Scandinavia, perhaps all the way to the North Cape. It is a destination that captures the imagination of almost every cyclist. On the way to Scandinavia, the route always passes through Germany. Northern Germany is not everyone's favorite for cycling. Along the coast it is often windy, completely flat and a bit boring. Though, for those who love the sea, this is just a perfect route. For others, there are plenty of alternatives going inland through forests and farmlands.
Once in Denmark, the landscape changes and cycling becomes even more fun. Denmark is like a playground for cyclists with hundreds of free shelter, well-marked routes, quiet roads and cute little villages. After Denmark, Norway or Sweden await!
We have tried quite a few routes between Norway and the Netherlands. On roller skis, we partly followed the Jutland route and the North Sea cycling route. When we cycled to Norway in winter, we followed part of the European Divide. In 2023, Olivier cycled from Copenhagen to Belgium on a self-made route, the "Forest and Farmers Route." In the Komoot collection below, we have collected the most beautiful cycling routes on the way to Scandinavia.
There are many campsites and "zimmer frei" spots to be found in Germany, but wild camping will be more challenging in Germany. It is not allowed and finding a spot is not easy. The landscape is very open with little forest. The safest way is to use the Warmshowers network or ask a farmer if you can pitch your tent on his land. We have done that a lot in Germany and are always allowed.
Once in Denmark, finding a camping spot is no problem. Just download the "Shelter" app that offers hundreds of places to pitch your tent or sleep in a shelter. Wild camping outside shelter spots is prohibited though, but with so many spots available in the app, you won't even feel the need to look for another spot.
The summer months are obviously the best time to bike to Scandinavia. That does not mean it is not possible in the other seasons, but it is challenging. We cycled to Norway in the winter of 2022 and had 25 out of 30 days of rain in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The only advantage is that all shelter sites in Denmark are always free. In spring and summer, on the other hand, Denmark is wonderful for cycling.
Northern Germany is densely populated with many villages and towns. Every day there are plenty of supermarkets, bakeries and cafes. Once in Denmark, the landscape becomes wilder and more vast. It is still very developed with many small villages, but you will cycle more alone and the distances between supermarkets are a little longer. Still, you won't have any problems finding food or water.
Drinking water, especially in Denmark, can be found at every church. The water from the taps is drinkable and there are usually public toilets where you can also refill water. Even in Germany, the water at churches is usually drinkable, but it is still smart to ask a local.
Danish people still eats a lot of meat, especially pork. Moreover, you will encounter these pig farms everywhere as you cycle through Denmark. In addition, Denmark is famous for its pastries, which you can find at one of the many bakeries.
Germany is cheap, but Denmark is very expensive. Prices in Denmark are often similar to those in Norway although you can also find Aldi and Lidl in Denmark where prices are a bit better.
Germany has the euro while Denmark has the Danish krone. It is linked to the exchange rate of the euro and is therefore almost always the same. For €1, you get 7.5 DKK.