5 days

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.

Explore charming Silkeborg, which is one of the most beautifully located towns of Denmark.

Walk along Gudenåen and enjoy splendid views over the lakes to Himmelbjerget.

Option to shorten the walks by cruising the lakes of Silkeborg on the world’s oldest coal-fired paddle steamer.

Hiking the Himmelbjerg Route: Discover Denmark’s ‘Sky Mountain’

Self-guided walking holiday along Himmelbjergruten

The Himmelbjerg Route is one of the most beautiful tracks in Denmark, as well as being extremely well-marked and easy to walk. Your walking holiday begins in Ry, with lovely views over lake Knudsø. You will spend the first night in Knudhule Badehotel, which was named as the best ‘badehotel’ (sea- or lakeside hotel) in Denmark in 2019.

You begin your first hiking day by taking a short trip (5 mins) on the local train to the small nearby village of Laven. From Laven, you follow Gudenåen – Denmark’s longest river – 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 (although at only 147 m altitude, the climb is very manageable!). You will stay overnight either at the Himmelbjerget hotel or in the charming nearby village of Gammel Rye (Old Rye).

The next morning you will make your way back down to the shore of lake Julsø, before following a tranquil lakeside path all the way to the Lake District capital of Silkeborg. Here you will find many interesting attractions, including the AQUA Aquarium & Wildlife Park and a museum dedicated to the famous Danish painter Asger Jorn. If you wish to shorten your walk, you also have the option to do part of the journey by steam boat. There are numerous excursion boats sailing between Silkeborg and Himmelbjerget, including Hjejlen; the world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer.

Your final walking day takes you from Silkeborg back to Laven along a beautiful track, which sometimes follows the banks of Gudenåen and sometimes veers onto woodland paths. Here, you board the local train once more for the short journey back to Knudhule Badehotel in Ry.

5 DAYS/4 NIGHTS From €520 per person sharing*

*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers


In comfortable hotels and B&Bs on a bed and breakfast basis.
AVAILABILITY You can start on any day from Tuesday to Saturday, subject to availability, between April 15th and September 15th.
4 nights in comfortable hotels and B&Bs
4 breakfasts
Luggage transfers while you walk
Detailed maps and route notes
GPS tracks
24/7 telephone support
Flights and travel insurance
Transport to and from Ry
Lunches or dinners
Personal expenses (drinks, phone calls, tips, etc.)
Any other items not mentioned in the program
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Singe room supplement

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 mini golf at the hotel. Dinner is available at the hotel restaurant (not included in price).

Overnight: Ry (Knudhule Badehotel)


Day 2: Walk from Laven to Himmelbjerget / Gammel Rye

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 200 m | Descent: 80 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.

Your day starts with a short train ride to the small nearby station town of Laven (5 mins). Here you begin your walk along the eastern shore of the tranquil lake Julsø. then through forest and meadow, passing through the small village of Alling before reaching the northern shore of lake Birksø. You then walk around lake Birksø and make your way westwards along forest paths toward Himmelbjerget. After about 6 km and a 125 m ascent you reach the top of Himmelbjerget (147 m), where you can enjoy 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.

If staying in Gammel Rye, you will walk a further 3 km southwards along forest paths to the village.

Overnight: Hotel Himmelbjerget / Gammel Rye


Day 3: From Himmelbjerget to Silkeborg

Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 195 m | Descent: 307 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

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 with beautiful panoramic views.

From Himmelbjerget you descend to the edge of Julsø lake, where the ferries dock at Hotel Julsø. 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. After a short while, you reach the Skyttehuset campsite at the Svejbæk passage. Here you can enjoy a refreshment in the café 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 a bite to eat at Ålekroen – an old inn with tables by the water , which is renowned for its great food.

You then 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 accommodation.

If you wish to shorten your walk today, you can  jump on one of the historic steamboats and enjoy a gentle cruise to the Lake District capital of Silkeborg.

Overnight: Silkeborg


Day 4: Walk from Silkeborg to Laven and train back to Ry

Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 173 m | Descent: 174 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

Walking out of Silkeborg, you follow the Himmelbjerg Route along the railway across Gudenåen to the northern side, where you continue along the banks of Gudenåen towards Sejs, looking out at the barges and canoes on the river. After eight spectacular kilometers you reach Sejs/Svejbæk, where it is possible to have lunch at the old inn Ludvigslyst or, if you prefer, you can take a detour of 600 m down to Ålekroen at the Svejbæk passage.

From Svejbæk you follow the track away from Gudenåen and climb 120 m through a large forest landscape before descending once more to the shore of lake Julsø. A lakeside path takes you back to the small train station at Laven, where you began your hike on day 1. From here, it is just a 5-minute train ride back to Ry, where you will stay once more in Knudhule Badehotel.

Overnight: Ry (Knudhule Badehotel)


Day 5: Departure

Your walking holiday comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us.

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.

Forest hiking on the Sky Mountain Route
An info board with the map of the Sky Mountain Route (in Danish: Himmelbjergruten)
The path that leads to the top of Himmelbjerget (the Sky Mountain)
A glimpse of the lake Julsø from the path towards Himmelbjerget
The landscape surrounding Himmelbjerget
Hiking from Himmelbjerget towards Lake Julsø
The Sky Mountain tower seen from below
The world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer 'Hjejlen' on Lake Julsø
Lavender by Lake Julsø
Hiking along the Sky Mountain Route at Svejbæksnævringen
The paddle steamer 'Hjejlen' and a canoe in Silkeborg
Boats in Gudenåen close to Silkeborg
A forest path close to Silkeborg
The lake Slåensø is the cleanest lake in Denmark and it's lovely for a swim
Fallen tree over Lake Slåensø
Hjejlen, Silkeborg
Sunset over Lake Julsø seen from Himmelbjerget

Tour Reviews

4.00 based on 1 review

Veltilrettelagt tur i varierende landskab i en af de smukkeste egne af Danmark. Variation var der også i overnatningsstederne – fra badehotel til camping – og alle steder mødte vi venlige og imødekommende værter. Gå ikke glip af et måltid på Knudhule Badehotel.

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