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Flights, food, festivals and fjords – see what’s new for Aalborg and North Jutland in 2017

It’s never been a better time to head north and explore Denmark’s aptly named ‘land of light’. With new flights from Stansted to Aalborg; a tasty new street food market and gourmet restaurants putting the region’s food on the map, plus a new ‘Culture Bridge’ linking Aalborg with Nørresundby across the Limfjord, festivals and a new bird watching visitors centre in Skagen there’s even more to explore in 2017.


Starting on 5 September 2017 RyanAir is bringing forward the launch of a new direct service from Stansted to Aalborg, with three weekly departures. Whilst, Norwegian has increased its capacity from London Gatwick to Aalborg with one additional weekly flight being added to the schedule.
North Jutland’s gastronomic scene has seen massive growth in recent years and Gastro North, which was founded in September 2016 by five of the leading gourmet restaurants in the region, has further strengthened this position. Working together their aim is to attract international gourmet guides to the region and ensure the cuisine of the region is celebrated in the same way as that of Copenhagen or Aarhus. The five restaurants in the group are Mortens Kro, which this year celebrates its 19th birthday as Aalborg’s premier modern gourmet restaurant with Scandinavian décor and a unique wine collection; Fusion which offers an innovative cuisine and some of the best Sushi dishes on Aalborg’s vibrant waterfront; Ruths Hotel in Skagen boasts two restaurants – ’Ruths Gourmet’, offering the finest Nordic cuisine and ‘Ruths Brasserie’, serving a menu of French dishes; Vendia Gourmet in Hjorring which combines its own quality brewed beer with a brasserie style menu and finally Restaurant Bühlmann, which opens in August at Aalborg’s legendary hotel Scheelsminde to offer classic French cuisine with a modern twist.
The street food scene is hugely popular in both Copenhagen and Aarhus, and the team behind the Aarhus Street Food Market is now bringing its expertise to Aalborg with a new street food market in a huge hall on Vestbyen. With outlets serving a range of cuisine from around the world, affordable prices and communal dining tables, the new market taps right in to current Danish food trends and Danes’ love of relaxed, communal eating.
Meanwhile, Dennis Juhl from Ruth’s Hotel is collaborating with Frederik Østeraa to tackle the problem of food waste at their new Aalborg restaurant Textur, which opens in September. The aim is to reduce food waste by using only seasonal produce and thus recreating the menu every two weeks.
Following the fire at the iconic Svinkløv Badehotel last year the hotel’s celebrated chef, Kenneth Toft-Hansen, will be serving up a series of pop-up gourmet dinners this summer at The Utzon Centre on Aalborg’s waterfront and the venue will be showcasing plans to rebuild the much loved hotel.
Aalborg is also the venue for new Spanish restaurant, D’Wine, the brainchild of Kristian Ishøy, the man behind Aalborg’s first Spanish wine bar by the same name. For Ishøy Spain is a passion and the restaurant will offer authentic Spanish specialties with a twist.
Culturally the city is upping the pace with an entirely new city district in Aalborg starting to take shape in the old spirit making factories. Cloud City is an ambitious project which aims to transform the Spritfabrikken buildings in Vestby into an exciting arts and culture district with artwork by the visionary Argentinian artist, Tomàs Saraceno. In addition, a new concept in city tours has reached Aalborg this summer. Aalborg Tours offers daily tours such as walking, biking, street art and food tours or try GoBoat, the new sustainable picnic boat which made its way from Copenhagen to Aalborg in April.
As the days draw out Danes love to get outdoors, and a new 403-metre pedestrian and cycling bridge known as the ‘Culture Bridge’ is the latest attraction to link the centre of Aalborg with Nørresundby across the Limfjord. Making it even easier to explore beyond the city, options include the ‘Værket’ – an old factory turned into a playground for street artists and creatives which opened in August last year. Whilst in June 2017 a new outdoor pool, Vestre Fjordpark, will offer swimming throughout the year as well as kayaking, windsurfing and canoeing in Aalborg’s Limfjord bay or be a place to simply relax just minutes from the city centre.
The most northerly tip of North Jutland is not only home of the picturesque village Skagen but also a hot spot for many migratory birds, and one of Europe’s best bird migration sites. The Skagen Grey Lighthouse has opened in May to take enthusiastic visitors on a virtual tour to discover and experience the many migratory birds that stop off in the region and surrounding areas. Whilst September is the month for walkers to gather and lace up their hiking boots for the launch of the Skagen Hiking Festival. Open to everyone, regardless of age or hiking experience, the festival offers the chance to explore some of Denmark’s most magical scenery in the company of other walking enthusiasts.
Looking ahead to January 2018, hardy souls can take on the elements at Skagen’s annual winter swimming festival. Held between 25th and 28th January 2018, the winter swimmers certainly put their courage to the test when they meet the ice-cold wind and waves, fortified with hot soup served by Jacob’s Café after the swim. Whilst art lovers can keep warm in a new exhibition at Skagen Museum entitled Focus. Open until December 2018, it brings together works by the famous 19th century Skagen Painters who were first drawn to this region by its legendary light.


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