I kano på Gudenåen

Three days canoeing on the Gudenå

Photo: David Jervidal

Canoeing on the Gudenå is an amazing experience. And planning the trip is not that difficult. We will guide you step by step to the trip on the southernmost part of the river, the one-way traffic section between Tørring and The Monastery Mill. 

Step 1: Preparation

What should you prepare for three days canoeing on the Gudenå? Not much, actually. 

First of all, you must decide when you wish to travel. Canoeing on this part of the Gudenå river is allowed June 16 - December 31. We recommend July og the beginning of August. During this period you can get a free ride back to the starting point with The Gudenå Bus. There is one-way traffic on this part of the Gudenå. You will paddle your way northwards with the current. Therefore, you must arrange transportation back for both you and the canoe.

If you choose to rent a canoe, the canoe rental will pick up the canoe where you finish your trip. The canoe rental offers many services, and are ready to assist you with great expertise and experience So start off by contacting the canoe rental, book the canoe, and get answers to all the questions you may have. 

We recommend that you book accommodation in advance, to make sure that there is room for you when you arrive. You can find renttal place and accommodation in the guide below. 

The canoe has surprisingly much room for paraphernalia. But what should you bring for such a trip? Read the FAQ section at the bottom of this page where you will find answers for frequently asked questions.



Day 1: Off to Tørring

Tørring is a popular starting point for canoeing trips on Gudenåen. This is where the river gets wide enough for you to sail in it. If you arrive by car, you can park at Tørring Canoe Rental - and it is possible to leave the car here until you return. If you wish to use public transportation, you can get on a regional bus from Horsens or Vejle. Find departures on Rejseplanen.

Consider arriving the day before. Then you do not have to rush to get to Tørring in the morning. You can find accommodation at Tørring Camping, where you can sleep in your own tent or rent a wooden cabin. There is also a café here where you can get a nice meal. Consider ordering a packed lunch for your first day in the canoe.

If you arrive the day before, you can go for a walk in the village, and stock up on supplies in one of the local supermarkets. You can also choose to visit the sources of the Gudenå in Tinnet Krat, about 10 kilometres west of Tørring. You can drive there or walk there on the beautiful Gudenå Path. 


Departure from Tørring

Tørring-Åstedbro - 15 kilometres

Start by reporting to the reception at Tørring Canoe Rental. They are ready to inform you about safety and techniques, and will gladly give you tips and tricks. If you never tried canoeing, then do not worry. This southern stretch is narrow, with calm and shallow water, so you can safely get comfortable with the canoe. You will now be sailing north. The first couple of hours, you will sail through Uldum Kær, Denmark's largest wetland. After a couple of hours, you will get to the end of the world (yes, that is actually the name of the place), where you can get on land on your left hand. This is a logical place for your first break. If you wish, you can go for a walk and explore Uldum Kær. In that case, we suggest that you have lunch here. Alternatively, you can wait until you get to Aale Camp Site after one more hour of paddling. At Aale Campsite, there are many tables and benches og shelters, and shelters where you can sleep for free if you prefer to take it easy here on the first day.

There are quite a few turns and bends on this stretch, and you, and you will likely bump against the edges a few times. But do not worry - the canoe is quite stable, and you can easily use the paddle to push your way back on track. Besides, it is quite a fun and good way to learn the techniques.

The last section of today's trip goes to Aastedbro, where you sleep at the local campsite. The landing site is on your left hand - just after passing under a bridge with a sign that says Åstedbro. 

The whole trip from Tørring to Klostermølle is 15 kilometres long, which is perfect for a day trip. This distance is doable for most people - even families with children. You may want to take turns sitting in the front and rear of the canoe to relieve the body. The person in the front acts as the engine, and the person in the back steers through turns. 

