Great places in Österlen for photography

Hi,

I've always stressed the importance of focusing on the local area for your landscape photography. Here you have the opportunity of constantly revisiting your favorite spots during the best light. It greatly improves your chances of catching beautiful images instead of only dreaming of those far away places. Besides to become an expert in your field takes a lot of practice and the easiest way to improve is by visiting places close to home.

Below you'll find a short guide to my favorite places to photograph in south eastern Sweden. The area, part of Skåne, is called Österlen and is a favorite location for many artist from all over Sweden. All places mentioned below are within 1 1/2 hour of travel by car from Malmö. Hopefully you'll find it inspiring and add it to your bucket list. For western part of Skåne click here

I'll describe the sights in the direction from north to south, but you are of course free to visit them from the opposite side as well. Most of the places here a connected, meaning you could technically walk on dedicated trails for most of the way in either northern or southern direction.

Below you'll find a summary map of all the destinations mentioned in this blog post.

You can also click the GPS coordinates next to each destination and it will open a separate google map page.

Brösarps backar

Latitud: 55.715218 | Longitud: 14.111767

Best described as a miniature of Tuscany. Small hills with dotted trees and in the summer grassing cows. There are well defined walking trails and on top of some hills you will be able to see the Baltic Sea in the far distance. Great place for photography of both the wider landscape, but also possibilities for close up portraits of individual trees. If you will manage to come here as the fog or stormy weather rolls in it will add another element to your images.

The rolling hills of Brösarp

The rolling hills of Brösarp

The imtimate landsacpe at Brösarps backar

The imtimate landsacpe at Brösarps backar

Haväng / Ravlunda

Latitud: 55.723841 | Longitud: 14.191021
 

A very popular tourist area with a well run hostel called Skeppargården. The Verkeån river exits here in the Baltic ocean and a lot of people visit during the summer for recreation. The beaches are some of the nicest in Skåne. Close by there are also vast areas for walking and exploring, both at the beach but also further inland where you can walk the fields of Ravlunda for miles. Just make sure you check the billboards informing about the drills at Ravlunda as this is a military area.

The fishing huts of Ravlunda

The fishing huts of Ravlunda

The lonely tree at Haväng

The lonely tree at Haväng

Ravlunda during sunset

Ravlunda during sunset

Old historical building, Lindgrens länga at Haväng

Old historical building, Lindgrens länga at Haväng

Vitemölla
 

Latitud: 55.700003 | Longitud: 14.204491

What an amazing beach this place has. Soft sand and the Baltic Sea stretches as far as the eye can see. A lovely place to relax and recharge your batteries. You can walk along the beach from Haväng with great variation where sand, grass dunes and pine forest interlaps as you get closer to Vitemölla

Nice view towards Vitemölla

Nice view towards Vitemölla

The beach at Vitemölla, a nice place for relaxation

The beach at Vitemölla, a nice place for relaxation

 

Stenshuvud

Latitud: 55.656184 | Longitud: 14.268711
 

Stenshuvud is 1 out of 29 national parks in Sweden. It's mainly a deciduous forest with a large selection of walking trails. There's a large visitors center where you can learn about the history and geology of the area. There's a beautiful beach with impressive rock formations. The possibilities for compositions is endless with all those rocks and the waves crashing into the shoreline. Just be careful walking here as it can get slippery especially when photographing closer to the sea. You also have to possibility of going to the top of the mountain for excellent views. The distance is about 1 km.

Early morning light at Stenshuvud

Early morning light at Stenshuvud

Rocky clifs as far as the eye can see

Rocky clifs as far as the eye can see

 

Sträntemölla / Rörum

Latitud: 55.618178 | Longitud: 14.239142
 

In my opinion a hidden gem. You will find a small parking lot on the road from Rörum to Östra Vemmerlöv. Just follow the trail uphill through the forrest and you will get to a small house that used to be a mill. The creek with its waterfall creates a magical atmosphere. You can  continue to the right and reach a meadow with threes and sheeps and the lonely tree upon a hill overlooking Rörum and the countryside.

