"Between Sweden and Denmark" Ven by Sjalen

Ven Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 87 photos

Ven is known to Swedes for an old poem and later song known as "Flicka från Backafall". It is about a sailor on a ship in the Caribbean and all he really wants is to be back on beautiful Ven. It's not hard to understand why, and in these intro pictures, you see the "backafalls" that the island is so famous for. These are steep grassy cliffs by the sea ("hill falls") and are what gives Ven its special character. Well...along with the fact that it is right in between Sweden and Denmark, in the middle of the narrow Öresund Strait that separates the two countries. It is a bit closer to Sweden than to Denmark but the reason it became Swedish after the treaty with the Danes was that the Swedes demanded it so the Danes couldn't fortify it. On top of that, the Danes had already altered the island's county to belong to Helsingborg rather than Helsingoer.


Ven is also spelt in the old fashioned way of Hven sometimes since the island got its name from the word Hwaethaen, meaning "surrounded by (sea) spray" . There is also a legend claiming that the name comes from an old hag who ruled here. It was in any case only a Swedish spelling reform in 1906 which took away the "hv combination" in the language that changed this, much to the annoyance of the locals who felt it was a place name and not just any word - they therefore kept their spelling until 1958!

It is a small island, only about 7 kilometres long, which means I would probably go bananas if I lived here along with the other 370 people as everyone seems to know everything about each other (there used to be 1300 locals once). Apart from that though, people are extremely friendly and well aware of the fact that tourists bring the bacon but it still feels very genuine. Apart from the general tourists, astronomy students come from all over the world to see what is left of astronomer Brahe's famous observatory. Many locals commute by boat to Landskrona daily - something that must be horrible in winter, but which they clearly think worth it to be able to live on their paradise island. I can understand them. I first came here in May 2006, but have returned to the island as it is just too good to keep away from despite being rather small.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:easy to get around, scenic, great food and drink, lots of bikes and hardly any cars!
  • Cons:small, windy in bad weather
  • In a nutshell:Romantic weekend with good food
  • Last visit to Ven: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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