“Great family theme park with a distinctively Danish atmosphere”
Greetings from Blokhus, Denmark. If you search for this town on a map, it may seem a little remote. However, it’s worth the hassle to get here. The main reason for travelling to Blokhus is Fårup Sommerland, one of the country’s best-known amusement parks. The park opened in 1975 and it has always catered towards families with children. Thrill seekers aren’t forgotten, though. Fårup Sommerland offers a total of 8 roller coasters and the most recent addition even counts as one of Europe’s finest thrill coasters.
Orkanen is the park’s signature family coaster and it looks absolutely stunning. It features shiny blue tracks, a nicely themed station and the recently opened Fårup Hotel acts as an amazing backdrop. The ride itself is awesome as well: especially Orkanen’s first drop, the underwater tunnel and the following turnaround are surprisingly fun and intense. Orkanen’s sole negative aspect is its limited capacity. Due to the lack of a brake section, it can only run one train. That’s not a problem on days with average crowds, but I can imagine long queues during the busier times of year.
Next up is the neighbouring wooden coaster Falken. Operations are similar to Orkanen’s: there’s one train and the ride is managed by only one staff member. The ride experience, however, is inferior to Orkanen’s. Don’t get me wrong: Falken features some good drops and it’s even able to please the airtime lovers. But if you’re looking for a smooth and enjoyable ride, you probably won’t find it here. The final helix is particularly shaky and this painful curve takes away every sense of joy. Beautiful ride, very mediocre ride experience.
More family-friendly fun is guaranteed by Mine Expressen and Flagermusen, rides which are respectively manufactured by Vekoma and Reverchon. Both rides are hidden in the woods and that delivers some unexpected fun. Please don’t expect amazing thrills, though. These rides can easily be described as ‘a classic Vekoma coaster that can be found at almost every European amusement park’ and ‘a painful funfair coaster with spinning cars’. Nothing special, but these rides seem to work well for the Danish audience. Children and credit hunters should also pay a visit to Pindsvinet, by the way. This hedgehog-themed ride was built by Zamperla and it is Fårup Sommerland tiniest coaster.
In 2008, Fårup Sommerland opened its first inversion coaster Lynet. Fårup Sommerland opted for Gerstlauer, a German manufacturer which often delivers rattly, uncomfortable coasters. Unfortunately, Lynet isn’t any different. Most curves are quite rough and the restraints are too obstructive to be pleasant. On a more positive note, the initial launch is surprisingly powerful and the second hill creates a great amount of airtime. Overall, this coaster isn’t too bad. You just shouldn’t ride it too often, as it’s able to create a major headache.
There are some striking similarities between the park’s two most recently built coasters. They’re both delivered by Vekoma, they’re both green and they’re both surprisingly good. Saven opened in 2020 and it’s a Junior Boomerang Coaster. The big news, however, came in 2022 with the addition of Fønix, a.k.a. the Firebird. It’s not a secret that modern-day Vekomas tend to be amazingly smooth and intense. Fønix is no exception to that rule, as the smoothness can hardly be described in words. The design of the 900-metre long layout also deserves praise, as Vekoma managed to include three inversions, forceful transitions and quite a few airtime moments. My favourite moments are the stall loop (which is a world’s first, according to Vekoma), the forceful heartline roll and an incredibly fun double-down. The only thing about Fønix that I didn’t really like, were the operations. During our visit, staff still seemed to be adjusting to the new ride. This resulted in slow dispatches and a rather long, slow-moving queue.
Water plays an important role at Fårup Sommerland. The park is home to a small-sized water park (included in park admission, by the way) and there are a ton of boat rides. Whether you like a canoe, a small motor boat, a rowing boat or a pedalo… they’ve got them al. These are the things that give Scandinavian amusement parks their distinctive flair. The Danish don’t necessarily ask for the most thrilling, record-breaking rides. Instead, they just want a day of fun for the entire family.
More water-based fun can be found at Fårup Rafting and Træstammerne, a rapid river and a classic log flume respectively. They aren’t particularly tall or unique, but both rides are fairly long and they have been nicely integrated in the natural environment. Fårup Rafting can hardly be seen from the pathways, which certainly adds to the excitement once on board. Although decoration is limited to an absolute minimum, this is a very solid attraction. The fact that we exited this raft ride almost entirely dry seemed a good thing with temperatures around 20°C. Unfortunately, the log flume got us soaked anyway. Træstammerne offers three drops and the second, smallest splashdown happens to be very wet. So please skip this one if you’re afraid of water. Due to the lack of theming, this ride is kind of uninteresting anyway.
If you’re searching for dark rides, you’ll be disappointed at Fårup Sommerland. At first, we guessed that Ræven’s Hule was some kind of haunted house, but it isn’t. In fact, there seems to be a spooky fun house behind this facade. It’s a pretty decent walk-through and the crooked room is a true brain teaser. Right next to this attraction, the fun continues with an outdoor maze and an obstacle course. This kind of infill attractions would be ideal for every amusement park on Earth, but for now it remains a typical Scandinavian thing. Also very characteristic for this part of Europe: grass fields filled with trampolines and huge bouncing pillows.
WORTH A VISIT?
Yes, Fårup Sommerland is definitely worth a trip to Denmark! Especially now that Fønix is up and running, every coaster enthusiast should put this park on their bucket list. Still, Fønix isn’t the only good reason to travel to northern Denmark. Fårup Sommerland actually offers a very complete and qualitative coaster lineup. Besides, the park also offers a lot of unique experiences that can’t be found at non-Scandinavian parks. It’s not only about coasters and water rides, but those canoes, mazes and free-to-use barbecues add to the experience as well. Fårup’s biggest strenght is actually the fact that it’s different. This is nothing like Europa-Park, PortAventura or other well-known places. I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere here at Fårup Sommerland.
Photo gallery 2017 & 2022
Would you book plane tickets to Aalborg right away, just to visit Fårup Sommerland? Should we consider Fønix as Europe’s best coaster addition in 2022? Is Orkanen one of Europe’s most perfect family coasters? Share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this page.