The route can be regarded as the ultimate tour around Denmark. Opened in 1991 and maintained by Naturstyrelsen (governmental nature agency) it has grown in length over the years and as of 2021 the length is 4218 km (some sources give the distance as 3500 km) - surprisingly long given the size of Denmark. It's a circular route, described here from the capital Copenhagen but you can start anywhere along the route.
It was opened in 1991 by Queen Margarethe II, and named after her favorite flower and Denmark's unofficial national flower, the ox-eye daisy (leucanthemum vulgare). The symbol of the route is inspired by the gemstone given by future king Frederik IX to his wife Ingrid at their 1935 wedding (they were Queen Margarethe's parents).
Designed as a car route, the Marguerite Route can be traveled by car, motorcycle, bike or on foot. Doing the whole journey would be a major undertaking even by motorized vehicle given there are so many things to see. With the notable exception of the Storebælt bridge, the itinerary follows minor roads zig-zaging through the landscape.
You can start the itinerary anywhere along the way, and as such there are many ways for getting in. Copenhagen is accessible by the Øresund bridge and through the airport. Ferries from Germany take you to Gedser on Falster and Rødbyhavn on Lolland - not on the Marguerite Route but not far from it. The route goes along the land border with Germany and you can start your journey there. Billund has an airport (Denmark's second busiest) with a decent number of international flights and car rental agencies. In northern Jutland, there are ferries from Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland to Hirtshals, and from Norway and Sweden to Frederikshavn. Aalborg and Aarhus, while large cities, do have airports but with a moderate number of international flights. Finally Elsinore is a short ferry hop across from Helsingborg in Sweden.
As this is a circular route, it doesn't have a defined start or end point and you can travel it in either direction. Below it is described going clockwise from the capital Copenhagen.
Copenhagen and Southern Zealand
In 1 Copenhagen the route passes near some really grand attractions in the Inner City; the royal Amalienborg Palace, the Nyhavn Canal you can see on all tourist brochures, and Christiansborg which houses the parliament. From there, the route goes through Christianshavn to the island of Amager where it circulates Copenhagen Airport and you can see the Øresund bridge leading to Sweden. Back on Zealand proper, the route then goes through Vesterbro, Frederiksberg and Copenhagen's western suburbs known as Vestegnen before continuing to the historical city of 2 Roskilde.
The route goes west a little bit until Kirke Hvalsø, where it heads back towards the coast and the southern part of 3 Køge, then goes south towards the world heritage listed 4 Stevns Cliff. From there the route turns inland past 5 Faxe and 6 Haslev to 7 Næstved and back again to 8 Præstø on the east coast and on to Kalvehave and the bridge leading to the island of Møn.
Møn to Lolland
On 9 Møn, the route goes to the main town of Stege, almost to the eastern tip of the island, then back along a parallel route and on to the next small island, 10 Bogø. From there, a short ferry takes you to the island of Falster - a bigger island than the last two with a shape somewhat similar to the one of South America. The ferry lands in 11 Stubbekøbing, and the route goes along the island's east coast for a bit, then turns west to 12 Nykøbing Falster and across a bridge to the still larger island of Lolland.
On Lolland, the route first goes to 13 Nysted on the south coast, the zig-zags northwest to 14 Maribo in the middle of the island. Then it goes past smaller localties in the north of the island, continuing to the 15 Tårs ferry pier.
Langeland to Kruså
The ferry takes you to 16 Spodsbjerg on the "long island" of Langeland, part of the South Funen Archipelago. The route goes north for a bit to Tranekær, before heading back to 17 Rudkøbing, the main city of Langeland. Here the route forks in two; the shorter archipelago alternative means boarding the ferry to Marstal on 1 Ærø, going the length of the small island to Søby and another ferry from there to Fynshav on Als where the forks will rejoin.
