After a few days of rest and visiting friends in Malmo, I headed off on a short trip around the Skáne region of southern Sweden.
I cycled south from Malmo towards Falsterbo, a small outcrop of land on the south-western tip of the country. The route took me along small countryside roads through cultivated farmland – quite different to the wilderness I had encountered along the eastern coastline.
As evening approached I reached Hollviken, where the restored Viking town of Lilla Hammar was located. However, it was too late to visit it now so I continued on with the aim to return tomorrow. Soon the coastline appeared on my right and as the town fell away behind me I began looking for a camping spot. I soon spotted a dirt path leading towards the ocean and followed it to a public BBQ area with a shelter and fenced off area – perfect for a night’s camping.
I parked off my bike and cracked open a beer and some crisps to enjoy with the sunset and a view of the Oresund bridge. I wasn’t 100% certain about whether camping overnight in the shelter was allowed but some locals who came by took no notice of me and didn’t seem bothered. I vainly attempted but failed to make a fire in the BBQ pit even though I didn’t really have any food other than spaghetti to cook. I also very briefly considered trying to fish again but without proper bait decided it was pointless, so I just made my usual spaghetti. I figured I didn’t need the tent so I just blew up my inflatable mattress and went to sleep in the shelter.
I awoke early and after the usual coffee and biscuits headed west along the coastline along a small path that seemed to lead towards the small town of Falsterbo. However, I quickly came across a huge field full of small clay objects that were smashed and scattered everywhere. I had to stop cycling for fear they would cut through my tires and then wondered around confused until I realized it was a clay-pigeon shooting range.
I decided to rather turn back and get on the road rather than risk damaging my tires. I cycled up to the far end of the island, hoping to find a nice beach, but it was too cold and windy to enjoy. After a brief visit to the tiny yacht club, I headed back inland to check out the Viking village.
Lilla Hammar is definitely worth the visit if you’re into Viking history and especially if you’ve watched the show Vikings! It is still a largely operational Viking village with all the original housing and fittings although I don’t think anybody actually lives there. The best bit is that it’s not all fake and plastic and done up like Disney World – this is proper wood and metal original hundreds-of-years-old Viking relics that were genuinely used in those days.
Around lunchtime, I headed off east along the coastline towards Trelleborg. It’s full of fairly quiet, typical coastline communities that reminded me a lot of England actually. Windswept and dotted with little seafood restaurants and trailer parks. I was moving quickly and in no time made it to Ystad by late afternoon. I was hoping to push on to the beach at Sandhammeran but it was too late so I found a nice spot up in the trees overlooking the beach just past Ystad and set up camp there for the night.
By this point, everyone had cleared off so I had the beach to myself and I ate some snacks and had a beer watching the sunset. The only problem was the wind which meant I had to cook dinner in the tent so the gas stove flame would stay lit.
The next day some rain and wind came in which made my dodgy knee inflamed. I pushed on to the nearby Ales Stenor which is similar to Stonehenge in England but then decided I was over it and headed back to Ystad where I found shelter in McDonald’s and did some work. By lunchtime, the rain had passed and I managed to catch some wind at my back and cycle almost all the way back to Malmo in a few hours.
Just outside of Malmo I found a nice looking lake and nature reserve called Arriesjon where I set up camp overlooking the water. It’s really amazing that a place so beautiful and peaceful is just a few kilometers outside of one of Swedens biggest cities.
Sweden is a truly amazing country for cycling, almost entirely because of the infinite amount of beautiful and free camping options. The roads are well maintained and there is a pretty decent amount of cycle lanes. Despite Sweden being known as an expensive country, if you’re cycling and camping you can get by on just a few euros a day if you shop at cheap supermarkets.