The waterfall at Sträntemölla

The waterfall at Sträntemölla

Beautiful views at Rörum

Beautiful views at Rörum

During the summer walks you'll have company

During the summer walks you'll have company

Vik - Baskemölla - Vårhallarna

Vik: Latitud: 55.614426 | Longitud: 14.285162
BaskemöllaLatitud: 55.592587 | Longitud: 14.314377
Vårhallarna: Latitud: 55.577713 | Longitud: 14.336794

The walking trail between the fishing villages of Vik and Baskemölla has to be one of the most beautiful ones in Skåne. Right at Vik you have the possibility of experiencing a landscape from a time when the area had a tropical climat. The black lava stones at the beach gives it a surreal experience. Make sure you check out the "priest bathtub ". Most probably a legend, still an impressive formation of lava rocks

The priests bathtub at Vik

The priests bathtub at Vik

About 15 minutes outside  Baskemölla on the road towards Simrishamn is a rocky section of the beach where you find opportunities to photograph the sea with Stenshuvud in the background. 

Once at Vårhallarna there are more volcanic rock formations to photograph. Don't forget that also the intimate landscape where you focus on single rock(s) that can create compelling images. Such possibilities are endless here. I've been coming here for the last 10 years and still manage to find something new each time. 

Winter seascape putside Vik

Winter seascape putside Vik

Leading lines at Vårhallarna

Leading lines at Vårhallarna

The imtimate seascapes at Vårhallarna

The imtimate seascapes at Vårhallarna


GislövsHammar

Latitud: 55.488053 | Longitud: 14.315682


Located to the south from Simrishamn this small village with its limestone rocks offer great opportunities for some stunning photography. The rocks going of into the distance creates great leading lines where your wide angle lens gets put to work. Many great photos are just waiting to be taken here showing yet another of the many coastal areas of Österlen.

Limestone rocks at Gislövshammar

Limestone rocks at Gislövshammar

Magical sunrise at Gislövshammar

Magical sunrise at Gislövshammar


Löderup strandbad
 

Latitud: 55.385763 | Longitud: 14.11046

Here you will be able to combine photography at the beach with some panoramic viewpoints as well. The area suffers from earth erosion meaning that each year the Baltic Sea takes away a couple of meters of beach sand. In fact this is a problem for the whole coastline in Österlen. However here you will see examples of how efforts a being made to stop it by constructing ramparts and piers from stones. You can incorporate these elements in your photography and a mere 5 minute walk up the hills can provide gourgeous views.

Just a 5 minute hike reward you with this view at Löderup strandbad

Just a 5 minute hike reward you with this view at Löderup strandbad

Beachlife at Löderup strandbad

Beachlife at Löderup strandbad

The good life, time to relax and enjoy the nature at Löderup

The good life, time to relax and enjoy the nature at Löderup

Excellent views towards Kåseberga fishing village. The photos is taken from Löderup strandbad

Excellent views towards Kåseberga fishing village. The photos is taken from Löderup strandbad

Backåkra

Latitud: 55.386455 | Longitud: 14.152267

This place let's you combine beach , open fields and forest photography. The white sand dunes looks amazing contrasting with the soft warm light. During autumn and winter you're often here alone, having the whole place to yourself for exploration. Well worth a visit. 

The warm light and the white sand at Backåkra

The warm light and the white sand at Backåkra

The sand dunes at the beach at Backåkra

The sand dunes at the beach at Backåkra

Long exposure at the open fields at Backåkra

Long exposure at the open fields at Backåkra

I hope this short guide will help you exploring these beautiful part of Sweden. The places mentioned above or of course not complete, they are just the ones I've found so far. Feel free leaving a comment below with your favorite places. For more information about this region I recommend the Visit Skåne homepage. Here you'll find tons of tips of hotels, where to eat and other tourist attractions. Want to learn learn more about landscape photography? Just download my free e-book consisting of 13 steps how you can improve.

I would appreciate if you could share this article so others can be inspired as well. Let me know below if you have any questions or comments.  Feel free to contact me directly if interested in knowing more about photography or about the places mentioned in this blog post.

I also run regular workshops and one on one teachings if interested.

 

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands


Sunset in the Faroes. Not a bad way spending your vacation.

Sunset in the Faroes. Not a bad way spending your vacation.

Short introduction and why I went there

In the middle of the Atlantic, at the mercy of the ever changing weather, you'll find a place consisting of 18 islands called the Faroes. For centuries people have lived a hard life constantly fighting mother nature and many, especially the fishermen, have paid the ultimate price. The harsh life has over the years depopulated the islands where many people have sought a better life in the mayor settlements or moving either for studies or permanently abroad to Denmark, Norway or further away.

