If you head up the coast north of Copenha- gen, you will experience Denmark’s most af- fluent areas with beautiful coastal stretches and sandy beaches lined with magnificent villas overlooking the strait to Sweden. With its popular beaches, first-class inns, and ac- tive nightlife, many call it the “Danish Riviera.”

Rungstedlund is situated by the coast of Øresund and is the house in which famous author, Karen Blixen, was born. Her child- hood home is open to the public, and the rooms are left as Karen Blixen decorated and arranged them, giving a vivid impres- sion of the writer's day-to-day surroundings. Behind the house itself there is 40 acres of land – garden, meadow and grove. In ac- cordance with Karen Blixen's wishes, the area is preserved as a bird sanctuary.

Further up the coast, you will find the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art with a panoramic view of Øresund. The museum – one of the world’s finest – frames the inter- action between art, nature and architecture in quite a unique way.

Seek inland and explore the fertile North Zealand, which reveals idyllic landscapes mixed with impressive forests and large lakes. Danish monarchs shared a love for North Zealand, an enticing destination and a

favourite hunting ground. In fact, there is no other area in Denmark where royal castles and palaces have been built so close togeth- er. Any self-respecting Danish monarch built a castle as evidence of royal power, honour and wealth. The castles were used as royal residences and official state venues for wed- ding receptions, and occasionally, as secret love nests.

Frederiksborg Castle was built by King Christian IV around 1600 and is an impres- sive mix of a manor and a hunting castle with a towering spire and secret trapdoor entrances. The castle is built on three is- lands, which are connected by bridges. Today, it is a national historical museum, containing treasures of painting, tapestry, porcelain, silver and furniture.

Fredensborg Palace is located in the mid- dle of a lovely park, bordering the idyllic Es- rum Lake and is the royal family’s vacation residence.

Kronborg Castle, which is on the UNESCO world heritage list, was chosen as the setting for Shakespeare's “Hamlet”. The castle is a magnificent renaissance castle located by the water in beautiful, old Helsingør. From here, you can catch a 20-minute ferry to Sweden.