Esbjerg to Copenhagen by bike: Preparations

Denmark is the perfect cycling destination. It’s a beautiful country with excellent infrastructure, a moderate climate and not too many hills (the highest point of the country is just 170m above sea level). There are over 12,000km of cycle routes (7,000km of which are totally segregated from motor traffic).

We started planning our ride across the country two months ahead, by booking our travel to and from the country and plotting a vague route. We will take an overnight ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg, arriving in Denmark at lunchtime on Thursday 26 May. And we’ll travel back from Copenhagen the following Monday with EasyJet, who offer attractive baggage rates on sports equipment, including bicycles.

The route will take us four days, with an average of 90km to cover each day. We’ll follow national cycle route number 6 almost the whole way, only deviating on the outskirts of Copenhagen, to head towards the city centre. Route 6, one of eleven long-distance Danish cycle routes, leads straight to the city’s airport.

We ordered our Denmark cycle map online and used it to finalise our day-by-day itinerary:

  • Day 1 – Esbjerg to Kolding: approx. 75km
  • Day 2 – Kolding to Odense: approx. 75km
  • Day 3 – Odense to Ringsted: approx. 80km
  • Day 4 – Ringsted to Copenhagen: approx. 120km

The ferry is pricey, at about £100 each, but this does include a comfortable cabin, which is essential for the 18-hour overnight crossing. Meals on-board are also expensive, and can be pre-booked online; £40 for dinner, £12 for breakfast. With those figures very much in mind, we’re planning to stop for a meal in Harwich before boarding, although we are looking forward to breakfast on board.

Aside from that, we’ve booked hostels in Kolding and Copenhagen, and hotels in between, for the overnight stops in Odense and Ringsted. Our total bill for accommodation is about 2,100 DKK.

The only uncertainty now is how we’ll get the bikes on to the flight home. EasyJet (like all other airlines) state “the bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag”. We’re hoping to find a bike shop near the airport which will be able to provide us with boxes, although this is far from guaranteed. In the meantime, I’ve invested in a pedal wrench, as the regulations also state that “the pedals must be flush against the frame or removed”, and “the handlebars must be flush with the frame”.

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