The peninsula Kullaberg is stretching out into Kattegat and at the outermost point sits Kullen lighthouse on the very top.
For more than 1000 years a light has been visible from the outermost tip at Kullaberg. Current lighthouse dates back to 1898 and is designed by architect Magnus Dahlander. Kullen is an active lighthouse and has the strongest light of all the lighthouses in Scandinavia. The light equivalent 33 thousand incandescent lamps. Most lighthouses in Sweden are automated, but at Kullen there are still a lighthouse keeper. We were surprised to learn that Tycho Brahe, the famous Danish astronomer, was the director of Kullen lighthouse from 1577 till he died in 1601.
On a warm and sunny day it is hard to imagine that nature here can be a challenge. In old days, when the mist came creeping to the shores and made it difficult to recognize the landscape and blasts made it difficult to maneuver, the ships could be wrecked. Even today it can be risky to climb the steep cliffs. When the autumn storms are raging it is rough out here on the rocks. Ancient myths and legends tell about the hard life for the people in Kullaberg. There are many stories about the Kulla Man. He is mentioned in Danish writings as early as 1220. He was a wise man with the ability to see into the future. One legend says the Kulla Man lived in a tower at the tip of the promontory Kullaberg. Other stories tell of the knight Thord Knutsson Bonde who settled on Kullaberg. He suffered from unrequited love, according to legend, and people visited him to know about their future and destiny. To this day it is said that dark forces rages on Kullaberg and Kulla Man rules over life and death. He is still deciding who will wreck and who will fall off the steep cliffs. Each year tourists are careless when they climb around on Kullen and if not protected by Kulla man, they will get injured or die.
Kullaberg have had tourist and holidaymakers for over 150 years. The small town Mølle was one of Sweden`s first seaside resorts. Already in 1890 the first hotels were built and at most, the area had around 20 hotels and guesthouses. The Germans discovered early the charm and beauty of Kullaberg. Until 1914 and the outbreak of the 1st World War Mølle was a popular place for wealthy Germans, Danes and Swedes. Even today Mølle has a touch of elegance and old wealth.
The small town Mølle is in a sweep mode. On the pier a mobile bakery have parked and from the van they offer fresh bread early in the morning. The driver is having a morning chat with a fisherman dressed in big orange rain pants. Per and I are early risers and from the hotel`s terrace we can silent and peacefully observe how the small town comes alive. The first person to buy bread at the mobile bakery is an old man on a black bike and still dressed in his bathrobe. They are quite informal in these parts of Sweden! There is almost no wind and over the roof of the hotel a dragon in the shape of a hawk or falcon is slowly waving to keep the seagulls away. We are longing for a morning coffee and breakfast.
We are staying at Hotel Kullaberg located in the harbor in Mølle. The dining room and the lobby have a lot of old interior intact and in almost all the windows are old and new boat models on display. Old photographs showing how bathing and summer life was like for the rich and successful more than 100 years ago, are hanging on the walls everywhere. Each room at Kullaberg Hotel is individually decorated and our room on the top floor has a small balcony and nice views to the water. The room was nice, but too small.
At Hotel Kullaberg you can borrow a bike for free. They can also organize hikes in the nature reserve and boat trips. Just ask the staff or the manager, they are helpful and friendly. By bike you can get around to most places in the area without much effort. The landscape is flat with the exception of the Kullen with its lighthouse. We rode into Höganäs, a nearby city 11 kilometers away. In a leisurely pace and some stops it took about an hour. There are a separate pedestrian and bicycle path along the water almost all the way.
Mølle is a peaceful place and not the kind of place where the youth comes and parties. But there is some entertainment during weekends. The Harbor Tavern had a karaoke evening and we observed a mature audience looking as they had a good time.
Almost all Kullaberg promontories are a nature reserve. Kullaberg Nature Reserve was created in 1971 and later they added 300 meters into the waters around it all as a Marine Reserve. It is a great area for walks and hiking and we have rarely seen so many blackberries. The artist Lars Vilks, best known for his caricatures of Mohammed, has built a work of art from driftwood, Nimis and formed his own microstate in Kullaberg Nature Reserve. It has of course created a lot of fuss and you can read more about that in a separate post: Lars Vilks, Nimis and Arx = Ladonia.
