Sofiero Palace and Gardens is situated just north of the city of Helsingborg, about 5 km from Train Station .
The Castle built in 1865 was presented to crown prince Gustav Adolf , - later King Gustaf VI Adolf - for his wedding at the turn of the century, and became his summer residence, where he established a large collection of rhododendrons. Soon after the prince planted his first rhododendron (from the Greek: rhodos, rose, and dendron, tree) in Sofiero.
His rhododendron interest grows primarily as collector and scientist. When he died in 1973 the castle became the property of the town of Helsingborg,and there were almost 10 thousand plants in the park.
Novadays it renowned as one of Europe's largest collections of rhododendrons.
The palace itself is used as restaurant, cafe and at times as a gallery
The season for visitors starts in April and ends in September, however, if you are a lover of rhododendrons, like me, you should take into consideration, when planning your visit to Sofiero. that the blooming time is in May and June only.
The park is open from Monday to Saturday 10am-4pm.
Admission in the season 80 SEK, out of season free.
Trains run several times a day from Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm and deliver you to Knutpunkten, the central station in Helsingborg.
If you want to keep your feet dry, it is actually the place, where you can not walk any further to the south from; Smygehuk is the southern-most point of the country.
In the harbour there is a sign which marks both the exact position,and distances to several places, such as Paris - 1049 km, Moscow - 1489, Stockholm - 510 km, Berlin - 321 km, and Sweden's northern-most point, Trerikröset, where the borders of Sweden, Norway, and Finland meet - 1581km.
In the summer Smygehuk is very popular for its many cafés, restaurants, a port warehouse filled with art and handicraft, and small guest harbours.
The old lighthouse, to the west of the village, just a stone’s throw from the fishing port and its fish smokery, is hardly to find, since it is hidden by the tall trees surrounding the site.
The lighthouse is a museum nowadays, but it is still a great experience to climb the stairs to the top. The views from the 17 m tower are breathtaking, from here, you can see far out over both the flat countryside and the sea.
Bosjökloster is an integral part of Skåne history and a must if you are in the area and can get here (difficult without a car although it can be done). It is easy during the Scania Days (Skånedagarna) in August when shuttle buses leave from Höör station for free. Skånedagarna is an annual event, promoting local food and heritage and it also gives various services a chance to show their talents. Read more in the travelogue on my Höör page. That page also has more pictures of the castle.
For a start, it is gorgeously situated in between the two halves of Lake Ringsjön. In medieval time, the peninsula was even an island...Secondly, it is a historic place. As the name suggests ("-kloster"), it has been a monastery before becoming a palace. No one knows for sure when it was started, but benedictine nuns had a monastery built here around 1080 to christen the many still heathen Danes (as this region was Danish in them days). 1181 it is first mentioned in a text by Pope Lucius III.
As the Reformation hit Denmark, the monastery was closed and Bosjökloster turned into a private palace instead. It was since owned by a succession of wealthy Danish noblemen before Sweden got hold of the province and Swedish noblemen slowly took over. In 1908, the palace was sold to the Beck family who 1962 opened it to the public. If you want the dramatic details of the palace, you will find plenty of history on its website.
Today, you can not visit the interior that often - only if there is an art exhibition with Prince Charles of England's paintings and such, but the grounds give you enough pleasure as you can see a lot of the architecture.
When you travel around Skåne, you will see that most churches are in limestone and this has been taken from many places. One is Tykarp, where a cave has been created since extractions started in the 12th century! Today, you can visit the cave with its great hall 12 metres under ground. It's only 8 degrees down there so bring a sweater!
The city was founded by the archbishop of Lund in 1275, when this area belonged to Denmark. In the XV. century Malmö was one of the largest cities of Denmark and the Öresund region thanks to its rapid growth.
Malmö together with Skane, became a part of Sweden in the Roskilde peace in 1658.
Since the eight kilometre Öresundsbron, a two-track rail and four-lane road bridge has been completed, you can take the One day - Two nation vacation, when you are in Copenhagen! The city is separated from Malmö by the Oresund strait that is just 4km wide at its narrowest point
Malmo is barely a 20 minute scenic ride from Copenhagen's main station to Malmö central station. Jumping on a train in the morning takes you across the Öresund Bridge.
Malmo is rather small and compact; during your day trip you can visit almost all interesting sites only by walking around.
Malmo's Top Attractions
Turning Torso - A bold vision; an exciting, tall building made of cubes.
Malmö Konsthall - One of Europe's biggest galleries for contemporary art.
The Malmöhus Castle - the oldest remaining renaissance castle in Scandinavia
Lilla Torg - The pretty cobblestone square, which has some of the City's oldest buildings, is lined with cafés, restaurants and bars.
Casino Cosmopol - Sweden's first legal casino, located in Kungsparken.
Rooseum - an international centre for contemporary art
St Petri Church - one of Malmös oldest buildings, built in Baltic Gothic style.
The Malmo Card - free rides on local buses, free parking, free entrance to Malmohus Castle, Malmo Museums and the Science & Maritime House.
Stoneware such as the one produced here has been made all over the clay rich north-west of Scania for generations but this is in fact one of the more unique places. It has stayed a lot smaller than famous Höganäs to the north, and therefore, the old means of productions are used and that is what you can see here. When the owners took over some years ago, the place was in a sorry state but they realised the potential of restoring this old cultural heritage and with the help of a trust, recently exchanged the old oven for a newly built one as the constant heat had run it down. The new one is built in exactly the same style as the original from 1864 and with coal heaps outside. Borrow a torch and you can see clay creations being burnt in it. You can also shop in the pottery's own little shop and have a great meal in the well-known restaurant (see restaurant tips). After the meal, you can have a walk in the little forest nature reserve along the little river Råå outside, finding anemones in spring and rare orchids in summer.
