Visit Jutland: Råbjerg Mile

The largest migrating sand dune in Northern Europe. Some call it the Danish Sahara, others make do with calling it Råbjerg Mile. Whatever your preference – this natural wonder is a place to behold, as a unique landscape that is very different to everything around it.

Visit Jutland: The Untamed West Coast

These are some of my favourite pictures – in all the years I have been a photographer. For me, they sum up what Denmark´s West coast is all about – rugged, otherworldly shorelines – where the sea and sand clash fervently in their eternal battle.

The pics were taken from the cliff by the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse (see my pictures from this iconic landmark here.)

Visit Jutland – Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse

The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse is probably one of Jutland´s most well-known icons.

Located along the rough West coast, the lighthouse has been around since 1900 and was moved 70 metres inland last year, to save it from the encroaching sea.

The video and the pictures below were taken just before the lighthouse was moved further inland.

While you´re in the area, be sure to make a stopover at the old fishing town of Lønstrup (see my pictures of this beautiful town here.)

Visit Denmark – the little town of Lønstrup

The old fishing town of Lønstrup, on Jutland´s northern tip has to be one of Denmark´s most beautiful.

Erosion from the might north sea has made its mark in and around Lønstrup. Indeed the well-known landmark, Rudbjerg Knude Lighthouse (see my pictures from this iconic spot, here,) is located not to far away) but the town stands firm – with its quaint houses built on the hilly landscape.

Visit Jutland – Cold Hawaii, Denmark

Believe the hype. The Northwestern stretch of the Danish west coast, commonly referred to as Cold Hawaii, is home to some of the greatest swells in the world. Unlike its American namesake, however, this is not a place of palm-fringed beaches, hula shirts and unending sunsets – it is, as the name suggests, predominantly cold.

Not that this should deter the ardent surfer, however – if you don’t have one already, you can easily purchase a wetsuit in one of the many surf shops in the area. Choose between wetsuits that will keep you warm enough during the cold winter months or thinner suits that’ll have you covered for the months of the year where It’s cold but not blisteringly so.

My favourite spot, when it comes to riding these north shore waves, is around the small town of Vorupør – The waves here break close to the shoreline and will roll you gently in – so a longboard is my personal preference.

Do I prefer Cold Hawaii to the real (American) Hawaii? Well, if I could surf in the latter every day of the year, I would. However, being that I live in Denmark currently, I´ll gladly take Cold Hawaii and its generous offerings, cold or otherwise.

Read my guide to the American Hawaii here.

Visit Jutland: A trip to the woods – Rold Skov

There is not shortage of leafy woods in Jutland. One of my personal favourites is Rold Skov, which is actually also the second-largest forest in Denmark.

You´ll find all manner of wildlife here, from deers to foxes, badgers and otters – though you´ll probably have to venture deeper into the woods than we did on our foray there.

There is also a closed atomic bunker called Regan West somewhere in the woods – I´m not quite sure where but let your curiosity wander and it may lead you there 😉

Visit Jutland: Fields of Gold A visual journey to the rapeseed fields of Denmark

Every spring, one of my favourite things to do is to head out into the warm Danish countryside, where the rapeseed blossom is in full bloom (usually in the months of May and June.)

Rapeseed oil is one of the oldest forms of vegetable oils and can actually also be used in the production of biofuels (biodiesel.)

My advice when it comes to finding a scenic field? There are plenty of fields – get out there and enjoy em!

There is no shortage of rapeseed fields in Denmark – some of my favourite are around the small Danish town of Aabybro, near Aalborg.

A guide to some of the most astonishing places on earth

Original article written for momondo, available here.

From dreamy, pink-coloured lakes to kaleidoscopic geysers, it may well seem as if some of these most astonishing places in the world are on a different planet altogether

Rumbling volcanoes that spew rivers of red-hot lava into the ocean, giant glaciers at the end of the world and gaping holes in the sea floor — the list of nature’s wonders could go on. Here are some of the most astonishing places in the world that continue to astound and mystify explorers and scientists alike to this day.

