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.
Cruise the lakes of Silkeborg on the world’s oldest coal-fired paddle steamer.
Explore charming Silkeborg, which is one of the most beautifully located towns of Denmark.
Follow Trækstien along the banks of Gudenåen, Denmark’s longest stream.
Experience true Danish ‘hygge’ in the old inns on the banks of Gudenåen.
The first part of the route follows the southern part of The Himmelbjerg Route, which is one of the most beautiful tracks in Denmark, as well as being very well marked and easy to walk. With a lovely view over lake Knudsø, the tour begins in Ry where you spend the first night in Knudhule Badehotel, which was named as the best ‘badehotel’ (sea- or lakeside hotel) in Denmark in 2019. From Ry, you follow Gudenåen – the longest river in Denmark – 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 and finish at Skyttehusets Camping where you can get a good lunch in the café situated at the edge of Gudenåen. You will be picked up at the camp site and transferred to your next accommodation; a comfortable B&B in the Lake District capital of Silkeborg, where there are many tourist attractions, including the AQUA Aquarium & Wildlife Park and a museum dedicated to the famous Danish painter Asger Jorn.
The next day you board Hjejlen, which is the world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer. Enjoy a gentle cruise back to Skyttehusets Camping where you finished yesterday’s walk. From here you walk back to Silkeborg where you have another night in your B&B. From Silkeborg, you follow the old Trækstien towpath along Gudenåen and the adjoining lakes. Historically, the trail was created for horses and bargemen, who once pulled great barges filled with goods between the towns of Silkeborg and Randers. Today it is a beautiful walking trail through Jutland’s tranquil lakelands. You will stay overnight at two of the charming old inns used by the bargemen in the 18th century.
On the last part of the track towards Bjerrringbro you will walk along the lake Tange Sø, which is the largest artificial lake in Denmark. At the north end of the lake you find the largest hydro-electric power station in Denmark, where you can visit Energimuseet (The Energy Museum), which offers a variety of experiences for the whole family. After another few kilometers along Gudenåen you reach Bjerringbro, where the tour ends.
From Bjerringbro you can either take the train back to Ry or you can take an extra overnight stay in Bjerringbro or take the train to Silkeborg or Viborg for an extra stay.
If you like, you can shorten your hiking tour to a two or three-day hike by choosing either the first part along Himmelbjergruten – from Ry to Silkeborg – or the second part along Trækstien from Silkeborg to Bjerringbro. If you are interested in one of those shorter routes, please contact us for a quote.
|6 DAY TOUR||From €595 per person sharing*
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers
||You will stay in a hotel, a B&B and in two charming inns – all with en suite facilities.
Some of the accommodation providers we work with are listed below. If one of the places are occupied, then we will inform you about it and try to find an alternative.
You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 15th and September 15th.|
Day 1: Arrival in Ry
Your hiking holiday starts in Ry, where you stay in Knudhule Badehotel, which is situated by lake Knudsø about two kilometers from the center of Ry. Knudhule Badehotel was named the best ‘badehotel’ (sea or lakeside hotel) in Denmark in 2019. It is possible to bathe in Knudsø and there is also mini golf at the hotel. Dinner is available at the hotel restaurant (not included in price).
Overnight: Ry (Knudhule Badehotel)
Day 2: Ry – Himmelbjerget – Julsø
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 175 m | Descent: 175 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.
The first day’s walk starts from the center of Ry, which you can reach by foot or by car from Knudhule Badehotel. From the center of Ry, you walk about 600 m towards Gammel Ry where you turn onto the track towards Himmelbjerget and Silkeborg. You then walk around lake Birksø and continue through a varied forest landscape. After about 6 km and a 125 m ascent you reach the top of Himmelbjerget (147 m), where you can enjoy your lunch and 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 descend to the edge of Julsø lake, where the ferries dock at Hotel Julsø. It is possible to have lunch or coffee here. From Hotel Julsø you continue along a small path that runs along the banks of Julsø with a beautiful view over the lake. After a few kilometers you veer away from the lake to follow a tranquil forest path, before returning to the banks of Julsø and Gudenåen. You will find Skyttehusets Camping on the banks of Julsø at the Svejbæk passage.
Here you can enjoy a delicious lunch in the restaurant 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 dinner at Ålekroen – an old inn with tables by the water known for its great food. In the afternoon you will get a transfer to your next accommodation; a lovely B&B in the Lake District capital of Silkeborg.