The Faroes have always been highly depended on the fishery sector where most people have found employment. The success of fish export has therefore greatly influenced the economy and factors like employment and migration. During the last couple of years there's been a desire to include tourism as a compliment to the fishing industry. 

My first encounter with this place was through the Internet. I was intrigued seeing all those beautiful landscapes on Instagram and Google+. Having previously visited Iceland made me curious to see if this was anything similar. For sure the landscapes are as beautiful although the Faroes lack the volcanic activity that is so specific for Iceland. On the other hand the infrastructure is much better making it a breeze visiting the main islands during a couple of days (although you should stay here much longer to really experience the nature). Almost all the roads are paved with asphalt and there are numerous bridges and tunnels for speedy movement around the mayor islands.

Excellent roads for traveling around the islands

Excellent roads for traveling around the islands

How to get there, where to stay and how to get around

There are 2 ways of reaching the Faroe Islands. You could take the ferry M/S Norröna that goes from Hirtshals in Denmark or you can fly from the Danish capital Copenhagen in just 2 hours.

Once on the Faroes there's a well established public transportation network at your disposal. Another alternative is renting a car, which will cost you more, but at the same time increase your flexibility. I choose the later alternative as this would give the greatest freedom allowing me to plan the photography to the fullest. I can highly recommend the car rental company Unicar.fo. They have good prices, respond very quickly to your emails and are most helpful. It was nice to be able to pick up the car from the airport parking lot and immediately be on the road.

Most of the hotels are located in the capital Tórshavn. The Faroe islands are very small, the distances are very short and the roads are very good, which means you could stay in Tórshavn all the time. But why limit yourself and miss out on the fantastic interaction with the warm and friendly local population. You'll hear all the great stories of local life and be treated to the local food. Therefore make sure you look up the many offers at Airbnb or at the local tourist office in the mayor villages around the islands. Make sure you book well in advance if you plan to visit during the summer as the places quickly fill up.

Places to visit

Vagar:

Gasadalur

Can you imagine people living in a place that required them to walk for a couple of hours to do their shopping or collecting the mail. Can you also imagine they did this each week, year around, during the winter storms and other times at highly unpredictable weather. This is what the people at Gasadalur village experienced through ages until they were connected by a tunnel to the main island Vagar in 2004. Nowadays it takes 5 minutes to each the village where you can see the houses located on top of a cliff with a majestic waterfall below. This is one of the most photographed spots on the Faroes and for a good reason if you ask me.

Sunset at Gasadalur.

Sunset at Gasadalur.

Streymoy:

Saksun and Tjörnuvik

Saksun village reminds you of a viking village with it's green grass roofs . The population has declined over the years and today consists of about 10 people. Here you can do a pleasant walk over the mountain to the other side where you'll find the Tjörnuvik village. Both places are well worth a visit. Make sure you take advantage of the excellent views above both villages. 

Saksun village as seen from the trail connecting the village with Tjörnuvik

Saksun village as seen from the trail connecting the village with Tjörnuvik

Beautiful views from the hike between Saksun and Tjörnuvik

Beautiful views from the hike between Saksun and Tjörnuvik

Tjörnuvik as seen from above

Tjörnuvik as seen from above

Tórshavn

The capital city with a population of 12000 people is by far the largest settlement. It's the administrative center with residential areas, a large harbor, a majority of the hotels and office buildings, Make sure you pay a visit to the old quarters behind the harbor to see how the people used to live in the old days.

The harbour area

The harbour area

Old parts of the city

Old parts of the city

Densly populatrd for beeing the Faroe Islands

Densly populatrd for beeing the Faroe Islands

Eysturoy:

Funningur

In my opinion the road between Funningur and Gjogv is the most picturesque on the Faroes. The serpentine road winds it's way up the countryside, where you're able to make multiple stops to photograph the surrounding area. Or you can climb the mountain towards Slættaratindur for even better views.

Funningur as seen from the road to Gjogv

Funningur as seen from the road to Gjogv

Gjogv

In Gjogv you'll find a large hotel with a nice restaurant serving dinners and desserts. The village itself is like most other villages on the Faroes located in a beautiful location. Make sure you secure a window seat at the restaurant that will allow you combine dinning with excellent sights.  