Coyote Buttes (“The Wave”) – Arizona, USA

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the rich, surreal contours of The Wave aren't of this world
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the rich, surreal contours of The Wave aren’t of this world. Photo by Christopher Ruel on Unsplash

If Catalan surrealist Salvador Dalí did nature, then this would be one of his seminal works. Ochre and amber shades, layered on top of one another from the Jurassic age form an undulating backdrop that has become something of a dream for photographers and hikers alike.

You will, however, require a permit to visit this protected monument and this is not the easiest thing to get a hold of, due to the lottery system employed by the Bureau of Land Management, so start your application early. If your permit application fails, fear not. Arizona is a land endowed with many other astonishing wonders such as Antelope Canyon and The Upper Grand Canyon.

Find a flight to Page

Derweze ‒ Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan

Visit the "Door to Hell" by night for prime time views of the raging inferno
Visit the “Door to Hell” by night for prime time views of the raging inferno. Photo by Ybrayym Esenov on Unsplash

The small village of Derweze, Turkmenistan, was put on the map 40 odd years ago by the work of Soviet geologists who burrowed into a cavern filled with natural gas. To stop the discharge of poisonous gas,  a fire was lit to empty the cavern of its content which the geologists thought would burn for a few days.

Fast forward 40 years and the inferno rages on — a 70-metre wide spectacle in the middle of the desert that has been dubbed the ‘Door to Hell’ by locals.

Find a flight to Ashgabat

Mendenhall Glacier – Tongass National Forest, Alaska, USA

The end of the trail - the turquoise-coloured caves in the belly of the Mendenhall Glacier
The end of the trail – the turquoise-coloured caves in the belly of the Mendenhall Glacier. Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

Glaciers have been likened to human beings for their ever-changing qualities. As the Mendenhall glacier’s ice composition changes due to global warming, so too do its ice caves, formed as a result of meltwater flowing beneath the ice layers and eroding them. The thinner the ice of the roof cave gets, the lighter its blue colour — the sole source of illumination in these cavernous parts.

These chambers do require an effort to see them though —you’ll have to hike or kayak to the glacier first, then scramble over it wearing crampons, before tiptoeing your way into its subterranean depths.

Find a flight to Juneau

Salar de Uyuni ‒ The Andes, Bolivia

The reflective surface of Salar de Uyuni is a great place to put things into perspective
The reflective surface of Salar de Uyuni is a great place to put things into perspective. Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

It doesn’t rain here often, but when it does this giant salt flat turns into an ethereal mirror that seems to run on into oblivion, stretching over an area that is slightly smaller than Jamaica. Salar de Uyuni is also one of the flattest places on the planet, a trait that has often been exploited in optical illusion (forced perspective) photography. You will find the salt flat near the crest of The Andes mountains, 3,656 meters above sea level (which means that it can get cold and the air here is thin, so come prepared.)

Find a flight to Oruro

Grand Prismatic Spring – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Brush up on your rainbow colour arrangements at Grand Prismatic Spring
Brush up on your rainbow colour arrangements at Grand Prismatic Spring. Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash

The vibrant colours of this geothermic hot spring are the same as the mini rainbow you see when light passes through an optical prism; hence the name. The red, orange, yellow, green, and blue colours are caused by different types of bacteria living in the mineral-rich hot water, whose peak temperature reaches 85C. Spanning a diameter of 370 feet, the hot spring is the third largest of its kind in the world.

Find a flight to Jackson Hole

Deadvlei – Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia

The deceased trees at Deadvlei have stood the test of time-consigned to a skeletal existence in this parched underworld
The deceased trees at Deadvlei have stood the test of time-consigned to a skeletal existence in this parched underworld. Photo by Marcelo Novais on Unsplash

Deadvlei is a portmanteau of the English word dead and the Afrikaans word, vlei, which translates as ‘a marsh or a valley in between dunes.’ The acacia trees that are strewn across the decadent landscape here have stood lifeless for over 600 years, torched skeletons who mother nature has not granted the luxury of decomposition in one of the driest spots on earth. This parched corner of the globe is also close to some of the tallest sand dunes in the world, which tower up to 383 metres above the desert floor.

