Among junipers, milkweed, seaweed and salty sea lies the Bjärekusten nature reserve. Here on the stretch of Skåneleden between Torekov and Båstad, you walk past flat pastures and cracked rocks, but also several old Bronze Age graves. At Hovs hallar is nature at its most impressive and there is a parking lot here in good time for those who want to catch a glimpse of the steep cliffs in the heart of the nature reserve.
Hallar is an old word for slabs, which is a fitting name for this place on the northern Bjäre Peninsula. Here at Hovs hallar there are plenty of pinkish-red, cracked and angular rock slabs. With each storm and each wave, the cracks in the original rock get a little bigger and over time, piece by piece breaks off, creating sharp edges. The stones that have fallen into the sea roll in the waves and become rounder and smoother over the years.
We find a place for our car in a relatively full parking lot. It is the month of July and high season for visitors from all over northern Europe. From the car park, a relatively flat path leads towards the cliffs, surrounded by blackberry bushes and compact, thorny thickets.
Where the grassland approaches the sea and transitions to cliffs, the path turns from easy walking to rocky and steep. Not so steep that you need ropes, but rocky enough that it's good to be prepared to use your hands at times - especially over the sections that are covered in gravel. Stable shoes are also recommended to get down to the beach without sprained feet. The height difference is 70 meters from the edge of the cliff to the beach, so it takes a little while to safely get up and down.
The highest and steepest cliff below us is also the most popular bathing cliff. Rows of daredevil children and youngsters line up to plunge into the sea, all while their parents nervously stand on the cliff watching. Happy shouts of anticipation echo across the bay, sounds of summer and summer holidays.
The Skåneleden doesn't go down here on the beach, but up at the edge of the cliff, but it is also possible to walk here along the edge of the beach. In parts, the stretch goes over fields of large round stones, other stretches you have to jump between large boulders. The little dog has to settle for being carried for certain distances, as the little legs can't really jump that far.
Everywhere we see stacked stone towers. Towers that I used to find charming, but nowadays prefer not to see. For every stone tower that is built, stones are moved around and the original environment that took thousands of years to create is destroyed. Animals that naturally live among the rocks lose their natural environment and disappear.
We have with us a thermos with coffee, water and some coffee bread, so we settle down on one of the flat rocks right by the water. We get coffee, the dog gets water. All satisfied.
I have not seen Ingemar Bergman's film The Seventh Seal and I probably never will either. But the well-known scene with Death playing chess with Max von Sydow is recorded here at Hovs Hallar. I do some quick googling to watch the clip on Youtube and try to find where the scene is shot. Cliffs, sea and beach. It could have been shot almost anywhere along the coast, although the red cliffs in the film look almost black.
Hovs hallar should be a good place to look for seals and seabirds, but on this hot and well-attended day we see none of them. The seals have probably moved out to some sheltered seal at Halland's Väderö today, to bask in the sun far from bathing and screaming children. There are supposed to be both harbor seals and gray seals here in the sea, but they are often far from land and are difficult to distinguish without binoculars.
On the way back to the car park I stop and look out over the scarred cliffs and the sea. Although Kullahalvön and the Bjäre Peninsula are right next to each other, they offer two different landscapes. Kullaberg is the dramatic peninsula, with higher mountains and more moths, meanwhile Hovs hallar and the northern Bjärekusten rather offers a barren stone landscape that is more reminiscent of another planet than of Skåne. Two different landscapes of two beautiful sister peninsulas.
How do you find it? Hovs hallar?
Hovs hallar is located in the Bjärekusten nature reserve on the Bjäre peninsula in northwestern Scania. The nature reserve is crossed by Skåneleden SL1.
Parking is available in several places, including at Hovs hallar, Torekov's golf club and Ingelstorp's beach.
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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.