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Sweden's most popular attraction - a supermarket

The Swedish Riviera – this is how the coastal strip of the province of Halland is also called.

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Sweden's most popular attraction - a supermarket

The Swedish Riviera – this is how the coastal strip of the province of Halland is also called. Because in the southwest of the Scandinavian country are the longest beaches in the country, including Mellbystrand near Laholm, which stretches over twelve kilometers. Tourists can stay in typical falun-red holiday homes between heather and the sound of the sea, but many a hotel has also been placed in the middle of the dune landscape.

Until the middle of the 17th century, Halland belonged to Denmark, which can be seen in the distance beyond the Kattegat; with the Peace of Roskilde of 1658, the Swedes took over suzerainty. Today around 300,000 people live in the province, whose capital, Halmstad, is a good starting point for hikes and bike tours in the hinterland, where lakes, fields and beech forests form an idyllic landscape.

Falkenberg is the culinary center; the Nordic gourmet guide "White Guide" awarded not only local restaurants, but the entire city the rating "worth a trip". For architectural reasons, this also applies to Varberg, where you can take a sauna in a Moorish-style cold bath house.

Another historical architectural feature is Tjolöholm Castle, built in the Tudor style around the turn of the century, with extensive parkland; In 2010 it served as the backdrop for the Lars von Trier film "Melancholia".

This attracts many visitors, but most come to Halland for the Riviera; especially since it's been great for cycling since the Kattegatleden opened there eight years ago. The long-distance cycle path leads over hundreds of kilometers along the most beautiful stretches of coast. Sporty prospects for spring!

It is considered the largest supermarket in the world: Gekås Ullared in Ullared, a town with 750 inhabitants in the hinterland of the region. More than 100,000 items are offered on an area the size of around five football pitches, and payment is made at 82 checkouts. On particularly good days, more than 25,000 people stroll along the shelves in the 25 departments.

Customers often travel several hours, grab one of the approximately 6,000 shopping trolleys and stand in one of the sometimes hundreds of meters long queues before they can even dive into Swedish shopping heaven. What drives you? Quite simply, Gekås – founded in 1963 by Göran Karlsson as a 30 square meter department store – promises ultimate low prices. It can offer this because it buys its goods directly from the industry and does not invest any money in traditional advertising.

Profits were immediately put into expanding the business. The offer ranges from groceries and drugstore items to tools and toys to electronics, clothing and camping furniture. Gekås Ullared has around five million visitors a year. With a huge food floor, play areas for children, an attached hotel and campsite, the supermarket is now Sweden's most popular visitor attraction.

Sweden's most mysterious murder victim was found in Halland: the Bockstensmann. The bog body came to light in 1936 during peat cutting in Bockstens Mosse. Like the man's body and head of curls, his clothing was unusually well preserved - and allowed for measurements using the radiocarbon method. Accordingly, he lived between 1290 and 1430.

Skull fractures indicate manslaughter. To cover up the crime, the body was anchored with stakes to the bottom of a lake that was still open at the time. The Bockstensmann found his final resting place in the Hallands Kulturhistoriska Museum in Varberg.

Apelviken is the surf spot in Halland - and one of the best in Northern Europe. Waves break on the beaches of the Kattegat all year round. In addition to several surf schools, Sweden's largest surf center, Surfers Paradise, has therefore settled in Apelviken. It offers everything you need to rent and buy for water sports; Boards for windsurfing and surfing, foilboards, wetsuits for winter rides, even changing rooms and showers.

So the camper pitches near the beach are open all year round. Especially since Apelviken is not the only surfing spot in Halland, the waves are also high on Mellbystrand and on the beach in Träslövsläge.

Lynga Sanddyn, also known as Stora Sandkullen, is 36 meters high and is Sweden's highest dune. You can find them in the Haverdal nature reserve near the coastal town of the same name. The way there leads through a forest of mountain pines, whose trunks grow twisted or in wavy lines, as if they wanted to knot; That's why the locals call it the magic forest.

Then it goes up a flight of stairs and you stand on the crest. The view sweeps over the coastal forest to the bay of Harplingebukten with dunes and heathland and a kilometer-long sandy beach. Established in 1942 as one of the first of its kind in Sweden, visitors can explore the nature reserve on several walking, cycling and horseback riding trails.

"So please, Haaland fans: give us our hashtag back!"

The Visit Halland tourism office addressed this appeal in an open letter to the fans of the Norwegian soccer professional Erling Haaland. Especially those who aren't so particular about spelling their social media activities and don't use the correct hashtag for their idol's name

Tourists complain about what caused the Swedish region to look buried on Instagram. How to find under

Bizarre, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional geography series here.

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