Wind in my hair, the sun on my skin and the sea rushing in my ears.
Kullaberg is a peninsula and nature reserve in the southwest Sweden, in the land of Skåne. It’s a wonderfully scenic place to explore, full of rocks and steep cliffs rising up from the sea, with unexpected grottos and two lighthouses that you can visit while you’re hiking around.
I was there in 2019 during my big Scandinavia summer trip and this was one of my favourite spots along the way. Kullaberg is a lot different than the rest of the Skåne region, which was a pleasant surprise, and I managed to visit on a gorgeous sunny day, so the views out to sea were amazing. Although it’s a popular nature destination, it’s big enough for everyone to spread out, so it doesn’t feel crowded at all. If you don’t mind going off the paths, you’ll find yourself practically alone with the rocks and the sea, which was a welcome change after all the cities I’d visited.
The best point to start exploring Kullberg is at the Kullens fyr lighthouse, which is where the Visitor’s centre with a cafe is located and where the road ends. It can be reached by public transport from the nearby villages of Mölle or Arild and it’s a super windy place. Although there are several camps and a hotel or two that you can stay in across the Kulla peninsula, you can also visit it as a day trip from a nearby town such as Helsingborg like I did, because the bus connections are quite good. In fact, the most scenic area is located at the very tip of the peninsula and is not actually that large, so if you just want to hike around and see most of the sights, a day is about enough. Otherwise you can take it slow and enjoy the seaside, specially if you’re bringing kids, or even tackle the Kulladen trail, which spans over 70 km back to Helsingborg via some other interesting villages.
From Kullens fyr there are two main hiking trails to Arild, an easy one on the southern slope and a more challenging one across the northern slope. The whole peninsula is crisscrossed with smaller paths, which make it easy to do a round trip from Mölle to Arild via the small Kullen Västra lighthouse at the very tip of the Kulla peninsula, although that might be a bit much for one day unless you’re used to hiking long distances (it would probably take at least 6 hours).
There are several small caves or grottos on the way and all the popular ones except Josefinelust are very close to Kullens fyr. Josefinelust, Lahibia cave and Visitor cave were all created because of sea erosion and contained lots of archaeological evidence, while the Silver cave was carved out by Danes in 1561 when they confused pegmatite for silver. The caves are generally easily accessible for a normally fit person, but keep in mind that Kullaberg is essentially a whole lot of rocks, so expect to hike over and around boulders and steep staircases down the cliffs to the shoreline, so bring good shoes and of course, sunscreen and water in the summer.
Impressions of Kullaberg
In terms of distances, it takes about 10 minutes from Kullens fyr to Kullen Västra lighthouse on a well maintained, if a bit steep path, and about 10 -15 minutes to the first two caves, Silver and Lahibia, across the rocks. Visitor cave is located about 20 minutes away on the other side, then you’d need about 2 hours more to reach Arild on the same side or 1.5 hour to Mölle on the other side. However, keep in mind that you’ll be hiking across boulders and doing a lot of ups and downs, which will add time to your walk. Luckily everything is unusually well marked on Google Maps, so you don’t actually need a map if you have phone coverage, as even the caves are all marked.
My original plan for Kullaberg was to see the grottos around Kullens fyr, follow the path to Arild and also visit Nimis, the massive wooden sculpture turned independent micronation, then double back to catch the bus in Mölle, but I got lost on the way to Arild looking for Valdemarsgrottan, because I didn’t follow the official path and came out somewhere in Mölle, so I visited Nimis on a different day. It was also hot, sunny and gorgeous, so I took the time to enjoy several breaks lounging on top of the cliffs and didn’t want to rush it. In fact, being me I refused to follow the easy official path through the forest, because it didn’t have a view of the sea, so I kept stubbornly climbing up and down the cliffs until I came upon one I couldn’t scale with my nonexisting climbing skills and had to turn back and find the path. In hindsight, that was probably a bit risky and stupid, but it was fun and it ended with the best views, so all is well that ends well. 🙂