Overnight: B&B in Silkeborg
Day 3: From the Svejbæk passage to Silkeborg
Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 130 m | Descent: 133 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.
After breakfast you walk to the harbour of Silkeborg, situated in the heart of town. Here you jump on one of the historic steamboats (ticket included) and enjoy a gentle cruise back to Skyttehusets Camping, from where you continue your walk along the lake shore.
Today’s route will take you through the Lake District along a well-marked path, which brings you through the forest and down to the lakes where you will have beautiful panoramic views. You walk along the lake Borre Sø with another lake, Slåen Sø, on your left. 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 down to Gudenåen, which you follow into the heart of the beautifully located Silkeborg. On your way you pass AQUA Aquarium & Wildlife Park and Museum Jorn, both of which are well worth a visit either on the way or after you have checked in to your B&B.
Overnight: B&B in Silkeborg
Day 4: From Silkeborg to Svostrup
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 48 m | Descent: 48 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.
From Silkeborg you continue along Gudenåen and its adjoining lakes following Trækstien, which is the old tow path of Gudenåen. Historically, the trail was created for horses and bargemen, who once pulled great barges filled with goods between the towns of Silkeborg and Randers. Barge traffic on the River Gudenå had its heyday in Silkeborg after the opening of the paper mill in 1845. Back then, it was the only way of transporting large quantities of goods to and from the town. The barges could be seen sailing on the River Gudenå right up until the beginning of World War I.
The trail has been extensively renovated over the last few years, with a raised gravel track enabling you to walk with dry feet in this flood-prone area. On the first part of the track you walk along the lake Silkeborg Langsø, before continuing along Gudenåen. Shortly before Svostrup the river widens out in the lake Sminge Sø; famous for its bird life, which you can observe from a bird tower. In Sminge Sø, Gudenåen is joined by another big stream: Gjern Å. Shortly after that you reach the old inn, Svostrup Kro, where the bargemen traditionally stopped for a well-deserved rest and refreshment!
Overnight: Svostrup Kro
Day 5: From Svostrup to Kongensbro
Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 41 m | Descent: 44 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.
Today you continue along Trækstien towards Kongensbro. This part of Trækstien was previously susceptible to flooding by Gudenåen, but in the spring of 2019 the path was renovated and raised, so that it now remains dry throughout most of the season.
Shortly after having left Svostrup you will see Tvilum church on the opposite site of the river. The church was built in 1250 as an abbey for the Order of Saint Augustine. It was also used for an overnight stay by the king of Denmark in medieval times, on his travels around in Jutland, as evidenced by some newly discovered murals dating from 1350.
You continue your walk along the river in an idyllic and peaceful landscape, finishing up at at Kongensbro Kro, another charming inn with an atmosphere of times gone by. In earlier times the inn was an important junction for the traffic between Silkeborg/Randers and Aarhus/Viborg.
Overnight: Kongensbro Kro
Day 6: From Kongensbro to Bjerringbro
Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 94 m | Descent: 104 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.
From Kongensbro Kro you continue along Trækstien, which at some places due to flooding has been diverted into the woodlands along Gudenåen. After seven kilometers you pass a bridge to the village of Ans, where it’s possible to take a small detour for lunch at the local inn.
After Ans, Gudenåen runs into Tange Sø, which is the largest artificial lake in Denmark. The old towpath now lies at bottom of the lake together with the remains of an old rural hamlet. You follow the trail along the eastern side of Tange Sø and at the north end of the lake you reach Gudenåcentralen (Tangeværket), the largest hydro-electric power station in Denmark, which opened in 1921 and once provided 25 % of the electricity used in Jutland. The power station is now home to an Energy Museum, with cafés and a variety of experiences for the whole family. From 2019 you can experience a new exhibition “Life in Change”, which illustrates the life of the Danes in a world of climate change. The new exhibition is intended to stimulate discussion on how to make a contribution.
After another four kilometers along Gudenåen you reach Bjerringbro, where the tour ends.
From Bjerringbro you can either take the train back to Ry or you can take an extra overnight stay in Bjerringbro or Silkeborg or take the train to Viborg (17 minutes) for an extra stay. As one of the oldest towns in Jutland and as an old episcopal residence, Viborg has many places of interest and is a very pleasant lakeside town.
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.|
Getting from Bjerringbro
|There is a train station in Bjerringbro where you can catch a train for your onward journey.
You can plan your trip on www.journeyplanner.dk.