Ripples in Steninge
Around 20 kilometres north of Halmstad, along the beautiful coastal road and the Kattegat Trail, is the idyllic and beautiful little village of Steninge. Situated between forests, fields and the sea, there is a great deal to experience here.
Cosy beach with rocks and a rocky island
Steninge beach is a unique bathing area that is appreciated by both adults and children. There are two small sandy beaches with dunes for those who like to feel the sand between their toes. If you like to be active during a day at the beach, there is a volleyball net you can use to play.
Stora Skär and Lilla Skär
The thing that makes Steninge’s bathing area unique is its causeway, which bisects the sea out to the rocky island of Stora Skär. Many visitors come to the causeway catch the crabs hiding among the rocks. A little way out along the causeway is a bathing area with a ladder leading down into the water. Once you are out on Stora Skär, you have plenty of space to both swim and sunbathe. Take your snorkelling equipment with you and discover all the life beneath the surface on the rocky seaweed sea bed. “Lilla Skär” is situated between the island and the northern side. There is always room here to lie on the rocks and sunbathe – the only issue is that you have to swim to get there!
Steninge’s beautiful coastal landscape
The coastal landscape at Steninge beach is home to some stunning scenery. Steninge Nature Reserve (Swe) extends from Steninge beach to Stensjöstrand. The countryside is barren yet still magnificent, and offers beach meadows used for grazing, heather, shingle fields and bathing beaches. The southern part of the reserve is mainly grazed by sheep, while in the north you will come across beautiful Icelandic horses.
South of the beach, the countryside consists largely of bare rocks with giant’s kettles dating back to the Ice Age. This is the perfect place to take your picnic basket on a late summer evening, sit on a rock and enjoy a fantastic sunset.
If you continue heading south over the rocks, you come to the beautiful Enet Nature Reserve (Swe). Many are attracted here by the shingle fields and the rocks. The grazed coastal heath is home a wide variety of flora, and many species of small birds thrive here. This is a perfect place to go on a flower safari and look for wolf's bane, pussytoes or perhaps the rarer lesser butterfly-orchid. Here you will also find a cosy bathing spot, popularly known as “Valen” (“the Whale”). The reason for this is the presence of a large rock in the water that resembles the mighty creature. This is also an excellent place to go snorkelling and ideal for standing at the water’s edge fishing.
Just northeast of Steninge is Skipås Nature Reserve (Swe) or "God's green meadows" as the area is popularly called. The reserve offers rolling pastures, tall beech forest, a magical alder marsh and plenty of birdsong. Don't miss the stunning views from Klippekulle where you can see far along the beautiful coast of Halland. A little further north, towards Ugglarp, lies Näktergalslunden Nature Reserve (Swe). This is a more difficult area with a jungle-like environment and old marl pits from the 19th century. Just as the name Näktergalslunden suggests, with any luck you may hear the beautiful song of the nightingale.
A little food and overnight accommodation
If your tummy starts rumbling during a day on the beach, that’s no problem. Just above the beach is the beautifully situated Göstas Café & Restaurangg (Swe). This offers everything from soft drinks and ice cream to sandwiches and food from their excellent menu. On their outdoor terrace, you can enjoy fantastic views down to the sea.
Just above Göstas (Swe), by the southern path down to the beach, you will find the classic Restaurang Skepparstugan (Swe). You can either sit inside or outside on their cosy terrace. During certain festivals they serve buffet food, and on particular days in summer they put on a fantastic shrimp buffet.
In the other direction, by the northern path down to the beach, is Steninge Kuststation. Here you will find accommodation, food and activities. The food consists mainly of locally produced products and vegetarian dishes. Kuststation loves using Halland kale and also serves a number of dishes containing seaweed. Here you can also eat porridge made by Per Carlsson, two-time world champion at porridge making.
In addition to going for a dip or wandering through the beautiful landscape, Steninge Kuststation offers a number of activities and experiences that will bring you close to nature. Here you can head out on guided stand-up paddleboarding or mountain bike tours. You also hire canoes and stand-up paddleboards to explore the area on your own.
Up on Hulabäcksvägen, just 300 metres from the beach, you will find Steninge Minigolf (Swe). A sweet miniature golf course situated in the garden of a large house. There are 16 holes here, with a self-service system for balls, putters and scorecards.
Cycling along the Kattegat Trail
The 395 km Kattegat Trail passes through Steninge. From Halmstad, the roughly 25 km cycle path is lined with beautiful and varied countryside. Steninge is the perfect place to stop and enjoy the scenery or visit one of the cosy places to eat.
Steninge’s history in brief
Around the end of 19th century, the area around Steninge was characterised by quarrying. Veined gneiss, a rock type that is durable but that splits readily, was quarried here before being transported and used for paving stones. The quarrying industry in the area peaked during the period from 1890 until World War I, when the work stalled and eventually ceased.
During the same period that the quarrying industry was active in Steninge, a glassworks was also operated between the sand dunes and the coastal road. You can see remnants of the works where Göstas Café & Restaurangg (Swe) is located today.
Caesar, the lion in Steninge Zoo
It’s hard to imagine finding a lion in Halmstad. But this was actually the case in Steninge just over 50 years ago. The lion Caesar. He lived in Steninge Zoo. This little zoo was run by Gösta Backer and was situated in his garden. There were various other animals here as well, but Caesar was obviously the most distinctive. It cost SEK 2.50 to visit the zoo. A piece of advice: it’s not a good idea to keep a lion in your garden.
The story of Caesar did not have a happy ending, unfortunately, but it’s a story without equal. You can read more about how it all came to an end one August day in 1970 in the Police Magazine (Swe).
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