Spring is slowly peeking around the corner, and the days are slightly getting warmer and with that, sunnier! Yes, it’s finally here! Winter up here in Sweden has been loooong, since the first of December we’ve had layers of snow limiting us in exploring the country side and cute little towns. It’s no party biking through snow, let alone visit snowed up beaches. So we are more than ready for longer days and the sight of blooming flowers. A great benefit of spring is that you get to explore the surroundings. Therefore, this Snoozy Sunday, we’re discovering the countryside of the Skane region.
The best way to get around these ‘outskirts’ remains to be the car. Even though Swedes love their bikes and public transport, it won’t get you to those beautiful gems in the same way. So make a playlist and have a roadtrip with your friends! But before you do that, let’s first check what Skane has to offer?
North from Helsingborg, are Hoganas and Nimis. Hoganas is a little town known for its ceramics, selling typical Swedes plates, mugs and so on. With hip designs the brand is a favourite among locals and Scandinavians alike. If you want to, you can visit the factories of Hoganas, but also make sure to stop by the quaint villages along the coastal route, their charm really has remained through time. 10 minutes of ‘off road’ driving will bring you to the Kullaberg nature reserve where there are parking spots for Nimis. Tucked away in the forest on the mountain lies the micronation of Ladonia , in the gorge named Nimis . An artist’s life work of wooden sculptures and rock formation, which he then baptized to be a independent nation. A truly unique site, with a long historiy of political and legal battles around artistery, but the artworks still remain standing. Watch the waves break on one of the wooden constructions or be brave enough to climb them yourself!
Driving in the other direction to the southern coast of Skane, you will find places like Falsterbo, where there are beautiful sunsets to be seen over the ocean and Denmark. And there are also towns like Trelleborg and Ystad. Ystad has gained worldwide recognition through the books of detective Wallander, written by Henning Mankell. It is also one of the best preserved medieval towns in Scania and has some great alleys to wander through. Cute little bakeries and shops make this perfect for some Sunday ‘sniffin’ of Swedish culture.
When you’re on the southern coastal route, you also pass Smygehuk, the southernmost point of Sweden and the Scandinavian Peninsula. A must-stop-by, surrounded by a little harbor and old broken down boats, as it breathes atmosphere. There’s an old, still running, known fish shop and Smygehuk has even got its own Hostel! With a bunch of pets, it makes you feel like you live on a Swedish farm
Another really unique site, about half an hour east of Smygehuk is Ales Stenar, which is a 67 meter long stone ship formation dating back nearly 1.500 thousand year ago, at the end of the Nordic Iron Age. The rock formation itself is beautiful, but the surrounding area itself is also a precious site. To get to the formation, you first have to hobble over heaps of cow dung and avoid getting attacked by a couple of bulls. When you survive that, there’s also the challenge of managing getting around some (more like hundreds) hungry sheep. In short, an adveture itself. Visit this place during the morning or late in the afternoon as the hill stands tall from the ocean, leaving lookout points for sunrises and sunsets.
After all these sites, it’s time for some relaxation on the beach, and as it so happens, there is a crisp white beach close to Ales Stenar. A 15 minute ride under rows and rows of hanging trees, get you to Sandhammaren beach. Often referred to as Sweden’s biggest sand box, it’s got supersoft and very white beaches stretching along the entire southern en eastern coast of Skane. We definitely see ourselves sunbathing here in summer, but it’s also perfect for late spring or autumn walks.
If you still have some time, and energy, left after all this, you can stop by at Glimmingehus, one of the oldest medieval manors in Sweden, or you can go to the pitoresque Simrisham or Kivik to stake out for the Stenshuvud National Park , which has lots of different animals, so it’s highly possible to run in to a couple of deer. It’s also got a popular swimming beach.
As we mentioned before, the countryside is best to visit on good days in spring, summer or autumn. The different seasons make the trip differently each time you go there. So we recommend, if you have the chance, to explore the sites on different times throughout the year. Nonetheless the drive itself through Skane’s colourfull hills and along broken down farms and castles will be worth the trip alone. Make sure to bring some extra snacks and drinks, as most sites are still unspoiled and do not have food-stands.
Thinking of doing a roadtrip like this makes us eager for those warmer days to come! Do you have any more tips? Or do you have great roadtrip ideas somewhere else? Maybe in your home country or somewhere you’ve visited? Let us know!