Across the Öresund bridge from Denmark, southern Sweden is home to the lively city of Malmö. Castles and Stone Age sites abound, while bathers and birdwatchers head for Öland. The castles and manor houses in Southern Sweden are also popular attractions.
Skåne is Sweden’s most southerly province, so close to Denmark across the narrow sound that even the accent is faintly Danish. For centuries Swedes and Danes fought over this area, along with the provinces of Halland and Blekinge, until Sweden established its sovereignity in 1658.
The Öresund Bridge
Since 2000, however, the two countries have been joined by the Öresund road and rail bridge that links Malmö and Copenhagen. The project has prompted a renaissance for southern Swedes as a center for the Danish-Swedish Öresund region, with a total of 3 million people and one-fifth of the total combined GNP of Sweden and Denmark.
Sweden’s food store
Skåne is often called Sweden’s food store because of its rich farmland, mild climate and good fishing. Along the coast the landscape is undulating and lush, and especially spectacular in the southeast corner, Österleden. Inland, there are lakes and three large ridges with lovely walks.
Skåne is renowned for its castles and manor houses. There are said to be 240 in the province, most of which are in private ownership, but it is usually possible to walk round parts of the house and/or gardens such as at Sofiero, 4 km (2 ½ miles) north of Helsingborg.
Sofiero palace and gardens
Built in 1857, Sofiero was used by King Gustav VI Adolf as his summer palace until his death in 1973. He was a keen botanist, as the gardens show – they were awarded the title of Europe’s most beautiful park in 2010.
Feature image (on top): Kronovalls Wine Castle in Tranås
The Castles and Manor Houses in Southern Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg