Ven seems to rise from the sea. It’s a dramatic sight you never get tired of. People approaching the island for the first time are probably impressed by the steep grassy slopes that decline straight down into the ocean. These are called backafall and vary in height and vegetation. Along the largest part of the coast of Ven, they are covered with green meadows and pastures, while on other parts they bear small forests. In places along the north coast of the island, they are not much higher than a person, and in the south it’s the opposite, where they rise 40 meters above sea. Ven is filled with surprises and strange natural phenomena, just like an island should.
Bindweed, dropworts and bedstraw
Ven’s backafall and coasts are rich in flora, and some of the species have very colorful names. The beautiful field bindweed is familiar to many, but would you recognize dropworts or kidney vetch? On Ven grows several species that are otherwise very rare. The giant horsetail, for example, only grows in a few other places in Sweden. The backafall’s biodiversity, wildlife and a unique natural environment makes that the entire coast of Ven a nature reserve. Roam carefully, and throw the junk in the garbage bins!
The pink rose mallow is considered, at least on Ven, the island’s own flower. Through songs and craftsmanship, it has established a deep connection to the island. It’s certainly rare but it’s definitely not unique to the island. Unfortunately, in recent years it has also become a somewhat spare sight on Ven. Ideally, you find them on the backafall – Ven’s grassy slopes – but if you don’t find them there, it’s worth looking at roadsides and outside gardens. Have you seen them once you’ll always recognize them, because that’s what the rose mallow is like.
Photo: Jasmine Persson, Landskrona stad
The coast of Ven is marked by the so-called Per Albin line that was built during World War II. These badly hidden concrete forts are hardly considered to be a beautiful ornament for the island’s beaches, but during decades they have earned place in the islanders hearts through their excellent function as picnic area, lookout tower, meeting place, etc. The one at St. Ibb’s church is unfortunately located in such a spectacular way, but is a must climb a quiet summer evening.
Here the hills tumble right down into the sea. In some places they are 40m high. Magnificent views both towards the sea and inwards towards the rolling fields and pastures of Ven.
See also Catch wind in your hair at Ven’s southern cape
Stade beach on the island’s northern part, is a beauty to approach by bike. Here the hill slopes are so low, and the beach so narrow, that it feels like a Ven in miniature.
See also Find peace on Stade beach
Tuna village is the capital of Ven, or at least its main settlement, as the ancient word “tuna” is thought to have signified from the early Iron Age. It is Ven’s oldest village and on medieval maps of the island, Tuna village is marked as a diverse collection of houses. Even today, one can describe the village as a diverse collection of houses: old, new, beautiful, ugly. It’s home to two of Ven’s finest institutions: the general store above Möllebacken, and the Tuna Tavern in the heart of the village.
Norreborg is a small harbor community that was built by the brickwork industry as a shipyard. Today it is a marina for islanders and visiting sailors. On the other side of the harbor lies one of Ven’s best beaches, making the place a popular retreat during the summer. As the name suggests, here once lay a castle owned by Mrs Grimhild, who also happened to own the rest of the island according to the legend.
See also Catch the crabs in Norreborg
Here are a number of old farmhouses spread around something as unusual on Ven as a cohesive forest area. This little dungeon has always been here and is marked on the earliest maps. Several paths crosses in Mossen which makes it something of a transit point.
Kyrkbacken is beautifully situated below grassy slopes and the old church as a white crown at the top. The age of the big ships have passed, but the tradition of it is strong here. The captain villas lie in rows behind rose bushes and flagpoles. On hot days the two long sandy beaches attract most people. Here visitors can settle down and spend a whole day without missing anything.
Husvik is a small picturesque village with well-groomed houses in well-groomed plots. The village consists of an unbroken row of buildings beginning at the bay below the steep Munkabacken and ending at Ven’s campsite. Until the mid 20th century were here brickwork industries, which have left traces on the beaches along many parts of this lush part of the island that makes up Ven’s northeast coast.
On the geographical point that faces Sweden, Haken’s lighthouse is surrounded by its small lighthouse village of older, low-rise buildings. If you arrive here from Husvik, you are soon in Bäckviken which awaits behind the next bend.
To Bäckviken, most of the visitors to Ven arrive with the ferries, but few linger in this harbor community, where the fishing industry is still alive. This is one of the island’s old landing spots, but it was only in the late 1800’s that a real harbor was built.