Skåne: the diverse coastal region of southern Sweden

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White sandy beaches, romantic castles, green forests and cosy little towns – all this can be found in the southern Swedish region of Skåne (also known as Scania in English). Discover the diverse nature of the coast or visit the famous cities of Malmö and Lund, which are not far apart. Plus: Copenhagen and Denmark are not far off, just across the Öresund Bridge.

Historic province in southern Sweden

The region of Skåne is located in the very south of Sweden. Before the 17th century, it belonged to Denmark, which is why Danish influences can still be seen today. The capital of the province is Malmö.

Part of the countryGötaland (Southern Sweden)
Area11,368 km²
Inhabitants1.3 million

Nature experiences in Skåne

Skåne is known for its beautiful and varied nature: Relax on white sandy beaches in the Österlen coastal region, such as in Skanör-Falsterbro, camp on cliffs with views of the Baltic Sea or hike through deep forests in the Söderåsen and Stenshuvud national parks. Skåne’s diversity is particularly evident on the popular Skåneleden long-distance hiking trail: it takes you past cliffs, beaches and lakes, over hills and through forests.

Beach Skanör-Falsterbro
White beach in Skanör-Falsterbro
Wild camping Österlen
Wild camping in Österlen - "Sweden's Tuscany"
The way to the beach in Falsterbo
The way to the beach in Falsterbo
Bjärehal peninsula
On the Bjärehal peninsula
Steep slopes in the spa town of Båstad
Steep slopes in the spa town of Båstad

Looking for action? Sports enthusiasts can go canoeing and kayaking on the lakes and rivers in Skåne or surfing on the open sea. Or how about fishing, horse riding, snorkelling and cycling? There are no limits to what you can do in the southern Swedish region. Instead of staying in a hotel, you can also go wild camping here.

History and culture in Skåne

Skåne was a province of Denmark in the Middle Ages. Danish noblemen settled here and built numerous castles, palaces and monasteries. Today you can visit some of these historical sites. If you are interested in history and like a romantic atmosphere, you shouldn’t miss out. Sofiero Castle in Helsingborg with its beautiful castle garden is a real tip. Helsingborg is also home to Sweden’s largest open-air museum.

Houseboats in Malmö
Cozy: Houseboats in Malmö
Malmö Öresund Bridge
The Öresund Bridge in Malmö
The historic university library in Lund
Ales stenar in Ystad
Ales stenar in Ystad: Überreste einer Schiffssetzung aus der Wikingerzeit
View over Helsingborg
View over the port city of Helsingborg

Skåne’s Danish roots can still be recognised today in the spoken dialect. The Skåne flag, a yellow cross on a red background, also symbolises the union of Sweden and Denmark.

Other important buildings can be found in the modern provincial city of Malmö: discover the Turning Torso, the tallest skyscraper in Scandinavia, as well as the Öresund Bridge, which connects Malmö with Copenhagen. Not far away is the charming university town of Lund with its unique historical architecture.

By the way: football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes from Skåne.

On the trail of the Vikings

But the historical traces in Skåne go back to well before the Middle Ages – to the time of the Vikings. In addition to some remains of former settlements, the only fully reconstructed Viking village in Sweden can be found here: in the Foteviken open-air archaeological museum near Hällviken, young and old can immerse themselves in the world and way of life of the Vikings.

In Ystad, you can also visit the “Swedish Stonehenge”: Ales Stenar marks a ship settlement from the Viking Age. And the town of Trelleborg has its name for a reason, as the remains of a Viking castle, called “trelleborg”, were found here.

Culinary delights in Skåne: The granary of Sweden

Höganäs Skåne
The granary of Sweden: Eating between fields and meadows in Höganäs in Skåne
Spettekaka from Skåne
Spettekaka ("spit cake"): Specialty from Skåne
Apple orchards in Skåne
Apple orchards in Skåne

Skåne is considered the granary or pantry of Sweden: fertile soil and a mild climate ensure particularly good harvests of many fresh foods. Visit one of the 20 or so wineries in the “Swedish Normandy” and savour real Swedish wine. Or take a look at the apple orchards and try the traditional apple “must”.

For the perfect fika, Skåne offers numerous cosy cafés and garden pubs. Here you should order the so-called “Spettekaka”: The spit cake baked over the fire is a speciality of Skåne cuisine. Incidentally, the famous Absolut Vodka also comes from Skåne.

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