Section 20: Foteviken - Ljungens camping

A coastal route, that provides a genuine holiday feeling, through impressive countryside and small town idylls. Footpaths and trails take you to the realm of the Viking, with its medieval core and the modern centre for sunbathers. The Falsterbo peninsula is also synonymous with birds, horses and sailing adventures.
Take an art tour on foot, a walking tour between the pubs, complement this with swimming and fishing as required. Remember that a large part of the peninsula is a nature reserve with specific regulations to follow.

Falsterbo lighthouse<br />
                                    Photo: Johan HammarFalsterbo beach<br />
                                    Photo: Johan Hammar
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A coastal route, that provides a genuine holiday feeling, through impressive countryside and small town idylls. Footpaths and trails take you to the realm of the Viking, with its medieval core and the modern centre for sunbathers. The Falsterbo peninsula is also synonymous with birds, horses and sailing adventures.
Take an art tour on foot, a walking tour between the pubs, complement this with swimming and fishing as required. Remember that a large part of the peninsula is a nature reserve with specific regulations to follow.

Nature

The Falsterbo peninsula is an impressive sandy creation. In addition to the hidden moraine resting below, there are also those which once hindered the playful waves, allowing the sand banks to grow in height. The banks which grew up above the surface of the water were then caught by the wind, which transformed and reformed them into undulating sand dunes. This is what happened when the Falsterbo peninsula and Måkläppen started to rise up out of the sea some 4000 years ago. The formation is called a tombolo, where the sandbanks have connected "islands" of harder deposits.

The ever-changing sandy seabed around the peninsula is unparalleled in Sweden as well as being the largest nature reserve in Skåne. The sandy seabed and the shallow water attract fish such as herring, garfish, and lumpfish to mate and lay their eggs. Large numbers of fish fry spend their first years of life here and the fact that thousands of birds also find their way here; to this well-stocked larder, is not surprising.

The peninsula is also a springboard for many northern European migrating birds. They congregate here before they set off on their journey south. This is an internationally renowned bird watching site and the hotspots are at Knösen, Flommen, Skanörs Ljung and Falsterbo lighthouse. Migratory birds are also ring marked by the lighthouse.

Walk further along well-worn paths, over the dry hummocks and wet hollows of the heathlands. Skanör heathland reflects how a larger part of the peninsula looked 150 years ago, when the area was common land filled with grazing animals. In order to conserve the landscape and the special flora, long-haired Scottish highland cattle maintain the heathland. To the north, you follow the coast towards Knösen, past several species rich pastures. Keep an eye out for sea wormwood and the stylish blue iris.

The footpaths across Flommen offer a rare walking experience.  Here you have coastal meadows with banks and lagoons and you can see small fish and tadpoles darting around amongst the hummocks. Unusual birds such as pied avocet and oyster catcher nest here and the priceless European green toad also makes its home here.

Very soon you come close to the area where the seals make their home. The five kilometre long sand bank called Måkläppen has colonies of both harbour and grey seals, where they bring up their cubs. You are not allowed to walk out on the island, with the exception of the period from November to January.

Cultural History

It is in many ways logical that the name Foteviken leads your thoughts to the Vikings. Foteviken Museum and Vikingastad are to be found here. You are in fact in an area which was attractive during the Viking period. There is a more than 300 metre long barrier which began to be built in the 980s by the inlet of Foteviken. The barrier is made of stone and the remnants from a handful of Viking ships and was used for defence. It was clearly not adequate, as the battle of Foteviken took place here in 1134.

It is clearly seaside tourism that takes over, when you enter the pedestrian and cycle track area. Beneath your feet, ran the Falsterbo railway line, which was opened in 1904 to transport bathing guests to the beaches. The invasion of seaside tourists has left its mark in the form of an architect designed station house, seaside hotel and summer houses. And the bathing huts.

As you get closer to Skanör you can allow your imagination to run wild to a completely different time. When the inlet was filled with medieval ships that had laid anchor, the land was littered with grey fishing huts, swarming with fishermen and tradesmen from afar. It was the 1200 - 1300s; the herring era and the heyday for the Falsterbo peninsula and the time of the well-known Skåne market. Can you see the hollows in the ground? These are the remains of several hundred fishing huts.

Right on the edge of Skanör, you walk past the mound which was Skanör's hill fort. The fort was active during the 1200s and 1300s. The remains of another fortress called Falsterbohus as well as its predecessor can be seen at the southern part of Falsterbo. The fortress was the main home of the sheriff from the beginning of the 1400s up until 1530.

Follow the coastal and golf course paths across the southern tip of the peninsula, past the two hundred year old lighthouse and the ancient lighthouse location called Kolabacken.

When you turn eastwards you can choose to walks along the shore or zig zag between the impressive sand dunes. A walk up through the streets and alleyways of Falsterbo to the small town's museum, church and art gallery is warmly recommended.

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