The longer route follows the road to the island of 18 Tåsinge and on to Funen (again, one of Denmark's largest islands) and to the city of 19 Svendborg. From there, the route goes west to Ollerup, pops south to the coast, back up to Vester Skenninge, Vester Åby, as far north as Korinth before arriving in 20 Faaborg. The route still makes another twist north to Ny Stenderup, Hålstrup and Falsled, and then goes down to 21 Bøjden from where the ferry goes to 22 Fynshav, where the forks will join, as mentioned.
After a twist to Guderup, the route passes through 23 Sønderborg, crosses into Jutland, and from Gråsten on follows the coastline to 24 Kruså. From here you can easily pop into Germany if you like, Flensburg is not far away and the border shops are even closer. Kruså is also an important point on the Marguerite Route, because here the route forks into two, and you have to choose between a west coast and an inland option to travel north through Jutland; although 2/3 into the journey you will be able to change your choice but more about that later.
West coast of Jutland
The route goes through Padborg and along the border before making a turn north to Løgumkloster and returning back south to 25 Tønder and all the way to the border again. The journey then goes north to 26 Højer and starts following the North Sea coast. The next larger cities are Denmark's oldest town 27 Ribe and 28 Esbjerg.
From there, the route zig-zags northwest until it comes to the spits between the sea and the lagoon Ringkøbing fjord; at the opening between the spits (crossed by a bridge) is the town of 29 Hvide Sande (lit. White Sands) and after that comes 30 Ringkøbing. Circumventing the lake named Stadil Fjord, the route returns to the coast, follows along another set of spits before turning inland to 31 Lemvig.
Back to the coast, and another set of spits follows, but these aren't connected by a bridge but by a short ferry connection instead. Now you've arrived at the North Jutlandic Island (often not considered an island but part of Jutland). Onwards, the route goes like an N-letter passing the town of Hurup. At the town of Vilsund Vest there's a bridge to the island of Mors; this is the connection to the inland route. Following the coastal route north, it will edge 32 Thisted, turn west to the coast and follow the coastline to 33 Hanstholm.
Continuing northeast, the route again starts zig-zaging between the sea coast and the Limfjord. It goes through 34 Fjerritslev, but as it comes closer to Aalborg, it starts turning north, still zig-zaging, going near Blokhus, Brønderslev and Hjørring before arriving in 35 Hirtshals, a notable ferry port for ferries towards Norway and the northernmost point on the Marguerite Route. The route heads east, and doesn't go up to Skagen, the northernmost point in Denmark (though you can make a sidetrip there).
The next city on the route is on Jutland's east coast, 36 Frederikshavn, and a notable port for ferries to Sweden and Norway. Further south along the coast is 37 Sæby, and after that the route turns inland to meet with the inland route from Kruså at 38 Dronninglund.
Inland of Jutland
The shorter inland route heads north from Kruså, making a few twists and passes through 2 Aabenraa, 3 Haderslev and 4 Kolding, not too far from where the east coast section crosses over to Funen later in this itinerary. From here on the route starts going northwest to 5 Billund, famous as the home of Lego and the original Legoland theme park, and on to Give, Brande and 6 Herning, which is pretty much in the middle of Jutland.
Straight west to Ørnhøj and north to 7 Holstebro, the inland route get closer to the coastal route in Nørre Nissum, a few kilometres from Lemvig. Then it turns southeast along the southern shore of Limfjord to 8 Struer, circumvents the town of Vinderup and goes north along the fjord shore to the village of Sallingsund, where a bridge goes to the island of 9 Mors. Head there to connect to the coastal route.
The connecting route follows the bridge to Mors, goes a bit inland turning north to the northernmost point of the island. From there it follows the coastline clockwise, crossing over itself at the town of Nykøbing Mors, all the way to the short bridge to the North Jutland island meeting with the coastal route at Vilsund Vest. To travel from the coastal route to the inland route, travel that section in reverse.
The inland route continues from Sallingsund along the coastline and there's a short ferry hop between Sundsøre and Hvalpsund. The route goes east to Aalestrup, returns to the coast and follows it to Løgstør. From there the route heads inland again, passing Nibe before arriving in 10 Aalborg, the largest city in North Jutland. Crossing over to the North Jutland island, it continues to 11 Hjallerup and Dronninglund where the coastal and inland routes rejoin.
