Denmark is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is a difficult country to pin down. In many ways it shares the characteristics of both regions: it's an EU member, and has prices and drinking laws that are broadly in line with those in the rest of Europe . Denmark sits like a star atop the European continent, the geographic and cultural link to Scandinavia and the gateway to the Baltic . It's thoroughly European, yet distinctively Danish. One of the smallest countries in Europe, it has the oldest capital city and the oldest flag. The queen, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe, is the youngest queen in Europe, yet hers is the oldest lineage, dating from early 900 and Viking king Gorm. Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the political and economic integration of Europe.
Denmark was occupied by Nazi during the World War II. In the post-war era, Denmark joined NATO, while at home a new constitution, introduced in 1953, imposed a system of proportional representation, which has made coalition administrations a standard feature of Danish politics. Centre-left government led by the Social Democrats - invariably the country's largest party - dominated from the 1950s until the 1980s, when, in line with the rise of the centre-right throughout Europe, the Conservatives were able to form a series of governments led by Poul Schulter - the most prominent Conservative leader of his generation. The Social Democrats, however, recovered their position at the 1993 election, under the leadership of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and retained control at the 1998 poll, by forging an alliance with the small Social Liberal Party.
Denmark is the easiest Scandinavian country in which to travel, both in terms of cost and distance, but its landscape is the region's least dramatic: very green and flat, largely farmland interrupted by innumerable pretty villages. Apart from a scattering of small islands, three main landmasses make up the country - the islands of Zealand and Funen and the peninsula of Jutland, which extends northwards from Germany.
Denmark has an abundance of picturesque villages and towns, historic castles and monuments, and a coastline which varies delightfully from broad sandy beaches to small coves and gentle fjords. Throughout the country, rolling hills and gentle valleys provide a constant succession of attractive views; there are cool and shady forests of beech trees, extensive areas of heath land, a beautiful Lake District, sand dunes and white cliffs resembling those of Dover; or should not one forget the Danish islands, each of which has its own unique attractions.