248km (154 miles) SW of Copenhagen; 31km (19 miles) S of Kolding; 51km (32 miles) E of Ribe

This is not an imperative stopover on one's itinerary for South Jutland, but if you have 2 hours or so, it's a rewarding visit. If it's a choice between Kolding and Haderslev, make it Kolding. Some visitors see Kolding in the morning, reserving Haderslev for an afternoon checkout.

At the head of the Haderslev Fjord, this appealing town of 32,000 inhabitants is known for having one of the oldest and best-preserved historic cores in Denmark. In 1995, it was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize for its old, beautifully restored buildings, which center around Torvet, the historic market square in the center. In spite of some minor attractions, there's nothing better here than walking through its narrow cobblestone streets with buildings dating back all the way to 1570. In 1971, the people of Haderslev launched this massive preservation effort to save their Gamle Stan (Old Town), and they succeeded beautifully.

Although built on the banks of a fjord, Haderslev actually lies 15km (9 1/3 miles) inland. It has always depended on trade for its livelihood, and by 1292 it already had a city charter. Christian I came here in 1448, signing a charter that allowed him to become king of Denmark. Another Christian (this time King Christian IV) came here in 1597 to celebrate his wedding to Anne-Catherine of Brandenburg. From 1864 to as late as 1920 Haderslev was part of the duchy of Schleswig-Holstein and controlled by Prussia (and later Germany). When the Duchy of Schleswig was divided in 1920, Haderslev became part of Denmark, and remains so to this day.