Six weeks a year. It is during this short period during early summer that the rhododendron bushes bloom in Skåne. It starts sometime after the end of April and usually ends before midsummer. An explosion of large flowers in white, pink and purple. Sofiero is the place to go to meet spring in color and surround yourself with thousands and thousands of flowers.
Actually, it is not true that the rhododendron bushes did not bloom when I was at Sofiero. When I was here in April, the bushes were budded over a thick carpet of whiteflies. When I was here in July, the park was filled with fragrant roses accompanied by some lagging blooming rhododendrons. Every season has its charm in Sofiero. And usually at least one rhododendron bush is blooming when you are here during the summer.
Sofiero's majestic garden began to emerge in 1905 after the crown prince couple Gustaf Adolf and Margareta received the castle as a wedding present from Gustaf Adolf's grandfather, Prince Oscar. Margareta came from England and had a great interest in gardening, and an English garden slowly began to emerge in the castle's stone ravine. When Margareta passed away 15 years later, Gustaf Adolf continued to love the wild garden. Thousands and thousands of rhododendron bushes were planted and became the foundation of today's enchanting garden. A garden that is not only beautiful when the rhododendron bushes are in bloom - but all summer long.
The highlight of the park is the stone ravine that spreads out between the sparkling sea of Öresund and the back of the castle. There is plenty of shade in the ravine and the plants are protected from strong winds and bright sunlight. Walking here is like walking in a tunnel of greenery. Ferns, rhododendrons, stone steps, babbling brooks and maybe even some birdsong. I can only imagine what it's like here when all the bushes are in bloom. When pink flower petals fly in the wind.
The castle park is not big, but the garden has three areas that I like a little extra - the Fairytale Forest, the wine house and Sofia's bridge.
The fairytale forest takes you into the world of fairy tales, where crooked deciduous trees whisper in the wind. But are the leaves whispering in the wind, or can the trees really talk? The speakers of the small fairy-tale houses spread fairy tales among hammocks and rustling leaves. Stop and listen. This is a real enchanted forest.
In the wine house live the castle's hundred-year-old vines, which each year are filled with heavy bunches of crunchy grapes. Once upon a time, this greenhouse was the king's favorite and only the king himself and his royal gardener each had their own key to it. Today we can all enjoy this Mediterranean oasis. It is not difficult to understand that Sofiero Castle Park was named Europe's most beautiful park in 2010. The park has small beautiful corners wherever you turn.
Sofia's Bridge is one of the park's newest attractions. From the slender bridge, you can stand above the ravine of flowers and look out over the greenery that stretches out beneath your feet. The bridge's name comes from the then Queen Sofia, who over a hundred years ago planned to build a bridge over the inaccessible area. Today, the bridge provides an opportunity for all ages to be able to see the splendor of the gorge, without having to walk over logs and stones.
There are often exhibitions inside the castle, but the castle floors are worth a visit even without an exhibition. Walk on the royal creaking floors and look out over the garden through the whitewashed windows. Just as King Gustaf Adolf did for so many years.
Before leaving Sofiero, walk down to the end of the park and look out over the Sound. Here you will not only find a totem pole, but an expansive view of the Öresund. Weather permitting, the view is even international. On the other side of the water, on clear days you can see all the way to Denmark and another castle - Kronoborg Castle.
How do I get to Sofiero?
Sofiero is located 5 kilometers north of Helsingborg. During the summer months (mid-April to mid-September) there is an entrance fee to visit the park, but the rest of the year it is usually free. At events, there is almost always admission. Read more about the prices and seasons here.
252 84 Helsingborg
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Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
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.