Gudenåen - Denmarks longest watercourse

Gudenåen - Denmarks longest watercourse

Gudenåen - Denmark's longest watercourse
Gudenåen is Denmark's longest watercourse and the closest thing to a river in Denmark. 158 kilometers in total - from the source in Tinnet Krat and to where the stream becomes one with Randers Fiord. Every year, huge amounts of water gets through a very wide river valley, which creates this beautiful pearl of the nature, which Gudenåen is with its impressive supply of animal- and plant life.

Gudenåen is a great place for nature lovers. It is a place with lots of fun and challenging experiences with the whole family - both children and adults.

Nature- and cultural experiences

By Gudenåen, you get a unique opportunity to combine different kinds of vacations in one. You can both enjoy being active and adventurous as well as the cultural experiences and the city break. Gudenåen can be experienced by water, foot, or on a bike.

You can visit the monasteries and hear about the history of the barge draggers, which are closely connected to Gudenåen. The trails from these can be experienced different places - e.g. at Øm monastery and on Trækstien.

The power of Gudenåen can be witnessed at the water hydropower plants, which are located along Gudenåen - Vestbirk Vandkraftværk - Vestbirk Hydropower plant - and Energimuseet - the museum of Energy.

On the trip, you can also visit Randers Tropical Zoo, Auqa and other museums. During your trip, you also get the opportunity to get some food on the restaurants and shop in the many shops nearby.

Active vacation on the water
If you are interested in an active vacation, you are able to experience Gudenåen on the water. You can sail from Tørring all the way up to Randers in canoe or kayak, and in some sections, it is permitted to sail with motor- or sail boats. You can bring your own boat, canoe, or kayak - or just rent one in one of the many authorized rent shops along the watercourse.

It is very important that you carefully understand the different rules before sailing on Gudenåen - both regarding the nature and the other people using Gudenåen. Violations of the rules can cause a fine.

Active vacation by foot

You also have the possibility to feel the nature around Gudenåen by foot. A 125 kilometers long, signposted, hiking route is present - and it follows Gudenåen all the way from Voervadsbro south of Mossø to Randers.

On bicycle

You can also bring the family along on a biking vacation. Along Gudenåen, you will find Denmark's longest coherent track bike path - from Randers by Silkeborg to Horsens. On this path, you will - among other things - pass by Den Genfundne Bro (the rediscovered bridge) and an even older bridge, from 1862, in Langå.

You can also follow the path, Gudenåruten - the Gudenå route, which leads you along the source of the watercourse by Ry and further by Silkeborg to Randers. On these paths, you will pass a lot of MTB tracks, which can be used for free, if you wish.

As angler by Gudenåen, you have the opportunity of catching fish like brown trout, salmon, eel, pike, walleye, and common roach because of the water amounts and -depths in the watercourse.

Depending on where, you want to catch fish, various rules apply for fishing in the area - and some areas require day passes. Before you fetch the fishing rod and head to Gudenåen, it is a good idea to contact the local fishing association for more information.

The legend of Gudenåen
Once upon a time, there was a half god named Guddar, who became madly in love with a beautiful human girl named Else.

He kidnapped her in Tinnet Krat, where Gudenåen has its source. He tied her to his horse carriage and drove away. To avoid any followers to find them, he steered the horse into complex swings and twists, as the drove away.

The girl's father asked a wise man in Tørring for help to catch the kidnapper. First, the wise man sent the fire after Guddar, because the fire was fast, but wind caught the fire and blew it out. Then, he sent the water. He called upon all brooks and springs, which followed Guddars tracks in all its twists and ripped the ground up, so large valleys were created.

The water caught Guddar by Randers fiord and Guddar drowned, while the girl, lovely Else, was free.

According to the legend, this was how Gudenåen was created - and named after the half god Guddar.

Get more information and find maps here:

Get more information and find maps here:

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