Around Island of Ven
With its steep coastline, the island of Ven rises like a plateau from the Sound. Due to its shape, the island has a single large lookout point with a beautiful view of the Swedish and Danish coast. The grassy slopes, known as Backafallen, have been designated a nature reserve to protect the wealth of both animal and plant species found there. The Great Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia), a protected species of plant with only a few specimens on the mainland, thrives here. The gorgeous Greater Musk Mallow (Malva alcea), which grows on the steep slopes and up high on the island is also characteristic of Ven’s flora. The grassy slopes of Backafallen are interrupted here and there by soft, sandy beaches.
Take a detour south at the dam at the outlet of Möllebäcken Brook to admire the dramatic coastal bluffs. Here, the sea is continuously wearing away the slopes, so pieces slide off now and then. A thousand sand martins (Riparia) nest in the exposed slopes, where they dig tunnels to make their home.
Between Norreborg and Haken: Backafallen is more greatly forested, and has a more thickly wooded feeling than the rest of the island. Near Hakens Lighthouse, Backafallen becomes more pasture-like, and in its springtime splendour with blooming cowslip (Primula veris) can be magnificent.
Cultural history: In the latter part of the 1500s, Ven was characterised by the presence of Tycho Brahe and his scientific feats, which made Ven known even beyond Sweden’s borders. Near Möllebäcken Brook’s outlet into the sea, there is a newly excavated pond in the same location as one of Tycho Brahe’s ponds. This was the site of a paper mill used to make paper for the world-famous astronomer.
At the slope of Backafallen near the tiny fishing village of Kyrkbacken you will find Saint Ibb’s Church, which dates back to the 1200s. The whitewashed church on the top of the slope has been an important landmark for seafarers through the ages.
At Mossen, the trail makes a sudden turn down towards the sea. Mossen is a wooded island nestled in an arable landscape. Mossen takes its name from the Swedish word for bog, since farmers of yesteryear would come here to get peat to burn. Over time, the bog became covered in forest. As you approach Stade and the sea, you can take a break at a concrete bunker reminiscent of the response preparedness time during World War II. At that time, a line of defence was erected along the coast to protect from attacks from the west.
At Norreborg Harbour, you reach the “Brick Coast”. This was the home of a number of brickworks, and large amounts of clay have been dug out of the slopes and baked into bricks. The beaches between Norreborg and Haken testify to this through the countless sea-shaped bricks along the shoreline.