The Ancient Road South: From Jelling to Vojens, 6 days

Magnificent scenery and compelling history make The Ancient Road a very special walking experience. People have been walking and riding on this path for hundreds of years - armies and nobles, stud drivers, pilgrims and other good folk. The age of the road is estimated to be dating for a period of 4000 years, but written sources are not available until the beginning of the Middle Ages.

This route on the Ancient Road, passes along the glacial ridge of East Jutland, from the King's City Jelling, and ends at the statue of the Skrydstrup-lady in Vojens. The route leads you through the beautiful Vejle river valley, with exciting remains from Viking king Harald Bluetooth’s time. Past the impressive Klebæk heights where three ages meet, through the borderland at Skibelund woods, and alongside the stream, Kongeåen, which winds gently through the landscape. You walk over hills, fields and meadows, through forests and small towns. Along the way you will stay at hotels, inns and B&B’s, and your luggage will be driven to the next place of accommodation, so you can enjoy the walks.

  • Enjoy the walk while your luggage is driven to the next accommodation.
  • Experience the old king’s town of Jelling with the beautifully restored church, jelling stones and burial mounds.
  • Experience nature along the ancient route along Jutland's glacial ridge and watershed.
  • The route goes through the undulating Vejle river valley, with interesting remains from Viking times
  • Visit the living museum at Bindeballe Købmandsgård, an old grocers store which has been restored
  • Experience the borderland at Skibelund woods and the beautiful scenery along Kongeåen stream

Day 1: Arrivalin Jelling

The tour starts in Jelling, where you will check in to your place of accommodation. The place of residence is either in the town itself or in a lovely old inn south of the town. If you arrive early, we recommend that you explore the town, with the beautifully restored church, the Jelling runestone, vestiges of a giant stone ship settling, thought to be a burial formation, and the Viking king's burial mounds. (- / - / D)

The code above in parentheses shows the meals that are included (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), (-) is not included.

 

Day 2: From Jelling to Vejle Ådal   

Today's hiking starts at Jelling Church (unless you have stayed overnight south of the town) which takes you on the southern route out of town. You cross the bridge and continue down through the western end of Jelling forest towards Fårup Lake. From here, the route goes on asphalt roads through pleasant landscapes, with nice views over the area. A little north of the small village of Kærbølling, the landscape begins to undulate through some wooded areas, as you walk down to Vejle Ådal. Vejle creek is the largest of the streams on the east coast of Jutland, stretching 20 kilometers into the country from the fjord, to the small town of Spjarup. The valley was formed by melting ice during the last ice age, and the area is filled with history. West of Haraldskær you join the Bindeballe trail, which runs through the entire river valley. Here you are free from other traffic, as only pedestrians and cyclists are allowed. The trail follows the old railway line from Vandel, which ran between Vejle and Vandel, but was closed in 1957. Enjoy the tranquility and the creek that winds along the path. Accommodation in Vejle Ådal. (approx. 10 - 16 km)

(B/-/D)

The code above in parentheses shows the meals that are included (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), (-) is not included.

 

Day 3: From Vejle Ådal to Fitting

The trip carries on along the Bindeballe trail, through Vejle Ådal and leads through beautiful beechwood and conifer forests, and along meadows with grazing cows. The trail passes Ravning bridge, which Viking king Harald Bluetooth had constructed around the year 980, and passes Runkenbjerg, which with its 41 meters rises as a small knoll in the otherwise flat landscape in the middle of Ådalen.

At the end of the 1800s, small station towns grew up along the Vandel railway line, where one of the small towns is at Bindeballe. If you wish to take a small detour, then set the direction past Bindeballe station and the quaint Bindeballe Købmandsgård, an old Grocer’s store, both built in 1897. The merchant's yard today serves as a living museum, and there is a small exhibition at the station about the past glories of the Vandel railway. Continue south over gravel roads through Sønderkær and the top of Spjarup plantation before you again are on the asphalt road towards the small village of Fitting. Accommodation in Fitting. (B/-/D) (Ca.19 km)

The code above in parentheses shows the meals that are included (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), (-) is not included.

 

Day 4: From Fitting to Skibelund thickets

From Fitting you walk on gravel roads towards Bække. A little north of Bække you come across Hamborggård runestone, which is a glacial erratic stone block of about 50 tons. The stone has its origin on the Åland Islands off the coast of Finland, about 1 billion years old, and was moved by glacial ice flows during the last ice age. According to folklore, Harald Bluetooth was in the process of dragging the stone from the beach and up to his mother's tomb in Jelling, using soldiers and oxen. But when he realized that his son, Svend Tveskeg (Svend Forkbeard), had revolted against him, he let the stone lie.

