Venture north from Copenhagen to Hamlet’s castle at Helsingør, or south to the white cliffs of Møn, and discover Zealand, a colorful land rich in culture and tradition.
The island of Zealand (Sjælland) is Denmark’s largest island, yet it is still compact and most of its attractions make ideal day trips from the capital. The area north of Copenhagen makes a classic tour for visitors, with its undulating countryside, beech forests, lakes and good beaches, as well as castles, manor houses, royal hunting lodges, art galleries and museums.
Related: Zealand Coast Around Copenhagen
The southern and western areas of Zealand have traditionally been entry points for new people and ideas coming from the Continent. This side of the island is an enchanting expanse of rolling hills, woodland and some wonderful seaside scenery.
The Danish Riviera
The coast road from Copenhagen to Helsingør, officially called Strandvejen, is also known as the “Danish Riviera” for its stylish houses and fine views across the Øresund to Sweden. Small protected harbors shelter working fishing boats and millionaires’ yachts alike, and converted marine buildings house fresh fish restaurants.
Related: Exploring North Zealand, Denmark
The Colorful Zealand in Denmark
While it’s true that the essence of North Zealand can be glimpsed in a day, it really warrants more time, either by an overnight stop at a charming Danish kro (inn) or by taking several day tours from Copenhagen.
Related: Coastal Hygge in Denmark
From Copenhagen, drive north through fashionable Charlottenlund to quiet elegance nearby Ordrupgaard. It’s permanent collection of Danish and French paintings includes work by Matisse and Gauguin. The museum has recently incorporated the home of Finn Juhl, architect and furniture-designer extraordinaire.
Feature image (on top): Tisvildeleje, North Zealand (Photo: Klaus Bentzen)
The Colorful Zealand in Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg