Ebeltoft city, the "Piece de Resistance" of Djursland, Jylland, Denmark, restored the 1860 Battle Frigate "Jylland", a world class maritime showpiece.
This 675 year old city was not always a touristy destination, except for a few hundred people who came from Copenhagen and Aarhus in the summer season, staying in summer houses along the coast. They found the quaint ways of the "Molbos" (Danish equivalent of hayseeds or bumpkins) and the half-timbered houses embellished by hollyhock roses along cobblestoned streets, to their liking. Indeed, it is within living memory, that a Town crier went around, bellowing the news of the day. Now people come from afar to see the frigate and the tiny perfect city hall from 1789, now a museum complete with the original dungeon, reached through a trap door in the floor of the reception hall.
Ebeltoft is not only steeped in history, but now also the location of The European Film College, which opened here in 1993 and is housed in the hills just on the outskirts of town. Unique restaurants abound in town, as well as outside, in the hills of "Molboland", now part of the Mols Bjerge National Park since 2008.
Air from Copenhagen to Tirstrup airport near Århus city.
Reached by car with a short detour (about 40 km) from main highway between Århus and Ålborg.
address: S.A. Jensens vej 4The restored battle frigate is the largest wooden ship in the world. Located in a large marine centre, renovating and displaying historic vessels. The world's longest wooden ship is resting its enormous keel solidly on concrete, within meters of the sea, where it once fought a battle against the Austro-Prussian fleet, on behalf of King Fredrik the 7th in 1864. Otherwise, its 25 year active life as a commissioned battle frigate of the Royal Danish Navy, the "Jylland" was mostly used to ferry royal parties throughout the Kingdom, including Greenland, and European capitals. In 1886 it made its last of 5 cruises across the Atlantic to the Danish West Indian islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, at which time it had been rebuilt to become a Royal Vessel and the 15 ton cannon in the royal dining room was removed, having been part of the total complement of 30 cannons on board. From 1925, the once mighty pride of Denmark, had a varied life, serving variously as accommodation for students and barracks for soldiers. By 1974 it had gone through no less then five preservation committee's, the last of which, had it towed across Kattegat to Ebeltoft, where it sat rotting further until 1984. After a nationwide fund-raising campaign and a five year rebuilding, the result is a unique monument to a proud seafaring nation. The multi-million-dollar job practically hand built all woodwork, including righting the warped keel with a technically challenging method. The Jylland now stands in all its 3-masted glory as a part of a major marine complex along the waterfront which is part of Ebeltoft city center, and includes other vessels of historic value. Also historic ship restoration workshops.
Town centreThe town centre comprise a romantic fairy-tale like milieu of cobblestoned streets and stuccoed half timbered houses.
The Old City HallMany come year round to get married in the historic city hall and have pictures taken with the uniformed night watch men, who commence their evening walk-around at sundown, with lanterns and cat'o'nine tails, from the old stone steps, flanked by canons. Until the frigate's resurrection ceremony in 1995, the spired city hall was the City hallmark. The city hall now houses a museum
Farvergårdenthe old dye-works in the preserved original courtyard buildings including all the historic implements for dying cloth and yarn. Lovely garden attached.
address: Strandvejen 8Modern glass art in the old custom house Several glass artists have set up studio's across town and have their own individual exhibitions as well. The Glass Museum is part of the marine complex also holding the frigate of Jylland.
Mols BjergeThe area was designated a national park by the Danish government in January 2008.
phone: +45 8633 6150a big zoological park with beautiful nature near Ebeltoft. The newest exhibit is a 1 hectare lion enclosure. Near the lions is the enormous African savanna with giraffes, zebras, ostriches and antelopes, and one can drive through the savanna with a Land Rover. At the entrance is a row of islands with monkeys, and the guests can walk amongst the lemurs. There is also a North American section with black bears and wolves. One time a day, you can see a falconry show.
Biking and hiking in the hills of Mols, now a designated as Mols Bjerge National Park. Most of the hilly park area is captivating and has for a long time worked as an environmental experiment in natural rejuvenation.
Many unique shops around town offer locally produced arts and crafts. Apple schnapps. Bolsjer (homemade candies). Quality souvenirs at the Frigate shop.
While there, drive/bike/hike into the hills of Mols to the Natural Laboratory operated by University of Aarhus and the Ministry of the Environment and used as a field laboratory by scientists and students from universities and institutes of higher learning. There is an ongoing research program in natural land rejuvenation, with interaction of animals, fauna, insects, birds, promoting natural fertilization. There are also long-haired Icelandic sheep and small dark brown Galloway cattle used in grazing research year round, by the Mols Laboratory. Also in this area is Trehøje (lit.: Three-hills) comprising three large Bronze Age burial mounds of which there are 14 in the area.
phone: +45 86 34 66 54address: Nedergade 11A historic drop-boiler, where former times craftsmanship is celebrated and kept alive. Watch how the professionals cook drops and make colorful lollipops or engage yourself. Good variety of drops, known as bolsjer in Danish. Particularly great with kids, but the drop-boiler also has an adults' special: bottles with drops to be filled with vodka so you can make your own hot shots of various flavours.
phone: +45 86 34 60 30address: Villadsgyde 7At Den Skæve Kro, or The Crooked Inn in English, you can eat in the old courtyard where just 50 years ago, huge working horses were readied for the fields outside town and a large farmers family resided in the four winged half-timbered stuccoed building. Both lunch and evening dinners are available with special "menu of the month" and childrens menus. Non-specific cuisine with Danish cuisine inspirations.
