"Another highlight was a day trip to the island Ven. It’s a short ferry ride away from Landskrona, and I suggest either taking your own bike or leasing one from the large rental outlet on the island, so that you can fully explore every corner. There are a few hills, so brace yourself for biking uphill, but whizzing down the other side makes the push worth it. The Tycho Brahe Museum is on Ven, and in a guided tour, you can learn all about the astronomer’s observations of the stars and planets that surround us."
Last year marked my first Swedish summer. I joined in the “midsommar” celebrations in Helsingborg, lazed in the sun in parks and on beaches around Lund and Malmö, took copious amounts of antihistamines to deal with the abundance of pollen, and devoured more scoops of sorbet than I can count. With my second summer here starting now, I’m eager to share some of my favourite moments from last year so that you, too, can experience all that Skåne has to offer.
But first, let me get the pollen out of the way. If, like me, you have the misfortune of suffering from seasonal allergies, brace yourself for a long couple of months full of sneezing and sniffling. In 2022, I found the worst period to be in July and August, but that may change this year. Take antihistamines if you need to, and don’t be surprised if long hours outdoors leave you feeling a little run down the next day. I recommend keeping an eye on Pollenrapporten to prepare yourself for high pollen days.
Another recommendation is to go ahead and buy Skånetrafiken’s “sommarbiljett”, or summer ticket. This ticket is valid from 15 June – 15 August, costs SEK 829, and gives you unlimited access to all public transport in Skåne. If you’ve got kids, note that up to three people can travel on one ticket, provided that only one of those three is over 20 years old. This year, Skånetrafiken has stepped up its offerings, collaborating with Blekingetrafiken to offer a second summer ticket option which gives you unlimited access to public transport in both counties for SEK 1,219. Last year, I took full advantage of my access to all of Skåne, and I plan to do the same this summer.
One of my favourite trips was to Ales Stenar, or the Swedish Stonehenge. The best part of this trip for me was not the breath-taking views of the sea glimmering below the high cliffs, or pondering the mysteries that led this arrangement of rocks – it was the cows who laze and graze around Ales Stenar, chewing mouthfuls of grass and sunbathing. Even though I grew up in Switzerland, where cows roaming the Alps are a frequent sight, it’s hard to beat the unexpected vision of a cow stretched out dozing as the sun beats down on a seaside Swedish cliff.
Another highlight was a day trip to the island Ven. It’s a short ferry ride away from Landskrona, and I suggest either taking your own bike or leasing one from the large rental outlet on the island, so that you can fully explore every corner. There are a few hills, so brace yourself for biking uphill, but whizzing down the other side makes the push worth it. The Tycho Brahe Museum is on Ven, and in a guided tour, you can learn all about the astronomer’s observations of the stars and planets that surround us. You can also stop by the Spirit of Hven distillery on the island and sample their offerings, which include whiskies, gins, and akvavits. You can’t buy any bottles to take home from the distillery, but you can find them at Systembolaget.
Another more physical excursion to enjoy in the summer is hiking. Skåne is criss-crossed by the Skåneleden, which spans more than 1,400 km of the Swedish countryside. With six sub-trails and more than 130 sections, those of us living in this county are spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking. My favourite so far has been Kullaberg, where you’ll walk along an incline and be rewarded for your efforts with glistening, almost jewel-toned views of the sea sparkling between the trees. A quick detour will lead you to Lars Wilks’ Nimis installation in the micronation of Ladonia (no passport necessary!). Other hiking spots include Dalby, where you can also squeeze in a dip in the lake, and the beech forests of Söderåsen National Park.
Camping is also a popular Swedish summertime activity – although not for me, I prefer sleeping in a bed with four walls around me, a floor below me, and a ceiling overhead. But for the more adventurous among you, Sweden is a camper’s paradise with more than 75,000 spots to pitch your tents. Don’t rush out to buy all-new camping equipment, because sustainable options are easy to find. In Lund, you have two options for borrowing outdoor equipment from libraries of goods that aim to build a sharing community while cutting down on overconsumption: Fritidsbanken and Circle Centre (full disclosure, I volunteered for a year as Circle Centre’s communications officer). Have a browse through their inventories to see if you can borrow something from them instead of buying new items.
Besides all the day-trips and excursions, also make time to spend days in local parks, where you can take picnics and barbecue items, and waste away the afternoons playing rounds of Kubb. And don’t sit out the grilling if, like me, you’re vegan: one of the things I love most about Sweden is how easy meat alternatives are to find, and how delicious they are. Beach days are also a must, whether you head to the scenic beach huts of Skanör or the warm waters at Lomma. If a full-body tan is your thing, I wrote last summer for The Local about some of the best naked beaches in Sweden, including two in Skåne: Malmö’s Ribersborg, and Ystad’s Sandhammaren.
This summer, I’m excited to continue exploring the Skåneleden with groups of friends. I also plan to go canoeing in Löddeköpinge, and berry-picking at Eriksgården in Sjöbo. When I lived in Denmark, I discovered the joy of just-picked strawberries, and if you haven’t already gorged yourself on the Swedish “jordgubbar”, you’re missing out. Remember the sunscreen, and have a fantastic summer!
/ Shandana Mufti