I have been secretely dreaming of a trip to Scandinavia for the past years and despite the fact, that until this summer I had never been there before , I knew that we were meant to be. From interior design to pastries and pictures of the rural and lonely beaches, Denmark had my heart way before our first face to face encounter.
„We are not going there for the pictures, are we?“ my husband asked looking at me sceptically, after making the rather spontaneous reservation for a gorgeous house in a little town called Nysted, located on the south eastern cost of Lolland.
„Nooooo! Of course not!! I have to admit, that I couldn´t really look him into the eye while answering. But to my defense , just look how fotogenic Denmark is!!!
Nysted and Surroundings
If you are looking for a spot to find peace and quietness, then Nysted is your place to go . It is the cutest little harbour town, with a beautiful Flora and Fauna and has a long and sandy beach, that is perfect for afternoon walks or building sandcastles.
There are numerous sights and activities offered for families, like the Knuthenborg Safari Park in Maribo , The Medieval Centre in Nykobing or a sailing trip with a wonderful little nostalgic postboat on Nakskov Fjord, which are all in a driving distance of maximum 30 minutes , so you will never have a dull day , if you don´t want to.
Since our kids are still very little , we decided to leave out most of the expensive tourist attractions and opted for long days at the beach, collecting little treasures , building castles and dipping our feet into the wild and untamed waters of the eastern sea ; picking berries and wild flowers , strolling through the idyllic little harbour town and soaking in the the wild and enchanted atmosphere and the tranquilty, that seems to radiate from every little corner in Denmark.
Island of Møn
About an hour ago from Nysted , surrounded by woods and steap hills, lies a breathtaking 6 km long stretch of chalk cliffs , called Mons Klint . Mons Klint was most definetly one of the highlights of our trip to Denmark. Although it was quite an adventure to climb the longest and steapest stairway in all Denmark up and down with our three little ones, the magical almost sublime little gem of a beach , awaiting us at the bottom was definetly worth every effort. The kids collected wilted wooden branches and beautiful little stones, while we were sitting on an old tree trunk watching the wild waves of the Baltic sea hit the shore.
Besides it´s famous cliffs , the Danish Island Mon has a lot of things to offer for families . It´s the perfect place to be explored by bike and offers several little stops on the way ,such as charming pottery shops , a nostalgic little candy factory ,where kids can make their own lollipops or a visit to a local farm where you can watch how the famous Moen Ice Cream is made and test all the delicious variations under the shade of some trees.
Copenhagen with small children :Yes or No?
Copenhagen is just a 2 hour ride away from Nysted and if you are travelling with older kids, your partner or probably just one little child , I wouldn´t hesitate a moment to recommend you a trip to Denmark´s lovely capital .It is one of the most beautiful and stylish european cities I have seen in quite a while, but with three kids under the age of five, our trip to Copenhagen was a bit of a desaster to be honest and my heart still hurts a little when I think about all the beautiful cafés , restaurants and sights we didn´t get to see .
You could probably blame it on the rainy and cold weather and the fact that after spending almost a week in one of the sleepiest towns of all Denmark , Copenhagen came on us like a cultural shock . The beautiful yet noisy streets and all the crowded spots combined with the needs of three little kids who wanted to be carried, breastfed or needed to go to the toilet and basically all of it at the same time , just wasn´t a really succesful combo. I didn´t even have time to take out my camera and that means something. But basically that´s the deal when travelling with kids, you can spend days and weeks planning everything meticulously just to realize that it was never in your control anyway if things end up in a chaos after all.
Nevertheless , we are sure that it wasn´t our last trip either to this beautiful city and we can´t wait to go back once the circumstances are bit easier (or as soon as we have found a babysitter who is willing to watch all three of them for a weekend. Anyone?!)
However,if you are planning a trip to Copenhagen with children , I would recommend you to stay at least one night and to get a Copenhagen Card.
The Card is valid for 24 hours and yields free entry to many of the most popular places to go with kids, such as the Tivoli , the Zoo , the Aquarium or the zoological Museum. Also it enables you to use all public transport for free. Kids under the age of 5 can use the card of their parents for free without having to pay a surcharge.You can buy it online and have it sent to your home in advance. This will save you some time standing in line at the tourist office.
Just like everything else in Denmark , food is pretty expensive. No matter if you want to eat out in a restaurant or if just want to get some things from the local supermarket , expect to pay at least double or even triple the price , you would pay in other European countries ( except Sweden and Norway).
The good news is though ,that most Danish supermarkets ( e.g. Netto) offer an incredibly large variety of fresh vegetables and whole foods in general. From broccoli sprouts and quinoa salds to gojiberry granola or pomegranate infused cider , I found so many great things , that made my foodie heart skip a beat and kept me busy experimenting during our stay.
So besides some exceptionally good french fries and soft ice , we cooked most of our meals at home, as our house had a well equipped kitchen and a wonderful porch , which was just perfect for a barbecue , al fresco dining or a glass of wine after putting the kids to bed .
A Trip to Remember
When we took off for our vacation , I had a really clear picture in mind of how Denmark would and should be. And in looking back I think I can say that Denmark was everything what I had expected it to be and even more.
After a very stressful year , coming to here felt like a bit of a blessing.The rural forests , the refreshing sea air, and this feeling of hygge , that magically seemed to be all over the place made me feel at ease from the very first day .
We spent our days at the beach, talking, playing , taking pictures, just being together while soaking up the beauty of nature and our night on the porch , gathered aroun the fire and cuddled in blankets ,listening to the sound of the ocean and looking for shootingstars.
It is the perfect place to take things slowly, to get some rest and to clear your mind.
Thank you; Denmark for being so good to us!
With or without Babysitter, we can´t wait to return.