Natural tranquillity – everywhere.
The ever-present nature is why northeast Skåne has become a popular destination in Skåne. Once a fierce battleground between Swedish freedom fighters and the Danish army, North-east Skåne couldn’t be more tranquil nowadays. In fact, it’s a wilderness of deep forests and rolling hills teeming with wildlife and beautiful flora and fauna.
Here, you can go on an elk safari or see roe deer and foxes while hiking in the deep, dark forest wilderness. Enjoy a traditional eel feast on the coast, or take a canoe trip on the many lakes. Follow in the footsteps of the pro-Danish partisans and discover the tall tales of Swedes and Danes fighting over this sought-after landscape that dates back to the 17th century. If art’s more your forte, go to Wanås Art Park, a unique place where you can experience art, nature and history all at once and with all your senses.
Get closer to nature than ever before
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, Canoeing in the lake of Ivösjön in north eastern Skåne is a convenient adventure. The trail both starts and ends in the same place, at the Wetlandi Canoe Center in Axeltorp, where you can rent your boat as well your gear. Why not rent a full camping package and spend the night Robinson Crusoe style in one of the well over 40 islands in the lake, of which many are uninhabited. All around the lake and on the islands there are plenty of peaceful places to set camp and you will have no problem finding a private little bay of your own where you can swim, barbecue and spend the night in serene seclusion.
Here, there are hiking trail options for both avid hikers, as well as strollers who are nature enthusiasts. The best and longest hiking trail is Hovdalaleden 57 km, which starts and ends at Hässleholm C or Hovdala Castle. For those who want to hike more, the trail goes north and continues on to the south side of the Skåneleden trail system. Here you can work on your challenging hiking at another destination and engage in outdoor activities for several days at a stretch. Round-trip trails at the Hiking Centre are Höjdarnas Höjdarled 22 km, Jakten på Gullspira 21 km, I Posta-Nillas spår 26 km and Finjasjöleden 20 km. Some of the trails are figure-eight shaped, suitable for full and half-day hiking. For those who do not want to go so far, there are shorter trails and walkways.
If you are looking to combine the nature experiences with some cultural ones you could set course for the beautiful Bäckaskog Castle, once a monastery with a history dating as far back as the 11th century is today a popular place for visitors who wants to have lunch or dinner in the restaurant and/or stay the night in the beautiful rooms. Before paddling here you can prebook a transport for your canoe back to the centre, while you spend the night at the castle and perhaps if you dare, join the ghost safari that is regularly arranged at the castle grounds.
– A small renaissance town with a big heart
Kristianstad is the largest city in northeastern part Skåne, and the 4th largest in all of Skåne. The historic city centre of Kristianstad, surrounded by a moat, offers superb shopping in medieval streets in the old city centre. Right across the street from the train station you’ll see Trefaldighetskyrkan (the Holy Trinity Church), considered the most beautiful renaissance church in the Nordics. If you’re a film buff, make sure you swing by the film museum to see the lights, cameras and still action of the early days of the Swedish movie industry.
Just a stone’s throw away from the city centre you’ll find Kristianstad’s Vattenrike, Designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO that offers a stunning diversity of species in a small area. Check out the Visitors Centre and 21 different observation towers, footbridges and open-air museums. It’s wilderness as only south Sweden can do it. You can go fishing, canoeing or take a guided safari tour, spot the lively cranes, catch a trout, or watch at the teeming life on the meadows. Summer is the time for gazing at colourful flowers, and enjoy pleasant boat trips on the river.
Medieval surroundings for the history lover
Northeastern Skåne is situated right on the old border region between Denmark and Sweden. Therefore, this area is filled with fascinating historic sites. In the 17th century there was a bitter guerilla war fought out in the depths of the forest between the "snapphanar" (musket men), pro-Danish partisans, and the Swedish army. The partisans fought to keep Skåne Danish and the soldiers to make it Swedish. One of the major battles took place at Hovdala castle. Characterized by an imposing corner tower, Hovdala Castle exemplifies the beauty and simplicity of a medieval fortification. Located just south of Hässleholm, near Finja Lake, the castle and grounds offer a walking tour through history. As you approach this historical site, you will be greeted with the pastoral scene of sheep grazing in the meadow. Conflicts of the past have faded into the serenity of the present at this rural site.
The extensive castle grounds offer long walks and pleasant experiences among gnarled apple trees and a Renaissance Garden. These structured garden beds are a feast for the senses. Colourful combinations of flowers, circled by butterflies and bees, sway softly in the breeze. Flowers, vegetables and herbs are cultivated here. Take a guided tour, eat lunch in the restaurant or just go for a stroll in the romantic surroundings.
Experience art and nature all at once
Nature would not be an ever-present theme in northeast Skåne if there was not an outdoor art exhibition. Entering the park of Wanås Konst is a bit like leaving the ordinary world and its restrictions behind, finding yourself in a different, fairytale universe where anything is possible and where art is everywhere. Wanås Konst consists of an organic farm, a beautiful hotel, a big art park full of sculptures and an art gallery, housing a unique collection of contemporary art from a number of highly renowned international artists. For children, the park is a mind-boggling adventure containing over 50 permanent works of art as well as temporary exhibitions. Kids can write a wish on paper and hang it in Yoko Ono’s wishing tree, they can run through the forest and play on the swings that are works of art in themselves. In the on site shop you can shop for organic toys and in the cafeteria you will find organic ice cream and pastries.