The care-free island of Ven
Ven is a small island in the Öresund Sound measuring some 7.5 square kilometres that rose out of the sea about 7,000 years ago. There are three tiny settlements on the island; Bäckviken (where the ferry docks), Kyrkbacken and Norreborg.
A potted history of the island runs something like this; it has been settled since the Stone Age, among others by the Vikings, and was once owned by the Danes who gave it to Tycho Brahe the famous astronomer and alchemist who built two research stations on it.
In 1660 Ven became part of Sweden after the Swedes invaded it and nothing much happened for a couple of centuries. At the end of the 19th century farming on the island flourished and the islanders discovered how to make bricks the industrial way – millions of them in fact – and most were exported to build modern-day Copenhagen.
The 370 islanders who live on Ven are joined by visitors the year-round for the island’s outstanding natural beauty and attractions.
That was the history, now let’s visit Ven.
You get to Ven by ferry and the crossing takes 30 minutes. You take the ferry from the ferry terminal at Skeppsbron harbour in Landskrona, to Bäckviken harbour on Ven. Go here for timetables and prices.
Half of the fun of visiting Ven is that there are almost no cars on the island and whichever mode of transport you choose you can get around safely. Cycling is one of the best ways of seeing the island and its attractions and you can hire bikes for the whole family here. You do have to bring your own bike helmet though. If you’d rather walk, with an Alpaca for company, you can do that too. Horse and carriage transport is available here and the same company organize horse riding trips on Ardennes horse for experienced riders.
You get around the island on your own two feet,by bike, by horse and wagon, by tractor- drawn carriage, by bus, by Alpaca, or by environmentally-friendly golf cart.
What to do and see
A visit to Ven wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Tycho Brahe museum. The museum is housed in the former All Saints Church very close to Uraniborg, one of the two research institutes Brahe built here in the mid 16th century. The museum covers Brahe’s life and significance to the scientific community and includes a weather station, a playground and a reconstructed renaissance garden. Take the guided tour for the full-on Tycho Brahe experience. This is a must-do on Ven.
If you’d like to find out more about the history, customs and traditions on Ven then you should visit Nämndemansgården, the local folklore museum. You go up the hill from where the ferry drops you off, take a left, walk or cycle 500 metres and follow the signs. Couldn’t be easier.
S:t Ibbs Kyrka sits above Kyrkbacken’s harbour, as it has done since the 13th
century. Visit it for its unique architecture and for the wonderful altarpiece donated to it by Tycho Brahe. Still on the subject of ‘spirituality’ you should visit Sweden’s most southerly whisky distillery at Spirit of Hven. You can go on a guided tour and sample its whisky and other products. There is also a hotel/conference centre, whisky bar and restaurant on site.
Other restaurants and eateries on the island include Pumpans Café for locally produced and ecological vegetarian eats, as well as the Ella restaurant in the Kyrkbacken. When you are browsing a menu on the island look out for Ven pasta made from local durum wheat and for Ven goat’s cheese. Both of them are made at Hvens Getost (dairy farm).
If you are interested in arts and crafts a great time to come to Ven is for the annual Ven art circuit when local artists, craftspeople and artisans open up their studios to members of the public and you can view and purchase some of the work.
The island is famous for its grass-covered slopes that rise from the sea and for its unique coastal flora and fauna. If you did nothing else on Ven except explore and discover its sandy beaches and countryside, it would be well worth the trip.
Summer is by far the most popular and best time to visit Ven.
Please check the web sites for opening times, seasons and other details. Do remember that there are no cash dispensers on Ven, so take some cash with you.
Do remember that the entire island is either a nature reserve or nature conservation Ven and some rules apply, for example, no picking flowers and no camping. It’s a special place so please leave it the way you found it.
Where to stay
What to do