Six hours and hard graft are necessary to polish the lenses at Hirtshals Lighthouse, so that the lighthouse can shine brightly the full 25 nautical miles from land. Here - at an altitude of 35 meters - Hirtshals welcomes the world with a view of Vendsyssel's dune landscape and the waves.
From here you can see the fairways that form when the ferries from Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands move back and forth. Hirtshals is a maritime hub with one of the largest commercial ports in Denmark.
The history of fishing and how the sea has been the lifeline of the town for the last hundred years, unfolds if you move around the city and the harbour. At the quay are old fishing cutters. Here is, amongst others, a beautiful, light blue Danish seine wooden cutter a floating piece of Danish cultural heritage. During summer it is moreover possible to join a harbour tour.
If you want to try out fishing for yourself, there is almost a catch guarantee if you cast out your line at Vestmolen or go on a trip and fish on the open sea at the Norwegian Trench and the Yellow Reef. However, you do not need to be at sea and get seasick to be close to the wonders of the sea in Hirtshals. You can also get under the sea surface in Northern Europe's largest aquarium: The North Sea Oceanarium and stand face to face with animal life of the North Sea, for instance shoals of fish and the huge ocean sunfish, all year round. And on special occasions you can also taste fish dishes, feed fish and pet a plaice.
Hirtshals is one of the places where most plaice are fished in Denmark and at the auctions, the catch of the cutters goes to the highest bidder. In a few years, the fishers hope that the catch of the day includes black lobster, if the plans to restore lobster fishing along the coast between Løkken and Hirtshals are successful. At the quay you can buy fresh fish directly from the small cutters.
In August the annual fish festival is taking place. Here, the story about the fish's path from the sea to ship, shop and finally to the table is told with activities for children and adults.
You can experience the living harbour, join a harbour tour and taste the sea's delicacies at the many booths, which offer bite-sized portions. The festival also attracts skilled chefs and high profile restaurants from Northern Jutland, who compete in a fierce competition about preparing the best local dishes. The ingredients are all from Northern Jutland and every year one fish species is chosen as the main ingredient, which all chefs have to use in their dish - of course landed in Hirtshals. Many of the restaurants contribution in the competition can be found later in their menu.
Marinators, yes, that is what they are called, who know how to marinate the omega-3-containing, silver-coloured fish, come from all over the country to compete in preparing the best herring. Old-fashioned matured, of course, because that's how you do it in Hirtshals. The herring is stored in a barrel for at least three months, so that you get a fine and full taste. These special herring can of course be tasted and later found in the shops.
No herring without schnapps. In addition to local dishes and fish, they also compete in making the best bjesk, which herbal schnapps is called north of the Limfjord. Hirtshals is known for klitbjesken "the preventive medicine" which got produced from "the queen of bjesk", the nurse Signe Hansen, during the war. At the city's museum you can learn more about Signe Hansen and gale, heather and the more than 50 other plants, that are growing wildly in the dune landscape at Hirtshals and are some of the ingredients for bjesk. If you bring a bottle of clear schnapps with you, you can have it flavoured with your favourite herbs and take your own bjesk home.
At several places in and around Hirtshals you can taste and buy different variations of bjesk. For example at the old farm, where you can also buy other regional specialities or drink coffee in 200 year old rooms.
It is not far from the cutter to the table at Hirtshals' restaurants. Often, the fish comes directly from the auction to the shop and café, where you can enjoy a classic stjerneskud, fish cake or a seafood plate with a view of the harbour.
High ambitions and a seasonal cuisine characterize some of the restaurants of the city, where the menus of creative and favourite dishes are served with the hospitality of Northern Jutland. They also serve an interpretation of tapas with North Jutland specialities and the proximity to the North Sea is evident everywhere. Up here, an effort is made to offer a Northern Jutlandic cuisine, which is most often nicely slow food-oriented.
Tversted is a classic coastal town with a large and loyal amount of visitors, who love Tversted for the breathtaking sunsets, the beach, the art, the jazz and the real holiday atmosphere - an atmosphere of peace and relaxation.
The popular, white Tversted Beach has space for everyone. The children can play at the water's edge and in the dunes. Dogs are welcome to refresh in the cool sea. Cars park in several rows and from the end of June to the middle of August, Trygfonden's Bathing Tower keeps watch over bathing safety.
A stop at one of the many ice-cream shops is a must if you are visiting Tversted during the summer period. The small ice-cream shops have delighted many locals and tourists for many years.
There are many bunkers in the dunes in Tversted but they are well-hidden from the road and some of them function now as a garage, wine cellar or the like.
The nature surrounding Tversted invites to hiking-, cycling- or riding tours.