The Longest Rivers in Denmark

Denmark is almost entirely surrounded by sea, but what about freshwater? Read on as we explore the longest rivers in Denmark.

Travel and Exploration
20 March 2023

The Scandinavian country of Denmark is known for its low, flat topography. Facing onto the sea on all sides except its 42-mile border with Germany, it has some 43,000 miles of watercourses such as lakes and rivers. However, over 75% of these are small streams, creeks and ditches. So, what about long and winding rivers? What are the longest rivers in Denmark?

In this article, we’ve found them: Denmark’s longest rivers. So read on to find out more. A quick note before we dive in: this article relates to the country of Denmark rather than the Kingdom of Denmark, which includes several autonomous territories.

Gudena: The Biggest River in Denmark

Gudenåen (Photo: flemmingmahler via Getty Images)

Length: 93-98 miles

Carved by ice and glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age, the Gudena is the longest and largest river in Denmark.

Also known as Gudenåen, it originates near Torring in the eastern part of Jutland and flows northwards towards the centre of the peninsula. The river’s 93 to 98-mile journey incorporates several lakes and ends at Randers Fjord, an inlet which leads to the Kattegat Sea.

The Gudenå River supports a variety of plant and animal life. Its waters are home to several species of fish, including brook trout, sea trout, and especially salmon.


Stora (Photo: Southern Lightscapes-Australia via Getty Images)

Length: 65 miles

Measuring 65 miles in length and draining almost 320 square miles, Stora, or Storaen, is the second on this list of longest Danish rivers. Beginning near Ikast, it meanders its way west through numerous other towns in the Mid Jutland Region, finally bisecting that of Holstebro before emptying into the Nissum Fjord.

Canoeing and angling are both popular activities on the Stora, which is famed for its Storå Salmon.

Skjern: The largest river in Denmark by Volume

Skjern (Photo: frankix via Getty Images)

Length: 58 miles

At 58 miles long, Skjern misses out on being Denmark’s longest river, but it is possibly the biggest river in Denmark by volume. Indeed, with a basin size of some 810 square miles, it drains about a tenth of the entire country.

Skjern’s source is found at the cusp of southern and central Denmark, under 2,000 feet from that of Gudenå. From there this winding river travels west until it reaches the town from which it gets its name. There, one finds the Skjern’s delta and from where it ends at the North Sea via Ringkøbing Fjord.


Susa / Karrebaeksminde Bay (Photo: frankix via Getty Images)

Length: 54 miles

Located on the island of Zealand is another of the longest Danish rivers, Susa. Rising south of the town of Rønnede, it travels for around 54 miles before emptying into Karrebaeksminde Bay. Along the way, the river passes through a canal built in the 1930s and through pipes under Naestved town centre. Around twenty fish-species can be found within the waters of the Susa, among them pike, perch and eel.


Ariel view of Odense (Photo: Westersoe via Getty Images)

Length: 43 miles

The Odense is the longest Danish river on the island of Funen. Named after Denmark’s third largest city and birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen, it travels for 43 miles through mostly agricultural land to its mouth at Odense fjord.

Denmark's Longest Rivers

Ariel view of Stora (Photo: Westend61 via Getty Images)

As we’ve seen, the longest rivers in Denmark are rich in fish species and are popular places for recreation, particularly angling and canoeing.


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