Hovs Hallar Nature Reserve is located approximately 7 km northeast of the coastal town of Torekov. This area is the steepest coastal section of the Bjäre Peninsula in the northwestern part of Skåne, and has been described as a magical, almost otherworldly place.
Rocky beaches and coastal meadows
The shore in Hovs Hallar is lined with fantastic rocky beaches and caves and the jagged outcrops, sun-warmed boulders and weathering rocks combine to give a barren, wild impression that is reminiscent of the dramatic landscapes in the far north of Norway. The coastal meadows that extend out to the west of Hovs Hallar have been grazed by herd animals for thousands of years, developing a very special flora and fauna.The bouldered landscape made of red-ish gneiss with amphibolite embedded in it, was created when magma forced its way up through the bedrock. The wind and water has since then shaped the rocks, creating the dramatic formations they have today.
Popular hiking area
Hovs Hallar is one of the treasures of Bjäre Peninsula and is one of Skåne's true gems among hikers. The footpaths on the Skåneleden Trail leads you through the fairy-tale landscape with cliffs and rocky outcrops, across grazed coastal meadows, shingle beaches and past unusual pools and graves. You'll hike through woodlands and across coastal meadows on quite narrow paths, with windswept bushes and stones in abundance. If you head north you'll pass over areas of shingle with obvious banks from the ancient sea; Litorine Sea. North of the golf course there is one of the most botanically interesting sites on Bjäre. There are rare sedges and flowers growing here, including the red flowering variety of waterlily.
Snorkeling, bird watching or boulder climbing
Hovs hallar is a great venue for sea bird watching, especially on the vantage points towards Laholm Bay, providing a view over Laholmsbukten (Laholm Bay). On windy days, the wind-driven Atlantic Birds auks, shearwaters, skuas, storm petrel, kittiwakes, fulmars and gannets can be observed here. At one point in 2001, even an albatross was spotted under such weather conditions. The area where Hallandsåsen meets the sea is particularly spectacular, with broken precipices, cave-like formations, sea stacks and a shingle beach. For those who are fascinated by the underwater wildlife you can snorkel your way along the Kattegat sea, and for the height lover you can go boulder climbing on the rocky ledges at Rödehall.
5 fun facts about Hovs Hallar
- From the top of Hovs Hallar you can look down on the area of shingle called Smygeslätt where the remains of posts from an old fishing village can be seen.
- West of the Hovs Hallar Restaurant you walk past magnificent large boulders with bowl-shaped hollows, this place is particularly Instagram-friendly.
- Because of the rocky sea bottom, it used to be common for ships to run aground along the coast here. The local villagers therefore made it a tradition to remove all the bolts from the wrecks and let the ocean watershed what was left, after which an auction was held on the beach. Eventually, the demand gave rise to a wreck company at Segeltorpsstranden that took care of the wrecks, towed them to Segeltorp and auctioned out the parts to locals and collectors.
- New ships were also built here. Between 1829 and 1848 ships were built right on the coast south of Sänkudde where you still to this day can spot the two large boulders in the water "Stora (Big) and Lilla (Small) Ringasten", on which the boats were moored into the ocean.
- The coastal meadows used to be the common grazing land for the village. Heifers, sheep and geese were grazed. Still to this day you can spot herds of mountain goats climbing the rocks and grazing the verdure.
World famous backdrop
The rocky scenery in the Hovs Hallar area is not only a popular tourist destination – it has also inspired famous film-makers. In fact, Hovs Hallar was the setting for Ingmar Bergman’s opening scene of The Seventh Seal, where the knight plays chess against Death. How Bergman managed to film a sunrise over the sea on the west coast will forever be a mystery.