About 100km north of Aalborg, Skagen sits at the very top of Denmark amid breathtaking heather-topped sand dunes. A popular resort, it attracts thousands of visitors annually thanks to its artistic connections and wonderful seafood restaurants.
Much of Skagen’s appeal lies in aimlessly wandering its marina or cycling out to its fabulous beaches. There is one star sight, however – the Skagen Museum, displaying much of the work of the influential Skagen artists. Nearby is the home of one of the group’s leading lights and his wife, herself a skilful painter: the Michael and Anna Anchers Hus. Around 1.5km southwest of the hostel is the Buried Church, which was engulfed by sand drift in 1795 and subsequently abandoned. Today the white spire is all that remains amid the dunes. Old Skagen, 4 kilometres west of the centre, is where Denmark’s jet set have their villas: head to the Solnedgangspladsen here to watch the spectacular sunsets.Read More
Denmark’s northernmost tip is at Grenen, 3km from Skagen along Strandvej and the beach, where two seas – the Kattegat and Skagerrak – meet, often with a powerful clashing of waves. You can get here by tractor-drawn bus (April to mid-Oct; 25kr return) – although it’s an enjoyable walk through beautiful seaside scenery. At the tip you’ll find some fascinating World War II heritage, an ambient restaurant and miles of blissful quiescence.
The Skagen artists
The Skagen artists
Skagen has long been popular with artists thanks to the warm, golden sunlight that illuminates its coastal scenery. During the 1870s a group of painters inspired by naturalism settled here and began to paint the local fishermen working on the beaches as well as each other. The Skagen artists, among them Michael and Anna Ancher and P.S. Krøyer, stayed until the turn of the century and achieved international recognition for their work, now on display at the Skagen Museum.