Danish pilgrimage

The Danish Pilgrimage

Portugal cancelled – Denmark instead

On April 13th, 2020, I was supposed to travel to Portugal for a 5 week, 800 km walk from Cabo de San Vincente at the south-western tip of Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, the destination of many pilgrimages. I had planned to follow the Historical way of Rota Vincentine, starting in Cabo de San Vincente (close to Sagres), walking north to Santiago do Cacém, south of Lisbon. After taking a bus, to the north of Lisbon, I had planned to walk the Camino Portugués via Fatima and Porto, before ending up Santiago de Compostela.

On March 11th, the Danish Prime Minister announced a partial close down of Denmark and closed the Danish borders. As the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and in the midst of a global pandemic, my plans were no exception.

The beautiful spring weather and enforced vacation led to a number of corona safe trips, both locally and on the outscirts of Copenhagen. By chance I hit upon the Danish Santiago Pilgrimage web site, www.santiagopilgrimme.dk and was intrigued to find a Danish pilgrim route, spanning north to south from Sweden to Germany across Sjælland, Lolland and Falster and Norway to Germany across Jylland, as well as east to west across Sjælland and Fyn.

Denmark - step-by-step

My Danish Pilgrimage

On July 18th, in bright sunshine, I started off from Helsingør, in northern Denmark, close to Sweden. During 20 days in 2020, 17 days in 2021 and 5 days in 2022 I walked the Danish pilgrimage.

In the following posts, I primarily share pictures taken enroute through an ever changing landscape, and in many beautiful parts of Denmark.

It's been a fantastic experience, taking me to many places in Denmark I would never have visited.

