Råbjerg Mile in Skagen: Travel Guide to the Largest Migrating Dune in Northern EuropeEverything you need to know about the migrating coastal dune of Råbjerg Mile in northern Jutland, including what to do, where to stay and our best tips
A migrating coastal dune
In fact, it’s the largest moving sand dune in Northern Europe!
Such a unique natural phenomenon is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in this part of Denmark.
The area is extensive and climbing the many sandy hilltops will both raise your heartbeat and provide you with incredible views over the dunes and the west coast of Skagen.
We loved it.
In this travel guide to Råbjerg Mile in Skagen, we’ll tell you why you should visit, how to visit, where to stay and our best tips for experiencing the moving sand dune.
Where to stay near Råbjerg Mile?
- Budget: Hotel Marie – Keep the price down with shared bathrooms.
- Value for money: Hjorts Badehotel – Wake up next to the dunes with a view of the North Sea.
- Luxury: Skagen Hotel – Great location in Skagen and stylish rooms.
Table of contents
Why visit Råbjerg Mile
The constantly changing and dramatic landscape of Råbjerg Mile makes it a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike.
Undoubtedly, the big draw here is the size of Råbjerg Mile and the feeling you get from standing in the middle of wild nature.
In about 100 years, Råbjerg Mile will cover the main road to Skagen.
The sand dune and the 3.5 million m³ of sand move an average of 15 meters northeast per year.
Of course, you don’t feel it when you stand there, but it’s fascinating to think about how active and changeable nature at the top of Denmark is.
An ever-changing landscape
The notorious westerly wind is part of the sand drift along the west coast of Jutland and historically, it has been mitigated by establishing dune plantations and thereby reducing the flight of sand.
However, this is not the case with Råbjerg Mile where everything has developed completely naturally.
Some of the dunes can reach heights of up to 40 metres which makes Råbjerg Mile a prominent landmark in the otherwise flat landscape.
With dunes that high and such fine sand, it can actually be quite strenuous walking around Råbjerg Mile but luckily, you don’t have to walk that far to get a feel for the area.
A 15-30 minute visit will be enough for many, however, you can also easily spend several hours wandering around seeing the sand and the landscape from different perspectives.
Beware: There may be quicksand at Råbjerg Mile. Adults sink in no more than above the knees but try to avoid completely even surfaces with dark-soaked sand just to be sure.
Our experience at Råbjerg Mile
On our way back from our South Norway Caravan Road Trip Adventure, we decided to explore a bit of Northern Jutland before heading back to Copenhagen where we live.
We parked the car and found our way through the low scrub until we suddenly got sand in our shoes and stood in the middle of the sand dune.
We of course knew that there would be a lot of sand at Råbjerg Mile. But we were not prepared to stand in the middle of a desert.
There was sand as far as the eye could see!
If it’s warm enough when you visit Råbjerg Mile, you might as well take your shoes off. You will get sand everywhere.
We did not know that there were deserts in Denmark. Råbjerg Mile may also be the only one, but it is impressive!
We enjoyed exploring the area for a bit and ran up and down the sandy dunes until we were out of breath.
Practical information about Råbjerg Mile
Opening hours and prices
Råbjerg Mile is open 24 hours all year round and it’s free to visit.
Parking near Råbjerg Mile on Råbjerg Mile Vej is free. Unfortunately, camping is not allowed.
There is also a toilet which is open in the summer season (we’re not sure about the rest of the year).
Map of Råbjerg Mile
Råbjerg Mile is located in the northern part of Jutland in Denmark, close to the town of Skagen.
Driving from Skagen to the moving dune takes around 20 minutes.
Where to stay near Råbjerg Mile
There are several lovely places to stay near Råbjerg Mile and if you want to sleep as close to the migrating dune as possible, we would recommend Hjorths Badehotel (adlink) which is only 2 kilometres away.
There are, however, more accommodation options available in the city of Skagen which is only around 20 minutes by car from Råbjerg Mile. Here, there are also a variety of places to eat and more things to do.
