We go to the countryside or the seaside on a quest for nature and adventures, or we visit a city to soak up its history and culture. Imagine, however, if you could do all of that at the same time – enjoy exciting experiences of wildlife and the sea, fresh air and plenty of culture, too. In Naturpark Lillebælt you can.

The largest of its kind in Denmark, this exceptional maritime nature park encompasses sea, fjord, coast and land areas. Naturpark Lillebælt is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, as well as historic cities, and is a collaboration between local communities in three municipalities and the experience and tourism industry, scientists, local volunteers and other stakeholders. Everyone contributes to the conservation of the marine and wildlife here, giving visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the area and actively participate in the efforts to sustain this beautiful part of Denmark.

At one with nature

“There is so much to explore here,” says Niels Ole Præstbro, executive secretary of Naturpark Lillebælt. “The biodiversity in the sea is unique, and the area has one of the world’s densest populations of porpoises,” he continues, passionately.

Whale safari is a popular experience, alongside bridgewalking, seaweed safari, kayaking and diving, and this is also a crucial breeding ground for a variety of birds and eagles. “What you learn when coming here is important,” says Verena Obertopp Knudsen, communications and development consultant at Naturpark Lillebælt. “We want to entertain and educate, making our visitors feel included in what we do.”

There is a real desire to encourage, to inspire and educate, and this is very much a destination for everyone – for families, couples, individuals, young and old alike – and a visit is about more than the experience of being at one with nature or immersing oneself in the area’s cultural history.

Naturpark Lillebælt: Perfect synergy between nature and culture

Cultural and historical attractions

“There are fascinating connections between nature and history,” Præstbro explains. “You can link the history of Denmark to the landscape.” One of the features of Naturpark Lillebælt is the three towns in it, each with its own history to tell. In Fredericia, you’ll find Fredericia Vold, historic ramparts built in the 17th century, now a much-loved green city park. In Kolding, you can visit the magnificent 750-year-old castle of Koldinghus and the modern museum of art and design, Trapholt. Middelfart is a cosy, traditional maritime town, offering a glimpse into the country’s seafaring past. One of the main attractions here is CLAY, the museum of ceramic art.

Slow Travel

“There are many ways of exploring the nature park,” says Knudsen. “If you want a sea-based experience, you can kayak from place to place and spend the night in shelters or hotels.” ‘Slow Travel’ is a relatively new way of exploring the world, an increasingly popular way of travelling that chimes in with the essence of Naturpark Lillebælt. The focus is on places off the beaten track, using public transport (or indeed kayaking), and supporting local produce and businesses. A crucial aspect of Slow Travel is to give back, and this is a key factor in the cooperation between locals and tourists.

“There are many ways to get involved in what we do,” Knudsen says. “Of course, you can donate money,” Præstbro interjects, “but you can also be active in supporting sustainability,” he continues. There are organised rubbish collections in the nature park, a wealth of choices for eating and staying locally, and you can support the porpoises by either buying a porpoise teddy or going on a whale safari. Holidaying has never felt this good – you give something back in return for an unforgettable experience.

Responsible tourism

“Naturpark Lillebælt is for both locals and tourists,” says Knudsen, and it is evident that the efforts and support of the local communities are crucial for the nature park. “We can only save the seas and the nature if we work together,” Præstbro adds. And this is at the heart of the nature park, which is much more than its separate parts. Each city has its own rich history, and the sea and the land their own outstanding beauty, but it is through collaboration that this place becomes a truly unique way of experiencing Denmark and Danish culture.

Everything comes together to provide experiences of nature, the wonderful marine and wildlife, the local cuisine and the culture. In the process, locals and visitors alike support biodiversity and sustainability, which is crucial to the survival of the marine and wildlife, as well as tourism. This is responsible tourism at its best, and a nature park for everyone. Whether you’re hankering for sea-based activities, hiking, contemplation in or learning about nature, or delving into the history of a city, Naturpark Lillebælt has something for you and is well worth a visit.

Naturpark Lillebælt: Perfect synergy between nature and culture

For more information about Naturpark Lillebælt, please see:
Web: www.naturparklillebaelt.dk
Facebook: naturparklillebaelt
Instagram: @naturparklillebaelt

For suggestions of places to visit, things to do, where to stay or where to eat in the three municipalities, please visit:
www.visitfredericia.com
www.visit-kolding.com
www.visitmiddelfart.com

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