Extended description with directions
Day 1. Helsingborg
Arrival in Helsingborg by direct train. Check your luggage in at the hotel, which is walking distance from the station. At reception you’ll be met by knowledgeable staff who will give a presentation of the week’s experiences and issue maps and information material. After relaxing with a drink – or maybe afternoon tea – it’s time for an excursion to find out about the history of Helsingborg.
We start with the beautiful Sofiero Palace and park, once the summer residence of the Swedish royal family. Crown Princess Margareta (whose paternal grandmother was Queen Victoria) married future King of Sweden Gustav VI Adolf in 1905. Margareta was also very interested in garden art, and when the royal couple had been given the run-down Sofiero Palace and its gardens as a wedding present, she and her husband Gustaf Adolf put a lot of time and effort into making the garden bloom once more. The family spent their summers at Sofiero.
The gardens were created in the English style, and the children were also involved in this work. Margareta published the books “Vår trädgård på Sofiero” (“Our Garden at Sofiero”) in 1915 and “Från blomsterträdgården” (“From the Flower Garden”) a few years later. The park can be reached quickly and conveniently by local bus, a journey of about ten minutes. Stroll around the beautiful park and feel the sense of history. The park has around 10,000 rhododendron bushes of 300 different varieties, with just as many hybrids. Sofiero has Northern Europe’s biggest collection of rhododendrons. The park was named the most beautiful in Europe in 2010. There is a café and a restaurant in the palace.
Take the bus back to Helsingborg or take a walk! The Kullaleden trail is well signposted from the palace, and it takes about 1.5-2 hours to walk the 6 km through three lush, flourishing city parks. At the half way stage you reach the sea and a nice restaurant by the water’s edge. You can take a break here and have a drink or a tasty meal before continuing to the city centre. From the restaurant, you follow the sea and the relatively newly built promenade towards the marina. You can then sit there and enjoy the view over to Denmark, watching the sun sink into the sea.
Day 2. Helsingborg – Höganäs 22 kilometers
Check out early from the hotel. Your luggage will be collected later and delivered to the next hotel on the itinerary no later than 16:00. The Kullaleden trail starts from the medieval tower “Kärnan”, the surviving part of Helsingborg Castle, which was built in the 1310s, when Skåne was Danish. Kärnan, together with Kronborg Castle in Denmark on the other side of the Sound, played an important role as guardian of the Sound, collecting duties for the State from every passing foreign vessel. The Sound has its narrowest point at Helsingborg, and you’ll enjoy a clear view of the Danish coast as you walk towards Kullaberg.
On your walk out of the city you pass three city parks along the trail, which wends its way at heights of around 40 metres above the sea, with views over the rooftops and the Sound with its lively marine traffic. After approx. 1.5 hours and just before you reach Sofiero Palace, the path plunges into the forest and down towards the sea. The rest of the walk takes you alongside the sea, on the beach, through small village communities and the forest. At some places along the trail you’ll encounter well-preserved bunkers that were used to defend the coast of Skåne during the Second World War. These are now managed by the Military Defence Museum near Helsingborg.
After a walk of approx. 3-4 hours you reach the little coastal community of Domsten with its small harbour, café and fish smokehouse. You can take a break here to sample some freshly smoked fish.
Those with an interest in gardens can visit a private garden in the half-timbered building near the sea in Domsten. Paved flower beds and lots of cosy seating areas. Plenty of ideas for anyone wanting to renew or change their garden.
There are good bus connections in Domsten, but we recommend that you continue to walk for another two hours or so to the charming fishing village of Viken, with plenty of excellent small restaurants where you can enjoy dinner.
When the time comes to head for the hotel in Höganäs, there is a bus stop nearby with regular connections between the villages.
(Alternatives – sauna, bathing in the sea and dinner in Höganäs)
Day 3. Höganäs – Mölle 12 kilometers
Höganäs was originally a fishing village around which a mining industry emerged in 1797 to extract coal and clay for the production of fireproof ceramics (Höganäs pottery). The region around Höganäs is also known as “Kullabygden” and is well known for its ceramic tradition. There are more than 40 ceramicists, and you can also visit them in their workshops. Make sure you visit the new market hall, housed in the old kilns where the pottery used to be fired. Höganäs’ salt-glazed vessels are famous all over the world, and in the market hall you can meet one of the potters from the “old days” who’s still making items by hand.
