Taking the Marguerite Route

By | Category: Travel destinations
The daisy marking the Marguerite Route

The daisy marking the Marguerite Route

The Danes have long been fond of exploring this 3,600 kilometre touring route through their own country as it changes from picturesque, rolling scenery of unspoiled farmland to forests and heaths and then mile upon mile of pristine coastline. 

The Marguerite Route is marked along its way by characteristic marguerite (daisy) road-signs and was deliberately designed to take in some of Denmark’s most scenic countryside and prettiest towns and villages without drivers ever seeing the same view twice.  A major inspiration for the leisurely route was Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (affectionately known as Daisy) herself, whose favourite drives and destinations are incorporated into the journey.  Until now, details of the lengthy drive were only accessible to Danish speakers or drivers who knew it existed but VisitDenmark expects the new English-language website will encourage more Brits to come and discover the Queen’s favourite spots at their own, unhurried pace.

Most of us  would probably start by taking the ferry from Harwich Esbjerg. From here the Marguerite Route steers drivers through Jutland and on via the island of Funen to Zealand.  On the West Jutland coast, the route goes past the Wadden Sea National Park, one of Denmark’s most ecologically important areas that is home to birds, seals and native oysters.  It also takes in Denmark’s best preserved medieval castle Spottrup Borg (website only in Danish) with its towering 9-metre ramparts and double moat to withstand the most effective cannons.

Further north, as the route passes through North Jutland it allows visitors a chance to get close to nature in this extensive area of dunes and heaths and reaches as far north as Skagen at the very top of Denmark where the two seas, the Kattegat and Skagerrak meet.

Lindholm

Lindholm

Away from the coast, other highlights along the Marguerite Route include Rold Skov – Denmark’s largest forest, home to scenic lakes, ancient trees and rare wild orchids.  Closer to Aalborg lies Lindholm Høje, home to Scandinavia’s largest Viking burial ground with more than 700 well-preserved graves.

There’s more natural beauty to be found among the Silkeborg lakes and on the Gudenåen River in East Jutland, where activities away from the road include swimming, canoeing, kayaking and some of the best angling in northern Europe.  You might be surprised when you reach the pretty town of Randers as its main attraction is a replica of Elvis’ home Graceland. Close by is the historic town of Jelling  where the two eighth-century runic stones hold special significance for Danes as the one erected in AD983 by Viking King Harald Bluetooth is known as the ‘birth certificate of Denmark’.  Denmark’s second city Aarhus ‘the city of smiles’ offers numerous attractions including the National Open Air Museum of Urban History and Culture, Den Gamle By,  where visitors can see what it would have been like to live and work in a 19th century Danish town.

Funen, Denmark’s second largest island is situated between Jutland and Zealand. Characterised by gently rolling hills, its largest town, Odense, was the birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen. The south Funen archipelago of islands are linked by small bridges and ferry routes for cars providing a scenic meandering route past historic manor houses and ancient castles. These include Egeskov Castle, one of Europe’s best preserved renaissance castles built on oak rafts rammed into the surrounding lake.

Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle

The furthest reaches of the route take in the island of Zealand where green hills contrast with some of the best beaches in Denmark. Alongside the route it is possible to explore Denmark’s viking history and at Elsinore, about an hour north of Copenhagen stop at the newly opened M/S Maritime Museum which bears testament to the town’s seafaring past with a seashell shaped museum inside the old dry dock. Alongside the Maritime museum is the UNESCO listed Kronborg Castle, known across the world as Hamlet’s Castle. Winding its way back along the beautiful coast and overlooking the Øresund, the narrow strait of water that divides Denmark from Sweden, the route reaches the vibrant and cosmopolitan capital, Copenhagen. For fans of the TV series ‘The Bridge’ a short detour might include a drive across the now iconic Øresund Bridge to Malmo in Sweden or complete the journey on the quiet little rustic islands of Møn, Lolland and Falster at the southern point of Denmark.

Wherever you go on the Marguerite Route you’ll find a Denmark that will reveal something that will make you want to stop, look and admire and ask yourselves why you’ve never travelled the route before.

For more information about Denmark and the Marguerte Route, click here.

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