Day 2: Welcome to the jungle

Aastedbro-Vestbirk Camping - 12 kilometres

After yesterday's trip through the large wetland, you will notice the landscape changing today. The vast expanse changes to dark green colours and lakes. The stream also becomes wider and deeper in some places Start turen fra Aastedbro omkring klokken 10. Så passer det nemlig med, at I kan holde frokost efter seks kilometers sejlads ved campingpladsen Gudenå Camping. We recommend that you start the trip from Åstedbro around 10 a.m. This way, you can have lunch after six kilometres at the camp site Gudenå Camping. The camp site has a kiosk and a cafeteria that is open during the summer. Here, you can buy delicious fast food and pizza. Keep an eye out for the camp site's landing site on your right hand at the village Bredstenbro.

Shortly after the camp site, you will get to a particularly winding stretch with many turns which is quite entertaining. After a few kilometres, you will reach Bredvad Mill, which is one of the most beautiful places around the Gudenå with big trees leening over the river. At Bredvad Mill, there is a landing site  with toilets and a picnic area. Shortly after, you will venture onto Bredvad Lake. The lake marks the end of today's trip. Here, you will find the big camp site, Vestbirk Camping. On your right hand, you can pull the canoe ashore. There are several types of accommodation available. You can rent a wooden cabin, a glamping tent or a caravan. Alternatively, you can also sleep in your own tent.


Day 3: Between hills and forest in the Danish Lakelands

Vestbirk Camping-The Monastery Mill - 14 kilometres

Today's trip takes you through beautiful nature to the final destination of this short break, Klostermølle (The Monastery Mill) at the banks of Jutland's largest lake, Mossø. Before putting the canoe in the water, you might want to visit Vestbirk's biggest attraction, The Uncovered Bridge, only a couple of kilometres from Vestbirk Camping. But keep an eye out for the time, as you will likely want to catch a ride back to Vestbirk with the Gudenå Bus, later today. Alternatively, you can visit the bridge the night before, if you are up to it. 

At first, you will be sailing through Bredvad Lake and Vestbirk Lake - the most open, wide and deep section of today's trip. The lakes are not so big though, that you will experience trouble with waves. Shortly after, you will get to Vestbirk Hydroelectric Plant where you have to get out of the canoe. There is a portage point here. You can transport your canoe on carts, so you do not have to drag it too far. Here, at the hydroelectric plant you have assess to drinking water and a toilet.

You will now continue northwards to the charming village of Voervadsbro where you can enjoy lunch at the local camp site. You will find the camp site on your right hand, seven kilometres after the hydroelectric plant. Now continue for the last, peaceful section of today's trip towards Klostermølle. You will be surrounded by forest and sailing next to the Gudenå Trail, so here you can greet hikers on your right hand side. 

Ultimately, you will make your way around the big forest-clad hill The Sugar Loaf, and arrive at historic Klostermølle(The Monastery Mill). A sign will inform that you have arrived. Ask the canoe rental in advance, where to leave the canoe, so they can easily find it when picking it up.

Klostermølle is a big nature attraction, and it is tempting to go for a walk in the former benedictine monastery and paper factory, where there are several iconic buildings. Enjoy the view of the big lake Mossø from the shore. And if you have time, walk on the Gudenå Trail to the top of The Sugar Loaf, which offers one of the best views in Denmark. The hike to the top is approx. two kilometres.

But remember the time! The options for public transportation at Klostermølle are limited. But during the summer holiday (June 25-August 7) the Gudenå Bus has one daily departure, and picks up canoeists for free and drives them back to the start of the trip.

That is how to finish a short break on the Gudenå in style. Now all that remains is the comfortable and free ride back to Tørring Camping where your car will be waiting for you. The bus departs at 4:00 pm. There is a bus sign at the parking lot where you can get on.

Frequently asked questions about canoeing

Kurser og guidede ture med Outdoor Connection
Outdoor Connection

Would you rather start with a canoe course?

Some feel safest in the company of an experienced guide when they go canoeing for the first time. Outdoor Connection offers courses, tours, and fun activities in the canoe on Gudenåen. 

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