Category Archives: Sustainable Tourism

Green Key – Sustainable tourism and sustainable accommodation

Storytelling on wheels, Ribe, Denmark

Cycling through history and nature of Denmark’s oldest town Ribe

Ribe Bike Tours – Storytelling on wheels

A view on bike tours and bike tourism out of the bigger cities.
Explore Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park – a UNESCO site – by bicycle

Welcome to Danhostel Ribe‘s guest bloggers: founders of Ribe Bike Tours ( Line Fricke and Leon Walker

Line Fricke and Leon Walker from Ribe Bike Tours
Line Fricke and Leon Walker, Founders of Ribe Bike Tours here having the famous “Isvaflen” ice cream at Skibbroen in the heart of Ribe

Bicycle tours and  bike tourism in smaller towns, national parks and rural areas

Being on a bike with wind in your hair while being guided by a great storyteller is incomparable to any other way of visiting a new city. Or area! Oh yes bicycle tours and  bike tourism is just as attractive, if not more so, for smaller towns, national parks and rural areas as for cities. Here, we share with you why.

Bike tours and bicycle sightseeing in Ribe - See Ribe and the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage by bicycle
Bike tours and bicycle sightseeing in Ribe. Ribe old town and Ribe Cathedral seen from Riberhus Slotsbanke – the location of the medieval castle Riberhus, that once stood here. The spirit of Valdemar II The Victorious and his Queen Dagmar still resides here

Ribe Bike Tours: Storytelling on Wheels

Being a green yoga‐ & bike‐loving couple we have been involved with bike‐tours in cities all over the world – both as bike tour guests and also as guides: from Shanghai, China to London, UK to Mount Maunganui, New Zealand to Copenhagen, Denmark.
And now Ribe, Denmark’s oldest town, where we this summer launched Ribe Bike Tours offering guided bike tours or “storytelling on wheels”, as we like to say.

Ribe Bike Tours. The tour takes off at Ribe Viking Museum
Ribes Vikinger – the Viking museum in Ribe is where Ribe Bike Tours city tour takes off – just as Ribe’s history started here over 1300 years ago

Bike Tours without traffic, exhaust fumes and crowds

We’ve always believed that biking in big cities is a great way to be in one with the pulse of the city – and to see more in less time. But this city‐pulse invariably involves traffic, exhaust fumes and crowds – conditions that the ”perfect” bike tour should be without.
And it can be without as we’ve recently discovered. Taking a bike tour in the old town and the surrounding Danish nature of Ribe, conditions suddenly become closer to “perfect”.

Ribe Bike Tours
Ribe Bike Tours –

 See, hear, feel – when exploring by bike in Ribe

In Ribe we have little traffic, kilometers of bike‐lanes, friendly roads and lots of history to explore along the way. Whether visitors are into the establishment of the Vikings, wars of the Middle Ages or following the trail of famous local personalities such as the Danish-American journalist, photographer and philanthropist Jacob A Riis, Ribe has it all. It’s practically a condensed Scandinavian history lesson in one town… And on a bike the lesson can be felt, heard and seen in a couple of hours.

Book bicycle tours in Scandinavia's oldest town, Ribe in Denmark
After a tour by Ribe Brewery it’s time to get closer to the neighboring and magnificent Ribe Cathedral

Outstanding Danish West Coast nature and views

On the doorstep of Ribe is pure Danish West Coast nature. There’s even more to explore here:  Pedaling through this amazing  West Coast landscape we enjoy  as well the rich animal life; forests as flat marsh land.
Galgebakkerne (the Gallows Hill) where Riberret (the tough Ribe Law) was ”manifested” through witch-burning and other horrors.
From Kammerslusen lock by the Ribe Dike – which has worked as coastal protection and has protected Ribe and its historic treasures from flooding since the beginning of the 1900’s – you have  an outstanding  view over  the UNESCO Wadden Sea outside the dikes and over the Ribe March Wadden Sea National Park all the way to Ribe’s red roof tops and  its soaring Cathedral  inside the dikes.
In fact many of these spots out of Ribe can only be reached by private car or bike – for example Bicycle rental through Ribe Danhostel.

Visitors want authenticity

In terms of what visitors want, we are seeing people preferring less “cookie-cutter” mass tourism with big groups on busses just stopping to take a photo to more authentic, personal, unusual and fun ways of exploring, learning and doing.
Something bike tours can offer and which is what we want Ribe Bike Tours to offer. We make the very famous, the less famous and the very worthy stories come alive for visitors and cycling enthusiasts. We share the beauty of Danish nature, Danish history and Danish “green” bike mentality. A mentality that most people take for granted also exists outside of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.

“Come bike with us in and around Ribe where we can promise visitors clean air, almost empty roads and a positive green experience with biking!”