Portugal Covid cancelled – Denmark instead April 13, 2020 On April 13th, 2020, I was supposed to travel to Portugal for a 5 week, 800 km walk from Cabo de San Vincente at the south-western tip of Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, the destination of many pilgrimages. I had planned to follow the Historical way of Rota Vincentine, starting in Cabo… Read more >
Day 1: Helsingør to Hillerød July 17, 2020 My wife drove me the 26km from my home to Helsingør, home of Kronborg, the castle which William Shakespeare presumably had in mind for his famous play Hamlet, and as close as you can get to the Swedish border - just a short boat ride to Sweden. I hadn't planned to walk 46km to Hillerød,… Read more >
Day 2: Hillerød to Tåstrup July 22, 2020 I decided to start a couple of kilometers south or where I had ended on day one. It was another beautiful day, as I walked due south from Hillerød to Tåstrup, walking just over 44kms in ca. 7 hours. I walked south through Hammersholt, through Børstingerød Mose (marsh) to Lillerød. From Lillerød I passed by… Read more >
Day 3: Tårnby to Roskilde July 28, 2020 On day 2 I ended in Tåstrup, but instead of continuing from where I finished on day 2, today I started on Amager, at the red gate on the edge of Amager Fælled (the official route starts 5km earlier at Copenhagen airport, the first 5km are pretty much along roads, so I skipped them). I… Read more >
Day 4: Roskilde to Ringsted July 30, 2020 Officially Roskilde to Ringsted is 43km, but by the time I arrived in Ringsted, early evening, my GPS showed 51km and almost 9hrs walking and 1hr30 rest. It was a long day, but again today, a reflection of how beautiful the countryside can be in Denmark during summer. I drove to Roskilde and left the… Read more >
Day 5: Ringsted to Næstved (or visa versa) August 2, 2020 After 51kms on day 4 (albeit 3 days ago) I planned a shorter trip of 37km today. I drove to Ringsted and left the car at the station. The trains weren't running, so I decided to take a bus to Næstved and walk back to Ringsted (so I could drive home as soon as I… Read more >
Day 6: Ringsted to Slagelse August 8, 2020 Today was hot, really hot. I walked 27km. I walked for 4hrs 40mins. I rested for 53mins. The average temperature was 29 degrees. Even though it was by far the shortest distance since I left Helsingør, I don't recall feeling so tired. A few days previously I had walked to Ringsted from Nestvæd. The route… Read more >
Day 7: Slagelse to Korsør August 9, 2020 Yet another hot day. After a good nights sleep and a good breakfast at the hotel, I set off towards Korsør station that marks the end on the west Sjælland part of the Danish pilgrimage - 27km, as yesterday, primarily along roads. Via Rosted, crossing the busy Slagelse Landvej and on towards Harrested. It was… Read more >
Day 8: Næstved to Vordingborg August 29, 2020 Today I was back on the south Sjælland part of the Danish pilgrimage, from Næstved, where I had walked on day 5, to Vordingborg, a trip of 34 kms. The day got off to a bad start. It was touch and go if I would walk today, as the weather forecast predicted torrential rain during… Read more >
Day 9: Vordingborg to Gulborg August 30, 2020 My wife and I drove to Vordingborg, where she stayed to look around, and I walked towards Gulborg. We planned to spend a couple of nights in Sakskøbing, whilst I was walking to Rødbyhavn. Today was another fairly hot day, and I walked 28kms, mainly along roads. Vordingborg's most famous landmark is the ruins of… Read more >
Day 10: Gulborg to Maribo (and Dodekalit) September 1, 2020 After a quiet evening in Sakskøbing and a good breakfast at the hotel, we drove back to Gulborg, where my wife dropped me off close to where I had ended yesterday. The day was split in two parts, Gulborg to Sakskøbing, where we ate sandwiches on the town square, and from there to Maribo. All… Read more >
Day 11: Maribo to Rødbyhavn September 1, 2020 The last leg of the south Sjælland Danish pilgrimage took me from Maribo to Rødbyhavn where, if continuing south, I would be able to take the ferry to Germany. Just more than 21km, in bright sunny weather and very few roads - but a lot of a km's along a discontinued railway line. After a… Read more >
Day 12: Nyborg to Odense September 12, 2020 Eleven days have passed since I ended the Sjælland part of my Danish pilgrimage in Rødbyhavn. The three next days I planned to walk across Fyn, followed by two day on Jylland, walking from east to west. Today I walked 46,5 kms, starting in Nyborg and ending in Odense, Fyn's largest city. It was partly… Read more >
Day 13: Odense to Fjelsted September 13, 2020 I never counted, but I have easily spent more than 1.000 nights in hotel rooms during my work and leisure life. For the first time ever, I had to evacuate from the hotel at ca. 4am due to a fire alarm. All the guests were allowed back after ca. 30mins after a check by the… Read more >
