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Biking on Kattegattleden in Halland
Stay near the beach and enjoy the beautiful views while biking on Kattegattleden.
Photo credit: Ron Johansson

Halland, Sweden – a coastal haven for foodies and nature lovers alike

Halland, Sweden is an idyllic west coast province boasting a rich foodie culture and a wealth of outdoor activities, not least cycling and even surfing. With a perfect mixture of sandy beaches and lush forests – featuring towering sand dunes and waterfalls – this coastal region is worth visiting.

A haven of coastal living, Halland’s natural landscapes beg to be explored. Regardless of where you set foot in Halland, you’ll find it hard not to be tempted by its outdoor activity prospects, from child-friendly hikes and cycle trails to kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding and – for the really committed – the award-winning Kattegattleden cycle and hiking route.

Halland's outdoorsy vibe shares the limelight with a proud culinary culture based on high-quality, locally produced food. Halland as a whole will also appeal to the culture enthusiast. The historic Varberg Fortress now serves as a museum, and Halmstad Castle is a must-see cultural highlight to weave into your tour of this unique region.

Nestled on Sweden’s west coast between Gothenburg and Helsingborg, this beautiful province has three must-visit towns – Halmstad, Falkenberg and Varberg, each with its own unique character.

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Old town in Falkenberg, Halland

The picturesque old town in Falkenberg, Halland.

Photo: Marie Hidvi

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Old town in Falkenberg, Halland

Photo: Marie Hidvi

Varberg Stadshotell, Halland

Photo: Varberg Stadshotell

Drottning Kristina-passagen in Halmstad, Halland

Photo: Destination Halmstad

Halmstad – the capital of Halland

Halmstad, Halland’s biggest town, has a lot to offer. It serves as an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the province. A draw for outdoor enthusiasts, Halmstad’s abundance of trails will enable you to explore much of its beautiful countryside, on foot or by bike.

A cycling hotspot, Halmstad is the starting point of Kattegattleden – Sweden’s very first national cycling trail. Unsurprisingly to anyone who’s whizzed along this scenic path, it was awarded European Cycling Route of the Year (2018) by the Cycling & Hiking Fair. This unique cycling route extends across 390 km, taking you through the spectacular coastal landscapes of Halland and beyond. It’s divided into eight stretches, and along the way, you’ll be able to refuel at the many eateries in close proximity. Or, check into a hotel for a restful night’s sleep before jumping on your bike for the next day’s ride.

For a less ambitious, yet equally satisfying outing, consider Prince Bertil’s Trail – an easy 18 km hike offering up never-ending seaside views as well as stretches of enchanting forest. Before setting off, you might want to take some extra time to explore Halmstad Castle, the trail’s starting point. The trail will take you to the unique Möllegårds Nature Reserve (Möllegårds Naturreservat). Take the chance to replenish your energy levels with a scoop of delicious family-recipe ice cream at World of Riccardo’s.

Other not-to-miss attractions near Halmstad include:

  • Danska Fall, a beautiful waterfall flowing through an unspoilt nature reserve.
  • Haverdals Nature Reserve, a beech tree forest and probably Sweden’s tallest sand dune, towering at a mighty 36 metres.
  • Lynga sand dune, which has a dedicated trail that enables you to get all the way to the top for sweeping views across the forest and sea.

Biking on Kattegattleden in Halland

Biking on Kattegattleden in Halland.

Photo: Oskar Albrektsson

Falkenberg – a foodie destination par excellence

Falkenberg is located along the central coast of Halland. It became the first city to win the coveted ‘Worth a Trip’ award given each year by the White Guide, the Nordic region’s premier restaurant guide. Make sure to arrive hungry, as you’ll want to sample the diverse smorgasbord of culinary delights – from artisanal pizza to seafood feasts.

Being a coastal spot, there's of course a good selection of fish and seafood restaurants,.for instance the beach-front, upmarket Ocean Bar & Grill. If you're more into innovative dining experiences, head to Köket at Falkenberg Strandbad to sample its highly creative tasting menus.

Stedsans in the Woods seeks to provide an off-grid respite from the stresses of modern life. This über-rustic temple of simplicity and sustainability makes use of local farms (including its own) and food producers to serve up inspiring dishes. Most of what you’ll eat will have been harvested or foraged on the very same day. And if you’ve opted to stay the night, rest assured that all facilities are water-neutral and biodegradable .

Restaurant Äng by Ästad Vineyard is another notable foodie destination. Its menu is based on dishes prepared with seasonal, local produce and freshly harvested ingredients. Also consider Skrea Matbruk. This farm-to-table restaurant and culinary community hub is founded by one of Sweden’s premier foodies, Lisa Lemke. The restaurant is open on a “save the date” basis.

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Ästad vineyard

Ästad Vingård is a beautifully situated vineyard in Åkulla beech forests natural reserve.

Photo: Kristian Sahlberg

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Ästad vineyard

Photo: Kristian Sahlberg

Tullbron in Falkenberg, Halland

Photo: Marie Hidvi

Stedsans in the Woods

Photo: Inge Skovdal

Varberg – a surfer's paradise and so much more

The charming destination of Varberg, less than 40 km north of Falkenberg, has year-round appeal but is known as something of a surf mecca in the summertime. And with 2.5 km of sandy beaches, it’s easy to see why. Arriving at the harbour area, you'll immediately spot the imposing Varberg Fortress, the oldest part of which dates back to the 13th century. Step into the courtyard, and you’ll find the entrance to the must-visit Halland Museum of Cultural History. This sprawling bastion is home to the extraordinary Bocksten Man (Bockstensmannen). This medieval gentleman’s well-preserved remains – including his clothing and oak cane – were found in a bog in the Varberg area in 1936.

Having experienced all that Varberg has to offer – from invigorating outdoor experiences to fascinating history and culture – you’ll no doubt be hankering for some sustenance. Gather your travel companions and head over to John's Place for an informal but satisfying feast of meat cooked over an open fire by the sea.

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Boardwalk in Varberg, Halland

Boardwalk by the sea in Varberg, Halland

Photo: Mikael Pilstrand

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Boardwalk in Varberg, Halland

Photo: Mikael Pilstrand

Kallbadhuset in Varberg

Photo: Philip Liljenberg

Societetsparken in Varberg, Halland

Photo: Mikael Pilstrand

Varbergs stadshotell, Halland

Photo: Varberg Stadshotell

Enjoy some of Sweden’s best beaches

Halland is home to some of the country’s most spectacular beaches, complete with soft golden sand and clear water.

Halland’s best beaches:

  • Tylösand strand: Most Swedes agree that this is the most beautiful beach on the mainland. Undulating sand dunes give it a unique Halland character, and the calm, shallow water is perfect for families. The beach is easily reached by direct bus (30 minutes) from Halmstad.
  • Apelviken: This is Sweden’s best surfing spot, but non-surfers won’t be disappointed. The beach is lined with restaurants, cafés and lounges, with a walking and cycling path leading directly to Varberg centre, only three kilometres away.
  • Skrea: Just south of central Falkenberg, reachable by bus or a pleasant 10-minute bike ride, Skrea is another child-friendly beach where you can relax on the soft sand, dive in for a swim off the jetty or enjoy a seafood feast at an open-air café.
  • Mellbystrand: Sweden’s longest sandy beach, the sprawling coastline sheltered in a crescent-shaped bay makes Mellbystrand perfect for windsurfing. However, it’s also perfect for a lazy day at the beach, complete with picnic.
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Tylösand beach in Halland

The Tylösand beach is one of swedens most beautiful beaches and is located in the Halland region.

Photo: DMP Nordic og Reisegutta

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Tylösand beach in Halland

Photo: DMP Nordic og Reisegutta

Apelviken in Varberg

Photo: DMP Nordic og Reisegutta

Skrea beach, Halland

Photo: Marie Hidvi

Surfing

Photo: Anna Hålllams/imagebank.sweden.se

Fästningsbadet in Varberg, Halland

Photo: Hidvi Group

Practical information before your trip to Halland