For anyone with an interest in gardening, there are lots of fascinating private gardens to visit. Read more here.
- Small domestic garden covering 650 m2 with peonies, clematis, trillium and many other perennials, as well as a small kitchen garden. Custom-designed greenhouse made from partly recycled material for cultivation and relaxation.
- An 875 m2 rock garden inspired by the Mediterranean with greenhouse, pond and plantations.
- Ulla Molin’s garden. In the period 1909-1997 she was one of the gardening personalities who meant most for garden design in Sweden. Many consider this to be the masterpiece of her gardens. Classified as a listed building in 2010. Exciting garden hidden behind high Swedish whitebeam hedges and bamboo gates, covering 800 m2.
Start your walk heading towards Mölle and Kullaberg. After approx. 6 km, 1.5 hours, you reach the small community of Nyhamnsläge. Why not take a break with your own packed meal or buy some provisions here. There’s a well-stocked food shop close to the trail. In the summer there’s a café with a waffle kiosk in the harbour. After another 2 km you reach the village of Lerhamn. The old windmill stands proudly on the hill just inland. Immediately after the harbour there’s a small path leading into the forest and up to the park and Krapperup Castle. Here there’s not only a wonderful park – open all year – but also a café offering tasty cakes and light meals. The castle houses an art gallery and a small shop.
Between the villages of Nyhamnsläge and Lerhamn, the hiking trail continues through an area of pasture that is a conservation area. It often has cows grazing on it, which contributes to retaining the original flora and fauna. The area has rich bird and animal life, including a real rarity, the European fire-bellied toad.
From the castle you return through the park, past the horse cemetery and the ponds, down to the trail again and continuing over the pasture towards Mölle. The mountain now starts to rise up in front of you, marking your destination.
Mölle is a well-known resort that became infamous as a den of iniquity in the early 20th century as both men and women bathed together on the same beach. The striped black and white bathing costumes can still be purchased in the small harbour shop as an amusing souvenir. After about one hour’s walk, you reach the harbour at Mölle. Check into your hotel and enjoy a tasty meal by the harbour. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the mountain glow as the sun sinks into the sea.
Day 4. Mölle – Kullen lighthouse 5 kilometers
Enjoy the morning by the harbour at Mölle. You can also try your hand at kayaking on the sea!
Walk alongside the sea down the mountain towards Ransvik, approx. 20 minutes, where there’s a café serving waffles and simple meals. From there the walk continues up towards the top of the mountain, Kullen Lighthouse.
The section from Mölle to Kullen Lighthouse takes approx. 1.5 hours and offers fantastic views, forest and cliffs, beyond the hills, birch and juniper forests. Not especially steep, even though you need to climb up a few steps in some places.
Once you reach the lighthouse, enjoy the sunset, which provides an enchanting view over the place where the Öresund takes over from the Kattegatt. To the north are Hallands Väderö and the Bjäre Peninsula, where well-known places include Torekov and Båstad. The hotel, Kullagårdens Wärdshus, is close to the trail, approx. 1 km from the lighthouse. Kullagården used to be at the disposal of the person responsible for running the Kullen Lighthouse. It started operating as an inn in the early 19th century. A guest book has been preserved from the beginning of the 1810s, which confirms that many of the visitors came from far afield. In the early 19th century Kullagården was divided into two properties, Gamla Kullagården (Old Kullagården), now known as Ransgården, and Nya Kullagården (New Kullagården), which now houses Kullagårdens Wärdshus and Mölle Golf Club.
Kullagårdens Wärdshus is widely known and popular for its excellent cuisine.
Here the adventure awaits. The Kullaberg guides, with their HQ up in the building by the lighthouse, organise cave walks, porpoise safaris and climbing for all ages, regardless of previous experience!
There are also guided bird and flower walks, or for those who prefer going their own way there are maps and GPS, which can be hired from reception at the Kullaberg visitor centre. It is, however, recommended that you do not stray from the marked trails.
After a day of adventure, it’s great to get back to the cosy hotel for a nice dinner and a good sleep. The next day brings the most challenging section of the hiking trail.
