20 Foteviken - Ljungens camping
Degree of difficulty
A coastal route along the fabulous southwest tip of Skåne on the Falsterbonäset Peninsula. Idyllic small towns, sensational geology, a truly unique bird habitat, an open-air Viking museum, and a medieval fishing village. But most of all – as much sea and sand as you could possibly want in a vacation.
The Falsterbo Peninsula and Måklappen started to rise from the sea some 4,000 years ago. Underwater moraine enabled the sand banks to build up and rise above sea level, where wind reshaped them into undulating sand dunes. The formation is called a tombolo, where sand reefs build to the point where they become a bar or spit – a narrow body of land attached to a small island offshore. Tombolos are often hammer-shaped, and Falsterbonäset Peninsula is no exception.
This ever-changing sandy seabed is unique in Sweden and the area is the largest nature reserve in Skåne. The sandy seabed and shallow water attract herring, garfish, and lumpfish to mate and lay their eggs. Large numbers of fish fry spend their first years here, which draws thousands of birds, and this is an internationally renowned bird-watching area. Birds of prey can often be spotted gliding in the skies.
Continue along paths over the dry hummocks and wet hollows of the Skanör heathland. This is how most of the peninsula looked 150 years ago, when it was a common grazing area. Long-haired Scottish highland cattle graze the area now to help conserve the landscape and the special flora. As you follow the coast towards Knösen, watch for sea wormwood and blue iris in the pastures.
The paths across Flommen provide a unique experience of coastal meadows with banks and lagoons where small fish and tadpoles dart amongst the hummocks. Unusual birds, such as pied avocet and oyster catcher, and the rare European green toad live here. Soon you come to the five-kilometre-long sand bank called Måkläppen where colonies of harbour and grey seals raise their cubs. For this reason, walking on the island is prohibited, except from November to January.
Foteviken was attractive already from the early Viking period. There is a 300 metre-long, defensive barrier, dating from approximately 980 CE at the Foteviken inlet, composed of stone and the remnants of a handful of Viking ships. The barrier was not defence enough, and the battle of Foteviken took place here in 1134. You can get a taste for life during the Viking era by visiting Vikingastad, an open-air museum where everything has been recreated authentically.
Part of the trail is along a perfectly straight bicycle track. Once upon a time, trains travelled this same route, carrying guests to and from Falsterbo’s famed beaches and seaside hotels.
At Skanör, imagine the inlet filled with medieval ships, the land littered with grey fishing huts, swarming with fishermen and tradesmen from afar trading in noisy market stalls, as it was in the 1200 and 1300s. The hollows in the ground are the remains of several hundred fishing huts. Right on the edge of Skanör, is the Skanör hill fort, also active during the 1200s and 1300s. The remains of another fortress and its predecessor can be seen at the southern part of Falsterbo. The fortress was the main home of the sheriff from the beginning of the 1400s up until 1530.
On the southern tip of the peninsula stands a two hundred-year-old lighthouse, the oldest known beacon in Scandinavia, and the even more ancient beacon site Kolabacken, (literally Coal Hill) where coal fires were kept burning to warn approaching ships.
Along the section
There are no known issues on this track segment.
Highlights along the section
Are you looking for a place to stay or a cozy cafe during your hike? Here are some of the sights and places to visit along the section.
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