Denmark is one of the jewels of the Scandinavian region. It draws in millions of visitors with its design-mad capital of Copenhagen, its intriguing North Sea and Baltic coastlines, fairy-tale backcountry, and Viking museums. During the winter, it can plummet to below freezing and there’s snow on the ground. During the summer, it can be seriously scorching. But what are the warmest places in Denmark?
That’s precisely what we’re here to find out. This guide will scour the country’s peninsulas and islands, its shorelines and rolling hills, all in search of the spots that are sure to get you peeling off the layers when the summer is in full swing.
It’s got a good mix of places. There are small regional towns that have seen peak temperatures for the country in their time. There are bigger cities where the balmiest days can be tempered with swims in the marina and whatnot. There are also options near to the Baltic and North Sea coastlines, offering sand stretches and wavy seas for cooling off. Let’s begin…
Holstebro – for the highest temperature recorded
Little Holstebro begins our list of the warmest places in Denmark. It scorches to the top here because it can lay claim to the single highest mercury level ever witnessed in this corner of Scandinavia. Yep, in the midst of a particularly balmy summer way back in 1975, this gritty trading hub on the Jutland Peninsula recorded a peak temp of 36.4 C – that’s a whopping 97.5 F. You know, Caribbean worthy stuff!
Home to just 36,000 people, the small town actually has some clues as to its aspirations towards tropical warmth – a ring of palm trees rises in pots around the central square next to a babbling fountain and open-air cafes that come alive from May to October. The locals make the most of their summers here, too, with a culture and theatre festival that runs throughout June and August.
If you happen to be in town when the thermometers start threatening to beat the old record of the 70s, then you might want to look further afield. Thankfully, there’s plenty that can help you cool off in the Midtjylland region of which Holstebro is a part…
The best play would be to head west straight to the North Sea coast. There’s about 100 miles of uninterrupted shoreline to play with there, going from the fishing village of Thyboron in the north to the lighthouse at Blavandshuk Fyr (Denmark’s westernmost point) in the south.
Odense – for the highest temperature recorded in the 21st century
The third largest city in the country after Aarhus and Copenhagen, Odense is perhaps best known as the birthplace of legendary children’s author Hans Cristian Anderson. However, it’s also the largest city of the island of Funen in the heart of the country, and a top cultural hub with literary museums and children’s museums and more.
Temperature wise, Odense claims the highest mercury level to come across Denmark since the turn of the millennium. It was the end of June 2006 and the folk here were enduring (or enjoying?) a lengthy heatwave. At one point on the 25th day of the month, things managed to hit a whopping 35.9 C (96.6 F). That’s a mere half a degree off the overall record temperature for the country, set in Jutland’s Holstebro in 1975 (see above).
So, Odense can get balmy. However, it can also get cold. Record lows in January have been recorded at a whopping 21.6 C under – that’s -6.9 F! Snow is common, too, starting with about two days of the white stuff in November and peaking at around six days in January. Brrr…We know what time of year we’d prefer to visit!
Copenhagen – for the most recent highest temperature record
No list of the warmest places in Denmark could be complete without a mention of the capital. And we’re not just talking because this is one of the great European hotspots for culture, for food, for nightlife, and sightseeing. We also mean because it’s a town that gets positively balmy in the midsummer…
That’s proven by the fact that Copenhagen claimed the most recent 2021 temperature record for the country. Things soared to a shorts-inducing, wooly-hat-busting 30.8 C (87.44 F) in the middle of June in the capital. Now, that might not trump some of the other warmest places in Denmark on this list but remember that this is urban weather and things always feel hotter between built-up streets of palaces and bars.
Thankfully, Copenhagen has a good offering of activities for hot days. We love the open-air swimming baths at Havnebadet Islands Brygge. They ring a series of brackish pools on the main harborside with decks and lane pools and even jump-off points, all linked to grassy riverbanks where you can sit in the shade of the beech trees for lunchtime picnics.
Alternatively, head out to the Baltic coast. There are some stunning beaches in the vicinity of the town, including the dune backed Amager Strandpark and the northern beaches of Skodsborg. When you return, be certain to settle in Nyhavn for a beer – the colorful quaysides there hit their zenith on the warm summer evenings when everyone’s clinking drinks, listening to jazz, and basking in the view!
Slagelse – for the third highest ever recorded temperature in Denmark
Tiny little Slagelse is home to 34,000 people. It sits on the western side of the island of Zealand, where it spills down to the Great Belt waterway with its wooded hills and rolling farm meadows. The town itself is a compact place that’s thought to have been inhabited since Viking times – a haunting standing stone castle and a number of unearthed Pagan relics attest to its old age.
The other reason you might have heard of Slagelse is that it’s the place that currently holds the record for the third highest temperature ever recorded in Denmark. Now, it’s hardly a recent record. The pinnacle of 35.9 C (96.44 F) was notched up way back in 1911. That was before World War One even, when Frederick VIII was still on the national throne! But it’s a record nonetheless and it earns Slagelse a place on this list of the warmest places in Denmark.
If you’re around and the heat starts going skywards like it did some 110 years ago, then you should think about trading Slagelse town center for the beaches and coves that are just a little to the west. They come in the form of the Drosselbjerg Strand and the Svenstrup Strand, which have powdery white sands that slope into well-protected water channels, great for sea kayaking and swimming.
If it’s not too balmy, then be sure not to miss the local Trelleborg Viking Fortress. It’s a fantastic round hill fort that was raised in the late 10th century. Regular re-enactment battles go on there, and the site is open to visitors with an informative audio guide accompaniment.
Gedser Odde – for being the southernmost point in Denmark
Last but not least comes the place that we’d say has the potential to see the next big temperature records in this corner of Scandinavia. Cue Gedser Odde. As the southernmost point in the country, and therefore the nearest to the Equator, logic dictates that this one has the power to push the thermometers higher than just about anywhere between Jutland and Zealand.
It’s also a pretty striking location that we think is sure to impress visitors looking to get off the beaten track in Denmark. You’ll have to travel to the lesser-known isle of Falster to reach it. The Gedser Odde is right on the southern edge of the landmass there, fragmenting into a series of heavily eroded moraine cliffs and dramatic boulder-strewn beaches.
The landscapes seen here today are actually leftovers from the last Ice Age, when colossal glaciers carved up the plates of earth and stone in the Baltic basin. Expect to see seven-meter cliffs and pebble beaches aplenty, not to mention some of Denmark’s most impressive birding reserves – skuas, loons, migratory geese, and common scoters are all on show.
To laze, head north just a little to the lovely Gedesby Strand. That’s the main beach of the tiny resort town of Gedesby. It’s long, powdery, clean, and downright lovely when the sun beats down from May onwards.
The warmest places in Denmark – our conclusion
Denmark isn’t known as a particularly balmy corner of Europe. It’s not up there with the Greek isles, olive-covered Sicily, or the Spanish Costa del Sol with summertime highs that touch the 40s C and the 100s F. However, there are some places that are sure to have you cracking out the sunscreen and dropping the woolies in the middle of the summer months in this part of Scandinavia. They’re the warmest places in Denmark, which range from the southern beaches of Gedser Odde to the record-holding town of Holstebro in Jutland.