Xx Line & Leon

Vikings and Middle Age Kings & Queens in Ribe, Denmark
Whether guests are into the Vikings, the Middle Age Kings & Queens or ghosts of the past Ribe Bike Tours’ guides Line and Leon will bring the stories to live


  • Line Fricke from Ribe, Danmark and Leon Walker from Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
  • Line is Master in Social Science Service Management and Leon is Bachelor of Commerce – International Business
  • Both have worked and lived in Shanghai, China the last 4 years
  • Line is also a yoga teacher in Ribe and blogs about yoga, travel and life at
  • Leon enjoys talking about the stock market and kite surfing on the windy West Coast
  • The main languages on a guided bike tour with Ribe Bike Tours is Danish, Swedish and English but even a tour with some Chinese can be arranged
Ribe Bike Tours.
Ribe Bike Tours:


© All photos belong to Ribe Bike Tours – You are welcome to link to this blogpost, to Ribe Bike Tours or to Danhostel Ribe

Hostel guest in the lobby using the free WiFi

Hostels in Denmark – and a hostel host’s thoughts

The boat Johanne Dan in Ribe Harbour, Denmark
The flat-bottomed ship Johanne Dan in Ribe Harbour, on the West Coast of Denmark – an important part of the hostel Danhostel Ribe’s view.

A Hostel Manager for 28 years.
More than 500.000 guests were welcomed

I’ve been a hostel host in Ribe for more than 28 years now.
Most people call me a hostel manager, but I always used the word “host” myself, because I like to welcome our guests as guests – and it is vital to me that my guests feel welcome and at home.
Recently guest number 500.000 was welcomed, and we decided to celebrate this by making a donation to Johanne Dan, the beautiful ship, that is an important part of the view from the windows of the hostel. A view that both our guests and we enjoy every day.

Hostel host Jens Philipsen welcomes the Dutch family Rolf van Heeswijk
I (Jens Philipsen) welcome the Dutch family, Rolf van Heeswijk.

Home is where the heart is. I lost mine to the breathtaking beautiful Ribe

Ribe is breathtaking beautiful. It is Denmark’s best preserved town and also the oldest.  The hostel was built on the best spot in town and has an amazing view of the old town, Ribe River and the Wadden Sea National Park.
I am very thankful, that I was trusted a hostel such a lovely place, and have tried to take good care of it and our surroundings.  Today travellers build sustainability into their journeys, but to me a green hostel has always been a must.  The hostel has been eco-labeled with Green Key since 1997 and is still the only eco-labeled accommodation in all the Wadden Sea National Park. Since then we also became Official National Park Partner, was Refood labeled etc.

3 generations of the Petersen family from USA are photographed outside the hostel
3 generations of the Petersen family from USA are photographed outside the hostel. They are in Denmark to search their roots and visit their Danish family.

From dorms to rooms with private facilities

The celebration of 500.000 guests made me recall some  hostel memories. When I came to Ribe as a young manager of a brand new and modern hostel, I ended in a real buzz about placing a hostel on the most attractive site in Ribe. Furthermore the hotel owners in town were very concerned that the hostel should not have better facilities than Ribe’s hotels.
But times changed and after some years our hostel was modernized and all our  rooms got  private baths/toilets.

Hostels in Denmark are for all ages.
Hostels in Denmark are for all ages. This photo is of families from different parts of Denmark. They meet every summer – and this year they met in our hostel.

From youth hostels to hostels for all ages

In Denmark are hostel rooms with private facilities more common than hostels with big dorms.
Couples as well as families and backpackers book a room with private facilities.  When I started as hostel manager, guests who arrived after the hostel rooms were fully booked, were happy when they were offered a cheap mattress in a conference room shared with many others. They often stayed for many days, happy to have obtained a very cheap accommodation. Nowadays very few in our hostel will settle for a bed – certainly not for a mattress – nor shared showers.

Many of the Danish hostels have conference facilities. This photo is from a conference at our hostel focused on websites and social media in hospitality and tourism
Many of the Danish hostels have conference facilities. This photo is from a conference in our hostel focused on websites and social media in hospitality and tourism

Getting rid of old stereotypes about youth hostels

The Danish hostels started to welcome all ages many years ago, we have modern facilities and serve excellent breakfasts, many of us even have conference facilities, but it is hard to get rid of old stereotypes about youth hostels. We felt that youth hostels were not the right name any more. In Denmark hostels changed names from vandrehjem (homes for wanderers = youth hostels) to Danhostels. In Ribe we changed name from the Danish “Ribe Vandrehjem” to the international “Danhostel Ribe“.

