Skåne is the southern most county (or län) in Sweden its capital city is Malmö (the third largest city in Sweden).
Due to the Gulf Stream Skåne enjoys mild winters (perhaps with the occasional snow flake in January- February) and warm summers. Whilst the midnight sun does not shine in Skåne at mid-summer there is up to almost 18 hours of daylight in which to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery or the vibrant night life Skåne has to offer.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected things to find in Skåne is Ladonia, a self-declared independent micro-nation which can found in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve in the northern part of Skåne. Ladonia currently has 17000 citizens (none of whom live there) from all over the world, its own national anthem (the sound of stone landing in water) and a Queen (Carolyn I).
Ladonia began when Lars Vilks began creating a sculpture named “Nimis” from driftwood. For two years Vilks worked on the sculpture, a series of towers, without any one discovering it (the location being reached by boat or down a steep path). However once it was discover the local authorities tried to get Vilks to remove his sculpture which they deemed to be a building which are not allowed in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve. This resulted in many legal battles, all the while Vilks added to Nimis making a labyrinth of towers and walkways. He even built a separate sculpture Arx (made from reinforced concrete). Finally in 1996, Vilks declared Ladonia to be a independent Micronation as the local authorities could not control the area or enforce it’s own rulings. Since then people from all over the world have been applying for citizenship and it’s number s continue to grow!
Malmö is one of Sweden’s oldest cities and is full of historical and cultural attractions, it is easily accessible from Copenhagen and Gothenburg.
Possibly one of Malmö’s most famous landmarks is the Öresund Bridge. The bridge spans about 8km across the Öresund strait connecting Malmö and Copenhagen via road and rail.
The Öresund Bridge whilst well know before for being the longest combined road and Rail Bridge in Europe has been made even more famous by the Scandi crime TV series The Bridge, in which Malmö’s police department and the Copenhagen police department have to work closely together when a body is found no the Öresund Bridge half way between the two countries!
In the oldest part of Malmö you will find Lilla Torg (Little Square), built in 1592 it was once a market square. Today Lilla Torg’s historical buildings are restaurants, bars and shops. In the summer it is busy with locals and tourists alike enjoying a meal or a drink out on the cobbled square or even in Malmö’s one and only Scottish Pub!
Ystad & the Österlan coast
Ystad is famous world wide for being the setting for Henning Mankell’s Crime series Wallander. Fans of the TV series can take a tour of the city to visit all the spots featured on the show (it is also a great way to see the many of Ystad’s historical buildings).
The Österlan coast offers beautiful picture postcard scenery, yellow fields with bright blue skies and the occasional red or white house dotted here and there and some of Sweden best beaches with miles of golden sand to stroll along or to lie on next to the turquoise waters.
If visiting the Österlan another must see is the Ales Stenar. Thought to have been made in the Iron Age, Ales Stenar is a group of 59 standing stones arranged in the shape of a ship and is Sweden’s largest remaining stone ship. The purpose of the stones ships is not fully understood; theories range from burial site to sundials!
When in Skäne there is nothing better to accompany your Fika than a slice of a local delicacy, Spettekaka (sometimes Spättekaka or spit cake in English).
Do not be put off by the name, Spettekaka is made from eggs, potato flour, normal flour and sugar, the resulting batter is drizzled on to a rotating spit over a fire (hence the name), each layer is allowed to bake before a new layer is added. When the cake has finished cooking it is usually decorating with icing (often pink and white).
Since the EU gave Spettekaka a protected geographical indication (PGI) you can only get a “real” Spettekaka from Skäne.