The Danes once roamed half the world over, trading, buying and brining back goods from far-flung countries east and west – from the riotous colours of Constantinople to the white windswept straits of Greenland. And now, cheerfully settled in to a more peaceful kind of life filled with hygge, Denmark is known as the happiest place on earth.
This predominantly flat, large-skied land boasts incredible coastlines and abundance in nature; from the ancient heaths, fjord and peat bogs (where ancient bodies are known to turn up) of Jutland’s west stretch, to the Lammefjord area just north of Copenhagen, with roads that are gentle and meandering, and fields painted with yellow rapeseed flowers, there is a definite sense of the ancient in the air.
Famous for promoting sustainable living and healthy, organic lifestyles, Denmark is also undisputed King of the bike, and there is no better place to see this than in the capital, Copenhagen. The wide, clean roads have given way almost totally to bike lanes, and indeed there is no better way to get around. The smells from bakeries and their freshly made pastries perforate the air and the famously beautiful coloured houses from the Nyhavn (New Port), now 350 years old, never fail to steal the show, whether in sunlight or in shade.
And for food, there is always Noma – need we say more? A quiet but pioneering capital in the world, its presence is no more diminished now the longboats are harboured. After all, here be Vikings.