In Aarhus, you won’t have to go far from the city – or even leave it at all – to be active in nature. Here, you can sail on the equivalent of a Viking highway, go on a hike, bike ride or jog in gorgeous natural surroundings and ride Icelandic horses under green beech trees or along sandy beaches. You can even try staying the night under the open sky and cook on an open fire, the way it was done in the Iron Age!

    Since Aarhus is near the sea, the City of Smiles naturally offers a long list of outdoor activities to do with water. For example, try water skiing or go for a swim in the open sea. Here are our suggestions for some of the best outdoor activities in Aarhus.

    1

    Canoeing or kayaking on Aarhus River (Aarhus Å)

    Go sailing on the Viking equivalent of the E45

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    Rent a canoe or kayak and experience Denmark’s second largest city from a different, but no less exciting, angle as you gently glide up and down Aarhus River (Aarhus Å). The long river, which twists through the City of Smiles, from the pulsating centre to the quiet area around Brabrand Lake (Brabrand Sø), is perfect for canoeing and kayaking with friends or family, no matter your age.

    You can either use your own canoe or kayak, or you can rent one from Den Blå Rambla Kanoudlejning. When you sail down Aarhus River, you'll soon feel as though you are surrounded by nature, even though you are actually in the middle of the city.

    2

    Cycling around Brabrand Lake (Brabrand Sø)

    Bring your family along on an idyllic bike ride on Brabrandstien

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    Around Brabrand Lake (Brabrand Sø), you'll find a beautiful natural area where you can experience unique bird life, rare animals and charming allotment gardens. The lake is a stone’s throw from Aarhus centre, and it's easy to reach without having to rely on a car or public transport. A paved path of around 12.5 miles (Brabrandstien) circles the whole lake, and so the area is frequently used by cyclists, roller skaters and so on.

    Since the route is relatively flat, most people will be able to cycle around the lake. Consider bringing a packed lunch in your bicycle basket, which you can enjoy on the banks of the lake – just look out for the hungry ducks!

    Lokasi: 8220 Brabrand, Denmark

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    3

    Aarhus Watersports Complex

    Bring your bathing suit, towel and good mood!

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    Aarhus Watersports Complex calls itself the best playground in the city – and for good reason! Water enthusiasts of all ages can try out all sorts of different water sport activities. You can challenge yourself on the water with activities like cable-pulled water skiing, wakeboarding or sitting on a kneeboard.

    The 640-foot-long cable system works like a sort of ski lift, which pulls eager guests over the water at different speeds, depending on the level. You can find Aarhus Watersports Complex at Bassin 7 at the Harbour Bath (Havnebadet) at Aarhus Ø.

    Lokasi: Irma Pedersens Gade, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

    Buka: Opening hours vary by season

    Telepon: +45 28 25 26 71

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    4

    Guided city tours in the centre

    See Aarhus’ historic attractions and enjoy the anecdotes of the guides

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    Aarhus is an old city, with a history that dates back to the Viking Age, when Harald Bluetooth built a huge rampart around the Viking town of Aros to protect it against German enemies. Much later in the history of Aarhus, the city had to surrender to German troops during World War II, during which they occupied the capital of Jutland for five years.

    You can learn about this and much more with a guided tour of the centre of Aarhus, which will take you past some of the city’s most important historic attractions. Most trips start at Banegårdspladsen and take you past the city’s architectonic town hall, the cobblestoned and picturesque Møllesti as well as Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke), with a crypt that is home to the oldest preserved stone church in the Nordic countries.

    Lokasi: Banegårdspladsen 1, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

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    Shelter trip in Lisbjerg Forest (Lisbjerg Skov)

    Sleep under the open sky at a shelter inspired by the Iron Age

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    In the new part of Lisbjerg Forest (Lisbjerg Skov), you'll find five shelters and a playground inspired by the Iron Age. All around, the area is set up like an old village society, with fire rings, palisade hedges, moats and entrance gates. At the highest point, you'll find a lookout tower, which you can climb to enjoy a phenomenal view of Lisbjerg Forest, with its open plains, mystical lakes, deep gravel pits and twisting paths.

    If you want to explore the forest, you can follow one of the two marked hiking paths, which will take you on an adventure through thickets and shrubberies. Rubbish stands have been set up at the shelter site, and there is even a primitive toilet. However, there is no water at the site, so make sure to bring plenty from home.