Newly married couple from Germany in one of the hostel's luxury rooms
Newly married couple from Germany in one of the hostel’s luxury rooms

Luxury rooms with view of National Park

Danhostel Ribe was enlarged twice.  I started up with 26 rooms – now I have 40 and about 20.000 overnight stays per year.
As an icing of the cake the 6 superior rooms (A++) along the top floor were built featuring spectacular views of the old town, Ribe River and the National Park. (In 2010 the meadow outside the hostel became a part of one of Denmark’s first national parks: the Wadden Sea National Park.)
These rooms have become an attractive accommodation for many foreigners who marry in Ribe – and for couples of all ages who want a romantic holiday. What a pleasure for us to welcome these happy lovers.

Look inside our romantic hostel rooms 360º

Take a virtual 360º tour in one of these  luxury hostel rooms. Click on the Google map above – You can even go for a walk around the whole hostel – 360º: Virtual tour of Danhostel Ribe.
You have to “walk down the staircase” from the second floor (am.: the third floor), we have no lift. The other rooms are smaller and a little cheaper- but all have private bath/toilet.

Fathers having fun with their children in the hostel garden
Swedish fathers having fun with their children in the hostel garden

Difference between hotels and hostels

When the hostels in Denmark are so modern what is the difference between hostels and hotels, besides the prize?  One of the answers is “Do you want to be private or do you want to  socialize – or maybe both?”
In hotels it is normal to be private. You don’t share your TV or minibar with others. In hostels most people want to mingle with other travellers.
In Danhostels it is possible to be both private and to socialize. You can close your door and be private when YOU want .
Futhermore most hostel rooms do still have more beds (usually bunk beds)  which is a perfect fit for 3-4 friends traveling together or a family of 3 to 4 persons.

Good mood and high spirits rub off onto us (the staff) and the other way around
Lunch – A break in an intensive training weekend for young musicians

Most hostels have many common areas

If you want to socialize you have good possibilities in hostels – also in our hostel. We have many spacious common areas where guests can mingle and meet other travellers, exchange travel ideas, cook and eat, watch  TV,  play table football or other games, have fun and find new friends for life. We even have a sports centre for badminton and soccer and with one of Denmark’s best rock climbing walls. Children find new pals,  parents and grandparents don’t have to shush them all the time, they can just enjoy some happy children.
Good mood and high spirits rub off onto us (the staff) and the other way around.

Student group from DIS - Danish Institute for Study Abroad
A student group from DIS – Danish Institute for Study Abroad – is visiting Danhostel Ribe

Danhostels are members of Hostelling International (HI Hostels)

We all need positive and life-giving oases in life and especially when we are travelling far away from home. Places we feel comfortable, meet new friends and broaden our horizons. This is what Hostelling International  is all about : “to provide hostels or other accommodation which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby develop a better understanding of their fellow men at home and abroad.” And “to promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world”.
Makes me very proud of being a hostel host in HiHostel.
And don’t forget if you have a HI Hostel or Danhostel membership-card, book through HI-Hostel, Danhostel or contact us, you will get 10% discount on accommodation. This discount is the same in all Danhostels in Denmark. On our homepage you’ll often find more offers

Young travellers using the free WiFi
Young travellers using the free WiFi at the hostel

Free WiFi in hostels is a must these days

When I started at the hostel our guests booked rooms and beds by letter and included a return stamp. I had lovely postcards from all over the world and still keeps many of them.
Now most travellers are online. They check their mail, find new information and book their next hostel (- after they have  checked ratings and what other guests say about this hostel). They also rate us – most of the time they even rate us in top – though we are often compared to hotels. They also help us to be better all the time, so thank you if you take the time to rate us, when you have visited us. I’ll put links to some of our ratings at the bottom of this blog.

90-year-old celebrating her birthday at the hostel
90-year-old Kirsten Jack is celebrating her birthday at the hostel, and she helps hoisting the Danish flag (the Dannebrog) herself

Celebrating a 90th Birthday at the hostel

Many of our guests are frequent guests in our hostel – some have come here every year for more than 25 years. Others visited us years ago with their parents or school and are back with their own children. But it is seldom that I – like on this photo – hoist the Danish flag for a 90-year-old birthday. Kirsten Jack  – who lives north of Copenhagen – celebrated her birthday at the hostel with family coming in from all over the world.  As you can see she is a lively and wonderful woman who is helping me hoisting the flag.

Young family visiting the hostel

Links you might also want to see:

Go social with Danhostel Ribe

Dahostel Ribe’s ratings

What kind of snail is this little one?

