Visiting off the beaten path destination has become my favourite thing (and eventually my trade mark). This time I’m taking you to Skåne – the southernmost region of Sweden, which has plenty attractions to offer at pleasantly close distances. What are the things to see in Skåne? You can choose from three national parks, over 1,000 kilometres of hiking trails and an impressive stone circle with no entrance fee.
My best friend Magda joined me on a journey around Skåne. After living in Australia for a year and not seeing her for so long I really looked forward to spending quality time together. It was just something that we really, really needed.
But before we begin, have a look at our cottage in Vejbystrand village:
vejbystrand cottage WITH SWEDISH DESIGN
VILLA SIGRID, OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME
How to get to and move around Skåne?
1) Flight to Malmo
The most convenient option is a flight to Malmo. Once you’re there, you can travel with a rental car or buses/trains. Public transport in Skåne is pretty good; it takes you in close proximity to national parks and main attractions.
2) Flight to Copenhagen
You can fly to Copenhagen (check for the prices, this route may be cheaper). Right by the airport, you take a train to Malmo. The journey takes 19 minutes and costs SEK 100. You cross through the bridge connecting Denmark with Sweden, which is quite an attraction itself.
THINGS TO see IN Skåne?
HERE ARE MY 5 TOP PLACES AND EXEPERIENCES IN SKÅNE
1. Ales Stenar
Ales Stenar is not only the biggest attraction of Skåne, but also one of the most important sights in the entire country. Its structure makes you think of the famous Stonehenge in England. What distinguishes Ales Stenar from Stonehenge is that you can actually visit the Swedish stone circle for free. You can come there any time, rest on the grass, make a picnic without having to pay for any of it!
Alest Stenar is best to visit at sunrise or sunset. Although they still don’t know what the purpose of these 56 stones was, the interesting fact is that during the summer and winter solstice (June 21 and December 22), sunlight goes exactly over the tops of the two biggest stones. It can suggest that the structure was used as a sundial.
There is another theory saying that some very important person was buried there. To this day, however, no human remains were found, which proves the idea wrong. Historians have similar problems with determining when exactly the stones were placed on the hill next to the village of Kåseberg. Some theories say that the stones have been there for 5,000 years, others that for 1400. Turns out that the mystery behind the origin of boulders may never be solved.
Ales Stenar catches attention of not only researchers, but also the enthusiasts of supernatural events. I’ve got to say that the energy of this place was… quite strange. Heavy. I felt like taking some pictures of the sunset and just leaving.
P.S. Despite the “heavy” energy, this place is definitely worth seeing!
2. Vejbystrand village
Vejbystrand is a small fishing village where we stayed for five days. We were living in a wooden blue cottage with a modern Swedish design. Once I came in, I remembered my old dream. Some time ago I wanted to have a summer cottage by the sea, in a quiet and peaceful place. And it looked like our Vejbystrand home <3. The house was so lovely and nicely decorated that we literally had to push ourselves to go out.
The cottage was located at a perfect distance from the sea (several hundred meters) and several dozen kilometres from three national parks. After having breakfast with local products that we found in our fridge, we would set off for day trips. We came back at sunsets to enjoy the view from our favourite wide and empty beach in Vejbystrand.
3. Kullaberg Nature Reserve
Kullaberg reminded me of the east coast of Tasmania, where I had the pleasure of staying in the first half of 2018. Torn, orange-gray cliffs, a sun immersing in the horizon, wild nature. It felt like being in my beloved Tasmanian town, Coles Bay again.
I came to Kullaberg not just for hiking, but also to try abseiling. Abseiling is available to people of all ages and on every level of experience. All you need is a helmet (which you get from the instructor) and sports shoes.
If you are not so much into adrenaline, you can also go on a day trip along one of several paths by the coast or through the forest (available routes are 5, 10 and 20 km long). You can also go on a water safari and take a close look at the porpoise.
4. Molle – kayaing at sunset
Definitely my number 1 in Skåne.
Have you ever tried kayaking on the sea? It’s a whole other experience than river kayaking!
I really wanted to capture the sunset from a kayak, so I asked the guys (some very nice people) from the kayak rental if I could rent one a little after the standard working hours. They said yes, but I wished they were there to help us 😀 because the whole preparation was not a smooth sailing ha! First, we struggled with a lock, then we struggled – and I’m sure looked embarrassing – moving the kayaks from the storage to the water. Fortunately, we somehow managed to set it all up before sunset ;).
The sit on top kayak is a modern, stable and easy to steer kayak, which is ideal for sailing over sea waves. I’ve been in a kayak several times that summer so I thought I was prepared for this experience. However, the sit on top kayak is a whole other story. At the beginning it seems that there is no balance. The legs are uncovered, and you are a little higher than in a traditional kayak. It’s so so different but it makes is so much more fun!
5. Soderasen National Park
Soderasen is the biggest protected forested area in Northern Europe. What does it mean for you? You have 16 square kilometers to totally cut yourself off from the world.
There are two entrances to the park, located 7 km apart.
Rostanga and Skaralid.
We started our trip at the small tourist information center in Rostanga. We grabbed maps and decided to take a four kilometre trail (#sohard) leading along the lake. However, a kilometre and a half later, we reached the lake and… set up the camp for three hours. We didn’t end up finishing the hike. Which was totally fine because we liked the skinny dip in the lake more anyway 😉
Last but not least: FIKA!
Absolutely phenomenal Swedish concept.
Fika, in other words is a break for coffee and a snack. Fika, however, is not about eating or drinking, but about spending quality time with friends and family. No phone, no Instagram, no distractions. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
I would gladly adapt this idea in Poland, because whenever I try to hang out with friends, they often suggest a meeting in two or three weeks time, while a Swedish person would say: Come on! Don’t you have time for Fika? 🙂