Exploring Denmark’s hidden gems: Sorø
I am a huge fan of weekend trips. It doesn’t always have to be the two week beach vacation (although that’s also pretty nice!), sometimes it’s just great to break out of the daily routines and spend a night or two away from home. We have a couple of trips planned for this summer, one to Oslo and one to a secret location that the boyfriend will only learn when we’re at the airport. But this weekend, we felt like a much needed weekend break!
Denmark is without a doubt a beautiful country, with green landscapes and the sea all around. And a vacation or especially a weekend getaway doesn’t always have to be far away! I found a great offer in a very nice hotel which included a dinner as well, so we jumped in the car after work on Friday and drove out to the small town of Sorø, located in the middle of Zealand (Sjælland), about an hour’s drive away from Copenhagen (although it turned out to be longer than that due to masses of people leaving Copenhagen on the first day of school vacations!).
The hotel is a Danish “kro”, typical historic inns now turned stylish hotels and lodges. The history of kros actually dates back several hundred years, when a royal decree stipulated that there had to be an inn every couple of miles to ensure that travellers could get food, drink, and rest. Nowadays, they can still be found many places, especially small towns and villages away from the main roads. Some of them even have gourmet restaurants or spas, making them a great choice for a weekend getaway. Many kros offer special deals such as the one we got during the summer period, so be on the lookout! This website has a good overview of kros across Denmark.
Sorø is a small town located between three lakes, Pedersborg Sø, Sorø Sø and Tuelsø. With less than 8,000 inhabitants, it’s a charming and down-to-earth small town with tons of history. We stayed at the Comwell Sorø Storkro, which has Denmark’s largest straw roof. It’s recently been renovated but managed to keep loads of charm while still providing modern and stylish rooms facilities. After checking in, we enjoyed a first coffee on the terrace and then went to explore the near lakeshore of Pedersborg Sø.
After getting freshened up, we went up to the restaurant to enjoy our dinner and were certainly not disappointed! There were only two starters and two mains on the menu, and, between us, we chose all four – and they all were great. Home-smoked salmon with a cream cheese foam and fresh peas, whiting with cold potatoes and remoulade, and for the mains, a great steak and a lamb shank with meat so tender it basically fell off the bone. The main portions were a bit large for me, but everything was absolutely delicious. We “shared” a dessert (meaning we ordered it to share and then I ended up eating the entire thing) which was a rose hip mazarin cake with rose hip preserves and a rose hip blossom sorbet. Ah-ma-zing! After dinner, we went down to the pool area and relaxed in the hot tub with a view over Pedersborg Sø.
This morning after breakfast, we decided to explore the town a bit before heading back home. Sorø has a couple of great sights that you should definitely not miss if you’re ever in the area. This includes the monastery church (klosterkirke) and Sorø Akademi, a private boarding school on the shores of Sorø Sø. The school is surrounded by a beautiful park, Akademihaven, which invites for a stroll. A couple of Danish kings as well as bishop Absalon, the founder of Copenhagen, are buried in the old cemetery.
We also hopped on board “Lille Claus” to enjoy a one-hour boat ride around Sorø Sø with some commentary about the most important sights and their history. We were joined by a large group of elderly people, who had brought picnic baskets with smørrebrød, beer and snaps and were having a blast – we felt a bit silly sitting there with our cokes! But the ride on the small boat was good fun, I always love to be on the water! If you are in Sorø, I do recommend this trip, which costs 65 DKK only. Bring a picnic basket! The website of Sorø Bådfart has more info.
On the way back to the car, we walked up the lovely old Søgade, which is full of the adorable colorful little houses that are so typical for historic Danish towns and areas (you can also find them in the old city center of Copenhagen, among others near Frederiksholms Kanal).
And finally, some impressions from the main street in Sorø’s town center. All in all, a lovely mini-break, and what a great way to recharge! Hope you have a great weekend!