A few hundred meters further ahead you pass past Klebækhøje (Bække monument), which is a rather impressive historical Viking runestone. There are two burial mounds from the Bronze Age side by side with a 45-meter long Viking ship settling, in the middle of which runs an old trail of the Ancient Road. You walk through Bække and continue on the Ancient Road southwest towards Asbo and Læborg.

After Læborg, a little east of Gammelby, you meet Sankt Gertrud. She was a patron saint, guardian of the wayfarers and travelers, and lived in the period 626-659. Next to her statue is a bench, from where to view the hilly moraine landscape, that formed under the ice sheet, and stretches around Kongeåen to the south. The route follows the original Ancient Road through Vejen high street, where you have the opportunity to take a coffee/cake break before continuing out of town towards Askov and Skibelund thickets. Accommodation at Skibelund Krat. (Approx. 24 km) (B /-/D)

The code above in parentheses shows the meals that are included (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), (-) is not included.

Day 5: Skibelund thickets to Jels

From Skibelund thickets, you walk south past the stone house 'Friheden' and cross shortly after Kongeåen stream over Frihedsbroen. The Freedom Bridge played a small but important role in the National Battle between 1864 and 1920, where Kongeåen stream acted as a national border to Germany. After crossing the Freedom Bridge, the Haervej route continues well out towards Knagmøllen, before it again turns south through flatland with plantations and arable land.

The last part down to Jels is on dirt roads and forest trails through Skodborg forest, formerly part of the mighty Farris Forest, which until the 1700s stretched from Ribe and to Lillebælt. You enter the town of Jels near the beautiful Jels Nedersø lake, and Jels church. Accommodation in Jels. (approx. 20 km) (B/L/D)

The code above in parentheses shows the meals that are included (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), (-) is not included.

Day 6: From Yels to Vojens

Today's hiking, and the last stage of the trip, offers plenty of forest and hilly countryside. Immediately out of Jels you come through Stursbøl plantation, which previously featured an exciting Troll forest. However, large parts of the plantation were cut down in the autumn of 1999, where new trolls were cut as figures in the old tree stumps. In the northern corner of the plantation an elongated group of ancient mounds, which is part of a total of 70 burial mounds in the forest.

At Jels, the route leads you past Ellegård, an old inn on the Ancient Road from 1740, which was earlier one of the many inns that lay like pearls on a string through Jutland.  The route carries on along the Nørre stream, through Oksenvad heath, on asphalt, land roads and on grass paths, through Agerland and the village Jegerup. The journey ends in Vojens after about 22 kilometers of hiking. If you want to have time before your return trip to look around the town, we recommend you stay an extra night.

Close to the town hall in Vojens is a bronze statue of the Skrydstrup-lady, one of Denmark's best-preserved archaeological finds. She was found in 1935 in a burial mound approx. 1 km southwest of the city and stands today at the National Museum. You can collect your luggage in Vojens, where the trip ends at Vojens (central station). (Ca.22 km). (B/-/-)

The code above in parentheses shows the meals that are included (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), (-) is not included.

Accommodation

During the trip you will stay at a different place of accommodation each day. You will stay in a double room at local hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts (B&B’s). Single rooms can be booked for an additional fee.

The Ancient Road hiking trail goes through a sparsely populated area of ​​Jutland and passes through very small towns. Therefore, only a few places are located along the route. Most of the places of accommodation are located some distance from the hiking routes. Therefore, in the day-to-day description, there are two kilometer-distances in some places, as the total mileage for this day depends on where you depart from the route and the type of accommodation you stay at.

The accommodations vary in standard, as you stay overnight in a combination of hotel, inn and B&B’s. Some places are en-suite and with toilet and other places with shared bathroom and toilet. Common to all accommodations is the good host. The hosts will do their best for you to have a good experience.

 

Meals

The trip is inclusive of half board. Lunch is at your own expense, except at Skibelund Krat. A packed lunch can be ordered at the place of accommodation (remember to give the kitchen a message on the evening before).

It is stipulated in the daily program which main meals are included or not included in the price of the tour. (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).

