Discover wonderful Copenhagen on a self-guided city walk
Hike along pleasant woodland trails, through UNESCO World Heritage-listed royal parks
Discover some of Denmark’s most impressive castles
Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Lakes Furesø, Sjælsø and Esrum sø
Relax and unwind in comfortable hotels at the end of each walking day
Self-guided hiking in Royal North Zealand
On this week-long walking holiday, you will hike from the leafy outskirts of Copenhagen, through royal parks, tranquil woodlands and marshlands, and past some of Northern Europe’s most beautiful castles. The walk ends at the impressive Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, made famous by Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
A walking holiday in Copenhagen’s green front garden
The island of Zealand is best known for being home to Denmark’s cosmopolitan capital, Copenhagen. Less well known is the fact that Northern Zealand boasts large areas of untouched forest, as well as some of Denmark’s most idyllic lakes, pristine wetlands, and magnificent castles. As you wind your way steadily northwards along Zealand’s wonderful walking trails, you will understand why this area is also known as ‘Copenhagen’s green front garden’.
As well as Hamlet’s Castle, you will have the chance to explore two more of Denmark’s finest castles. The majestic Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød is the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. Surrounded by a lake and stunning royal gardens, it is easy to see why it is known as ‘Denmark’s Versailles’. In Fredensborg, the Baroque-style palace (the Queen’s summer residence) is beautifully located on the shore of the serene Lake Esrum.
It is not only the castles of North Zealand that have historical significance. The landscape itself was given UNESCO World Heritage List status in 2015 as a special natural area. This is due to the unique ‘par force’ hunting landscape of Great Deer Park, Gribskov Forest and Jægersborg Deer Park. It was King Christian V who shaped the royal hunting grounds in the baroque style, with long straight forest roads intersecting in a star-shaped pattern. As you walk through these forest parks, you will still see the original engraved stones which have been used as navigational guides since the 1600’s.
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS||From €899 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for groups of 4 or more. Please enquire for info.
||You will stay in very comfortable hotels throughout the trip. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms.
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 1st and October 31st.|
Day 1: Arrive in Copenhagen, self-guided city walking tour
Distance: 10 km | Time: 2½ hrs approx.
Arrive in Copenhagen and check into your city centre hotel. If you arrive early enough, you can do a self-guided walk which takes in many of the city’s architectural and cultural highlights, including the castles of Rosenborg, Christiansborg and Amalienborg, the pretty harbourside houses of Nyhavn and of course the Little Mermaid!
If you need an extra night in Copenhagen to allow time for this walk, or to explore the city more thoroughly, then we would of course be happy to book that for you. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Day 2: The Mill Route
Distance: 19 km | Ascent: 135 m | Descent: 119 m | Time: 4½ hrs approx.
You begin the day by taking a short (20 mins) train journey to Klampenborg, in Copenhagen’s leafy northern suburbs. If you wish, you can begin with a refreshing dip at the excellent white-sand Bellevue Beach before beginning your walk.
The first part of your walk takes you through Dyrehaven (the royal deer park). The park was established by King Frederik III in 1670 and is home to the Ermitageslottet (royal hunting lodge) as well as the world’s oldest amusement park, Bakken. As the name suggests, the park is home to many grazing deer – keep an eye out for them as you stroll along the pleasant walking paths. You will already feel like you are a long way from the city!
As you exit the park via the northern gate, you turn westward to follow the course of the Mølleåen river. This is a route rich with industrial history, passing many historic water mills and dams. You will walk along quiet forest and lakeside paths in the Mølleå valley. Your walk ends at Frederiksdal, on the south-eastern shore of Lake Furesø.
It is possible to shorten today’s walking route to 14 km by taking a boat trip from Lyngby for the last section. Information about times and prices is available here.
Day 3: Around Lake Furesø
Distance: 14.5 km | Ascent: 135 m | Descent: 121 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.
