Discover the heart of Denmark on a touring holiday of the Trekanten region
Gallery reference view
From country towns and regional cities to wonderful wildlife and beautiful beaches, a short break in Denmark offers a huge range of possibilities that will appeal to all walks of life. And to really gain an insight into the country and its culture, what could be better than a visit to its very heart? The Trekanten region, located in the eastern part of the Jutland peninsular, is at Denmark's geographical centre and as such makes a splendid base from which to discover the essence of this thoroughly laid-back and enticing country.
Trekanten (also known as The Triangle) is a peaceful and little-known area that lies between the towns of Kolding, Vejle and Fredericia. With these charming and historic settlements being in such close proximity - and with rolling, unspoilt countryside in between - Trekanten is an ideal destination for a leisurely touring holiday. Visitors can choose to travel at their own relaxed pace either by car or (in true Danish style) by bicycle, enjoying plenty of distractions along the way. With a host of rewarding experiences to be found at every turn, a touring holiday in Trekanten is the perfect introduction both to East Jutland and the country as a whole.
A 'must' on any touring itinerary in Trekanten are the monuments at Jelling, which is one of Denmark's most important historical sites. Created in the 10th Century by the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harold Bluetooth, the site contains a huge, ship-shaped stone circle as well as some important rune stones and a church. Its relevance is such that the site was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 - thereby ranking it alongside other iconic monuments like Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. Jelling is not the only memorial to Harold Bluetooth, however: the Bluetooth communication technology is named in honour of his efforts to unite the Scandinavian powers, with the logo representing a combination of the runic equivalent to the letters H and B.
Another of the region's key attractions is the TRAPHOLT museum of art and design in Kolding. In addition to its permanent collections of modern artworks and 20th Century Danish furniture, the museum has a sculpture park with works by Danish contemporary artists and also stages revolving exhibitions of art, design and handicrafts. Other highlights include the summer cottage belonging to Arne Jacobsen (the legendary designer best known for his iconic 'Egg' chairs), which can be visited on a guided tour; and a museum shop stocked with designer gifts and homewares. Kolding is also the starting point for the Vejen Art Route, which introduces visitors to area's various galleries, studios and other places of artistic interest.
For something a little more outdoorsy, the area around the pretty town of Vejle is filled with all kinds of recreational opportunities, from activities like golf and cycling to indulgent spa treatments at a wellness hotel or lazy afternoons on a sun-kissed, sandy beach. Just outside the town lies the Kongens Kær wetland park, a recent addition to Vejle's list of attractions that's home to nature trails and picnic areas where visitors may be lucky enough to spot the rare white-tailed eagles that hunt across the wetlands. Vejle itself has plenty of shopping and dining opportunities and is so attractive that it's been labelled ‘Denmark's cosiest town’!
The largest town in Trekanten is historic Fredericia, which was established in 1650 by the Danish King Frederick III (after whom it was named). Fredericia began life as a fortified encampment and, thanks to its central location and large port, developed to such prominence that it almost became the Danish capital (though Copenhagen eventually won the honour on account of its larger population). Today, Fredericia is known for its well-preserved ramparts, which form a scenic park around the town centre, as well as its beautiful buildings, café culture and pleasant, typically Scandinavian ambiance. There are also cultural attractions galore - from live music and modern art to museums and the largest play-park in Denmark - plus nearby wooded countryside, sandy beaches and a modern, bustling harbour-front to explore.
Fredericia's former military might is still evident to this day, with plenty of relics being visible all over the city. One of the town's must-do activities is the hour-long stroll around the well-preserved, defensive ramparts. Here visitors will discover cannons, a citadel and statues of soldiers and other prominent figures from the city's turbulent past. Anyone visiting in early July will enjoy a spectacular commemoration of these more violent days. Each year on 6th July, a major festival takes place to mark the anniversary of a significant battle that took place in Fredericia in 1849. The victory is celebrated with cannon salutes, processions and all kinds of entertainment and festivities staged in the town centre (including a four-day Jazz & Blues Festival). Fredericia's other notable attractions include the Gunpowder Tower (the oldest military building in town); the family-friendly Madsby Play Park; and the beautiful, blue-flag beach at nearby Skærbæk.
Trekanten's central location at the heart of the country also provides for easy access to the many attractions in the wider area, such as Sønderskov castle, the Viking Centre in Ribe, Hans Christian Andersen's house in Odense or - most famous of all - the world-class attraction of LEGOLAND (which is just an hour's drive away).
The area is easily accessible via the nearby gateways of Aarhus, Billund and Esbjerg, all of which offer frequent and convenient connections to Fredericia by bus and train. Billund and Aarhus airports are served from the UK by Ryanair which means it's both easy and affordable to arrange a visit to this fascinating and appealing corner of Denmark.
DFDS Seaways offers a regular service of overnight departures between Harwich and Esbjerg in West Jutland, with prices starting from £249, based on two people and one car travelling one way with a sea view cabin. The drive from Esbjerg to Trekanten takes less than two hours.