 

Walks

The day trips are between 14 and 24 km. Under the Day-to-day program, the number of kilometers per day are indicated. This is an approximate indication, as the number of km per day may vary depending on which accommodation is reserved for you and how close to / far from the route it is.

Your luggage will be transported to the next place of accommodation, so you only carry a small backpack with the items you need for the days hike, such as lunch pack, rainwear, camera, etc.

 

How to get there

The tour starts in Jelling. You must make sure to get to the starting point of the tour (by public transport or private car). You can start the walk right next to the church and the burial mounds.

Start: The tour begins in Jelling and can start on any day of the week. The first day is an arrival day without hiking. Jelling is a station town. There are trains to Vejle, and there is also a bus service to Jelling.  See www.rejseplanen.dk.

End: The trip ends in Vojens (after about 22 km of hiking). There are trains to the whole country from Vojens. See www.rejseplanen.dk. You can extend your trip with an overnight stay in Vojens.

 

The Ancient Road

The ‘Military Road’ is just one of the names of the traditionally-rich road that goes from North Jutland via Viborg to Hamburg. It is one of the oldest roads known in Denmark, and it was originally called Studevej (Stud Road), Oksevej (Ox Road), Old Viborg Way or Kongevejen (Kings Road). There were three crossings over the Limfjord: At the Viking towns of Aggersund, at Nibe and at Nørre Sundby.

From Viborg the road continues along the Jutland ridge towards Flensburg across Nørre Snede, Randbøl, Vejen, Vojens and Rødekro. The road runs more-or-less parallel to the Jutland ridge. There was no major watercourse, as the ridges divided the streams and waterflows, running from both the east and the west. The Ancient Road was in old days, not one road but many different tracks that met at a major crossing, such as at the stone bridges over Immervad stream, Gejlå and Bjerndrup stream (Povls bridge).

The road was used to drive cattle and livestock down through Jutland and from Funen to markets in Hamburg and the Netherlands. Along the route royal privileged inns were introduced, so stud drivers and other travelers could get accommodation and supplies. At that time, a day’s travel was 30-40 km, so the inns were located at suitable distances from each other for a day’s travel. There were also folds for the animals, in the form of a circular enclosure made with barley.

In the Middle Ages, The Ancient Road was also used by pilgrims on their way to the sacred sites of southern Europe, of which the most distinguished (and distant) were Santiago de Compostela and Rome. Pilgrims from Iceland and Norway also followed the route down along the Jutland ridge.

Today, The Ancient Road follows one track that goes through the same beautiful landscape of Jutland, and many of the same towns as the historical route. One walks through a diverse cultural landscape of hills and valleys, fields and meadows, lakes and streams, marshes and forests. In August and September, you can experience blooming violet heather, for example at Dollerup on Grathe heath and Vrad Sande. The heather is a habitat for lots of butterflies, grasshoppers and bees, who deliver the fine heather honey. experience blooming violet heather, for example Dollerup at Grathe Hede and Vrad Sande. The heather is a habitat for lots of butterflies, grasshoppers and bees, who produce the fine heather honey.

INCLUDED

  • Accommodation at hotels, inns and B&B’s
  • Breakfast all days
  • Lunch day 4 and 5
  • Dinner, all days
  • Transportation of luggage (1 per person, max 15 kg) between the accommodations
  • Hiking map (1 set per couple / group)
  • Information, recommendations and practical tips
  • Product liability insurance
  • Fee for travel guarantee fund

EXCLUDED

  • Transport from residence to Jelling and back
  • Supplement for single room (can be ordered, DKK 1200 per person)
  • Baggage surcharge for solo traveler DKK 300
  • Lunch packages (can be booked at the place of accommodation the night before)
  • Beverages
  • Supplement for accommodation in Jelling (before the trip) or Vojens (after the trip) DKK 750 per person including half board in double room / DKK 900 in single room
  • Extra set of hiking maps (can be ordered, DKK 200)
  • Cancellation Insurance, 6% of the price of the trip (can be ordered)
  • Booking fee DKK 145

 

Tour facts

  • Ledige pladser
  • Individual tour (24HAER-4A)
  • Lenght: 6 days
  • Date: 01/04 til 01/10
  • Difficulty grade: 1-2
  • Accommodation grade: 1-2
  • Hiking with transportation of luggage. Price per person based on 2 people travelling together. Solo surcharge for single tour participant.

Kr. 4.600


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