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Thy National Park

Denmark's Greatest Wilderness

Nature and history

Thy National Park covers 55 km of the north-western coast line of Denmark by the North Sea - in an area called Thy. The unique landscape - Denmarks largest wilderness - consists of fairly unspoiled dunes, dune heaths and more than 200 lakes. Its a landscape created by the power of nature: the sea, the wind, the salt and the sand. As a response to sand drift and harsh living conditions for local people, trees have been planted in the area since 1817, creating socalled dune plantations.  

Thy National Park is a perfect place for plants, birds, animals and humans who enjoy a lot of space, high skies and lots of fresh air. The extent of the dune heaths in Thy, you will only find in few other places in Europe. The nomination as a national park guarantees the protection and preservation of the dunes and the dune heaths for the future. The national park contributes to visitors experiencing great nature without causing damage to the vulnerable countryside.

Experience nature

Everywhere nature shows signs from the sea, the wind, the sand, and the salt. Hiking between leaning, crooked, wind-shaped trees, or staying overnight in shelters listening to the roar of the waves are attentive nature experiences. Here is a lot of fresh air and no crowds. A vast number of hiking- and biking paths are described and shown on maps in the local hiking folders and the Nationalpark Thy app.

Animals and plants

Lookout towers and points near the hiking trails give you the opportunity to watch animals and birds, especially if you bring binoculars. Thy National Park has got a nice population of red deer and roe deer. You may also be lucky to hear and see cranes breeding in the open areas. Hardy plants, able to live in the low nutrient sand and wet hollows are growing in the dune heath, such as crow berries, bog bilberries, cranberries, heather, cross-leaved heath, bog myrtle, sea buckthorn, and willow. The plantations are dominated by pine trees and spruces, which originally comes from Central Europe and North America. 

 

History

Nature´s powerful forces have always been of great importance for the life of the people of Thy. During several periods sand drift has damaged cultivated areas and forced the inhabitants to move. Beach grass and trees were planted to protect against the sand, making up the national park´s large plantations today. Formerly the fishing was exclusively done from the beach in small boats – at the high risk of loss of human lives. Therefore it was a great improvement when lighthouse and lifeboat services were developed seriously during the 19th century. Lighthouses and sea marks were built, still towering the landscape along the coast. Today all trade fishing takes place from the modern port of Hanstholm. But in the villages along the sea you can still meet anglers setting out in their boats from the coast catching crabs or plaice.

Thy National Park in short

Where: Northwest Jutland, along the coast from Hanstholm to Agger. 

Type of nature: Sandy beaches, atlantic dunes and dune heaths, more than 200 lakes, and limestone cliffs.  

Founded: August 22, 2008 as Denmark's first national park.

Area: 244 square kilometres. North to south: Approx. 55 km, east to west: 5 – 12 km from the sea shore.

Outdoor life: Marked hiking and cycling trails, places for a bonfire, primitive overnight  accommodation, some with shelters, bird watching an look out towers, marked mountain bike trails, horse riding trails, and fishing and bathing possibilities in the sea and lakes. The facilities are described and shown on the app Nationalpark Thy for mobile phones, and on maps in the Nature Agency´s hiking folders.

Organisation: The organisation behind Thy National Park is a governmental trust lead by a board appointed by the Minister of Environment. The board appoints a council of various interest organisations. The board is assisted by a secretariat with employees, and a fairly large group of volunteers, whom you might meet at our visitor centres. Please, contact the secretariat at if you seek more information on the organisation behind the national park.   

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