As we were travelling with a caravan on our way back from Norway, we spent the night at a campsite at CampOne.
Skagen Hotel is right by Skagen Station and it’s perfect for exploring the city.
The hotel is clean and neat and the rooms are stylishly designed. And the yellow house is really pretty, too!
With only two kilometres to Råbjerg Mile, Hjorts Badehotel is a great location if you want to stay close to the migrating dune.
Especially if you are planning to visit Råbjerg Mile early in the morning or late in the evening to enjoy the desert in beautiful light without other people.
The bright rooms are decorated in a charming homely manner and we can only imagine how wonderful it must be to wake up next to the dunes with a view of the North Sea and Råbjerg Mile.
Skagen Strand Holiday Center
Take a look at Skagen Strand Holiday Center if you would prefer to have your own holiday apartment with a kitchen in Skagen.
There is room for either 5 or 7 people and there is a free water park and playgrounds for the children as well as a fitness centre, minigolf, tennis and badminton courts.
A great choice if you’re staying in Skagen for longer than a few days.
If you are looking for a budget stay in Skagen, Hotel Marie has the option of double rooms or rooms for three singles with shared bathrooms which lower the price.
There are also double rooms with private bathrooms but they, of course, cost a little more.
The hotel is located right by the harbour in Skagen so you will be close to the city’s restaurants and cultural offerings.
Where to eat near Råbjerg Mile
It takes around 20 minutes to drive to Skagen from Råbjerg Mile, and this is where you will find the best places to eat close to Råbjerg Mile.
If you want to eat environmentally and animal-friendly, we recommend eating plant-based as much as possible.
There are no completely vegan restaurants in Skagen (yet) but there are a few restaurants that offer vegetarian and vegan dishes:
- Juicy Skagen. Delicious juices, smoothies, salads, wraps and sandwiches. They use many organic ingredients, try to shop locally and follow the seasons as much as possible.
- Jakobs. Vegan salads with mock meat, soups and a burger.
- Bodilles Kro. Danish cuisine with a few vegetarian and vegan options.
- Cafe Knuth’s. Limited vegan options but there’s a vegan falafel salad and vegetarian burger.
Our best tips for visiting Råbjerg Mile
- If you are thinking of visiting the migrating dune during the high season in summer (July-August), it may be a good idea to plan your visit outside the hot and popular hours from lunchtime to the afternoon. That way, you minimise the risk of sunstroke and there will be fewer people around.
- If you visit Råbjerg Mile at sunset or sunrise, we can imagine you will get the most amazing light over the North Sea from the sandbanks.
- There may be quicksand at Råbjerg Mile. Avoid completely even surfaces with dark-soaked sand.
What to bring to the Sand-Covered Church
- Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
- A good camera – here’s a guide to the gear we use.
- Sunscreen (adlink) if you visit in the summer.
- Hiking shoes, sandals or shoes you can walk in the sand in. You can also just take off your shoes – much easier!
- Sunglasses, a hat or a head cover/protection of some kind for sunny days or for the sand if it’s windy.
- A warm sweater or jacket if you are at the dunes before sunrise or after sunset.
- Water and snacks if you plan to stay for long.
Minimise your impact
To travel as sustainably as possible, we recommend the following:
- Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
- Avoid disposable plastic.
- Sort your trash correctly and do not throw it on the ground.
- Take only photos and leave only footprints. Avoid taking things from nature with you.
- Respect the local wildlife.
- Use an environmentally friendly sunscreen. The sun can be reflected in the sand, so it is a good idea to protect your skin – especially from the dangerous rays in the middle of the day – even in Denmark.
Thanks for reading along
Thank you for reading our travel guide to Råbjerg Mile in Denmark. We hope it has been helpful!
What do you think of the largest moving dune in Northern Europe?
If you’ve already been there, let us know your best tips and tricks.
If you haven’t been to the dune or the northern part of Jutland yet, don’t hesitate to ask us anything in the comments. We are happy to help.