48 hours in the Kattegat's natural gems

Photo: Destination NORD

Enjoy Bangbo's botanical garden, local food and fantastic hiking routes in the wild nature of Hammer Bakker. Overnight in nature, but with the comfort of a hotel room with glamping. Experience world-class unspoiled nature in Lille Vildmose. 

Day 1

Explore a magical botanical garden and tasty local produce..

Take an enchanting journey to Frederikshavn, located on the coast of the breathtaking Kattegat. Here there is a special place called Bangsbo, which unites wild animals and peaceful birdsong with dark bunkers and brightly colored flowers. Bangsbo Botanical Garden, which stretches over 8 hectares, is beautifully located at the venerable Bangsbo manor. The manor house, which now houses the North Jutland Coastal Museum, is located on the southern edge of Frederikshavn and is surrounded by forest and the Bangsbo river.

In the garden you can experience an ancient, English-inspired park that offers countless benches, lush lawns, old trees and a charming gazebo. Here you will also find a rose garden, a medicinal and herb garden, a sensory garden, a historic fruit and berry garden and a collection of enchanting bonsai trees. Bangsbo Botanical Garden is a true paradise for nature lovers.

Photo: Peter Joergensen
Photo: Peter Jørgensen

After a day in nature, you can satisfy your hunger at the critically acclaimed Essens Gaarden, which is among the candidates for the title "Best in North Jutland - Value for Money" 2023. Here you can experience a magical culinary experience where the focus is on local ingredients.

The farm's ambition is to grow as many organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries as possible in their own garden. The restaurant offers various themed evenings, ranging from classic dishes to delicious pizzas and enchanting multi-course menus. Essens Gaarden is the ultimate destination for gastronomic adventure seekers.

Essens Gaarden is a display of total hospitality. For under DKK 1,500 you get 17 servings and wine, but Tonny Kristensen and his entire kingdom for an entire evening is the real scoop – Birgitte Sonne in Nordjyske

Relax and spend the night at the well-placed Hotel Frederikshavn, which offers a central location in the city. The hotel also offers a convenient car park that guests can use freely.

Day 2

Natural gems and luxurious glamping: An adventurous day in Hammer Bakker.

In the morning, you will be spoiled with a sumptuous breakfast buffet at the hotel, which offers a wealth of homemade delicacies. Enjoy the delicious dishes and start the day with energy in your stomach.

Then it's time to explore Hammer Bakker. On the way, it is recommended to visit 2takt Café and Brasserie, which is also among the candidates for the title "Best in North Jutland - Value for Money" in 2023. Here you can buy delicious sandwiches and salads, which are perfect to take on the go.

Hammer Bakker offers several routes to choose from, but if you choose the blue route (4.5 km) or the red route (6 km), you will pass the breathtaking pepper marsh. This is perhaps Hammer Bakker's most photogenic natural treasure. Here you can experience the unique type of nature called "hanging bag". It is a floating carpet of moss that grows on the surface of the water and can be several centimeters thick.

The blanket covers a large part of the lake. This special environment is home to a wealth of plants and animals, including carnivorous plants and rare butterfly species such as the bog mother-of-pearl butterfly. However, be aware that you should not step on the hanging bag, as it floats on the water and cannot support a person's weight.

If you are brave and fancy a longer hike, you can choose to walk all the routes, which add up to 17 km, and experience the wild nature that is slowly returning to the area. The Danish Nature Foundation works to restore nature as it was before the area was planted by humans in order to create habitats for endangered animal species.

In the area there is also a shelter and a bonfire area for the adventurous. If you prefer a little more luxury, you can choose to visit Glamping Skovgaardsminde, which is only a 37-minute drive from Hammer Bakker.

At Glamping Skovgaardsminde you can look forward to a relaxing nature experience close to forest and beach, where you can take everything at your own pace. Here you will be greeted with North Jutland charm, cozy details and, not least, local ingredients sourced from the nearby nature. All you have to think about is preparing your food over a fire, while Skovgaardsminde takes care of the rest. Enjoy the unique atmosphere and let yourself be pampered in the lap of nature.

Glamping Skovgaardsminde
Photo: Glamping Skovgaardsminde
Glamping Skovgaardsminde
Photo: Glamping Skovgaardsminde

Day 3

Discover Denmark's largest wilderness and the wild inhabitants.

The day begins with a relaxed breakfast at Glamping Skovgaardsminde, where organic and local ingredients are the focus. You can look forward to a delicious breakfast experience with freshly laid eggs, delicious local cold meats and Danish cheeses. Fruit and juice bring freshness to the table, and all baked goods come from the fantastic sourdough baker, @breadbykaerup, located in Aalborg. In the tents, there is always coffee and tea available, and you can boil the water over the fire.

After this, you head towards Lille Vildmose. Take the ferry from Hals-egense, and in just 51 minutes you can experience Denmark's largest nature conservation area. Lille Vildmose stretches over an impressive 7,600 hectares, which corresponds to as many as 10,000 football pitches.

We recommend that you start your adventure at the Lille Vildmosecenteret, where you can enrich your knowledge of the fascinating animals and the unique nature that characterizes the bog. If you dare, you can climb to the top of the Tower of Death and enjoy the view of the carcass site, which attracts predators from the wilderness.

Lille Vildmose

Photo:Frans Ritter

At the reception you will be able to get a map and good advice for exploring the bog on your own. The visit to the bog is free and can be done around the clock, all year round. Here you can be lucky to experience the wild animals such as moose, wild boar, the golden eagle and the red deer. There is also the option of taking part in a guided tour with one of the centre's experienced guides who know the bog, its stories and the best places to spot wild animals and rare plants.

Lille Vildmose
Photo: Frans Ritter
Lille Vildmose
Photo: Nicolas Cho Meier

After an exciting and educational day at Lille Vildmose, you can head home. Kattegat has more than enough to offer for a 48-hour trip in nature. So remember to adapt your itinerary according to your own preferences and any changes in opening hours.

Good wanderlust!