Today’s walk is a lovely scenic route around Denmark’s deepest lake, Furesøen. You begin by following a path through the forests of Frederiksdal Skov and Nørreskoven, which runs right along the southern and western shores of the lake. After about 5.5 km you come to the man-made beach of Furesøbad, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. There is also a restaurant and ice-cream kiosk.
From here, you turn back in a north-easterly direction. You follow a path high above Furesøen’s northern shore, with wonderful views over the lake. You briefly turn inland for a surprisingly rural stretch among cornfields, before the last section through the Vaserne wetlands, with excellent birdwatching opportunities.
Day 4: Holte/Allerød to Hillerød
Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 146 m | Descent: 160 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 78 m | Descent: 92 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.
There are two options for today’s walk. The longer option begins by following the Rudersdal Route through tranquil woodland to the shore of lake Sjælsø. You will find a quiet little beach and bathing area as you walk along the southern shore of the lake, followed by the charming, thatched Hunter’s Cottage restaurant (Jægerhytten). A short section of wooden boardwalk takes you through the marshlands at the western side of the lake. You then follow quiet country roads to the forest of Tokkekøb Hegn. Here, you will find the stone age Kongedysse dolmen, enclosed by 51 rocks.
The last section of your walk takes you through another royal hunting park, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Store Dyrehave. Finally, you arrive at the central square in the town of Hillerød. We recommend rewarding yourself with a well-earned drink or early dinner while enjoying the view across the lake to the magnificent Frederiksborg Castle.
If you prefer a shorter walk today, you can begin by taking a short bus trip from outside your hotel to the nearby village of Allerød. From here, you follow quiet forest paths northwards through Tokkekøb Hegn, joining the longer route at the Kongedysse dolmen mentioned above.
Day 5: Hillerød to Fredensborg
Distance: 20 km | Ascent: 152 m | Descent: 148 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 102 m | Descent: 90 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.
Again, you have a longer and shorter option for today’s walk. Both routes start by walking right through the courtyard and grounds of Frederiksborg Castle. Take your time to explore the stunning baroque gardens before continuing. The castle itself is home to a Museum of National History and an impressive art collection (ticket needed for entry).
As you leave the castle grounds, you can take the short woodland route to Fredensborg, or the longer route that takes you via the southern shore of Lake Esrum and the Stenholt bird reserve.
Day 6: Fredensborg to Elsinore (Helsingør)
Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 152 m | Descent: 162 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.
After breakfast, a short stroll takes you from your hotel to the grounds of the royal palace. Fredensborg Palace is home to the Danish Crown Prince and his family. It is open for public tours during the summer months. The royal gardens stretch down to the shore of Lake Esrum and are dotted with numerous obelisks and statues, including a circular formation of life-sized statues of Norwegian and Faroese folk characters. A short roadside stretch takes you out of Fredensborg to the woodlands of Danstrup Hegn. From here, you follow tranquil forest paths all the way to the outskirts of Elsinore (Helsingør). Here you will find your accommodation for the last two nights, in a beautiful location overlooking the sea and Sweden beyond.
Day 7: Hamlet’s Castle loop walk
Distance: 13.5 km | Ascent: 85 m | Descent: 106 m | Time: 3½ hrs approx.
Your last walk begins by exploring the peaceful forest and lakes above Elsinore. We recommend stopping for lunch at the Hammermølle café, a converted old watermill in an idyllic location. You then descend to the coast and follow a path along the beach and marina of Elsinore to Kronborg Castle. This Renaissance masterpiece is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is best known as the Elsinore Castle of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Today’s walk is relatively short, and you also have the option to borrow a bicycle from your hotel if you prefer to cycle. You will have plenty of time to explore the narrow cobbled streets of Elsinore (Helsingør), visit the town’s excellent maritime museum or even take a short trip over to Sweden (it only takes 20 minutes to cross the narrow strait by ferry to Sweden’s Helsingborg). Afterwards you return to your hotel by bus, bike or walk back the way you came (3km approx.).
Day 8: Departure
Your walking holiday in North Zealand comes to an end after breakfast this morning. You can catch a direct train to Copenhagen city or airport from Helsingør station.