phone: +45 86 34 11 23address: Juulsbakke 3A historic place since 1610, run by a small family. Traditional Danish cuisine with modern inspirations. Beautiful and charming timber-framed building, where you can dine in what resembles a living room from former ages, complete with open fireplace and chandelier, or in a cosy gravelled garden space. Brunch, lunch (12-16 hours) or evening dinners (from 16 hours). If you are just interested in a drink, you are equally welcome. A wineshop has recently opened here too and there is a small cheese market every thursday from 16-18 hours.
phone: +45 86344430address: Nedergade 14Many choices for pizzas and pastas, also lasagna, Italian meat dishes, menu of the month and childrens menus. Lunch offers from 12-16 hours. Everything can be had as take-away.
address: Adelgade 35This café is well-known for its old-fashioned ice cream cones with homemade wafles (Danish: kræmmerhuse) and their coffee not the least. Also good choice of great quality dishes and drinks, including burgers, salads, seafood and lunch menus. Cafe Kræmmerhuset is part of Ebeltoft Coffee company, a local coffee importer and roastery of specialty coffees.
address: Adelgade 19A small piece of Italy in the middle of the old town center. Superb cakes of a good variety, some with Danish inspirations, and excellent coffee. Sandwiches and salads with quality ingredients. Also breakfast and brunch.
phone: +45 86 37 00 00address: S. A. Jensens Vej 2-4Brasserie with French and Italian inspirations that serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or just café-style servings. Great view to the Frigatte Jylland. Extended opening hours for most of August (10-22 hours all days)
phone: +45 35 14 11 14address: Skindergade 5A quality eatery situated in an old house with a homely garden in central Ebeltoft, focusing on exposing local produce. Catering to large gatherings is an important part of the kitchen here, but individual guests and small groups are also served in-house. Choose from a lunch buffet, a local tasting menu or have 2-7 course dinners prepared for you. Special menus on Fridays. Have your food prepared as takeaway and enjoy it later on as a picnic treat. Food and taste experiences are at the center of attention at Smag, but this place is much more than a restaurant; small intimate concerts are held almost every week and occasional events of various sorts. Head chef Jakob Vinkler is engaged in and are creative with many other food related activities. The kitchen is open from noon to 16 hours and again from 18 hours.
phone: +45 22 19 92 22address: Stockflethsvej 3A great place to eat or have a drink in the harbour area. The chef gets inspiration from all over the world and it is good quality. Since its opening in 2012, this place has had an agenda of buying locally and using organic products as much as possible. This includes beer and soda from Ebeltoft Gårdbryggeri microbrewery. The food here is homemade, including the bread, dips and fries. The coffee is roasted in-house and is really good. If the weather permits, you can sit outside too.
phone: +45 93 87 84 00address: Havnevej 10COrganic brasserie and cafe at the yacht harbour with a large outside terrace and a good view, recently opened in the spring of 2016. Branded tongue-in-cheek as a Jutlandic-French café, the great food here is made from local produce from one of the owners nearby farm, with French inspired Tarte Flambées, a local delicacy of the Alsace region. Also many other dishes. Goat-milk ice cream and goat-meat is a specialty of this place, but pork and beef is also served. Good selection of childrens menus.
KampmannNice surroundings, with a large outside elevated terrace and a good view across the bay area. You can choose to just dine or have a drink here, you do not have to combine with a museum trip.
phone: +45 86 34 07 77address: Vibæk Strandvej 12aA bakery and café at the coastal road of Strandvejen a kilometre or so north of the central town. Perfect for breakfast. Don't be put off by the ordinary appearance of this place, the products on offer here is great quality. Good selection of breads, including gluten-free on frost, and Danish rugbrød and rundstykker. Several types of kringle, Danish pastries, cold confectionary cream cakes and småkager. Try a Hindbærsnitte with raspberry filling or a Napoleonshat with marzipan and chocolate, both Danish specialty cakes. Smørrebrød and sandwiches can also be had and pre-ordered here.
phone: +45 86 36 22 00address: Hovedgaden 16, Femmøller StrandAt the large historic beachside hotel of Molskroen, 7 km west of Ebeltoft towards the village of Femmøller, you can dine in both a brasserie and a Hereford Beefstouw steak house restaurant. A Hereford Beefstouw is a celebrated Danish steak house chain. The brasserie at Molskroen is excellent and equally celebrated. Many people come here just to dine, you do not have to stay at the hotel. There are many events at the hotel, including musical arrangements, special menus and wine tastings.
phone: +45 8634 2053address: Egedalsvej 5About 10 min walk up the hill. Architectural striking. A sight in its own, but with high prices as an hostel-to-be.
Excellent camping facilities on a good beach, within walking distance (15-20min. of town center).
Several fine B&Bs in town and just outside.
Two good hotels in town, in the 3+ Star category:
phone: +45 8634 3300address: Nordre Strandvej 3On beach next to marina with restored Frigate Jylland.
phone: +45 8634 3222address: Vibæk Strandvej 4
phone: +45 4586362200address: Hovedgaden 16, Femmøller StrandA large high-end hotel and much appraised restaurant near the village of Femmøller, a 10 minute drive west of Ebeltoft center along the coast.
phone: +45 31 90 00 65address: Skovgårde Bygade 4This local micro-brewery is situated about 10 km north-east of Ebeltoft in an old farm near the coastal hill of Jernhatten in the national park area. Visit the summer café here in June-August every day of the week, except Sundays, and enjoy their great beer. EG also produces soda pops and lemonade. Their brews can be purchased across Denmark in well-assorted shops and select bars but on-line sales are also possible. Not far from Ree Safari Park.
- The North Sea Trail passes through Ebeltoft. It is an international coastal hiking (or cycling) route through Scotland, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. From Ebeltoft you can head north towards Grenå or take the ferry to Zealand to continue east.