Let me just say – National Park Thy is epic.
It’s the first national park in Denmark. It has the wildest nature in the country. And it’s perfect for a multi-day road trip.
We packed the car last month and drove north to Bulbjerg where we began our two-day adventure through the national park. In this post I’ll show you all the highlights from our trip, including where to sleep and some extra tips.
Let’s dive in!
Read next: Renting a Car in Denmark
Why visit National Park Thy
National Park Thy has a special wilderness, formed by the wind, sand and the salty North sea. There’s something untamed about Thy. Something restless, unpredictable and uncompromising. North Jutland has it as well, but here, it’s different.
Here, you can enjoy a unique landscape: sand dunes, dune heaths, wetlands and lakes with a number of rare species – from birds to insects and plants. And – after a 200-year absence from Denmark, wolves have been spotted here in 2012.
The small fishing villages by the coast, Hanstholm, Klitmøller, Vorupør and Agger, are perfect places to spend the night, buy local produce or enjoy a meal and a Thy beer.
Read next: 12 things to do in North Jutland
Download the Thy National Park app
National Park Thy has made an app, which shows the way through the landscape, including routes through forests and dunes.
The app has a map with locations and info about the highlights. It’s offline, so there are no roaming fees. Just make sure to download it before you enter since reception might not be great inside the national park.
Where to stay
When we visited National Park Thy, we stayed one night in Bulbjerg to the north and one in Agger to the south. It was perfect for a road trip, as we just visited the northern sights while we stayed up north and then moved on to the southern sights.
You can also bring a tent or stay in shelters. There are bathrooms near several of the highlights mentioned in my post, and it’s a great way to spend time in nature. And it’s free.
Bulbjerg – We stayed at a nice B&B, just a few km from Bulbjerg Klint. It was remote and a great place for some peace and quiet. Book here.
Klitmøller – Amazing little hotel with breakfast and dinner included. Watch the roaring ocean from your bed here. Book here.
Agger – We stayed at Danhostel Agger, which was a good base and had a great breakfast. Book here.
1. Vester Thorup beach
If you ask me, a trip through National Park Thy should start at Vester Thorup beach and Denmark’s only bird cliff, Bulbjerg. These two sights aren’t within the park’s boundaries, but they’re really close and both unique to the area.
In Thorup, you have a rare opportunity to see actual everyday coastal fishing. There’s no harbour here, so the boats are hauled up on the beach as they have been for centuries. There’s also a shipwreck there.
Be sure to come around sunrise or in the early afternoon, when the boats are setting out or being towed ashore on the beach. You can buy fresh fish straight off the boat or in the very popular fish shop.
Read next: 12 best beaches in Denmark
2. Bulbjerg Klint
15 minutes drive to the west, you’ll find Bulbjerg Klint. My favourite highlight of Thy National Park.
Bulbjerg is a 47m high limestone cliff and the only bird cliff in Denmark outside of Bornholm. It’s home to several bird species, including kittiwakes, common puffins and northern fulmars.
It’s super steep and very beautiful – especially from the top. The grass-covered cliffs are a unique sight and one I haven’t seen anywhere else in Denmark. It looks more like something from the Faroe Islands. Trust me, Bulbjerg Klint is an amazing sight you just have to visit!
You can drive to the top of the cliff and there’s also parking by the beach.
Read next: How to visit Bulbjerg Klint
3. Østerild Testcenter
At Testcenter Østerild you can get close to the wind technology of the future. They test wind turbines here, and with their impressive 150-220 meters, the wind turbines are up to 100 meters higher than the normal Danish wind turbines. You can get up close and stand just below the turbines where the blades will whiz right over your head.
Woooooosh! This was a fun experience!
Can you spot my mother-in-law?
Next on the list is Hanstholm, which has a few things worth seeing. First, there’s the lighthouse, which you’ll see on your way into town. Hanstholm is also home to Denmark’s largest fish auction, which you can visit every day from 6.45 am. My dad used to take me to fish auctions when I was a kid, and I loved it. Remember warm clothing since it’s quite cold inside.
And third, you can visit the Bunker Museum, which is a whole collection of WW2 bunkers and installations. It’s very exciting.
Where to eat:
- Det Gamle Røgeri. Try the ‘Stjerneskud’: two fried and one steamed piece of fish, plus smoked salmon, shrimp and asparagus on bread.
- Hanstholm Madbar. Great food and a million-dollar view.
5. Klitmøller (Cold Hawaii)
Klitmøller, also known as Cold Hawaii, is a hotspot for windsurfers, short boarders and kayakers.
Cold Hawaii got its name because of the good waves. Its high latitude (the same as South Alaska), means the northern storms pass directly over the beach, creating ideal swells for surfing (especially in winter). Think brisk wind, frigid water and raging waves. You get the picture.
