A Scandinavian Fairytale: The Danish Riviera

In years past, I was of a mindset that there is no time to waste; I liked to get off the airplane and rush to our hotel, drop off our bags and get started with sightseeing. However, I have come to believe that the journey itself is worth savoring.

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Our vacation didn’t begin just when we landed—it began when we boarded our plane. As I enjoyed a leisurely glass of sparkling wine, remnants of last minute stress of packing/cleaning/cooking started to ebb away.

Evan and I iterated over our itinerary quite a few times before settling on two major destinations—The Danish Riviera and Copenhagen. The Danish Riviera, located just an hour away from Copenhagen, is the spectacularly beautiful northern coastline of Zealand. Small towns and villages dot the rustic shell and rock-filled beaches welcoming mostly Scandinavian, well-heeled families during the spring and summer months. Unspoiled, unpretentious, offering clean air, delicious food, and artisan crafts, it is easy to see why many families choose to spend their vacations here.

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Having made Gilleleje our home-base in the Riviera, we spent two and a half days taking leisurely drives to a few small villages, visiting a few castles (this one and this one), a museum, catching up on Nordic cuisine, and resting. We stayed here and enjoyed meals here, here, and here. The hotel was amazing; simple (no TVs), unpretentious, right on the sea which meant we slept with our windows open lulled by the gentle waves. We can’t recommend it enough and should you want to visit, this is pretty much the only option since most people own or rent cottages. We enjoyed every single meal, too and highly recommend these restaurants among the many, many other options along the coast.

While the Riviera and Denmark isn’t my home, I felt very much at home there. We are so thoroughly charmed, that we’re set on brining the girls here for a summer vacation in a few years.

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