Planning 48 hours in Aarhus
By Charlotte Wilson
Denmark is a popular destination for tourists all over the world, particularly for those looking for a relaxing get away combined with the opportunity to explore the vast nature and wildlife that Denmark has to offer. There are numerous ways to get close to nature during your stay in Aarhus. Here are just a few of the many wonderful activities that you could do during your short stay in Aarhus.
The centre of Aarhus is cycle and pedestrian friendly and there are many opportunities to hire a bike, follow tours or plan your own route. The area is relatively flat and cycling is an easy and convenient way to get around the city. If you cycle along the Ringgaden Circular Road, you will come across the Botanical Gardens and the Old Town. Continue onwards onto the Brabrandstien cycle path and you can ride around the beautiful Brabrand Lake as well as the Tivoli Friheden and the Memorial Park at Marselisborg Palace. If you continue further, you will reach the deer park, leading all the way to the boat harbour.
The path around the long, shallow lake was created in 1959 and the landscape varies between willow, scrub, fields and forest. The area is known for its rich bird life and there are plenty of opportunities to observe the animal life at the lake. There are bird watching towers and nature exhibitions at the Stautrup Gl. Station and the Ranger Centre Sølyst. The bike route goes from Aarhus to the river town, Ry (which is west of Aarhus). Except for the park areas, it is usually forbidden to walk outside the paved area.
The Deer Park
Open from 8am until sunset, the deer park is a great opportunity to be at one with nature and explore it very closely. During the walk you will see sika and fallow deer roaming free in their natural environment; you can also bring your lunch with you, as there are many picnic tables throughout the park. This allows you to spend as much time as you like watching the animals. If you are in the deer park during winter, you can also go tobogganing and skiing.
Tropical Houses at the Botanical Garden
Experience the true nature Aarhus has to offer by taking a stroll through the Tropical Houses at the Botanical Gardens. The tropical houses are giant greenhouses that hold many tropical plants, grown in four different climate zones. There are a variety of plants from all around the world and during guided tours you will learn about the stories and histories of the different species. Outside of the Botanical Gardens you can enjoy a delicious lunch in the Greenhouse Café, set within beautiful Danish scenery with spectacular views of the surrounding heath and beach.
Aarhus Coastal Walk
If cycling isn’t your thing, take a leisurely stroll along the Danish coast. Bask in the beauty of the Mols National Park and follow the trails through the Risskov Forest where you will enjoy beech trees and bay views. Take a trip to the wooden ships harbour and visit the fishmongers where freshly caught Scandinavian cold-water fish are on display. Seafood enthusiasts will want to quell the hunger this experience creates by sampling the sumptuous fishcakes available to purchase for lunch. Some coastal walks around the Aarhus region can be moderate to difficult so it is advised to take appropriate walking boots and a coat, depending on the season you are travelling.
Den Permanente is a beach located just a 10 minute bike ride from the city centre. It offers beautiful white sands and blue seas. Though small and surrounded by a jetty, it is a favourite among locals and is close enough to Aarhus city centre that hiring a car will not be necessary. The beach offers modern amenities such as changing facilities, and there is a restaurant within walking distance.
Marselisborg Memorial Park
Marselisborg Memorial Park overlooks the Bay of Aarhus and is part of the grounds of Marselisborg Castle, which houses the Danish Royal family. These grounds are open year round and Marselisborg Castle is open when the Royal family are not in residence. If you are travelling during May or June, Marselisborg Memorial Park is a must visit as its stunning cherry tree blossoms are in full bloom, offering a shock of pink colour to your walk around the grounds. There is also a memorial wall in the park which bears the names of the 4,144 South Jutland Danes who lost their lives on compulsory service in the Kaiser’s military during World War One.
Located in the south of Aarhus is the Marselisborg Forests, which stretch for 7 kilometres along the coastline. There are many activities to do here but the most popular ways to see the beautiful Marselisborg Memorial Park include mountain biking, horse riding and of course, taking a leisurely stroll. The forest runs along the Bay of Aarhus and is around 3,200 acres, so there is plenty of room to enjoy nature without feeling too crowded.
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