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
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.
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.