Day 5. Kullen lighthouse – Arild 12 kilometers
Check out and put together a small packed lunch. The trail today takes us to the northern part of Kullaberg, where forest dominates, although here and there the landscape opens up and offers wonderful views over the bay towards the Bjäre Peninsula. The slopes here are also a little longer, albeit not so difficult as to raise the pulse.
Along the path is the Josefinelust cave, with signs showing the way and explaining all there is to discover! After Josefinelust, continue towards the “crossroads” at Djupadal, where you can turn off towards Mölle and be back down by the harbour within approx. 20 minutes. Or you can continue towards Arild, approx. 7 km, past forest lakes, past (or not) the path up to the highest point in Kullaberg, “Håkull” – there are signs explaining and describing the way there.
Carry on through the beech forest, up and down the hills, for approx. 2-3 hours until you reach Himmelstorpsgården. This half-timbered farm around a courtyard was inhabited from the mid-17th century until the mid-20th century. In the summertime there’s a café at the farm, with home-baked cakes or sandwiches.
You can enjoy these with either a nice cup of coffee or home-made fruit juice. From here, it’s another hour’s walk – mostly downhill – to Arild.
Check in at the hotel in Arild.
Day 6. Arild – Utvälinge 21 kilometers
Check out and start the last day of walking between Arild and Utvälinge, a relatively gentle section covering approx. 21 km. If you prefer a shorter walk, you can take the bus, e.g. at the half-way point at Jonstorp.
The settlement of Arild reaches up towards the plateau. The coastal section by Arild offers a unique landscape. The coastline consists of cliffs with flat rocks, pebbles and stack-like formations. Close to the harbour in Arild is Arild Chapel, the only preserved independent chapel in Skåne from the Middle Ages. This place name is associated with the legend of Saint Arild, murdered by his stepfather. It is said that his body drifted ashore where the village of Arild now lies. Higher up in the forest is the Catholic chapel, a smaller version of Arild Chapel, with murals depicting the legend. Arild was discovered in the mid-19th century by artists, while the main influx of people took place towards the end of the 19th century. People were captivated by the light from the sea, the attractive village setting with its local fishermen and its surroundings.
After walking for about one hour, you reach the small community of Skäret, where there are two restaurants, famous for their fine food and pastries. The Swedish royal family used to stop off here for a coffee on their way to the summer palace at Sofiero.
Continue through the colourful, open heathland into a deciduous forest where you’ll reach the quarry, which is now filled with water and offers an attractive, peaceful spot for a rest. There’s a fish restaurant by the harbour in Svanshall. Continue and walk through the village of Rekekroken with its picturesque little gardens and attractive houses, clearly visible from the trail.
You soon come to the small harbour at Jonstorp, where you pass the harbour promenade and the bathing site, continuing towards the nature reserve and exciting bird areas. (Arild-Jonstorp approx. 10 km). From here, you can easily turn off towards the centre of the village, where there’s a bus stop. It might also be a good idea to take a break for lunch in the village’s famous restaurant and guest house: Tunneberga.
This part of the Kullaleden trail passes through a number of nature reserves with unique bird areas by the mouth of the Görslövsån river. In the early morning or evening you might experience thousands of geese taking off or returning from the nearby meadows. You cross the river by means of a suspension bridge. You soon arrive in Farhult, where there’s a wonderful, long, sandy beach with very shallow water and dunes. In the summertime there’s a beach restaurant offering simple lunches and barbecue evenings.
Utvälinge is a community in a beautiful natural location by the mouth of the Vegeån river in the inner area of Skälderviken Bay, with a wonderful view over the Bjäre Peninsula and Kullaberg. This village is the City of Helsingborg’s furthest outpost in the north, between the municipalities of Höganäs and Ängelholm. The beaches and the islands of Sandön and Själrönnen have high natural values, especially for bird life. The sandy shallows are good nursery grounds for fish and bottom-dwelling insects, which the birds eat. You can see birds here all year round, and in the winter it’s not unusual to see a sea eagle sitting and taking a rest on the rocks by Själrönnen. If you’re lucky you might also catch a glimpse of some common seals by Själrönnen.
Before you reach Utvälinge and your bus back to the city, there’s one more historical café that’s well worth a visit, Albertsgården in Norra Häljaröd. Here you’ll find typical Swedish home-baked bread and cakes, served with freshly brewed coffee in the old half-timbered building.
Return by bus to Arild and pick up your luggage. From Arild there are buses to Helsingborg.