Yellow cottage with flowers in the front in the sunshine in Denmark

How to spend holidays in Denmark, like a dane

Danes go on summer holiday to get away from everyday life and relax, the cottage – or «sommerhus» as the Danes call it – is the primary refuge. Here's how to have a summer vacation in Denmark, like the Danes do.

Holiday like a Dane

If you’re really going to ’do it like the Danes’, then you should rent a cottage! These holiday homes come in as many variants as there are Danes; from beautiful, rustic and authentic to hyper modern architectural pearls.

They tend to be located in picturesque areas, often near lakes or the coast. Use it as a cozy place to explore your surroundings, unwind and recharge, away from the stress and enjoy the summer in the best countryside Denmark has to offer.

What is the weather like in Denmark in the summer?

A Danish summer day can be wonderfully beautiful. With early sunrise and long beautiful sunsets, a summer day seems endlessly long. When the weather is nice, grab some hot dogs and a portable grill and take the bicycle on the flat bike paths to the beach. There you can have a meal in the sand, sit until the sun set, have a late evening swim, and go back to your “summer house” in the twilight with the last twinkle of sun-rays still visible in the sky behind you.

Is Denmark cold in the summer?

But let’s face it, Danish summers can be unpredictable; be prepared for both warm, wonderful days and much cooler, windier and rainier ones. A cottage will be the perfect place to retreat if you need to change your plans following the weather.

Although most holiday homes are primarily used in the summer, a cold and rainy summer can be nice to heat up in a natural way. According to a YouGov survey conducted in March 2018, 67% of Danish holiday homes have a wood-burning stove to cover the cooler days at the cottage. Since Scan A/S was founded in 1978, we have taken part in the development of the holiday homes all the way from the 70s and 80s. We see our old models still burning in the old cottages and our modern clean burning stoves installed in the new ones, all across Denmark. Maybe one of your rainy days will include a good book and the smell of wood burning from a Scan stove?

The history behind danish cottages

This love of summer houses has been the case for over 100 years. It all started in the 18th century, when it became fashionable for the nobility to be “rural” in the summer.

The trend of swimming in the sea came over from England, and the nobles needed a place to stay during these retreats. Huge beach hotels, guest houses and cottages were built in scenic surroundings to be closer to nature. In areas with low tide you could go out with large bathing carriages pulled by horses, and very honorably sink into the waves.

Later, in the 1930’s “ordinary people” were entitled holiday from work, and simple and small 20-40 m2 cottages were built and have grown and evolved ever since.

The Danes relax best in the cottage

The cottage is the pure dream home. This is where the Danes dream away to a simpler way of life, with more freedom and less responsibility.

– The sun is shining, the waves can be heard in the background, the wind captures your hair, and the warm sand under your feet going to the beach. You're in the cottage, you do not have to achieve anything. You automatically enter a leisure mode and leave your busy life behind you.

Can it become any better?