The people of the southern Swedish territory of Skäne have more in common with the Danes than they do with their fellow countrymen in the north. Even the relatively flat rolling landscape is remarkably similar. It is therefore no surprise to learn that these two areas were linked by land some 7,000 years ago. Only two courses of action were available to those who wanted to reunite these lands, one was to wait for another ice age, the other was to build a crossing.
Built in a true spirit of cooperation, what resulted was a wonder of modern construction, to rival that of the Channel Tunnel. Before tire bridge was officially opened in 1999, the crossing between Copenhagen and Malmö was a joyless one. Coaches and hovercraft would ferry people who found cheap flights to Sweden via Denmark, and they would mingle with Swedes who were looking for bargains on the other side of the water.
The arrival of the combined rail and road crossing changed all this and it is now possible to make the excursion in comfort and with speed. As you depart Copenhagen, the Öresund has a surprise for you as it starts its life as a tunnel, to avoid interfering with the busy airport. Soon it emerges from the water, as a majestic bridge, providing fantastic views on both sides.
The crossing has really opened up this area of southern Sweden and re-attached it to the mainland. Once across, the opportunities to explore are numerous. Outside of the cities the most popular the area around the destination. With its sandy beaches it draws hikers.
By train or car
WHEN TO GO:
TIME IT TAKES:
Thirty-five minutes by train from downtown Copenhagen to downtown Malmo.
The view of the bridge from either shore.
Copenhagen – a compact city, worth a day or two’s exploration.
Malmo – a city of green open spaces and a pretty town centre.
The university town of Lund – the jewel of southern Sweden, with its magnificent cathedral and numerous beautiful gardens.
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A hefty toll is charged to road users who cross the Oresund Bridge. If you are Intending to cross several times, period passes are available at a more reasonable rate.