Have You Heard Of Cold Hawaii?

Have You Heard Of Cold Hawaii?
Sunset scene at the popular surf spot Klitmoller, Cold Hawaii, west coast of Denmark, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A small (and cold!) Danish fishing town is making waves as an unlikely surfing hotspot

Piyali Sen
February 21 , 2020
06 Min Read

When one thinks of surfing, it is sunny, tropical places that come to mind. Like Bali, Australia, and Hawaii. Cold weather and Scandinavia certainly do not pop up in your headspace, right? 

A small fishing village, Klitmøller, on the northwest coast of Denmark, has become an unlikely surfing hotspot and earned itself the nickname, Cold Hawaii. You have to wear some pretty thick wetsuits to surf in this predominantly cold and grey area, but people are turning up from all over the world to do just that. Denmark hardly has any surf-worthy waters, Cold Hawaii is the exception. The surfing swells here are created by northern storms that pass directly over the beach, ironically mostly in winter. 

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A post shared by Destination Denmark (@destination_denmark) on Feb 2, 2020 at 4:37am PST

This stretch of the western coastline of Denmark now has over 30 registered surf spots with a diversity of point and beach breaks, from Agger to Hanstholm. Klitmøller is considered their 'capital'.

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A post shared by Katrin Buske (@kabuske) on Oct 11, 2019 at 5:52am PDT

The surf culture is still evolving, though the influx of surfers into this fishing community began in the late 90s and early 2000s. The locals did not warm to this at first. Now the sight of surfers. short boarders, kayakers, and windsurfers is quite common. Cold Hawaii has even hosted the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association) World Cup. Klitmøller has surf shops and places that rent surf equipment where you can kit up, and surf schools that will show you how to ride the waves.


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A post shared by Klitmøller Rig Wear (@klitmoller_rigwear) on Nov 13, 2019 at 10:35am PST

Being a water baby is not a requisite for a great holiday in this picturesque coastal region. Even if you are not a surfer (and would rather not surf at all), there's lots you can do here. For instance, you can try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding in a nearby lake. You can go for long walks along the coastline which has unending stretches of pristine dunes and beach. The area has several small lakes and plantager (the typical Danish planted forests), and is an excellent spot for hiking, cycling and bird-watching.

The beachside cafes and eateries serve superb food. Some even rent out boards. 

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A post shared by Nordic Surf Cafe (@nordicsurfcafe) on May 7, 2016 at 2:58am PDT

The Thy National Park, which is right on the doorstep of Klitmøller (about 100km), has stunning bicycle paths, horse trails and Bulbjerg, the bird mountain. The place also has a variety of museums dedicated to the history of the area, and to Vikings. For instance, the Vorupør Museum and the Viking burial ground, Tømmerby Vikingegravplads. A day trip to Limfjord is great for a sea safari, and seal spotting. And the paved bathing pool in Northern Vorupor offers a safe introduction to the temperamental North Sea, perfect for kids. And while you are there, do stop by the Klitmøller Collective store and pick up some local woollens. 

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