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The small port of Skagen sits on Denmark’s northernmost peninsula, protruding into the Skagerrak Sea. The town is fairly new by comparison to most of the country’s cities and towns and is characterised by small, low cottages that are yellow in colour and set off by red tiled roofs. For years it was considered to be more of an artist colony, with painters, writers and other artisans travelling here to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the surrounding wilderness, and its love of the arts has given it international appeal.
The lifestyle of Skagen is relaxed and laidback, and as soon as you step off your cruise ship in its pretty port you’ll get a sense of the tranquil lifestyle enjoyed by its artistic residents for years. Many of its most popular attractions can be found on the water, with boat and fishing trips heading in to the Straits or kayak tours following the coastal trails. For some interesting and unique things to do when you disembark at Skagen, have a look at these popular shore excursions:
This location is a small stretch of sand that can be found at the very tip of Skegen where it extends into the sea. It marks the point where two seas meet, and although this also brings savage currents that make swimming here dangerous, you are allowed to paddle. With one foot either side of the narrow sandbar you can claim to stand in two seas at once. There’s a museum here, as well as a coffee shop, making it an enjoyable day out.
This unique church was the main house of religion for the people of Skagen back in the late 1300’s. It was built close to a sandbar that crept up on the church continually over the following epochs, and by the 17th century villagers had to dig their way into the main building for their church service. It was eventually destroyed by the sand, but its remains, along with the almost intact tower, can still be visited.
As you might expect from an artist colony, this museum is dedicated to the lives and artwork of several of its residents over the years. The artwork ranges from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and chronicles the fishing village and the changes it’s gone through over the centuries.
Skagen is essentially a tiny port town and can’t boast of outstanding shopping centres and lively malls. What is does have though is a pretty town centre with local artisan shops and plenty of craft markets. There’s always an ample supply of artwork on sale, and with official and unofficial galleries selling pieces created by local residents, bringing home authentic souvenirs is not a hard task.
The Spisekammerat is a popular deli on the oceanfront that is perfect for picking up traditional foods you only get in Denmark. For shore excursions where picnics are suitable, this is the place to fill up before you set off.
With close links to the sea and fishing, Skagen has several restaurants offering fresh fish and seafood cooked in a variety of ways. Head to the harbour front just a few steps from your cruise ship and you’ll discover rows of market stalls selling hot and cold foods that can be eaten inside or taken away. Rejer is the Danish name for freshly caught shrimp, and you can buy bags of them here, just cooked right off the boats.
A popular dish is Frikadeller, a form of meatballs that are shaped like patties rather than being round. They’re traditionally served with rye bread and pickled gherkins and can be eaten hot or cold.
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