It's no wonder that so many artists call southern Sweden home – the light seems softer, the foliage brighter and the shoreline more dazzling.
Skåne (Scania) was Danish property until 1658 and still openly flaunts its uniqueness – the heavy Skånska dialect, a wealth of half-timbered houses and the region’s hybrid flag – a Swedish yellow cross on a red Danish background. Marvellous, multicultural Malmö, Skäne's largest and Sweden's third-largest city is today linked to Copenhagen by the Öresund bridge, a marvel of modern engineering.
South of Malmö, Viking heritage abounds, while to the north, elegant and erudite Lund, is Sweden’s answer to Cambridge. Dramatic cliffs dominate Skåne’s northwestern coast, while its east is a gentler affair with miles of sandy beaches and its medieval showpiece, Ystad.
Northeast of Skåne, forested Blekinge län (county) was the seat of Sweden’s 17th-century sea power; beautifully preserved baroque Karlskrona is the jewel in its crown.