Kullaberg has many lodging and dining options. For a good overview visit this website (only in Swedish): http://www.kullen.se/live/ We ate at Hotel Kullaberg where we stayed, several times. They have a large terrace with typical bistro food and the hamburgers we had was good. The restaurant inside has a slightly different offer and athmosphere, but with the nice weather we experienced, we would not sit inside and eat.
We also tried the restaurant at the Grand Hotel, which sits on the hillside with stunning views of Mølle. They have a reputation for being a gourmet place, something we do not agree on. It started really well and the entrees were good. For the main course Bente selected lamb racks / fillet and Per grilled cod back. And then all the great dining experiences stopped! Food is also aesthetics and food at this level should look good. While the entrees that were served beautifully on slate slabs where the ingredients were carefully placed so everything could be seen and tasted separately, the main dishes came as overloaded stew. The lamb meat was of poor quality, while it was fried, alternatively boiled to death. Tough and inedible. The garnish was basically the same as with the starters and mixed together in an indelicately way. Bente ate two bites and said, “I can not eat this!” My grilled cod back, according to the waiter, was Norwegian and acceptable cooked. Potato foam that came with it was delicate and tasteful. The rest of the accessories were a repeat of the starter. But who came up with the idea to serve this in a narrow frying pan with high edges where everything looks unappealing? I do not know how we can say that a cod is Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, but that is a digression. Within the arts, whether it is painting or food, the art of limitation applies. We should both be able to see and enjoy the art we are presented. Bente`s lamb dinner came of course never on the bill. The entrees, the waiter, the wine and the view were worth the visit. If you ever visit Seaside Restaurant at Grand Hotel in Mølle, eat only starters.
Food market in Höganäs
Food wise our bike ride to Höganäs was a big positive surprise and we strongly recommend a visit to Saluhallen (Food Market) in Höganäs. The old industrial hall that
previously served as a workshop for salt glazed pottery is now converted into a food court of the highest quality. Along with Saluhallen you will find small boutiques, design shops, galleries and restaurants. For a cake lover, something none of us really are, the cakes in the cafe are a sight for gods. The citrus cake Per ate there made him a cake lover in minutes.
French, Spanish and Italian sausages, and Per would gladly taste them all. To take back home he bought a glass of salty, canned lemons from Morocco, delicate yoghurt bowls from Palestine, albeit made in Malmö, but the recipe is genuinely Palestinian. We were offered locally produced red onion marmalade with wonderful bread from the stone oven in the hall and after tasting we just had to bring it back home as well. Per would gladly have taken one kilo Kobe beef from Japan too, but common sense said stop when he discovered that the price was 2600, – SEK ($ 400) per kilo. Here you can find most delicacies, spices and other tidbits of food for every budget that prioritizes quality over quantity.
The bike trail from Höganäs passes Krapperup Mansion and you have access to the large park from below. We saw black clouds gathering in the horizon and feinted back to Kullaberg Hotel. We decided to take the car back to Krapperup and had a nice time in the Art Hall where they showed a great display of glass by Jonas Roth. Adjacent to the Art Hall is a small museum showing the history of the mansion and the area.
Not far away, further in on the peninsula, lays beautiful Brunnby Church, which is one of the most popular churches to get married in for Swedes. It is famous for its frescoes and has had a major advantage of the gifts from Krapperup Mansion. The cemetery is beautiful and well kept and there are also several members of the genus Gyllenstierna from Krapperup buried there.
On the north side of the peninsula lays the fishing village Arild. This place must be visited if you are in Kullaberg. The houses in Arild are all small traditional houses with beautiful gardens and there is also several hotels and nice restaurants. There are several vineyards in Kullaberg and we visited Arild`s vineyard located on the road down to Arild. You can read more about Arild and Arild`s vineyard in a separate post: Wine tasting and village idyll in Arild, north of Helsingborg.
Main attractions in Kullaberg:
- Kullaberg Nature Reserve with caves and climbing possibilities
- Kullen lighthouse
- Dolphin safari with boat
- Mølle town
- Arild fishing village
- Lars Vilks and his art and microstate Ladonia
- Krapperup Mansion with an art gallery and a beautiful park
- Arild’s vineyard with great food
- Brunnby church
- Food Market in Höganäs
In addition, there are many galleries and craft shops, golf course, 2 mills and activities for children and of course the lovely beaches and bathing possibilities.
Kullaberg is located just north of Helsingborg in Sweden, not far from the E6. There is a bus from Helsingborg and it’s easy to get there by car. There are many popular marinas if you arrive by sea.