A Sea Explorer barefoot tour in the Wadden Sea National Park

Photos and video from a muddy adventure in Denmark

Walking barefoot in the mudduring low tide
Walking barefoot in the mud during low tide

Having barefoot fun

Walking barefoot through the mud flats during low tide looking for mussels, worms, snails, shrimps,
shore crabs, and fish is great fun.
The photographer and webmaster from the hostel in Ribe, Danhostel Ribe, recommend a Sea Explorer
tour with a skilled ranger from the Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (Wadden Sea Centre)

The tour took place 10 km from Ribe town in the Wadden Sea National Park – the largest national park
in Denmark. Ribe is Denmarks oldest town and voted Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014


The tidal flats - where seabed meets horizon
The tidal flats – where seabed meets horizon

Where the horizon is wide and the sky goes on forever

The tidal flats of the Wadden Sea National Park from Blaavandshuk and Ho Bay in Denmark (north)
to Den Helder in the Netherlands (south) are the largest continuous tidal flats in the world.
The Wadden Sea National Parks in Germany and the Netherlands became UNESCO World Heritage in 2009.
The Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark have applied for World Heritage membership.
Late June  2014 we will know the result. Read here if you want to know more about the
Wadden Sea National Park


Explore the Big World of Small Wonders
Explore the Big World of Small Wonders

Explore the Big World of Small Wonders

Who will be the first to find all the small animals? Fun and adventure for the whole family.
Many of the small animals are masters of disguise and can be difficult to find


What kind of snail is  this little one?
What kind of snail is this little one?

Looking for mud snails and Common Periwinkles

A tiny snail is found and studied. What kind of snail is it? Is it alive? For example is the shell of the
very small mud snail black when the snail is alive and grey or white, when it is dead. Biologist and
ranger from Vadehavcentret ved Ribe (Wadden Sea Centre), Karen Vestergaard Henriksen, helps
to identify the little snail.


Sea Explorer - fishing with nets
Sea Explorer – fishing with nets

Caught in the net

These boys are very occupied in what they can catch with their nets.


Sea Explorer. Catching a crab
Sea Explorer. Catching a crab

Catch a crab

A crab is caught alive and carefully picked up and put into a glass with help from the ranger.
It will be closely examined later at the Wadden Sea Centre


Vadehavscentret's guide. A National Park ranger from the Wadden Sea Centre
Vadehavscentret’s guide. A National Park ranger from the Wadden Sea Centre

The seabed in a family-friendly way with a ranger

The ranger will help you spot the very small animals – like the “Small Five“: the lugworm, the
common cockle, the mud snail, the crab and the shrimp – and other small animals that are
either difficult to spot or are hiding in the mud.


Picking oysters in the Wadden Sea
Picking oysters in the Wadden Sea

Never eat oysters in a month without an R

Oysters are delicious but this big oyster was picked up, opened, and afterwards thrown away again.
Oysters and Mussels can be gathered from October till May, during the cold months. In summertime
and warm water the oysters can have dangerous bacteria and should not be eaten.
If you arrive to Ribe in the wintertime don’t miss an oyster tour to harvest your own oysters.


Looking for small wonders in the laboratory
Looking for small wonders in the laboratory

Let’s take a closer look at the small wonders

After the tour in the Wadden Sea National Park the small animals are closely examined in the
Wadden Sea Centre’s lab


Viewed under a microscope small animals will be seen very clearly
Viewed under a microscope small animals will be seen very clearly

Under the microscope

Under the microscope in the laboratory Amphipods, mussels, Common Periwinkle, mud snails, etc
are examined. In the video you can see how suddenly the horns of a Common Periwinkle appears
and look very big under the microscope

Sea Explorer Tours

The Sea Explorer tour is a family activity that takes place during the summer months on the mudflats
at the old Ebb road (Mandø Ebbevej) to the island Mando in the Wadden Sea.  The ranger brings nets
etc. The participants should be able to walk at least 2 km. Rubber boots or bare feet. Clothes according
to the weather. Registration is not required for this tour.
Tickets are bought at the Wadden Sea Centre. The first tour in 2014 is 10am the 29th of May. Read more
about the tours here: VadehavsCentret – Tide Activities


Video from a Sea Explorer Tour

Be careful

If you want a good spot to feel the sand and the mud between your toes, then the Wadden Sea National Park is it.
But be careful. The tidal flat surfaces are flooded twice a day at high tide. Don’t walk too far out unless you are very familiar with the tides, for at high tide the water rises above your head unless you are more than 2 meters tall. Join a guided tour with a professional guide instead.

© Photos Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’s facebook

Earth Hour 2014. Danhostel Ribe, Denmark

Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark 2014
Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark 2014

7 successive years Danhostel Ribe celebrated Earth Hour  together with millions of people all over the world, who all switched off lights on the 29th of March from 8.30pm-9.30pm.

