The Danish Wadden Sea islands evolved from sandbanks, which were incessantly washed up by the sea along the coast of southwest Jutland. Today, Fanø, Mandø and Rømø are mainly vegetated dune and marsh islands. Admire dunes up to 20m in height on their seaward sides or relax on one of the widest beaches in the world!
The word ‘unique’ appears often in descriptions of the Wadden Sea. But when it comes to describing Skallingen, even this word is insufficient, because the encounter with this virgin landscape triggers an immediate sense of humility in the face of nature’s creative power. Visit one of the Wadden Sea’s most dynamic landscapes, where the beach recedes by several meters every year and the dunes may disappear in the sea during a storm.
The coastal mainland holds evidence of the last glacial periods. Stretching along 18 km, moraines can be found, along with active cliffs and a shoreline rich in ancient boulders and pebbles. You should take a closer look at this unusual phenomenon, because it is rare in the Wadden Sea area. Where there is no geest, you will find sea dikes as clear limits between the salty environment in the tidal area and the freshwater environment in the marshes behind the dikes.
Discover the salt marshes – one of the most valuable natural habitats in Denmark. They provide food and shelter for hundreds of species of wildlife. The beauty of these natural features along the Danish coast also inspired the Golden Age painters in the seventeenth century. When travelling in autumn, plan to experience the ‘Black sun’, thousands of starlings dancing in the sky. Margrethe Kog at Tøndermarsken is an important bird sanctuary.
The dynamics of the landscape cannot only be explored at Skallingen peninsula. The estuary of Varde Å, for example, is a fascinating, almost natural estuarine area and Varde Å is the only river where the water can flow unimpeded into the Wadden Sea, without a dike or sluice. At ‘Havsand’ on Rømø a new dune ridge is developing.
Meet the northernmost member of the Wadden Sea World Heritage family.
Visit the National Park Vadehavet, the largest national park in Denmark, with its characteristic open landscape. The shallow sea areas, the tidal channels, dry sands and the Wadden, Skallingen and the Wadden Sea islands are all characterized by a rich and varied nature. Here, beach and dune landscapes can be found along with the marshes, shore meadows, estuaries, areas protected behind dikes and ‘kogs’.
Discover the Horns Rev, or ‘Devil’s Horn’, with its hazardous shallows. Up to 4 meters below sea level is a ship graveyard, where many unfortunate vessels that sailed into this area in the past ended their days on the sea floor.
Visit Tøndermarsk in the autumn and witness the incredible spectacle of over one million starlings taking to the sky to create an impressive display, known as the ‘black sun’. Or get up close to two of Denmark’s largest predators – the harbour seal and the grey seal.
Listen to the stories of man’s relationship with the sea and how we have used nature’s resources, from ancient times to the present day.
Or just watch the constant motion of the tidal water, feel the wind, watch the enormous swarms of migratory birds, the bottom-dwelling animals and, of course, the never-ending horizon.