Grötvik – a culture and activity gem

About five kilometres outside the university, industrial, recreational and port city of Halmstad, on the way to Tylösand, lies the old fishing village Grötvik and Grötvik Hamn with a charming marina and solid stonemason’s history.

The site is characterised by a rocky coastline with old stone quarries where in the middle of the 19th century the paving stone, Söndrumsgnejs, was cut, which was transported to Denmark and Germany, among other places. Today Grötvik is one of Halmstad’s many popular attractions with experiences such as lovely beaches, adventurous activities, tasty food, an interesting cultural history, and beautiful nature.

 The marina in Grötvik in Halmstad

The marina in Grötvik

Picturesque marina full of life and activity

One landmark for Grötvik is the picturesque marina, some of which is located in one of the old stone quarries and is accessed via a canal. Take a stroll and check out the beautiful boats, or sit down at the cosy harbour restaurant that offers both excellent meals and thirst-quenching drinks. There are also a number of parking spots and guest berths in the harbour provided by the yacht club Grötviks Segelsällskapexternal link, opens in new window – perfect for an overnight stay with motorhome!

A paradise for climbers and wakeboarders

If you continue past the harbour, you will arrive at Bastaskärsbrottet, also called the coal quarry as there has previously been a layer of coal under the water. If you like fast-paced and adventurous activities, this is an absolute must for you. Halmstad Wakepark is home to a popular cable park for wakeboarding and a natural meeting venue for people of all ages. Even if you have some hesitation about trying wakeboarding yourself, it can be almost as much fun to participate as a spectator. In the vicinity of Halmstad Wakepark there are also several rock climbing paths of a variety of difficulty for those with their own equipment. Contact the Halmstad Klätterklubb/ HalmstadRock Climbing Clubexternal link, opens in new window for more information.

Climber in Bastaskärbrottet in Grötvik in Halmstad

Climber in the quarry with Wakeparken in the background

Hiking trails, kayaking and surfing

Thanks to the rocky coast, the waves from Kattegat are broken in such a way that makes Grötvik an excellent place for all types of water sport activities. Days with big waves create challenges for those on a surfboard, while calm days are suitable for gliding along with a kayak. Directly adjacent to Grötvik and Spritkullen is the aeolian sand Eketånga Nature Reserve (Swe),external link, opens in new window an area shared by mushroom pickers and trail runners.

Bicyclists and hikers are often glimpsed in Grötvik as Halmstad’s perhaps most beautiful hiking trail runs through the whole of Grötvik, the 18 km Prince Bertil’s trail. Lace-up your most comfortable walking shoes or pump up your bike tires and explore – a Grötvik that surprises!

Art and culture

Grötvik’s environment has inspired many artists, not least the Halmstad Group, who found inspiration in the famous “pearl candle.” Sculptor Walter Bengtsson also had a special relationship with Grötvik. “From here, I will never move” he declared as he stood in his studio, which was originally a stonemason’s forge out by the beach. Today, the studio is managed by the Walter Bengtsson Foundation in Ateljé Bastaskär, established to preserve the artist’s workshop. Adjacent, during the summer there is both an exhibition and a café.

Walter Bengtsson från Halmstad

Walter Bengtsson

Historic sights

Between 1876 and 1965, the Quarry in Söndrum at Grötvik was one of Sweden’s largest quarries. Several hundred men worked there around the clock, and the port was full of boats onto which the rock was loaded and shipped off to both Europe and America. The mottled red stone of Söndrum can be found in the Presidential Monument in Washington, the Peace Palace in The Hague and the Svenska kyrkan in Paris. Today, nature has taken back large parts of the old stonemasonry. In addition to the historical remains from the stonemasonry work, gunpowder cellars can still be found where explosives were stored. Visitors can also investigate several memorial stones and enjoy panoramic views from Spritkullen Hill.

Three historic sights

  • Kungastenen (the Kings Stone) located between Grötvik and Sandhamn, carries inscriptions of three kings: Oscar II, Gustaf VI Adolf and Carl XVI Gustaf. The inscriptions show that at different times each of these visited the stone quarry.
  • Ormastenen is a stone erected in memory of sea captain Johan Christopher Woltmann’s 100th voyage on the ship Laguna. Between the years 1875 and 1900 he transported stone to Laguna from the quarries in Söndrum.
  • The gunpowder cellar. Explosives from the quarry were stored in the gunpowder cellar. Gunpowder was used because its explosive effect was gentle on the stone. The explosives were delivered by rail to Söndrum Station and from there were transported at night by horse and carriage under the supervision of a fjärdingsman (parish constable).
 Ice skating quarry in Grötvik in Halmstad on a cold winter

Ice skating quarry in Grötvik on a cold winter, photographed from Spritkullen. Photo: Johan Davidsson

Fantastic views and magical sunsets

At the heights above Halmstad Wakepark you can find the beautiful vantage point Spritkullen with vast vistas on a clear, sunny day. Fun fact: the name (which literally means “distilled spirits hill”) is said to be derived from the fact that at the end of the 19th century there was a trading post here where transactions for the coveted Söndrumsgnejsen were made where part of the payment consisted of distilled spirits. From here you get spectacular views of Kattegat and Laholm Bay.

As you yourself will notice, there is something very special about the light in Grötvik. A good tip: buy a cosy evening picnic, sit down on one of the cliffs while watching the west coast’s most magical sunset. In the autumn and winter, this can be the best place to experience the strong winds that cause the waves to crash dramatically against the shore.

Information in the map is in Swedish. Click the icon in the top right corner of the map to open in Google Maps. To view and hide different layers, as well as to see all visitor destinations, click on the icon in the top left corner of the map.

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