One of the most underrated towns in the south of Sweden, Ängelholm is known for its long, sandy beach in the Skälderviken Bay, for its former air base and for producing clay pigeon flutes. It should be known for so much more! The Rönne River flows through the little town and is one of the most important bird sites in the Europe and you can see this "Scanian Amazones" for yourself on a boat trip through the lush landscape to the marvellous beach. There is also a fascinating railway museum, a heritage park and generally nice countryside dotted with churches and homestead museums.
Torup is a castle built by a Danish family in the 16th century, and has an interesting historical mix of Danish nobility life and Swedish 19th century art within its walls. Read more about its history in my Svedala page. You can tour the castle weekends in May and June (check before going) as it is still inhabited, even though it has been sold to Malmö municipality a while ago. It is surrounded by a wonderful beech forest where people from all over the Malmö region come to walk or excersise and there is also a Cotters' Museum with a wonderful cafe nearby, dedicated to the farm labourers owning nothing, and struggling primarily on Scanian and Lake Mälaren farms until the 1950s.
The area around Kivik is known for its many apple orchards in bloom in spring and with apple harvesting in September. Therefore you will find one of the main juice and cider companies in Sweden here - Kiviks Musteri. Here you can buy their produce of not only apple but other fruit (juice, cider, jam etc.) and also book cider tastings in the cider cellar. Moreover, they in1995 opened the House of the Apple (Äpplets hus) which has an exhibition on old time cider making, a mock factory and information on apple growing in general. Linked to this is a cafe and a very good restaurant. Swedish apples bloom late due to the cold climate and that's what makes them a bit special since they this way avoid the worst frost damage! A very tart flavour and thin peel is special amongst many of the Swedish apple varieties. Best is if you can go here the last weekend in September (but be prepared for traffic congestion) for the Apple Market in Kivik harbour when the factory (in nearby Karakýs so you're best off coming by car) has special guided tours and sales. The market also boasts the biggest apple portrait in the world - usually made by some 65 000 apples and just as many nails in between them.
Another time to come is in mid July when Kivik holds its annual market which is a huge market in a meadow outside the village. See my page on Kivik for more pictures.
One of the loveliest places in Skåne, this island between Denmark and Sweden is a cyclists paradise with a huge bike rental shop and only a few cars. You get to Ven by ferry from Landskrona all year round and from Råå (outside Helsingborg) and Copenhagen in summer. Here you will find a 7 kilometre long island full of fantastic food but also art galleries and little harbour villages as well as Sweden's best whisky bar. The island is famous for its "backafalls", steep grassy cliffs down to the sea (see picture) and the sunsets are great in summer with the long evenings. Absolutely awash with tourists in July-August, you need to book accommodation then - try to see it in May, June or early September. You can also easily make it a daytrip but to get a feel for the magic atmosphere, it is very nice to spend the night here, with fewer tourists and those great sunsets and moonlit nights. It is great trying to imagine local landowner, the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe in his observatory here in the 16th century.
There are many sights in these twin fishing villages, always mentioned together. Skanör inn is famous not only for its food but for the zebra crossing for geese! It also has a "blue flag" beach with views across to Køge in Denmark.
Falsterbo is best known for another long beach and its tall lighthouse, which as one of the southernmost wetlands in Sweden is a famous area for spotting migrating birds. See my page on Skanör med Falsterbo for other things to see and do.
Dramatic and hilly peninsula in the north with the brightest lighthouse in Scandinavia. There are plenty of walking trails around the steep cliffs of the lighthouse - some of them to the many caves below. As you can imagine, this makes it popular with sports like climbing and diving. The peninsula is also full of picturesque villages such as Arild and the old seaside resort of Mölle. Nice restaurants too, and finally it is definately for those of you into pottery.
A very nice town with more half timbered houses than anywhere else in Sweden and quite a medieval feel. There are also beaches, a local brewery and plenty of countryside castles. Finally, it is the home of fictional inspector Wallander, for those of you reading Swedish crime novels.
Ystad is also one of the gateway to gorgeous Österlen and has plenty of ferries from Poland and Bornholm (and ferries from Germany to nearby Trelleborg) so no excuse not to come! Read more on my Ystad page.
I recommend you to see my page on the city of Lund for everything you can do, but here I would like to tempt you by saying that it is one of the two "Oxbridges" of Sweden, i.e. a buzzing university city. It also houses a main cathedral which, although not my favourite cathedral, has an impressive astronomical clock and interesting crypt. Moreover, Lund has one of the best open air museums in the country (as far as buildings go it can easily measure up to Stockholm's Skansen) as well as a sketch museum.
Different from the wilderness of north Sweden, this park is cultivated but in a careful way, showing you how people used to do it for centuries. The forests and fields are known for rare birds and frogs and climbing one of the hills (not least Stenshuvud itself) gives you marvellous views across the Bay of Hanö and the park. There is also a beach here where you can go for a swim as well as an exhibition area. See more on my Kivik page with its travelogue.
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Solvegatan 28, Lund, Skane, 22370, Sweden
Good for: Couples