Travel Guides

Skåne | Adventure Destination Guide

In the south of Sweden, just across the bridge from Copenhagen, sits Skåne. Here's some things worth knowing

In case you’re not familiar with Skåne, the best way for us to give you an idea of where it is would be thus: you know that massive bridge that links Denmark with Sweden? Well, it’s the county on the Swedish side. It’s the very, very south of the country, just a stone’s throw across the water from Copenhagen and home to the city of Malmö.

What it’s also home to is a diverse landscape that’s primed for the outdoor adventurer – think mountain bike trails through forests bigger than London, hikes along a coastline more jagged than a lumberjack’s saw and cycle routes through quiet country lanes not too dissimilar to those in the south of England (but without the speeding white vans and abandoned fridges).

Pictured: Coastline at the Kullaberg Nature Reserve

How To Get There

Malmö, often seen as the gateway to Skåne, has an airport but reaching it from the UK is a bit of a headache – a two flight kind of headache. Have no fear though, because if you fly straight from London or Liverpool to Copenhagen Airport you can jump straight on a train from there and be in the centre of Malmö in as little as half an hour. From there, with the help of the handy Skånetrafiken app, you’ll be able to get trains and buses throughout the whole county.

Costs? A return flight from the UK to Copehnagen will normally cost you between £70 and £100 and then a one-way ticket across the Oresund bridge to Malmö for 96 DKK (roughly €13).

Pictured: View over the forest at Soderasen National Park

Things To Do In Skåne

No visit to Scandinavia is complete without enjoying their ‘everyman’s right’. That’s the freedom to hike or camp wherever you want, so long as it isn’t someone’s garden or a farmer’s crop field. A good way to make the most of it would be a hike along the Skåneleden Trail, a network of five fully way-marked paths that criss-cross the entire county. You could, perhaps, walk a quick section on the outskirts of Malmö, or maybe you could tell your boss you’re away for a couple of months and go and do the whole thing. All 1250 kilometres of it. Stay in the 90 free-to-use basic wooden shelters along the way for the duration and it won’t even set you back much. Too tempting, right? 

Söderåsen National Park is considered to be one of the highlights of the trail, an area of thick woodland that’s been virtually unchanged for over 150 million years. Make sure you get to the highest point called Kopperhatten. There you’ll find a far-reaching view over the tree tops and also right down into a 90m deep ravine. Then there’s Oden Lake, a great spot for a bit of wild swimming… very cold wild swimming.

Related: Extreme Tree Climbing In Skåne

For more hiking and for just about every other activity, whether that’s surfing, kayaking, climbing, road cycling or mountain biking, it’s the Kullaberg Peninsula Nature Reserve you want to head to. You can start your morning riding the numerous mtb trails (of various difficulties) through the woods, hike to a sea cliff for some climbing after lunch and then, if the surf’s good, hit the beach at Molle before finishing up at one of the typically Scandinavian bars or restaurants in the old fishing village.

If road cycling is more your thing, the area is actually one of the stopping points for one of Europe’s finest cycling trails, the Kattegattleden, a 400km fully signposted journey along the quiet lanes between Helsingborg city in the south and Gothenburg in the north. 

For all you need to explore Kullaberg’s forest and bouldery coastline with its hidden coves and caves it’s worth speaking to Kullabergs Guiderna, they’ll kit you out and guide you or give you the local knowledge to explore by yourself. 

Pictured: Autumn in Skane

Where To Stay

Committing as much time as possible to unwinding outdoors is part of the Scandinavian way. There’s even a word for it: friluftsliv, or ‘open air living’. Accomodation-wise, there’s no other place that’ll help you prescribe to this ethos more than Nyrups Natur Hotel. They’ve built a bunch of authentic yurts right in the depths of a beech forest, each one complete with their own wood burning stove, oil lamps, and mini kitchen. No electricity, no street lights, no concrete and no unwanted noise. Prices for two nights here start at £219.

If you’re after more of a city experience, Malmo would be your best bet, but Lund and Helsingborg are both worth considering as well. Hey, if you’re on a budget, you could make use of that good old freedom to roam and just bring your tent and wing it.

Eating And Drinking

Bad news. All of Skåne’s eel parties are on hold at the moment in order to preserve the threatened species, so you’ll have to wait a while until the eel gorging, schnapps drinking and Eel King selection ceremonies return. 

The good news, however, is that there’s still plenty of other traditional fare to try while the eels recuperate. In fact, Skåne has an impressive food scene – they don’t call it ‘Sweden’s larder’ for nothing – with a bunch of Michelin starred restaurants to choose from, particularly in and around Malmö.

One place that’s certainly worth a visit (if you’re a meat eater) is Holy Smoke. It’s a ranch-like venue right out in the countryside where a group of very hairy guys have created their own texan-style outdoor BBQ joint, complete with a big old barn and fire pits. Honestly, you might just have the best steak of your life here. Veggie? Well, that’s a place to avoid, but don’t worry there’s plenty of choice for you around Skåne, especially in Malmö with its amazingly diverse culinary scene. 

Check out our other adventure travel destinations for 2020.

This destination guide was brought to you in association with outdoor fashion retailer Blackleaf.

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