The people of the southern Swedish territory of Skåne have more in common with the Danes than they do with their fellow countrymen in the north. Crossing over the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden has opened up the opportunities in the area for inhabitants as well as for visitors.
Even the relatively flat rolling landscape is remarkably similar. It is therefore no surprise to learn that those two areas were linked by land some 7,000 years ago. Only two courses of action were available to those who wanted to reunite these lands, one was to wait for another ice age, the other was to build a crossing.
Related: Bridge to the Future
Built in a true spirit of cooperation, what resulted was a wonder of modern construction, to rival that of the Channel Tunnel. Before the bridge was officially opened in 1999, the crossing between Copenhagen and Malmö was a joyless one. Coaches and hovercraft would ferry people who found cheap flights to Sweden via Denmark, and they would mingle with Swedes who were looking for bargains on the other side of the water.
Related: Scandinavian Borders and Migration
The arrival of the combined rail and road crossing changed all that and it is now possible to make the excursion in comfort and with speed. As you depart Copenhagen, the Öresund has a surprise for you as it starts its life as a tunnel to avoid interfering with the busy airport. Soon it emerges from the water, as a majestic bridge, providing fantastic views on both sides.
Related: On Copenhagen’s Amager Island
The crossing has really opened up this area of southern Sweden, and re-attached it to the mainland. Once across, the opportunities to explore are numerous. Outside of the cities the most popular destination is the area around the Falsterbro Peninsula. With its long sandy beaches, it draws hikers and sun-seekers from far and wide and transport-links connect well with the bridge.
Feature image (on top): Photo: Johan Bengtsson, Visit Skåne.
Over the Ôresund Bridge, written by Tor Kjolberg