At the hostel we celebrated a quiet, pleasant candlelight moment serving free homemade cookies, Wadden Sea tea and organic coffee for our guests, who all had had a busy day exploring Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park. Most of them had joined a guided Black Sun Tour to see

Black Sun starlings fantastic air dances
Black Sun starlings fantastic air dances before they go to sleep

the starlings fantastic air dances before they go to sleep in the reeds, and were planning on another busy day the next day seeing the new beautiful Ribe Town Square around Ribe Cathedral,  visiting Ribe Art Museum and Ribe Viking Museum and some were going on a bike tour in the Wadden Sea National Park  to see flocks of barnacle geese and other birds. In Ribe these tours are arranged by The Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret)


HI Hostels all over the world celebrated Earth Hour
Many other Hostelling International Hostels around the world took part in Earth Hour 2014. Read about some of them on HI Hostels Blog

Earth Hour 2014 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
Earth Hour 2014 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark

The world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment
Earth Hour  has grown  to be world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment and countries, cities, towns and people all over the world participate in this celebration for the planet. Earth Hour is organized by WWF and in Denmark by  WWF Denmark (World Wildlife Fund )
The municipality of Esbjerg took part in Earth Hour all the other 6 years and turned out the lights in Ribe streets. This year they decided not to, but 25 other municipalities in Denmark took part.

Eco labels at the hostel and thoughts about Earth Hour
At the hostel we are aware that we are probably not reducing CO2 emissions by taking part in this action and that we don’t save the earth by turning out the lights for one hour, but we think it is a nice way  to raise awareness about climate change together with people all around the world.
Danhostel Ribe works to make sustainable tourism a part of our hostel. The hostel is eco-labeled with Green Key  , is recognized as Official Wadden Sea National Park Partner (Officiel Nationalpark Partner), and is applying for TripAdvisor’s new GreenLeaders Program .


Earth Hour 2014 på Danhostel Ribe i Nationalpark Vadehavet
For 7. år i træk fejrede Danhostel Ribe Earth Hour sammen med millioner af mennesker over hele verden , som alle slukkede lyset d. 29 marts fra kl. 20:30 til 21:30

Ribe Domkirke og Ribe Domkirkeplads
Ribe Domkirke og Ribe Domkirkeplads

På vandrehjemmet havde vi en hyggelig stund i stearinlysenes skær, hvor vi serverede gratis hjemmebagte småkager, Vadehavste og økologisk kaffe for vores gæster , som alle havde haft en travl dag med at udforske Ribe og Nationalpark Vadehavet . De fleste af dem havde deltaget i en guidet Sor Sol tur med guider fra Vadehavscentret. og planlagde endnu en travl dag med at se det nye smukke Torv omkring Ribe Domkirke, besøge Ribe Kunstmuseum og Museet Ribes Vikinger og nogle skulle på cykeltur i Nationalpark Vadehavet for at se  de store flokke af bramgæs og andre fugle, der lige nu er at se i nationalparken.

HI hostels over hele verden fejrer Earth Hour
Mange andre Hostelling International vandrerhjem i verden deltog i Earth Hour 2014. Læs om nogle af dem på HI Hostels Blog

Verdens største græsrodsbevægelse for miljøet
Earth Hour er vokset til at være verdens største græsrodsbevægelse for miljøet og lande, byer og folk over hele verden deltage i denne fest for planeten . Earth Hour er arrangeret af WWF .
Esbjerg Kommune har deltaget i Earth Hour alle de andre år og plejer at slukke lyset i Ribes gader, men havde besluttet ikke at deltage i 2014.
25 andre kommuner og flere virksomheder i Danmark deltog.

Tidligere Earth Hour på Danhostel Ribe
Tidligere Earth Hour på Danhostel Ribe

Miljømærker på vandrerhjemmet og tanker om Earth Hour

På vandrerhjemmet er vi opmærksomme på, at vi sandsynligvis ikke reducerer CO2-udledningen ved at deltage i denne aktion , og at vi ikke redder Jorden ved at slukke lysene i en time , men vi synes, det er en rar måde at øge bevidstheden om klimaændringer sammen med vandrerhjemmets gæster, ripenserne og mennesker fra hele verden.

Danhostel Ribe arbejder på at gøre bæredygtig turisme til en del af vores vandrehjem, vi er miljømærket med Green Key, er anerkendt som officielle Nationalpark Vadehavet Partner og søger i øjeblikket om at blive en af TripAdvisors nye grønne forløbere.

Earth Hour 2012 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark

Danhostel Ribe promises spooky stories about decapitated pirates outside the hostel and a headless pirate who haunts the hostel when they invite to Earth Hour for the 5th year in a row at the 31th of March from 8.30pm-9.30pm.

Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
Don' miss Earth Hour. Hans Jessen Søhane will tell you about the pirates he caught

When Danhostel Ribe turns out the electric lights and lights the candles on Earth  Hour the 31th of March 2012 from 8.30pm-9.30pm. the brave merchant Hans Jessen Søhane has decided to stop by and tell about the time he caught a bunch of pirates, which was later beheaded and had their heads placed on stakes at the meadow outside the hostel as a warning to everyone who came sailing up the Ribe River.

This is now many years ago, but guests at Danhostel Ribe have noticed that sometimes at midnight they see the beheaded pirate Morten Thode wandering around at the hostel. He’s looking for his head. So far as we know, however, he never bothered anyone. But if you want to find out for yourself you will have to book an overnight stay at the hostel – and guarantees of seeing any ghosts are not included. But we can guaranty that Danhostel Ribe’s host, Jens Philipsen, will tell you about this hostel ghost, who was beheaded in 1555 – if you dare to hear about him and perhaps also see his head.
Not everything will be scary this evening, there will also be served organic coffee (Good Origin and traceable from farmer to cup), the popular Wadden Sea tea (that Danhostel Ribe has developed along with Carsten’s tea shop in Aabenraa) and homemade cookies.
Admission is free for both guests at the hostel and Ribe citizens.

Since Earth Hour also is a time when we remind each other that we need to remember to take care of the environment it will also be possible that evening to hear about the Ribe Sol solar energy project, or about Danhostel Ribes Green Key eco-certification.
Earth Hour is the world’s largest climate event in which municipalities, businesses and individuals around the world remind each other that we must care for the environment.
In 2011 the light was turned off for the climate in over 5200 cities in 135 countries worldwide. Also Esbjerg Municipality shuts off street lights in Ribe town again this year
Earth Hour in Denmark is organized by WWF and Codan.
Uhyggen breder sig, når Danhostel Ribe inviterer til Earth Hour (Sluk lyset Danmark) d. 31. marts. fra kl. 20.30 – 21.30. I stearinlysenes skær fortæller Købmand Hans Jessen Søhane historien om de sørøvere han fangede og som siden blev halshugget og fik sat deres hoveder på stage på engen udenfor vandrerhjemmet (deraf navnet Hovedengen).
Én af disse hovedløse sørøvere, Morten Tode – der blev halshugget i 1555 – spøger på vandrerhjemmet. Han leder vel efter sit hoved?
Danhostel Ribes vært, Jens Philipsen, vil fortælle om husspøgelset, hvis du tør høre om ham. Vil du møde spøgelset selv, så bliver du selvfølgelig nødt til at bestille en overnatning på vandrerhjemmet – for han plejer først at vise sig ved 24-tiden. Der er dog ingen ”spøgelses-garanti”.
Gratis Vadehavste, økologisk kaffe og hjemmebagte småkager . Alle er velkomne og der er gratis adgang.
Vi fortæller også gerne om Ribe Sol projektet og vores Green Key certificering
Esbjerg Kommune slukker gadelysene i Ribe by i Earth Hour timen

Danhostel Ribe strives for a greener community

This article was published for all Hi Hostel owners and staff in the world and brought in a shorter version on HI News on Hi Hostel‘s homepage and mentioned on HI-Sustainability (HI Hostel’s green Facebook) – we think you should also have the possibility to read all of it :

Danhostel Ribe in Denmark is working with its neighbours and the surrounding community on a proposed solar energy project, ‘RIBE SOL’. If the project is approved by parliament, it will significantly reduce their CO2 emissions and be much more cost-effective in the long term, helping their town become greener.

The hostel is already certified with the Green Key label and is working on the ‘RIBE SOL’ project with its neighbour, Rio (Ribe Jernindustri), which is a huge factory that produces radiators. Both the hostel and Rio have land in the Wadden Sea National Park nearby and it’s great to see a manufacturing company and a hostel working together to help make the town greener.

Danhostel Ribe, RIO (Ribe Jernindustri) and part of the Wadden Sea National Park seen from top of the Cathedral
Danhostel Ribe, RIO (Ribe Jernindustri) and part of the Wadden Sea National Park seen from top of the Cathedral

Recently a small delegation went to the Danish parliament to have a meeting with its Energy Committee about the proposed project. The meeting had been suggested by one of the 2 local members of parliament, who fully support the project.

The ‘RIBE SOL’ project has received some great publicity so far to help the cause. Michael Boel, the Director of Rio, was interviewed by the town’s biggest local radio station following the meeting and the project was also mentioned on other radio stations too.

