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A person is standing looking out over the ocean from the cliffs of Kullaberg nature reserve.
Hiking, Skåne
Photo: Apelöga/imagebank.sweden.se

Things to do

Nature lover? There’s lots to love in Skåne.

If you love the great open airs, deep virgin forests, coastal paths and the feeling of having nature to yourself, then come to Skåne, the southernmost part of Sweden. Nature is part of the Swedish lifestyle, where you’re free to roam where you please. There are no fences, no boundaries, just what seems like endless beauty, full of changing landscapes for you to explore – on foot, by bike or paddling a canoe.

There’s so much natural beauty to choose from here, and so many things to do. And you can do what you want, wherever you want.  The Swedish Allemansrätt –right of public access – means there are no boundaries to where you can go. Just pure freedom to get lost and roam where you like. 

Here are some suggestions of what you can do:

Biking in Skåne – two-wheeled adventures 

With long, winding country roads and breathtaking scenery, Skåne offers lots of great biking routes. Whether you are a family looking for leisurely rides through beautiful landscapes, or an enthusiast setting out to break your personal speed record, this is the place to suit your pace. 

Combine laid-back pedalling through fields and meadows with challenging hillside rides along the coasts. Or go for a true nature experience, cycling through deep forests and national parks.

Kattegattleden – a bike trail along the west coast  

This coastline trail was Sweden’s first national tourist bicycle route, stretching along the west coast from Helsingborg, one of the oldest and largest cities in Skåne, up to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second biggest city. The trail takes you through dramatic coastlines, sandy beaches and picturesque villages for almost 400 kilometres. Most of it is free from cars. On the way, check out the beautiful Sofiero Castle, the Kullaberg Nature Reserve and the Upzone adventure park. The route is lined with a string of cafés and restaurants, and there are lots of accommodation options including camping, B&Bs and hotels. Follow the red and white signs marked with number 1. 

Sydostleden – the South-Eastern trail 

Sydostleden is a 300-kilometre trail that starts (or ends) in the quaint seaside town of Simrishamn. It takes you through the apple orchards of Kivik, picturesque farmlands, pastures and forests, to the city of Växjö. Stop by Hallamölla Waterfalls with a vertical drop of 23 metres, pedal through miles of sandy beaches, into the Blekinge archipelago, and into the deep forests of Småland. Cycling mostly on car-free cycle paths, the route is marked with red and white signs and the number 2.

Kayaking and Canoeing 

Lined by coasts on three sides and scattered with lakes and meandering streams, Skåne is a popular destination among kayakers. Paddle the north for serene, magical, remote wilderness, or go urban in the canals of Malmö, the biggest city in Skåne. Some excellent rivers include:

Ivösjön, a fresh water archipelago with more than 40 islands, many of which are uninhabited. If you fancy a bit of culture on your expedition, set course for beautiful Bäckaskog Castle.

Rönne å, a river that meanders through open meadows and jungle-like greenery, like the mangrove-swamps and the Amazon rainforest. 

Helge å, a Unesco Bisphere reserve that’s part of the Kristianstad Vattenrike Wetlands.

Kullaberg,  paddle along a coastline of dramatic cliffs as they plunge into the sea. Watch out for sea seals and porpoises on route. 

Stay under the stars, or in a Nature hotel

There are lots of places to stay close to nature. Camp Robinson Crusoe style at a spot of your choice, without fences or boundaries. Cook fresh food under the clear Scandinavian skies just like the locals do, with lots of friendly animals for company. Or check into Nyrups Nature Hotel in Höör, central Skåne. Based in Frostavallen, one of Skåne's best hiking areas, you spend the night in one of their woollen huts – Mongolian style huts with washbasins, oil lamp and heater. In a proper bed of course. The hotel offers tree climbing, ant and bat safaris, and even cheese strolls for lovers of good food and a less strenuous walk.

Hiking

Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or out for a countryside stroll, you’ll find it here. There’s everything from classic Scandinavian wilderness with old virgin forests, rocky coastlines to pastoral landscapes full of bright yellow canola seed. So pack your rucksack and lace up your boots.

The Skåneleden Trail – follow the orange signs

The Skåneleden Trail is a marked long distance hiking trail measuring more than 1,000 kilometres through local countryside. It consists of five separate sub-trails comprising of more than 90 sections, where some of the sections are connected, making them perfect for circular hikes. 

The entire trail is marked with orange markers and signs, so you always know which direction to go and don’t have to worry about getting lost. Stay on route at a cosy  B&B or hotel, and enjoy a first class dinner in one of the area’s many restaurants. 

Ales Stones, Ystad – a mighty megalithic monument

Climb the hill over the picturesque fishing village of Kåseberga in south-east Skåne to the megalithic Ales Stenar monument. Consisting of 59 large boulders standing in a ship-like formation, these huge stones have puzzled people for ages. But what does it all mean? Who erected these large stones, and why? 

Some scientists believe it is a grave, others suggested it could be a medieval astrological watch, since all the stones are strategically placed in relation to the sun. 

What we do know is that the stones were placed here around 1,400 years ago and that they are an impressive sight with an amazing view of spectacular landscape as a backdrop. 

Birdwatching 

Skåne is home to an impressive diversity of bird species. It’s part of the most important European route for migrating birds, where you can take an eagle safari, or watch the gracious dance of the cranes. Find out more about birdwatching in Skåne

Falsterbo, a bird migration centre 

Around 500 million birds from Scandinavia pass this spot on their way to spend winter in Africa. Every autumn, the area around Falsterbo Lighthouse attracts thousands of birdwatchers. All 359 species spotted here are listed on this site. For the best view, climb onto the roof of Falsterbo Strandbad. There’s a tower especially built for bird-watching where you can admire the long beach, the sea and the vast heaths. Borrow binoculars, and visit Naturum, the visitor’s centre for bird watchers.

The dance of the cranes – an unforgettable performance

Every spring, thousands of cranes perform their fascinating dance, a mating ritual, at Lake Pulken in north-eastern Skåne. Take a guided tour, or visit viewing areas set up with binoculars. 

Close to nature in Malmö

Did you know that Malmö even has its own beach at Ribersborg, just a 20-minute stroll from the city centre?  2 ½ kilometres of fine white sand and clear water. From here you can see the Öresund Bridge and Turning Torso during a walk or bike ride.