With sea kayak around Skånska Cape

Med havskajak runt Skånska Kap

Cape Horn, Cape Farewell, Cape Agulhas. There are many well-known "Capes". They often have imaginative names and convey a sense of adventure and experience. The word kap comes from the Latin "caput" which means cape. Salt-sprinkled, windswept and remote, they have for generations exerted an almost terrifying allure on sailors, whether they have traveled in fast clipper ships from Australia to Europe or in modern-day globe-trotting sailboats. Nowadays, you can relatively easily visit these places and get your own opinion. But why cross the river for water, or rather Cape?

Sweden's Cape Horn

Our own "Cape Horn" is in Skåne! The real Cape Horn is at latitude 56 degrees south. Kullaberg in northwestern Scania is located at 56 degrees north and is heavily exposed to the elements. Of course, it cannot measure up in wildness to the real Cape Horn. But Kullaberg can provide more than enough adventure and nature experience. And a wonderful way to experience this is in a sea kayak.

Sea kayaking has become an increasingly popular leisure activity in Sweden and abroad. The conditions for practicing this sport are exceptionally good in our country. Many people prefer to paddle in the archipelago, but it is becoming increasingly popular to paddle in the open sea with a clear horizon in one direction and our fantastic coast in the other. An adventure that provides both nature experiences and excitement. In the sea's waves and swells of varying sizes, you can practice both balance and paddling techniques.

Cape Scania

The whole of Skåne can be compared to a single large Cape, Sweden's southernmost part, which must be rounded on a long trip around the coast. But Skåne itself offers several capes, e.g. Bjärehalvön, Kullaberg, Falsterbonäset, Smygehuk, Kåseberga, Sandhammaren and Stenshuvud. There are many of them in the Scanian Cape, more than anywhere else in our country in such a short distance. In calm weather most paddlers can get around, but in rougher weather the passages are real challenges. We think we know. We have tried.

Bjäre Peninsula

The north coast of the Bjäre Peninsula can be experienced after launching in, for example, Kattvik or Torekov. In the case of a westerly or northerly/northwesterly wind, great opportunities are offered for surfing towards the sandy and pebbly beaches along the two-mile-long nature reserve on the peninsula. Avoid the rocky sections and flats that sometimes go far into the water closer to Torekov. The coast is particularly dramatic at Hova Hallar with high cliffs plunging steeply into the sea.


We name Kullaberg our most exciting Cape. The beaches are difficult to access. The few coves and low beaches that are offered along the otherwise rocky coast rarely allow completely risk-free beach cutting. Recoil waves are another factor to consider. Keep well away from the steep cliffs even in relatively calm weather. We dare to promise a strong nature experience. You can think you have been transported to significantly more southern latitudes with intense greenery and a dramatic coast beyond the ordinary. Kullaberg is geologically a so-called primeval horst where the highest point rises 187 m.a.s.l. The water is clear, the vegetation abundant, the bird life interesting. As the crowning glory rises at the far end of the cape Kullen's lighthouse, the Nordic region's highest lighthouse at just over 88 m.a.s.l. Launching can take place in Arild or Mölle.

Falsterbon islet

Falsterbonäset with Skanör/Falsterbo is Sweden's southwesternmost headland. The entire cape is flat with long sandy beaches and often shallow water. By sea, two headlands are to be passed, Knösen in the north and Nabben in the south. Between these are shallow lagoons and wetlands which are interesting bird habitats. Launching can advantageously take place in the Falsterbokanalen where you then return after rounding the isthmus in either direction; a nice tour of about 25 kilometers.

Cheese head

Already from Ystad Saltsjöbad you can see Kåsebergaåsen in the east. The passage of Kåsehuvud competes with Kullaberg in grandeur. But here it is not a mountain but a sand and gravel ridge with steep, grassy slopes down to the beach and open sea. At the top of Åsen lies the shipwreck Ales stenar. Our own passage took place in a south-westerly wind of just under 10 meters per second. As with Kullaberg, it is important to stay a good distance from the beach to avoid breaking waves. Recoil waves do not pose the same problem here, however. Our kayaks managed to get a lot of water in before we reached the small harbor at Kåseberga. Before the harbor entrance there is a good beach to land or take off at. A suitable destination or starting point in the other direction is Nybrostrand's campsite.

Paddling technique in high waves and fishing nets

Other Scanian Capes of dignity are Smygehuk, Sandhammaren and Stenshuvud . These headlands are more in the nature of bulges along a long, smooth coastline. However, they are all located along completely unprotected coasts. Some fishermen in Abbekås harbor taught us that the further east and northeast you travel along the Scania coast at a given wind strength, the higher the waves. We think our own paddling along the route confirmed this. Most often you have the waves coming in from the side. We tried to stay out of the breaking waves because a wave that breaks over the kayak from the side easily grabs the protruding bow and stern and can overturn the entire crew. Regular swells that do not break are easier to handle. The critical moment is then only the passage of the crest of the wave, when there is no support in any direction for the paddle. With good speed, the passage is easier. When you then descend into the wave valley, you can advantageously put the paddle in the passing wave and "follow along" with the paddle as support until the entire wave has passed. Keep an eye out far ahead for places where the waves seem to break frequently and wade in time for these. There it is usually a bit shallower. Cross turns are risky in the waves. In the worst case, there may be rocks near the surface. Also be aware of fishing nets that often stretch from the shore and several hundred meters into the water. They are common along the south coast. Getting stuck with the rudder in the net in high waves means easy capsize. And the owner of the network certainly wants to have a say in the team. Raise the rudder or go outside. In calm weather, you can often pass close to the beach.

Sweden's southernmost cape

Smygehuk, Sweden's southernmost cape, is a flat sand dune with rocky beaches. Here there is a harbor with restaurants and a nice hostel. The old lighthouse on land is decommissioned and now a tourist destination. Captain Brink's cabin, a small museum next to the hostel, is worth seeing. When we visited, the captain himself showed us around and told us.

Sandhammer and Stenshuvud

Sandhammeren is Skåne's southeastern Cape. The lighthouse, which is located a little way up on land, is however in full use. It is a so-called Heidenstam lighthouse, designed and constructed by Verner von Heidenstam's father. As the name indicates, it is also a sand dune here, if possible even flatter than at Smygehuk. Both of these headlands can be paddled close to in calm weather, but you should stay out of the breaking waves in rougher weather. Stenshuvud is instead a primeval horst and the southernmost offshoot of Linderödsåsen. The highest point is 97 m.a.s.l. The area has been a national park since 1986 with a large biological diversity.

Suitable launching locations are for Smygehuk Gislövs location or Smygehamn, for Sandhammaren Kåseberga or Skillinge and for Stenshuvud the harbors in Kivik or Vik. But there are several options

The Skåne coast is an Eldorado for sea paddlers who want an exciting change to archipelago paddling. Paddling can easily be combined with easily accessible nature and cultural experiences. The Scanian hospitality is expressed in the form of a number of small cozy restaurants, often with the delicacies of the sea on the menu, in almost every small port. Most things are close in Skåne.