Find a flight to Windhoek

Perito Moreno Glacier – Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina

One of the beacons of the region of Patagonia, Perito Moreno is a great spot to contemplate the mysteries of life
One of the beacons of the region of Patagonia, Perito Moreno is a great spot to contemplate the mysteries of life. Photo by Miriam Duran on Unsplash

At 28 km long and 4.8 km wide, Perito Moreno is one of very few glaciers in the world that are growing. During the summer, it is not uncommon to see massive chunks of ice fall into the waters of Lake Argentino, while in the winter, its imposing, behemoth-like structure casts a haughty shadow over the chilled landscape. An eerily-quiet, mystifying place of wonder in the sparsely populated region of Patagonia, Perito Moreno is a towering example of nature’s sacred awe.

Find a flight to El Calafate

Kilauea – Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii is a land of fire and water, quite literally
Big Island, Hawaii is a land of fire and water, quite literallyPhoto by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

The indomitable Kilauea volcano has been erupting intermittently since 1983, pouring rivers of molten lava into the Pacific, which meet the water in one of nature’s most dramatic marriages. This vehement clash is visible from afar, compliments of several tours that provide expert guides to chaperone you across the charred pastures and as close as possible to it. It is not advisable to wander into the area on your own, due to the ever-changing nature of the volcanic eruption.

Find a flight to Kona

The Great Blue Hole – Belize

The best way to explore Belize´s Great Blue Hole? Guillame Nery shows us how it´s done.

Belize’s giant submarine sinkhole was formed during the ice age – carved to near-circular perfection by the force of nature. In addition to being a treat for the eyes when viewed from above, The Great Blue Hole is also a great diving spot, drawing scuba divers from far and wide with its rich concentrations of marine life.

You’ll have to have logged more than 24 dives to attempt it though, due to the dexterity needed to navigate the dark, stalactite-strewn cave of water. Alternatively, grow gills and draw inspiration from freediving guru, Guillaume Néry, who has descended and re-surfaced from these depths on numerous occasions.

Find a flight to Belize City

Pamukkale – Denizli, Turkey

Blue waters and fluffy, white pools. Pammukale is a cloud-like wonderland
Blue waters and fluffy, white pools. Pammukale is a cloud-like wonderland. Photo by Arns Civray on Unsplash

Pamukkale, which poetically translates to ‘Cotton Castle’ is one of Turkey’s great natural spectacles. Hot springs and gargantuan white calcium terraces that etch themselves into the hillside make for a sight that looks like a page out of a great dream. Tread warily though (barefoot) — the calcium terraces here are easily eroded by footwear and bring your swimsuit along for a dip in the limpid waters of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. While you’re in Pamukkale, you may also want to pay a visit to the nearby well-preserved Roman ruins and museum in Hierapolis, a site that was once an ancient holy city in close proximity to the natural baths.

Find a flight to Denizli

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – Hunan, China

China's Hunan province is home to these towering rock pillars
China’s Hunan province is home to these towering rock pillars. Photo by Robynne Hu on Unsplash

You would be forgiven for thinking that the tall stone pillar formations in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are in a galaxy far away from our own. The 2009 box office sci-fi, Avatar, featured scenes that were inspired by rock pillars such as those in the Hunan province, a depiction that resulted in the renaming of the 1,080-metre Southern Sky Column.

Now known as “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain,” this towering beauty is one of many formations that hug the skyline here.  Stand in awe of it all atop the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge — the longest and highest pedestrian glass bridge in the world, which as you may expect, will put your fear of heights to the ultimate test.Find a flight to Changsha

Reynisfjara – Vik, Iceland

Beaches come in all shapes and sizes. Try out the black sand beach, Reynisfjara, when in Iceland
Beaches come in all shapes and sizes. Try out the black sand beach, Reynisfjara, when in Iceland. Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

In addition to making for a beautiful natural spectacle, the black sand beach by the village of Vik, Iceland is also home to rich birdlife in the form of puffins, fulmars and guillemots, all of whom have made it their humble abode. And with good reason  — the beach radiates an otherworldly quality with its unique black colour, flanked columns of pale-toned basalt that cling to the cliff face.

Find a flight to Reykjavik