Marking the northernmost point in Denmark, the jutting peninsula of Skagen is one of the country’s biggest attractions, once a popular haunt for artists in the 19th century and retaining its vibrant cultural scene today.
With its ruggedly beautiful coastline, seemingly endless stretches of sand and cloudless azure skies, the area is evocatively nicknamed the ‘Land of Light’ in celebration of its uniquely iridescent sunlight. With more sunlight hours than anywhere else in Denmark, Skagen’s beaches are the town’s main draw, transforming the humble fishing town into a lively seaside resort during the summer months.
Sun seekers aren’t the only ones descending on the town; the area’s idyllic landscapes make a perfect location for hiking and cycling tours, with undulating sand dunes, pancake-flat coastal paths, shaded pine forests and windswept heaths. A trip to Grenen, the furthest point of the Skagen Peninsula, is one of the most unique sights; a sliver of sand bridging the gap between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and affording spectacular views along the coast. The tip of the peninsula is also a popular spot for bird-watchers, with large crowds turning out to watch the spring and autumn migrations.
The town of Skagen is also a worthy attraction in its own right – a picturesque fishing town characterized by its lemon-colored houses with their distinctive red tile roofs. Michael Ancher, legendary Danish impressionist artist, was one of Skagen’s most famous former residents and the house he shared with his wife, painter Anna Ancher, is now a popular tourist attraction. Art fans will also find a number of galleries and museums in the small town, most notably the Grenen Kunstmuseum, home to the largest collection of works by the late 19th-century Skagen Painters. Visitors can also get a view from the Skagen lighthouse tower; explore Skagen’s nature centre, a building designed by Jørn Utzon (famed architect of the iconic Sydney Opera House); or while away the afternoon in one of the many waterfront restaurants, cafés and ice cream parlors.