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Jutland (Jylland), Denmark's western peninsula, is the only part of the country naturally connected to mainland Europe; its southern boundary is the frontier with Germany. In contrast to the smooth land of Funen and Zealand, the Ice Age–chiseled peninsula is bisected at the north by the craggy Limfjord and spiked below by the Danish "mountains." Himmelbjerget, the zenith of this modest range, peaks at 438 feet. Farther south, the Yding Skovhøj plateau rises 568 feet—modest hills just about anywhere else. The windswept landscape traces the west coast north to Skagen, a luminous, dune-covered point.

To the east, facing Funen, Jutland is cut by deep fjords rimmed with forests. The center is dotted with castles, parklands, and the famed Legoland. Denmark's oldest and youngest towns, Ribe and Esbjerg, lie in southwest Jutland. In Ribe's medieval town center is the country's earliest church; modern Esjberg, perched on the coast, is the departure point for ferries to nearby Fanø, an island of windswept beaches and traditional villages. Århus and Aalborg, respectively Denmark's second- and fourth-largest cities, face east and have nightlife and sights to rival Copenhagen's.

Nearly three times the size of the rest of Denmark, with long distances between towns, the peninsula of Jutland can easily take several days, even weeks, to explore. If you are pressed for time, concentrate on a single tour or a couple of cities. Delightful as they are, the islands are suitable only for those with plenty of time, as many require an overnight stay.

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