The route heads out to the coast, turns south and at Hals there's a short ferry hop to Egense on Jutland proper. It still follows the coast for some distance, then it heads inland to 39 Støvring, southeast to 40 Hadsund, again southwest via 41 Mariager to 42 Viborg before heading south to Kjellerup and Thorning. The zig-zaging nature of the Marguerite route is evident around here; it's fairly close both to Herning on the inland section, and Silkeborg where this east coast section will later arrive at.
Next, the route heads northeast to Bjerringbro, 43 Randers and the Djursland peninsula pointing towards Sweden. There's a short ferry at Mellerup, and from there the route goes south to Auning, back north, more or less follows the north coast of the peninsula to 44 Grenå. Then the route goes to 45 Ebeltoft, follows the coast to Rønde, goes north to Thorsager and Hornslet before arriving in Denmark's second largest city, 46 Aarhus.
The journey goes along the coast to Gylling, then turns northwest to 47 Skanderborg and on to 48 Silkeborg. Then it takes a semicircular shape on the map going southwest to Hjøllund, southeast to Bryrup, north to Salten and east to Gammel Rye before heading southeast to 49 Horsens on the coast.
Unsurprisingly, the route heads inland again, straight west to Kollemorten and south to Givskud, again not far from Give on the inland section, before heading east again. The route edges Jelling with its famous world heritage listed runestone before arriving in 50 Vejle, another coastal city. The last part in Jutland is along the coastline to 51 Fredericia and the bridge to Funen.
Arriving on Funen, the route first arrives at 52 Middelfart and follows the west coast of the island to another town with a funny sounding name, 53 Assens. Going inland to Glamsbjerg, the route heads for Funen's north coast zig-zaging via several smaller hamlets, and the small towns of Vissenbjerg and Morud. After passing near Bogense and following the coastline for a few kilometres, it heads south again, passing through Søndersø and Korup before arriving in 54 Odense, one of Denmark's largest cities, right in the middle of Funen and famed as the home of children's book author H.C. Andersen.
The route heads south to Brobyværk, then east to Espe, Krarup (close to Korinth and the southern Funen section described a few sections above), Kværndrup and almost to Lundeborg on Funen's east coast, but it's not time to continue to Zealand quite yet. The route continues northwest back towards Odense to Ørbæk and passes just west of Langeskov, through Munkebo and a bit on Funen's northeastern peninsula Hindsholm before turning south again to Kerteminde, 55 Nyborg and the Great Belt Bridge.
Western and Northern Zealand
Back on Zealand 56 Korsør is the first city right after the bridge. From there, the route heads south along the coast to 57 Skælskør, then east (further along the coast) to Bisserup and north to Fuglebjerg and 58 Sorø. After a jump east to Fjennislev, the journey continues west towards Høng, but just before that town it turns north, circles Lake Tissø on the eastern shore and goes to 59 Kalundborg.
Up next: the 60 Odsherred peninsula. The route more or less follows the peninsula's west coast going north to 61 Nykøbing Sjælland, then turns south by following the east coast for a short bit, and goes via Jyderup and Ugerløse and back north to 62 Holbæk. Going east, it again goes quite close to Roskilde which the Marguerite Route passed through at the beginning of this itinerary. From there, the route follows the Hornsherred peninsula to 63 Frederikssund.
Keeping north, the route goes to 64 Frederiksværk, clockwise around Arresø, and through Kongernes Nordsjælland National Park to the city of 65 Hillerød. From there, the route continues to 66 Fredensborg and 67 Elsinore.
The final stretch follows Zealand's east coast as far as Charlottenlund in the Northern suburbs of Copenhagen, then turns northwest (inland) going through the districts of Hjortekær and Virum, then heads back to Gentofte and the coast, through Østerbro and back to Indre By. After passing through virtually all of Denmark except Bornholm, the route is back where it started.