Here are some facts about the project: 

  • Size: 28000 m2 of the roof on Rio 
  • 10000 m2 solar panels (5000 m2 solar collectors for heating and 5000 m2 solar cells for electricity) 
  • Investment: 30.000.000 (3.529.478,22 £) 

If the project does go ahead, it will produce 55% of the heat and 20% of the electricity for Rio and Danhostel Ribe, reducing their CO2 emissions by 870 tonnes every year. This is the equivalent of 360 cars (Ford Ka) driving 20,000 km a year or a car going around the earth 180 times! Ribe seen from the road around town. On the left Danhostel Ribe and Rio

Aalborg University in Esbjerg is also involved in the project. Their aim is to create a big research programme to collect more information on solar energy, which will in turn help the development of solar technology. This is important research, which will help gain further knowledge on the amount of PV solar cells used for bigger industries.

‘RIBE SOL’ is a unique project, which would significantly help the development of green energy. If you have any questions about it, please contact the Danhostel Ribe Hostel Manager, Jens Philipsen at

Wadden Sea National Park. One of 100 places to go before they disappear

Wadden Sea National Park, Ribe, DenmarkBoth Yahoo! News and Danhostel Ribe celebrated Earth Day by mentioning the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark – though we did it in different ways.

At Danhostel Ribe we celebrated it by giving free bicycle rent and a map of the Wadden Sea National Park to all our facebook friends that visited us on the 22th – Earth Day. We had just bought 30 new bicycles, so we thought this was a fine way to celebrate both the day and the bikes – and at the same time let our guests experience this fantastic nature just outside our door.


Yahoo! News  celebrated Earth Day by interviewing Gaute Hogh, publisher of the book 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear.
The Wadden Sea in Denmark was the first place that came to Hogh’s mind of the 100 places to go before they disseapear. The Wadden Sea is a low-lying coastal zone in Denmark where visitors can “walk on water” to see varied landscapes and migratory birds. Hogh fears what the rising sea levels will do to this place and its dynamic ecosystem.

At the hostel and in Ribe we know about this fear. We have seen the water level rise and the meadow outside the hostel being flooded. We have experienced the water level being almost at the top of the dikes at the Wadden Sea Coast in 1999 – and the only reason that we were not flooded was that the storm surge came by low tide. Had it come a few hours later by high tides our town – not only the meadow but also the streets and houses in Ribe town had been flooded.
So YES come and see the Wadden Sea before it disappears, but better: Listen to Gaute Hogh’s message so that we can enjoy this beautiful place also in the future:
“The whole purpose of this book was to show my children the effects of climate change,” Hogh says. “People usually show someone suffering and I wanted to show the positive side of it: If we don’t do anything, we’ll lose some of these beautiful 100 places.”Danhostel Ribe when the meadow is flooded
“One of my missions with the book is to show teenagers, if you don’t turn off the water or turn down the heat, these places will disappear,” Hogh says.  “They may say, ‘Why should I do this?’ But if I show them these pictures, they start to see it another way.”

At Danhostel Ribe we were happy to notice that the interview sent a lot of people to our article about the Wadden Sea the last couple of days. We hope to see some of them at the hostel :-)
The photo left shows the hostel when the meadow is flooded.

The blog travelandleisure mentions some of the 100 places and ask for more ways to celebrate Earth Day – but you could also comment on this article.

Earth Hour 2011 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark

earth_hour_2011_ribeFor the 4th year in a row Danhostel Ribe turns out the lights on Earth Hour the 26th of March from 8.30pm-9.30pm.
Also the streets in Ribe, the oldest town In Denmark will be dark.
Earth Hour is the world’s largest  environmental event.
This year we will serve free coffee, tea and homemade cookies at Danhostel Ribe. The tea is our new “Danhostel Ribe’s Green Tea” made especially for the hostel in 2011 by the famous Danish tea house “Carstensens Tehandel” in Aabenraa.  The coffee will be organic and traceable from the farmer to your cup.
As an EnergyMetropolis – Municipality of Esbjerg will off course also take part in Earth Hour. 65% of all wind mills produced in Denmark is shipped out of the harbour in Esbjerg. On Earth Hour the Municipality turns out the lights in Ribe town from 8.30pm-9.30pm.
Both guests and locals are welcome to visit us and you can enjoy your tea or coffee in candle light – you can also have a chat with us about the hostel’s eco label “Green Key” and how we work to make sustainable tourism a part of our hostel.
 At the hostel a big part of our energy comes from Ribe biogas plant, which received liquid manure from farmers in the area of production and from the remains from the wood production at Ribe stamping mill that produce pallets. We are working on an even better solution.
The terrible nuclear catastrophe in Japan reminds us, that nuclear is not the way to solve the threat of global warming. Other solutions must be used.

