Sofiero Castle is situated just north of the town of Helsingborg and few castles in Sweden can boast a more beautiful location. Above the rhododendron ravine, overlooking the Öresund Sound and Denmark, Sofiero Castle is surrounded by velvety lawns, lush green trees and dazzling flower beds.
History and ownership
Sofiero castle was built in Dutch Renaissance style in 1864 and the castle was the Danish Queen Ingrid's second home when she and her parents, King Gustav Adolf and Queen Margaretha of Sweden, visited here in the summers. The castle, the exceptionally beautiful landscaped parks with rose garden and the famous rhododendron garden was Queen Ingrid's childhood home and throughout her life, she went back to Sofiero each summer with her Danish family.
In 1907, when Skåne had become Swedish again, Swedish monarch Gustav VI Aldolf and his wife Princess Margarete planted the very first of 10.000 rhododendron bushes in the gardens of Sofiero Castle. Apparently the royal couple had green thumbs and a big interest in botanic, rhododendron flowers in particular.
What to see
Today, the blooming of the rhododendrons in the springtime is a huge attraction when more than 10,000 plants in 500 different varieties bloom in the early summer. The castle has one of the largest collections of rhododendrons in Europe and a lot of people now plan trips here in May to wander among the colourful flowers. These days it is a bit easier to keep up to date with the timing of bloom every year since you can follow the gardens’ daily maintenance via Sofiero’s Instagram account where they regularly take pictures of the park; naturally with a special focus of the rhododendrons during the spring.
But the garden is not just for summer visitors but is an experience throughout the year. Already in the spring around half a million flowers in the park blossoms and when the many rhododendron bushes are blooming even the roses sweet aroma spreads throughout the park.
Among the most popular flower-beds in the park are; Crown Princess Margareta's Flower Street, Rosengången (the rose isle), the Victorian kitchen garden, viewpoints and panoramic views of the Öresund Sound, and generous lawns for picnics. You’ll also find a café, a plant shop, a castle restaurant and a farm shop with beautiful interoir items for the home and garden.
The season, during which the palace, shops, restaurant and café are open for visitors, starts March 31 and ends in September. However, you are welcome to visit Sofiero for a guided tour, a walk in the park and a chance to enjoy the view over the strait of Öresund to Denmark at any time of the year. The park and garden are cared for by Sofiero’s highly-skilled landscape architects and gardeners. In 2010, Sofiero was named Europe’s most beautiful park and In 2013, Sofiero was voted Sweden’s fourth most popular visitor destination by the users of the international travel site Tripadvisor. Visit Sofiero Castle website here