Tisvildeleje is a picturesque area with sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and a stunning forest. It is part of the Danish Riviera – a stretch of sandy dunes and beaches spreading over 70 km along the north coast of Zealand between Nivå and Hundested.
The Tisvilde Hegn area contains Zealand’s largest heath (Melby Overdrev) and Denmark’s fifth largest forest that stretches from Tisvildeleje along the coast to Asserbo plantation. Tisvilde Hegn is also part of the National Park Kongernes Nordsjælland. The forest is popular with mountain bikers, horse riders, and people who enjoy a good stroll.
In the 16th century, the drifting sand was ravaging the landscape and endangering habitats living close by. Because of that, many farms were abandoned, and Tisvilde was severely threatened by depopulation. As a result, in the 17th and 18th centuries, efforts were made to stop the sand from progressing further, and thus different types of grass were planted, followed later by the planting of the forest you see today.
The forest is home to numerous plants and species, some unique to this area. I can’t wait for spring and all the bug-related macro photography I will be doing there! To all the anthills we saw there, here I come! 🙂
But the forest is also hiding a couple of interesting landmarks, among them Asserbo castle ruins. The castle was built in the location of an old monastery; however, it later became abandoned because of the drifting sand (that it also burned down probably didn’t help it either!). Nowadays, there is not much of the castle left as its stone bricks were recycled to be used as building material by the locals.
Many other nearby landmarks also seem to be worth a visit, although I haven’t been to these places myself yet. Among them is the magical spring – Helenekilde, which is said to heal the sick, or the abandoned sandy village of Torup. Another interesting relic you can find there is an ancient road dated back to 500 BC, which was found in 1940. But that is not the only artifact from old times you can stumble upon. There are also 59 burial mounds from the Bronze Age scattered around the forest. Three of the most popular are called the Hare Hills (Harehøjene) because they look like a hare trail.
If you are interested in what else there is to see in the area, check out Naturstyrelsen’s website for a map and description 🙂
How to get there
The easiest way to get there is by car; there are a couple of parking lots around. However, during the high season, it might be problematic to find a parker spot in the middle of the day, as it is a pretty popular area.
There is also a train station near the beach. You can take an S-tog to Hillerød St. and then switch to the local train heading to Tisvildeleje St.
If you like biking, then an interesting option would be to take Nordkystcykelstien (Rute 47 or The North Coast route). The trip goes through some unique natural areas, with great views, charming small coastal towns, exquisite beaches (Tisvildeleje among them), and many other sights. Route 47 is a trip between Elsinore and Hundested or vice versa. Both cities can be reached easily by train from Copenhagen.