    Lokasi: Lisbjerg Skov, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

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    6

    Mountain biking along the Marselisborg Trail

    15.5 miles of varied difficulty and beautiful nature close to the water

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    In the Marselisborg Forests (Marselisborgskovene), you'll find a 15.5-mile-long road network consisting of various trails for mountain bike riders. The trails lead through different types of forest, with varying surfaces, which include everything from loose dirt and gravel to forest floors covered with roots and large stones.

    In other words, this means that the difficulty on the route changes considerably, and you may also encounter obstacles suck as toppled tree trunks, waterways and steep climbs of up to 2,000 feet. You will have the option of taking an alternative route when you reach the difficult challenges. Actually, the MTB Marselis app can show you which trail is ideal for you and your level and pace.

    Lokasi: Marselisborg Skoven, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

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    7

    Rice Icelandic horses at Møllegaard

    Experience Aarhus from horseback

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    Around 6 miles outside Aarhus, in the small village of Ormslev, you can find the stud farm Møllegaard. The small country house, which dates back to 1860, has a unique location on Ormslevbakken, amid beautiful nature with green meadows, deep forests and bubbling brooks.

    Møllegaard offers tours on Icelandic horses year round. Depending on your level of experience, you can ride into the beautiful natural surroundings in a small group, visiting places like Brabrand Lake (Brabrand Sø), Årslev Meadow Lake (Årslev Engsø) the old Hammel Track (Hammelbane) or True Forest (True Skov). Most trips last between 1.5 and 2 hours, but if you are an experienced rider, you can also sign up for an all-day trip, which goes to Fløjstrup and Moesgaard forest and beach.

    Lokasi: Ormslevvej 325, 8260 Viby J, Denmark

    Buka: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 10 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm.

    Telepon: +45 23 30 16 50

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    Go for a walk or jog in Riis Forest (Riis Skov)

    Jogging routes for all and magical lookout points over the Bay of Aarhus

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    Close to Aarhus centre, you'll find the small forest of Riis Forest (Riis Skov). Despite its modest size, the forest is home to a number of hiking trails, which invite you to spend hours hiking all across the forest. You can put on your jogging clothes and set out on one of the two recommended jogging trails in the forest, which are 2 and 3 miles, respectively.

    On the subject of physical activity, you can find recreational areas with fitness equipment at both ends of the forest. Whether you decide to run or walk in Riis Forest, don’t forget to stop and admire the unique view of the Bay of Aarhus (Aarhus Bugt), Mols Bjerge and Aarhus Ø.

    Lokasi: 8240 Risskov, Denmark

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    9

    Aarhus Sea Lane (Aarhus Havbane)

    For good swimmers who love the salty open sea

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    Right at the end of the neighbourhood Aarhus Ø, you'll find Aarhus Sea Lane (Aarhus Havbane), a swimming lane dedicated to competent swimmers who appreciate the ability to throw themselves in the open sea for some crawl stroke. The 1650-foot-long sea swimming lane is marked with yellow and orange buoys, which serve two purposes: They mark the lane for swimmers and they tell ships not to enter the area.

    Even though the lane is open for everyone, it's recommended that only people with a certain level of experience use it since swimming in the open sea can't be compared to swimming from the beach. If you get tired of swimming laps, you can explore the area under water, which is home to lots of marine life.

    Lokasi: Jette Tikjøbs Pl., 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

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    Harbour boat trip with MS Tunø

    Experience Aarhus from the water on an old wooden ship with lots of history

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    Jump on board the cultural-historic ship MS TUNØ and sail back to a time when sailboats anchored in Aarhus River (Aarhus Å) and were loaded with cargo from Toldboden. On this unusual harbour boat tour, you can listen to the experienced guide tell you interesting stories about Aarhus in the old days to the sound of the ship’s two-cylinder 1965 Callesen engine.

    The trip takes you around the inner harbour and on to Bassin 7, where you'll find the popular harbour bath. From here, MS TUNØ passes Aarhus Ø, where you'll be told about the plans for a new district. Finally, the trip will go to the old wooden ship port and all the way to the end of the atmospheric marina.

    Lokasi: Ester Aggerbos Gade 80A, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

    Buka: Opening hours vary by season

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