Day 14: Fjelsted to Middelfart September 14, 2020 It is the third day of my walk along the Fyn leg of the Danish pilgrimage. Today I walk to Middelfart, from our hotel in Fjelsted, walking a total of 27 km. I started the day walking back towards Fjelsted through a forest and past maize fields ... and onwards towards Køstrup and Vejrup. One… Read more >
Day 15: Middelfart to Kolding September 15, 2020 27km along roads, and many along the main road between Middelfart and Kolding with lots of traffic. Not the most interesting leg of the trip so far. I started from Hindsgavl. My wife was going top spend the morning at Clay, the museum of ceramic art. I set off towards the Little Belt bridge, the… Read more >
Day 16: Kolding to Vejen September 16, 2020 Today started along paths, but most of the day was spent with more walking along roads. This is the first time I have walked 5 consecutive days since I was in Japan last spring, and I can feel it. With 31km today, the walk from Nyborg to Vejen has covered 167 km along the Danish… Read more >
Day 17: Odense to Brobyværk October 17, 2020 It is exactly a month since I arrived in Vejen after spending 16 days walking the route of the Danish pilgrimage across Sjælland, Lolland, Falster, Fyn and 2 legs in Jylland. Today I am back in Odense, where I will walk south to Brobyværk, 34km, and continue in the coming days to Kruså via Bøjden,… Read more >
Day 18: Brobyværk to Bøjden (via Fåborg) October 18, 2020 It was supposed to be 25km to from Lærkedal to Fåborg, and an additional 12km to Bøjden. I'd already walked a few km past Lærkedal, so I thought it would be an easy day to get to Bøjden. I was wrong. Brobyværk to Fåborg turned out to be 32km. It was a beautiful day as… Read more >
Day 19: Fynshav to Sønderborg October 19, 2020 I started the day on a bus back to Fynshav, where I arrived late last night on the ferry from Bøjden. I'd taken the bus from Fynshav to Sønderborg  last night, and now I returned to start my walk back to Sønderborg. I walked a total of 25km,  on roads from Fynshav to Høruphav, and… Read more >
Day 20: Sønderborg to Kruså October 20, 2020 Today was the last day I would walk in 2020, and the second day along Gendarmstien. I had agreed to meet my wife, who was driving from Copenhagen, in Kruså at 16:00. 36km to the German border at Wassersleben and a couple more to Kruså. I checked out of the hotel and walked over the… Read more >
Day 21: Skals to Aars August 21, 2021 After a Corona impacted winter and spring, I was back walking in August 2021. During 2020 I'd walked north to south across Sjælland and Lolland and Faster, east to west across Sjælland and Fyn and South Jutland, and now I was about to restart my walks along the Danish Pilgrimage, this time walking the length… Read more >
Day 22: Skals to Viborg August 22, 2021 After 37kms yesterday, I was hoping for a good nights sleep before continuing my journey. As I left the hotel yesterday, a stage was being built in front of the hotel. A concert with Danish artist Anne Linnet, was planned for 13:00 and was over, well before I arrived back. But the stage remained, and… Read more >
Day 23: Viborg to Nørre Knudstrup August 23, 2021 I was up early and already on the road at the same time as the kids were on their way to start school (before 8am), It was a sunny morning, but it still felt a bit cold. The first part todays trip was fairly uninspiring, but the area around Hald and Dollerup were spectacular. I… Read more >
Day 24: Nørre Knudstrup to Sepstrup (and the uncovered bridge) August 24, 2021 I spent my last night at the hotel in Viborg, so today I would be carrying a full backpack - so far I had walked with a day bag as I returned to the hotel each evening. I caught a bus to Hald Ege school at 7.30, and had to take another bus to get… Read more >
Day 25: Sepstrup to Gudenåens source August 25, 2021 We drove from Horsens back to Sepstrup and I was on my way by 9.30. It was gray and damp as I started of on what would end up being 31kms with a chaotic end at Gudenåens (Denmarks longest river) source. But more about that later. Today I continued north passing farms, forest and moors… Read more >
Day 26: Gudenåen to Jelling August 26, 2021 Gudenåen is the nearest Denmark comes to having a river. It is ca. 160km long and ends in Randers Fjord, originally used to transport agricultural goods and peat. It was another grey day, as my wife dropped me off at the spot I ended yesterday. Today would be fairly short, 24km, giving me time to… Read more >
Day 27: Jelling to Spjarup August 27, 2021 Todays 27kms, were not helped by the fact that my wife and I had eaten an eight course meal with accompanying wine menu, the evening before. I was feeling a bit heavy (no hangover) as my wife dropped me off in Jelling. Added to that it was raining and would rain off and on throughout… Read more >
Day 28: Spjarup to Skibelund Krat September 10, 2021 Two weeks after I arrived walking to Spjarup, I am on my way back, via a morning train from Copenhagen to Kolding and a bus ride to a bus stop close to Spjarup. I continue to walk south, today ca. 30km, to Vejen, where I ended in 2020 when I walked across Sjælland, Fyn and… Read more >