At the hostel we are aware that we are probably not reducing CO2 emissions by taking part in this action and that we don’t save the earth by turning out the lights for one hour, but we think it is a nice way  to raise awareness about climate change together with people all around the world. In Denmark Earth Hour is arranged by WWF Denmark (World Wildlife Fund )


For 4. år i træk deltager Danhostel Ribe i Earth Hour (Sluk lyset Danmark) arrangeret i Danmark af WWF (Verdensnaturfonden) I år er det d. 26. marts kl. 20.30 til 21.30. Esbjerg by slukker samtidig lyset i Ribe by. På vandrehjemmet serverer vi gratis te, kaffe og hjemmebagte småkager for både lokale og vandrerhjemmets gæster i stearinlysets skær. Teen er vores nye grønne ”Danhostel Ribe te”, netop udviklet af “Carstensens Tehandel” i Aabenraa og kaffen er økologisk Good Origin Coffee (sporbar fra bonde til kop) og kan til daglig trækkes i vores kaffeautomat for en 10’er.
Har man lyst til en snak om Danhostel Ribes miljømærkning ”Green Key” og hvordan vi arbejder med miljøet, så er vi samtidig klar til at fortælle og diskutere, hvordan vi gør vores vandrehjem grønnere hele tiden.
Den forfærdelige atomkraft ulykke i Japan minder os om, at atomkraft ikke er vejen til at løse den globale opvarmning. Andre løsninger må bruges.
Vi er klar over at denne aktion med at slukke lyset en time og tænde stearinlysene i stedet formodentlig ikke reducerer CO² udledningerne, men vi synes det er en god måde at minde hinanden om at vi alle bør arbejde videre med dette problem kan du se hvilke kommuner og firmaer, der deltager i Earth Hour i Danmark 2011. Vi har naturligvis også omtalt eventen på Danhostel Ribes facebook

Eco-friendly hostel instead of hotel? Environmental policy at hostels and hostels

Danhostel Ribe is Eco-labeled with Green Key and mentioned among Best Green Hotels
Danhostel Ribe is Eco-labeled with Green Key and mentioned among Best Green Hotels

Danhostel Ribe congratulates The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers for having been named the greenest hotel in the world by the travel and tourist organization Skaal International.

The more green accommodation we get in Denmark the better. And the more focus we get on sustainable accommodation the better. At Danhostel Ribe we can learn from Crowne Plaza –  can they also learn from us? Maybe there are things we just should do different because Crowne Plaza is a hotel and Danhostel Ribe a hostel?


 But if you as a tourist would prefer to:

  • get sustainable accommodation in Denmark’s oldest and best preserved town in the middle of the Wadden Sea National Park instead of in the middle of the busy city Copenhagen
  • get cheap green accommodation because you travel on a low budget
  • stay at a environmentally friendly hostel instead of a hotel
  • get accommodation on the West Coast instead of the east coast of Denmark

Well, then you have the possibility to stay at Danhostel Ribe. You can read all Danhostel Ribe’s environmental policy on this link: Environmental policy at Danhostel RibeDanhostel Ribe is Eco-labeled with Green Key and mentioned among Best Green Hotels. Danhostel Ribe cooperates with INNOTOUR  for education, research and business development in tourism. It is dedicated to innovation.


HRH Prince Joachim inaugurates the Wadden Sea National Park  Friday 16th October 2010

AND if you come to Ribe this Friday, you can participate in the inauguration of the Wadden Sea National Park just outside the hostel at 12 o’clock. The Wadden Sea National Park is Denmark’s third, biggest and wettest national park. HRH Prince Joachim will inaugurate the National Park and also Karen Ellemann, the Danish minister of Environment will be there. From 10.30am to 2.30pm it´s possible to join different activities and study local wadden sea products, enjoy Rod Sinclair quintet play the new National Park Song, watch the shepherd and his dog work, listen to the local stories about storm surges and pirates – and much more. Welcome.

Eco-labeled Danhostel Ribe, National Park, and Ribe Old town
Eco-labeled Danhostel Ribe, National Park, and Ribe Old town

Official Wadden Sea National Park opening outside the hostel’s windows on October 16th.

His Royal Highness Prince Joachim and the Danish minister of the Environment Karen Ellemann will open Denmark’s third and biggest national park, the Wadden Sea National Park on October 16th. 2010.

The official opening will take place on the meadow – Hovedengen – outside the hostel. Hovedengen is part of the national park, and Ribe is situated in the middle of this big new national park, that in Denmark goes from the German border to Ho Bay. All ready now we know it will be a big celebration.

Of course this means now that Danhostel Ribe can boast of this fantastic situation right at the very heart of the national park – and with a panoramic view of both the national park and Denmark’s oldest and best preserved town: Ribe.
And at the same time we are the only ecolabeled accommodation you can get in Ribe and its surroundings, since we have received the Green Key and furthermore been mentioned in Environmentally Friendly Hotel´s list of “Best Green Hotels”.

Another day I will tell you the story of how Hovedengen got it’s strange name “Meadow of the Heads”