarhus Airport (75 km approx.). You can also fly to Billund, Aalborg, Copenhagen or Hamburg airports.
From Ry train station you can either walk the last 2½ km to the hotel or take a taxi.

Forest hiking on the Sky Mountain Route
View over Julsø to Himmelbjerget
Walking the Himmelbjerg Route
Typical thatched cottage along Himmelbjergruten
Ducks on Julsø, Laven
The steep ascent to Himmelbjerget
The path that leads to the top of Himmelbjerget (the Sky Mountain)
Hiking from Himmelbjerget towards Lake Julsø
The Sky Mountain tower seen from below
The world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer 'Hjejlen' on Lake Julsø
Walking along Himmelbjergruten at the Svejbæk passage
An info board with the map of the Sky Mountain Route (in Danish: Himmelbjergruten)
Walking along the shore of Borre Sø
Campsite along Himmelbjergruten
Lavender by Lake Julsø
Relaxing in the sun at Brassø
The old steam boat Hjejlen, Silkeborg
Forest path on Himmelbjergruten
Canoes at the 'Brillerne'
Enjoying a break at one of the numerous idyllic lakes
Sunset over Lake Julsø seen from Himmelbjerget

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review

We had a 3 wonderful days of walking around the lake, stopping to swim and picnic. We enjoyed the different terrain and scenery taking in forests, meadows, farmland, villages and towns. The accommodation was great particularly Lyng Dal which was a highlight.

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