Day 29: Skiberlund Krat to Jels September 11, 2021 I spent the night at Skiberlund Krat. What I didn't know, until I went for a walk after breakfast, was that Skibelund Krat is a monument park. It was built in 1865 after the loss of Sønderjylland, and functioned as a national meeting and party place. Today there are 22 memorial stones for Danish personalities,… Read more >
Day 30: Jels to Vedsted September 12, 2021 Jels B&B was directly on the route, so I was on my may by 8.30. It was pleasant walking weather, and today I had to cover ca. 37km and meet my wife in Vedsted at around 16.00. She was driving from Copenhagen. The first eight or so kilometers were fairly uneventful, primarily along paths in… Read more >
Day 31: Vedsted to SønderJyllands Golf Club September 13, 2021 Today I walked pretty much direct south after spending the night at Slukefter Kroen i Vedsted. It was a grey start to the day as I walked along country paths towards the first attraction of the day. With 800 to 1000 cattle passing along the Ox road daily, it was important that there were bridge… Read more >
Day 32: SønderJyllands Golf to Rønsdam September 14, 2021 Day 32 on my Danish pilgrimage took me 21kms to Padborg. My wife and I had stayed in Vedsted and she drove me to the spot she picked me up yesterday and I continued south. The sun was shining and it was perfect walking weather for the short walk to the German border. I'd barely… Read more >
Day 33: Frederikshavn to Thorshøj October 3, 2021 It is almost 3 weeks since I arrived at the German border. Today I am at the northern end of Jutland in the fishing port of Frederikshavn, ready to walk towards Aars, where I also visited on day 21, when I started my walk along the Ox road (Hærvejen). I expect to walk for 5… Read more >
Day 34: Thorshøj to Klokkerholm October 4, 2021 I was up early for an 8.03 bus back to Thorshøj, where I had ended yesterdays walk. The weather was fresh, but sunny. Today I head a deadline, 16.42 in Klokkerholm, 30km away, for a bus towards Aalborg. I had plenty of time, so I managed to take a picture of Frederikshavn Church and Krudttårnet,… Read more >
Day 35: Aalborg to Klokkerholm October 5, 2021 It was a beautiful sunny day when I left the hotel at 7.30 to walk across Aalborg to Vesterbro (West bridge) to catch bus 73 at 8.00. It didn't come. I waited 20 minutes, slightly frustrated, and had no choice but to walk from Aalborg to Klokkerholm, rather than Klokkerholm to Aalborg. Seen as walking… Read more >
Day 36: Aalborg to Byrsted October 7, 2021 Yet another 30km day, as I left Aalborg and walked south towards Aars. I left Aalborg passing the hospital and Zoo as well as the suburbs of Hasseris and Sofiendal, with great views towards Limfjorden. I passed Drastrup forest, which was fairly hilly, and also with nice views. I continued onwards to Svenstrup church and… Read more >
Day 37: Byrsted to Aars October 8, 2021 Theoretically I would today complete my walk along the Ox road, Hærvejen, as with the 22km from Bysted to Aars, I will have walked from Frederikshavn in the north, to Padborg in the south. However, there is an arm of the Ox road to the west, from Hirtshals to Aars, which I need to walk… Read more >
Day 38: Hirtshals to Børglum May 3, 2022 Seven months after the previous leg of my Danish pilgrimage, I start out on the final five legs that will take me along the west coast of Jutland from Hirtshals and back to Aars. I'd taken the Monday evening train from Copenhagen to Hirtshals, changing in Aalborg, arriving just before midnight. I managed to get… Read more >
Day 39: Bøglum to Hune May 4, 2022 I was the only person staying at the B&B, and replenished after a nice breakfast, I set off on what would be 30 km walk, initially through the countryside and later along fairly quiet roads on my way to Hune. It was a mostly sunny throughout the day and for the first many kilometers, the… Read more >
Day 40: Hune to Slettestrand May 5, 2022 Today was going to be another long day - I recalled it was a 30km day, but actually it was 38km, and I didn't get to the hotel until past 6pm. But it was a beautiful trip, as I hope the pictures below illustrate. It was also a day of a big surprise. As I… Read more >
Day 41: Slettestrand to Løgstør May 6, 2022 After a terrible night following a potential food poisoning, I woke up feeling OK. I had a very light breakfast and set off first along the coast and then inland via Fjerritslev to Løgstør, 35 km. The first 6km were in the dunes along the coast, passing Svinkløv Hotel, renovated following a fire in 2016,… Read more >
Day 42: Løgstør to Aars May 7, 2022 Day 42, the last day of my Danish Pilgrimage that has taken me across much of Denmark since I started out walking from Helsingør to Hillerød nback in 2020. It's been great to see Denmark on foot, visiting many places that I otherwise would never have come. My last day was a 28km walk following… Read more >