This trail is all about sea and sand, and the wide open spaces of Skåne’s southwest tip. You get extra everything here on “näset” as the locals call it. This is not nature as usual. The geology is sensational, the history decisive, and there is an unusually rich variety of plants and animals, and a truly unique bird habitat. This is a trail that truly amazes.
Where? Ljunghusen-Skanör-Ljunghusen. Length: 31 km. Difficulty: Moderate
This hike takes you along the coast on Skåneleden Trail’s sub-trail SL1, Öresundsleden Trail in southwest Skåne, 25 kilometres south of the city of Malmö.
Your hiking experience begins on the outskirts of the little town of Ljunghusen, at the road intersection of Falsterbovägen and Storvägen. You can get here by bus, hop off at the Ljunghusen Storvägen bus stop. Turn north from the main road (“Storvägen” means “Main Street”) and after walking just a couple of hundred metres you will see the orange Skåneleden Trail markers on the lamp posts. Head west and follow the trail.
The gravel crunches beneath your feet and the perfectly straight bike trail stretches out ahead of you. Once upon a time, trains travelled this same route, carrying guests to and from Falsterbo’s famed beaches and seaside hotels. Rugged paths take you out onto a heathland, as barren as it is beautiful, with exceptional opportunities for birdwatching, and a picnic area overlooking the Öresund Strait which separates Denmark and Sweden.
Once you’ve crossed the little streams of Ammerännan and Bredeväg, once upon a time important transport routes to the sea, it’s time to abandon the Skåneleden Trail and take a little shortcut. Follow the road past the field and into the idyllic town of Skanör. Soon the medieval Skanör church towers above you and just beyond you will see the mound where a once great castle stood, now just ruins. Cross the bridge over the moat and drink in the view. This is a good place to visualise history: the busy harbour filled with medieval ships, the herring barrels, fishing huts, traders and noisy market stalls.
Pathways up from the beach lead you out into a very distinctive landscape. Coastal meadows influenced by the sea, perpetually shifting sandbanks and lagoons, with an unusually rich and unique concentration of plants, birds, frogs and lizards. In the middle of this natural splendour, is the Skanör Harbour, with restaurants offering delicacies from the sea. Why not go for a swim before dinner? Or perhaps take a long walk on the beach...
Beach and golf pathways carry you past the two hundred year old Falsterbo Lighthouse, the oldest known beacon in Scandinavia, as well as the even more ancient beacon site Kolabacken (literally Coal Hill) where coal fires were kept burning intensely red to warn approaching ships. And of course the sand spit Måkläppen. Please note that Måkläppen is a nature reserve and conservation area. Many species of waterfowl nest here, and it is also important for the grey seal and harbour seal. For this reason no access to Måkläppen is allowed except from November to January, and seal spotting must take place from a distance.
Your walk takes you past the seaside hotel Klitterhus and the associated castle mound, the museum of local history, great sand dunes and the park surrounding the church, until you arrive at Falsterbo Strandbad Beach. Your journey along the Skåneleden Trail has come to an end for now. It’s time to turn your footsteps inland to the bus stop, and head home. Hopefully, you are many experiences and impressions richer.