Gjogv village

Gjogv village

Elduvik

This is another beautifully located village that's located in the northern parts of Eysturoy. Once isolated, this village is now easily reached with a good quality paved road.

Elduvik

Elduvik

The northern islands:

Kalsoy

Kalsoy is a great example what defines the Faroe peoples desire to live at places where the forces of nature would make most people simply give up. At the northern point you'll find the Kallur lighthouse and Tröllanäs village. To reach this place you'll first take the ferry for 20 minutes, then drive through 4 separate tunnels before you reach your destination. Even though the island is very small it's best to bring your own car as the buss connection on Kalsoy are very limited. 

Tröllanäs is home to a couple of houses and a large farm. Walking up to the lighthouse is pretty straightforward once you pass the first steep hill right at the village.  Before reaching the Tröllanäs you should also pay a visit Kopakonan (The seal woman) in Mikadalur village. It tells the the story of what happens when you interfere with other subjects way of life. On the Internet you'll can find more information about this famous Faroe islands folk tale or you can pick up a book containing this fascinating story. It's available not only in English, but also in many other languages.

Great views 

Great views 

Make sure everything is secured or the wind will take it

Make sure everything is secured or the wind will take it

The seal woman at Mikadalur

The seal woman at Mikadalur

Kunoy

Kunoy is another of the northern islands that's easily reachable by a small bridge from the island Borðoy. By taking the tunnel you'll reach the small village with the same name. Here you'll have great views to the neighboring Kalsoy and you can also raise your pulse by climbing the steep cliffs that towers the village. It's also worth visiting the church with it's fascinating setting.

Kunoy village

Kunoy village

Borðoy

On Borðoy you'll find the second largest city (by Faroes standards) Klaksvik with a population of whopping 4000 people ;-). The Christianskirkjan attracts many worshipers on Sundays and daily tourists. It's a pleasant village where you can spend a couple of hours walking around, having a coffee and doing your shopping in the local supermarkets. It's also from the harbor where you'll take the 20 minute ferry to Kalsoy. They also have their own beer brewery Föroya Bjór.

Klaksvik from above. Foggy and rainy, still very beautiful

Klaksvik from above. Foggy and rainy, still very beautiful

Vidoy

The northern most island is Vidoy. People live in the two main settlements, Hvannasund and Vidareidi. This is an islands not to be missed during your stay in the Faroes. From Hvannasund you can take the boat to Fugloy as well as Svinoy. Vidareidi lays in the northern parts of Vidoy and offers excellent hiking options. If the weather permits you can even walk all the way up the the Einniberg bird cliffs where you'll have spectacular views across the Faroes.

The church in Vidareidi

The church in Vidareidi

Even the dead have great views

Even the dead have great views

Vidareidi village

Vidareidi village

Fugloy and Svinoy

Not only are the Faroe Islands extremely isolated at the middle of the Atlantic, these 2 islands are even isolated themselves from the main islands. The only way to reach these places is by boat. A pleasant trip during the summer, but it could be very challenging doing it daily for the rest of the year. Therefore it's no surprise that most islanders have sought a better life elsewhere. Today only a handful of people are left and rely on daily supplies by boat of petrol, food and other necessities. A truly hardcore way of life.

Petrol on the way to Fugloy and Svinoy

Petrol on the way to Fugloy and Svinoy

Unloading time

Unloading time

Finally the package has arrived

Finally the package has arrived

Places that I did not visit this time around

Nolsoy, Sandoy, Skuvoy and Suðuroy are the small islands located at the southern parts of the Faroes. Especially Suðuroy intrigues me as it's located 2 hours from Tórshavn, which makes it isolated even by local standards. Definitely a must visit next time around!! The same goes for Mykines, the most westerly island, famous for it's large puffin colony. Because I was visiting in April there was no ferry connection and besides the puffins arrives first in June. Mykines should be one of your main priorities if you visit during the summer.

Mykines in the background. See you puffins in 2018

Mykines in the background. See you puffins in 2018

Send me an email if you have any questions about the Faroe Islands or my photos. I highly recommend the Brandt guide for your travel preparations before visiting. If deciding to buy I would highly appreciate if you would use the links below as it would give me a small commision from Amazon and it will not costs you a cent more. Thanks.

More photos from the Faroe islands are availabe here;