Chalk Cliffs of Møns Klint - Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark is a popular destination and also a common layover spot when traveling to Europe. The city is a great place to tour, especially on a bike, given its excellent bike infrastructure. It’s also a good place for a run since it is so flat and has many beautiful trails on the waterfront. However, if you want to see more of the countryside and a unique natural wonder, then there is a great destination less than two hours away by car.
That destination is the chalk cliffs of Møns Klint. These cliffs rise about 125 meters from the ocean and are accessible by hiking paths along the shore and at the top overlooking the ocean. The shore is the most unusual beach I’ve seen since instead of sand it is made up of large, smooth rocks that are difficult to walk on. The slow going is ok though since it gives you more time to enjoy the soaring white chalk cliffs.
I landed late in Copenhagen on a Friday night on a flight from Stockholm. There are hourly flights so it’s super convenient to schedule around work. I rented a car and made the easy drive down to my hotel, the Liselund Ny Slot Hotel. It was so dark at the end of the drive I wasn’t 100% sure where to park. The Møns Klint area is known for its “quality darkness“, so it can be a great place to stargaze too. A friend of mine from Amsterdam came along so we had a couple beers and hung out before going to sleep.
We woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel on their terrace overlooking green gardens and a lake. The weather was perfect for a long run with a slight chill in the air, and partly cloudy skies. My plan was to run 50k, including the trail along the cliffs at the end. My friend went for a shorter run but we planned for me to meet him back at the hotel to hike the cliffs together.
I took off going west along the Møn Rundt trail. This trail is a sub-section of the much longer Sjaellandsleden Trail that circles the island of Zealand. Zealand is the largest of the islands that make up Denmark. The Møn Rundt trail just circles most of the Island of Møn, so it was a good basis for my run. Instead of running the full track I cut across the center of the island for about 40k total leaving 10k for the hike on the cliffs. The run is a cool combination of rural roads passing farms with geometric shapes from fresh harvests as well as beaches, both rocky and sandy. On the north side the beaches were narrow and rocky on the south, sandy. I alternated between the beach and the tracks that ran parallel to them just inland as I ran along the coasts.
Since there was little elevation gain, and I didn’t have to carry a lot of water I made good time. I got back to the hotel at 3pm, picked up my friend and headed out for the cliffs.
There is a trail along the beach that lets you hike up close to the cliffs. The trail is steep is just a few places but at low tide we could comfortably go the entire length of it. We ascended the stairs and hiked back along the top the entire way back. There are several lookouts where you can enjoy an overlook of the cliffs and sea.
Møns Klint made for an excellent ultrarunning destination because of its convenience to a major city and the quiet countryside and unusual cliffs to see. If you are in Copenhagen, or a nearby city, I highly recommend a weekend there for your own ultrarunning destination!