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Haväng - Among sheep and Stone Age rocks in Österlen - Skåne

Twenty white swans swims calmly on the sea below our feet. The birds stretch their long necks into the waves and tear up algae and other goodies from Haväng's lush seabed. The sound of their determined grazing can be heard a long way off. A slightly gnawing, ruminating sound. We stand on the meadow above the sandy beach and look down at the white down balls and the paradise white sand beach. The whole landscape feels very un-Swedish, but incredibly familiar. This open landscape and beautiful seas have inspired and put words to many songs over the years, although in my head right now there is only one artist and one song. Ugh and Moon over Haväng.

Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne

Nature reserves and white beaches

Haväng and Vitemölla beach slopes is a nature reserve just north of Kivik. Here is one of Sweden's most unusual landscapes - the sand steppe. Here, the climate is a little warmer and a little drier than the rest of Skåne. The sand is white from lime and the meadows are filled with low small flowers and lush grass.

Do you hear the bells from the sheep
Which move in flocks
Far away, where you can't see

Ulf Lundell – Moon over Haväng

The wind blows hard up here, so hard that the free-range sheep wobble and lie down to protect themselves from the strong winds. The bushes next to us are rustling. A lone sheep slowly walks towards us, but stops when it sees us. It is certainly completely windless and nice among the bushes, but the sheep is determined. The grass is tastier closer to the shore, despite the wind. As soon as we have passed by, the sheep runs towards its friend a little further down the meadow. The friend looks happy. Can the sheep wag its tail, or was it just the wind playing tricks on us?

Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne

The harbor doze

In the meadow above the beach thrones The harbor doze, one of Sweden's most famous megalithic tombs. Havängsdösen was created in the Stone Age, 5500 years ago. Around the same time as the pyramids were built in Egypt. Perhaps not quite as powerful as a pyramid, but it is fascinating how these large blocks of rock could be moved here without the help of machines.

And the stone age stones
So quiet last night
With blue shadows
By the beach steep

Ulf Lundell – Moon over sea meadow

A megalithic tomb is a burial chamber shaped like a rectangle, with a large stone on top as a roof. The entrance to the tomb faces the sea, in the same direction as the sun rises during the spring and autumn equinoxes. Coincidence or well planned? I choose to believe the latter. The world is so much more exciting if everything isn't just a coincidence.

Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne

Memories of darker times

We go out onto the roof of one of the closed concrete parapets and look out over the inviting and beautiful beach. So beautiful. So white. An illusion of warmth and paradise beach, although Österlen is rather known for its cold water. Today, several families and sunbathers lie in the soft and white sand below us by the protective walls of the abandoned fortress. Probably completely without a thought of the history behind the windbreak. A story of darker times and world wars.

Do you remember the water?
So clear and cold
We were two children in paradise here


The guard is part of the so-called "The Skåne line” which once consisted of over one thousand defenses, built in the years 1939-1940 to protect Sweden against hostile German attacks from the sea. The aim was never to stop an attack, rather to delay and deter. The defenses never had to be used and today the vast majority of defenses are sealed and destroyed, but they remind us of how close the threat of the Second World War actually was to Sweden's border.

Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne

Rosehip bushes and smooth sand

We go down towards Verkeån which flows into the sea here at Haväng. Wooden splinters have been placed in the sand to make it easier to walk in the soft sand. The rosehip bushes bloom in flamboyant dark pink and the scent as we walk through the bushes is overwhelming like a perfume factory. We pass over a small bridge over the river and look for wildlife. Trout, rainbow trout and kingfishers should be found here. A little boy is standing with a net, trying to catch something in the river, but I can't see what. Tadpole maybe?

Hear the owls call
At the creek's edge
Hear how the waves gently rock

Ulf Lundell – Moon Over Haväng

Where Verkeån meets the sea, banks of sand have formed calm pools with slightly warmer water. May it be that the water off the coast of Österlen is always a little colder than the rest of Scania. Not many places offer such clear water and clean sand.

Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne
Haväng - Skåne

On the way back to the parking lot, we pass a grove of gnarled deciduous trees, whose roots grow high above the ground. Is it the wild autumn storms that have carried away the soil and exposed the tree to its surroundings? If it can be this windy on a sunny day in July, I can only imagine how vulnerable this treeless landscape is for the rest of the year.

Sea garden. Where the sea meets the meadows. And the sheep and the Stone Age rocks. And Uff.

We got an appointment
It's over, that's all

Haväng - Skåne

How do I get to Haväng?

Haväng is located approximately one mile north of Kivik, on the eastern Scania coast. Haväng is part of the nature reserve Haväng and Vitemölla beach slopes and stage 6 of the Skåneleden passes by here.

Map (opens in Google maps)

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About the blogger

Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.


  • Daniel | Discovering The Planet
    22 September, 2020 at 21: 15

    Absolutely lovely pictures and super nice post, as usual :).

    • Eva Gyllenberg
      29 September, 2020 at 22: 29

      Thank you so much beautiful you! Was the first time I was in Haväng last summer, but feel that I need to go back here this fall 🙂

  • World by Tina
    24 September, 2020 at 19: 00

    INCREDIBLY beautiful pictures then captured! Will be very inspired, thank you!

    • Eva Gyllenberg
      29 September, 2020 at 22: 30

      But oh, how happy I am - thank you so much Tina!! Haväng is that kind of place that has something special, it's not just a beach - but everything is so much more dramatic.

  • Oh darling, let's be adventurers
    26 September, 2020 at 21: 42

    Crazy beautiful pictures!! Realized that I myself have a lot of photos from Skåne that have never seen the light of day. Maybe it's time to get a hold of it now.

    • Eva Gyllenberg
      29 September, 2020 at 22: 31

      So glad you like the pictures Helena! Thank you! Definitely think you should start poking around a bit at your Skåne pictures, I look forward to seeing them! 🙂

  • Amanda (Swedish Passport)
    27 September, 2020 at 20: 23

    But oh so magical pictures, and such a magical place! Must get better at discovering Skåne, I feel 😀

    • Eva Gyllenberg
      29 September, 2020 at 22: 33

      But oh how happy your kind words make me! 🙂 It took me far too many years before I discovered Skåne for real, now I just want to see more!

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