6. Isbjerget (The iceberg)
Located in Hanstholm vildtreservat
Isbjerget, or the iceberg, is one of the most popular places in Thy National Park. This has to do with its location. The iceberg is located at 56 metres above sea level, which gives you a panoramic view of the unspoiled landscape, Lake Nors and to the sea several kilometres away.
It’s not just a viewpoint. The iceberg is a route where you’ll find several great viewpoints along the way. It takes about 20-25 minutes to walk and can be a little steep on the way up. I climbed it at 9 months pregnant, though, so it’s not that challenging.
7. Thagaards Plantage
I love Thagaards Plantage. It’s simply one of the coolest places in Thy.
The trees here are 200 years old and look like something from a fairy tale… or the mythical cloud forest in Costa Rica. They were planted as an attempt to reduce the sand flow, but it didn’t work. We have similar trees in Rold forest (the Troll forest) and Tisvilde.
You’ll find Thaagards Plantage on the small parking lot on Kystvejen, right next to the road down to Bøgsted Rende/Tvorup Klitpantage. There’s free parking.
8. Tvorup Klitplantage, Gryden
Next to Thagaards Plantage is Tvorup dune plantation, also known as “the pot”. It’s the oldest dune plantation in National Park Thy and it’s remarkable in several ways. There’s varied vegetation. A little creek. Hilly sand and grass dunes. And old, craggy trees.
I saw several hikers here and even campers. You also have the sea nearby, and there’s a bathroom. I would have loved to spend some more time exploring the area here.
9. Faddersbøl Mølle
Further south is Faddersbøll mill, an old Dutch mill. It was built in 1859 and is one of the few preserved, old mills in National Park Thy. Today, it’s a museum where you can see photos and learn the story of the mill and landscape around it.
10. Nørre Vorupør
Nr. Vorupør or Nørre Vorupør is one of the most popular places in National Park Thy and it’s quite busy in the summer.
Here, you’ll find shops, surfing equipment, smokehouses and cafes. The small, authentic fishing village of Nr. Vorupør is also part of Cold Hawaii and one of the five best windsurfing spots in Europe. There’s a long pier where the waves hit pretty hard when the wind is strong.
Also, as with Vester Thorup beach, you can see fishing boats being pulled up onto the beach with a hydraulic winch, just like in the old days of fishing.
11. Vorupør Gl. kirkegård
Vorupør also has an old cemetery, which is worth a visit.
The old cemetery is like a time warp. Up here, you’ll find so many incredible stories carved in tombstones about the life and death of fishermen and shipwrecked seamen.
The headstones bear witness of the harsh life by the sea. Many of them show that infant mortality was high and that many fishermen died young. In the north-west corner of the cemetery, you’ll also find graves of bodies washed ashore. They have no name or headstone.
Many tragedies shaped Vorupør, and the old cemetery is a unique place to discover and feel the history.
12. Lodbjerg kirke
I’ve included Lodbjerg church on this list because there’s something special about it. It’s one of the smallest churches in Denmark, but it’s the lonely location surrounded by sand dunes that makes it unique.
The church is from around 1500 with a bell pile in timber on the west side. Notice the altarpiece and late Gothic chalk frescos inside.
13. Lodbjerg lighthouse
Price to enter the lighthouse: 30 DKK (adults), Free for children
Lodbjerg lighthouse is one of the gems of National Park Thy.
Built in 1883, the lighthouse is 35 metres tall with a light 48 metres above sea level. It stands alone in the middle of the large heath and plantation area, and there’s a camp site and cafe here. There are several hiking routes from Lodbjerg Lighthouse, for instance the North Sea Trail, Lodbjerg heath and sand dune and smaller roundtrips.
14. Lodbjerg heath and sand dune
Lodbjerg heath and sand dune, or Lodbjerg Sande in Danish, is somewhat similar to Råbjerg Mile, the migrating desert in Denmark.
Here, the wind has formed small dunes sheltered by rocks. The sand is covered by grass many places, but there are still open sandy areas, especially north of the lighthouse.
Read next: The untamed sand dunes of Råbjerg Mile
15. Ydby Hede – gravhøje
In Ydby Hede to the south, you will find peat burial mounds from the early Bronze Age. They look like small hills, but they’re actually ancient tombs.
These mounds retained the bodies of important people, who were often buried with bronze and gold possessions like weapons and jewellery. Denmark has about 86,000 prehistoric burial mounds, of which 20,000 are from the Bronze Age. Poskær Stenhus in Djursland, which is the largest round barrow in Denmark, is one of them.
Read next: 10 fantastic reasons to visit Djursland
Denmark national parks
Interested in more beautiful nature in Denmark? Or do you want to explore the other Danish national parks? Read my two posts about it here:
Planning a trip to National Park Thy? Ask me anything in the comments!