Port of Hanstholm

The Port of Hanstholm is a large, active fishing port described as the largest commercial fishing port in Denmark. The port has many large and small fishing boats for different types of fisheries. 

Port and town

The port is well-known for its round-the-clock activity; trucks carrying fish crates, lorries loaded with fish leaving the port area, ships sailing in and out of the port entrance, etc. There is always something going on at the port. Early birds can visit Hanstholm Fish Auction on weekdays from 7am. At the auction, you can see how the catch is sold to different buyers. You can also buy fresh fish on the harbour or taste the sea's bounty on-site.

In connection with the building of the harbour in the 1960s, the small village of Hansted expanded considerably and changed its name to Hanstholm. Many houses were built according to a fixed town plan. In between these houses, are the white houses which were built around 1920 when the first phase of the construction of the port and harbour facilities began. The oldest building in Hanstholm is the small, Romanesque Hansted Church, which has formed the basis for the religious life of the local community for more than 800 years. The contours of a medieval ship are outlined on the south wall of the church and these accentuate the maritime history of the church.

Today, Hanstholm has about 2500 inhabitants, and fisheries and the associated industry as well as other activities on the port and in the industrial district of the town are the bread and butter for many families in Hanstholm. Therefore, the sea still plays an important part in the lives of the locals. There are plans to expand the port, so it can meet the demands of today and of the future. Moreover, wave power is being developed at Hanstholm.

The Hanstholm Fish Auction is open every day from 7am. Access is at your own risk and please remember that the auction is a workplace. You can fish from the piers on the harbour, but this can be dangerous due to the high waves, so be careful. From the harbour, you can go on sea angling trips to Gule Rev reef. Ask at the tourist information office.

DanWEC, Danish Wave Energy Center offers guided tours

A long history

The Port of Hanstholm is the result of more than 100 years of endeavours to establish a harbour along the west coast of Jutland. The strong wind and current along the coast make it difficult to construct a port. However, there are good and attractive fishing grounds in the sea outside this part of the west coast, and before the ports were built, the fishing cutters had to be simply beached.

In 1917, it was decided to build a port at Hanstholm. The first thing that was built was a jetty towards the west, and due to a poor economy, expansion of the port was very slow until the beginning of the Second World War. During the war, the construction of the port came to a complete halt. Then there was some discussion about whether the port should be completed, and not until 1960 could the Folketinget (the Danish Parliament) pass an act that would complete the port at Hanstholm as a combined fishing and industrial port. The Port of Hanstholm opened in 1967. Over the years, there have been periods with a ferry service between Hanstholm and Norway, the Faeroe Islands and Iceland, however, for the moment, these services have been moved to other ports.