The Blue Eastern Jutland – In Viking Waters

Set course for the Blue Eastern Jutland and get a taste of the dramatic seafaring life of the Vikings.

Today, the Vikings are no longer just our own Danish cultural heritage; they are Europe’s cultural heritage. Nations all over Northern and Eastern Europe can genetically as well as culturally identify with our seafaring ancestors, and for this reason many visit Eastern Jutland today as tourists in order to experience the centre of the Viking empire. 

The Viking Age from around 800 AD to 1050 AD is a landmark period in the History of Denmark in which sailing plays a pivotal role, and the Viking Age in particular was Eastern Jutland’s cultural peak.

The Vikings were skilled traders, but also warlike in the extreme.

The Eastern Jutland maritime cultural landscape contains a multitude of monuments, ruins, sunken wrecks and stories that bring our ancestors’ wild seafaring life vivaciously to life. The sail was invented in the Viking Age, and the ship was the supreme means of transport of the time, as it made transporting goods and people much easier than doing it across land. 

From Vejle Fjord where secret naval bases upheld contact with the Danelaw in England, to Aarhusbugten bay where lakes, bays and covets formed the largest Viking naval base in Scandinavia, maritime Eastern Jutland is home to an abundance of legends and sites from the Viking Age. 

Sail north along the coast at Helgenæs where King Harold Bluetooth met his demise in battle, sail around Aarhus harbour where King Svend Estridsen fought mighty warrior kings from Norway, or moor at Hjarnø in Horsens Fjord where King Hjarne fell with his entire fighting force in a gruesome naval battle. Explore this exciting area that forms the setting of mounds, naval bases, Viking strongholds and the largest Viking fleet to ever sail the seas! 

The Eastern Jutland waters had particular significance for the military strategy of the Vikings, and the royal powers had major interests in the area.

Proof of this is the many Eastern Jutland town names with the syllable ”snekke” (”snekke” means warship/longship). The location of the many beacon hills that functioned as a bonfire warning system and the Kanhave Canal on the island of Samsø bear witness to a well-developed defence system in which an entire navy could be moved from one side of the island to the other to protect the Viking city of Aros (today: Aarhus).

Read and hear about Viking stories in the Blue Eastern Jutland on this page, narrated by historian Casper Clemmensen.

Good luck on your Viking expedition!

Set course for the Blue Eastern Jutland and get a taste of the dramatic seafaring life of the Vikings.

Examples of experiences
 Staksrode Forest Wild and dramatic nature, where the ocean meets the fjord As soon as you arrive at Staksrode Forest, you will notice the impressive view over Vejle Fjord. From the forest's characteristic high slopes, you can see all the way to the islands Æbelø and Funen. The wooded slopes are subject to frequent landslides, which has created a particularly hilly landscape with terrace-shaped plateaus, where you will find many rare flowers such as protected orchids. Deep cracks in the ground and overturned trees that lie everywhere, are the result of the great forces of nature that rule here. Due to its large biological diversity, Staksrode Forest has been declared a natural forest. This means that the forest is untouched by humans. Overturned trees are left lying on the ground, which only makes the forest even more impressive.
Hiking in the forest In the 218 acre Staksrode Forest there are three marked hiking trails. The trips are between 2.5 and 5 km long and all three routes starts at the forest's parking lot at the end of Stenhøjsvej. Red route (2.3 km) and blue route (5 km) are both suitable for people with walking difficulties and wheelchair users, despite the hilly landscape. Here you mostly walk on the slopes, through pine and hardwood forest. However the yellow route is definitely the most beautiful. Here you walk through particularly striking nature with many downed trees. The route is popular with both nature lovers and families with children. The kids love to climb the hills and the overturned trees. Even though the route is only 2.4 km long, use some extra time to enjoy the scenery and the view along the way.
The ruin Stagsevold When you follow the yellow route, you will come across the ruins of the medieval castle Stagsevold in the western end of Staksrode Forest. You can reach the historic castle from the 1300s via a small bridge over the old ramparts. Many folk tales relate to the castle. If ruins could speak, they would allegedly tell tales of both pirates, trolls and wars.
Other activities in the forest There are no definite bicycles or riding trails in Staksrode Forest, but cycling and riding on the forest trails are allowed. However, the hilly trails along the coast are only suitable for walking. The combination of pine and hardwood forest and the many overturned trees provide perfect conditions for mushrooms. Staksrode Forest is ideal, if you want to pick delicious mushrooms in the fall. Below the high slopes lies Stenhøj Beach. The particularly clayey soil at Staksrode makes it possible to find many fossils on the beach. Take the kids down to the beach and go hunting. Maybe you can find a shark tooth or lilies. You can also spend the night outdoors in Staksrode Forest. There are two tent sites. One of these has a shelter with sea views and can accommodate 4 to 5 people. The shelter cannot be booked, so the early bird gets the worm. The second tent site in Randskoven Forest must be booked in advance.
Looking for more nature experiences? The Juelsminde peninsula offers many beautiful nature areas. You can find inspiration for your next trip here.
Hiking Paths View on map
 Moesgaard Viking Moot The market stalls offer a wealth of interesting articles, and craftsmen produce fine items of iron, wood, leather, silver, wool, amber, glass, willow, and many other materials. The Viking Moot, an annual event The Viking Moot at Moesgård Beach is an annual event, which takes place on the last weekend in July - the weekend closest to July 28, the feast day of St. Olaf. In the Middle Ages and probably in the Viking Age too, this day was a fair day in Aarhus. Activities for every taste Visitors can try their skills at different activities. Archery is especially popular, and here children and adults compete for the best result. However, there are activities for every taste, and all age groups can take part. Highlights of the Viking Moot The highlights of the Viking Moot are the combating warriors and fierce horsemen, who show their skills on Saturday and Sunday at twelve and three o'clock. The warriors cross swords in formidable battles, incited by a cheering crowd. Horsemen on Icelandic horses ride in procession, and the most daring plunge into wild rides. Entry Adults: DKK 140,-
Free admission for children under the age of 18. #moesgaard #vikingmoot #visitaarhus #visitaarhusregionen
Activities for children View on map
 Samsø Smykker Samsø Smykker is a workshop and shop with handmade jewelry, which is famous for its Scandinavian design. Each unique piece compliment the person who is wearing it. Designer Evelyn Iversen uses nature on Samsø as inspiration and materials from Samsø as a palette, and has since 1991 created a place where unique craftsmanship is top priority. At Samsø Smykker you can find jewelry made of materials such as Blue Pearl (blåmuslingeskaller), Danish amber, local rocks and plenty of other materials. The design is performed in whatever metal you desire and the piece of jewlery is tailored exactly for you! Ever since Samsø Smykker was established, the nature of the island has been Evelyn’s great inspiration for professional work and personal life. Often, she walks around Møgelskår trying to find beautiful rocks, a place where you can sense the ice age which has left grooves in the landscape. Right there in the shallow water, on the coastline full of beautiful, incomparable stones, the ideas are born. It has often fascinated Evelyn that the idea is born at first sight and then magically follows the stone, amber or shells.
The series of jewelry “Azymetrica” are stone and amber in graphic lines along with the handforged metal, colors and shapes creates asymmetry with balance in mind. Local folks as well as guests has over the years enriched her work and given her the opportunity to meet many interesting requests.
Cultural experiences View on map