In the captivating heart of Izmir, Turkey, the annual EuroVelo & Cycling Tourism Conference took place from October 11 to 13 Organized by the European Cyclists Federation (ECF), this event has assumed a central role in discussions on cycling tourism and sustainable travel. The theme for this year, “Cycling: a novel perspective on heritage, sparked enlightening conversations about the pivotal role that cycling tourism can play in conserving the natural and cultural heritage of a region.
As the Conference concluded, the host location for the 2024 edition was revealed: Viborg, Denmark, will be the site of the next EuroVelo & Cycling Tourism Conference from September 23-25, 2024.
But where is this pretty Danish town located?
On the Jutland peninsula, a mere four-hour bicycle ride from the city of Aarhus, rests Viborg, one of Denmark’s oldest cities, often referred to as the ‘holy mountain’—a somewhat ironic nickname given the absence of mountains in the vicinity, except for gentle hills.
Throughout the centuries, the Ancient Road has been traversed by Vikings, merchants, warriors, artisans, pilgrims, and adventurers—on foot, horseback, and ox-drawn carts. A pathway that served as the gateway to key trading and religious destinations situated to the south
Until the introduction of absolute monarchy in 1660, all Danish kings were proclaimed in Viborg itself. In this place, noble gentlemen and Catholic bishops adorned the streets with monumental buildings, among them the distinctive two-towered Cathedral.
The Cathedral Quarter is a must-visit, offering more than just the religious monument. Explore the vibrant (vibrant for Northern Europe, that is) shopping streets of Sct. Mogens Gade and Sct. Mathias Gade. Also in the center are the Viborg Museum and the Skovgaard Museum, as well as the city’s old squares and gardens.
For those passionate about food, satisfaction awaits; the area around Viborg is renowned for its abundant agricultural production, influencing the kitchens of restaurants celebrated for their innovative take on traditional cuisine. You not only have the opportunity to savor specialties at the restaurant; indeed, you can also purchase fresh produce from farm stores and local markets.
Exploring Viborg and its surroundings by bicycle.
Surrounded by captivating nature, charming towns, and a multitude of opportunities for outdoor activities, Viborg offers a delightful experience The nearby forests and natural areas provide chances for hiking, biking trails, and observing wildlife.
There are plenty of ponds for swimming (if you’re inclined), fishing, sailing, or simply relaxing.
On a bicycle, you can journey along the aforementionedAncient Road (in Danish, Hærvejen). The route encompasses several hundred kilometers of bicycle paths that traverse the entirety of Jutland. In this way, you can explore the diverse landscapes and colors of Danish nature, spanning from north to south.
Cycling along the lake Hald Sø
Upon departing from Viborg, you can pedal along Lake Hald Sø, eventually arriving at the verdant Dollerup Bakker nature reserve. Hikers and cyclists can stop at Skelhøje Købmandsgård, a socially responsible enterprise that includes a café and art gallery.
During the journey, explorers come across historical sites like Grathe Hede or encounter other bodies of water, such as Lake Nipgård and Lake Bølling Sø. Many stretches of the Ancient Road envelop you in soothing forests and woods, creating a tranquil experience for the mind.
To find out all the routes and tracks, we recommend visiting the site dedicated to the Ancient Road.