Aalborg: Denmark’s land of the Vikings

Date Posted: 07/11/2012

Aalborg architecture - Ideal for group travel trips

Pictured: Aalborg offers some wonderful architecture (photo credit: VisitDenmark).

Whether searching for undiscovered Viking roots, yearning for some sea-faring history or simply wanting to indulge in some Danish sand, sun and seafood, a group holiday to Aalborg serves up one or two surprises.

Viking celebrations will mark the invasion of England by the King of Denmark over the next two years; so it is a good time to think about visiting or travelling as a group.

The capital of the North Jutland region of Denmark and under two hours from the UK by air, Aalborg is a vibrant cosmopolitan city perched on the edge of the glistening Limfjord. Group travel organisers can put together something really special; a different, new holiday experience that will last long in the memory.

Seafaring history and Viking burial grounds

Aalborg's Viking history and seafaring beginnings are expertly explored at Lindholm Høje Museum. Just a short excursion from the heart of the city, the museum marks the remains of a once thriving Iron Age and Viking village with one of the largest and most impressive Viking burial grounds in Scandinavia.

High above the fjord where almost 700 graves are carefully laid out in oval and ship-shaped stone settings. The burial site and museum give a real insight into this period and the subsequent archaeological excavations through a combination of meticulously curated displays, interactive exhibits (where you can try sailing a Viking ship or visit a Viking house), craft workshops and specialist videos. 

With Aalborg's prime position on the Limfjord eventually taking precedence over Lindholm, the latter became deserted and Aalborg blossomed into the city it is today.

To fully appreciate the influence that the Limfjord has had on Aalborg, enhance your group trip there by organising a wander through the old town with its cobbled lanes. Head to the newly rejuvenated waterfront with the architecturally stunning Utzon Center that impressively shimmers along the water's edge.

seaport of Skagen Denmark - group travel

Pictured: The seaport of Skagen, known for its expansive undulating sand dunes (photo credit: Kim Wyon / VisitDenmark).

Designed by famous Danish architect Jørn Utzon (of Sydney Opera House fame), who grew up on the Limfjord and was inspired by Aalborg’s industry and shipyards, the museum provides an excellent introduction to his architecture, as well functioning as an innovative centre for art, architecture and design.

Of course, any good group travel holiday means finding memorable places to eat and drink. Boasting relaxing park areas, an open air swimming pool on the fjord, and the city’s cultural hub Nordkraft, the waterfront also has plenty of excellent restaurants with the option of dining 'afloat' onboard the former Dutch training ship Prinses Juliana, decommissioned icebreaker ship Elbjørn, and the quirky houseboat Den Fede Ælling - The Fat Duck

In addition, it is soon to be graced with a new Musikkens Hus - House of Music. Due to open at the end of the year and impressively designed, the multifaceted Musikkens Hus will offer world-class performances, cultural and educational facilities, as well as a selection of public areas to relax and take in the stunning views across to Nørresundby.

Explore more of North Jutland

Given its prime location and ease of access, Aalborg is also perfectly located for exploring more of North Jutland and it’s aptly known as ‘the Land of Light’.

Heading east along some of the regions 1,450 kilometres of pristine coastline, you can get a feel for coastal life by stopping at one of the many picturesque fishing villages, such as Sæby.

With its commanding Lady of the Sea sculpture overlooking the small harbour, pretty manicured houses and beautiful Sæby Kirke (church) with its 16th century frescoes, Dutch Virgin Mary altarpiece and delicate model ships hanging from the ceiling, the town's outward beauty tells the underlying tales of its inhabitants’ struggle against the forces of nature.

Rubjerg Knude Light House, North Jutland Denmark - Group travel

Pictured: Rubjerg Knude Light House, North Jutland (photo credit: VisitDenmark).

Further north, towards the picturesque seaport of Skagen, expansive undulating sand dunes mark the start of the 40 metre-high Råbjerg Mile, the largest moving sand drift in northern Europe. From its formation in the 16th century, it destroyed everything in its path and drastically altered the coastline, wreaking havoc.

To learn more about its victims, visit the Skagen Odde Nature Centre, Skagen's open air By-og Egnsmuseum or see it first-hand at the site of the buried church - Den Tilsandede Kirke. Other more colourful renditions can be explored at Skagen Museum, which houses over 1,800 paintings from the late 19th to the early 20th century, including a selection that depict the fishermans’ plight.

Then, for a taste of seafaring gastronomy, relax at one of the harbourside 'Thorvald Bindesbøll' fish warehouses tucking into some freshly caught seafood.

A return journey along the west coast

Culminating in a visit to Grenen, where the two vividly coloured oceans that encircle North Jutland in the far north meet, a return journey along the west coast is equally rewarding for group travel organisers.

Following the Marguerite Route, stop into Hirtshals to check out the lighthouse which is still in operation today before heading to the impressive Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse. Succumbing to the sand drifts and no longer operational, it offers sand covered ruins, steep slopes, wind-blown nature and fascinating exhibits on the area in the old Wreck Master’s Farm.

Further south, head back along the Limfjord towards Aalborg enjoying the transformation of scenery - soft salt meadows, idyllic fishing villages, historical landscape and clusters of islands with sheltered inlets. Once the perfect base for Viking life, it is equally enticing today.

There's more to Denmark than Copenhagen, go explore.

For more information on Aalborg go to http://www.visitdenmark.com  . 

facebook twitter make as homepage