Skillinge is a coastal locality in Simrishamn Municipality. It lies within the province of Skåne in the southernmost part of Sweden. There are around 960 year-round inhabitants within the locality, but the population increases manyfold during the summer months. It is the summer and tourism that is one of the main industries here in addition to the more traditional occupations within the fishing industry.
A Short History of Skillinge
Skillinge has a long history as a fishing village with a small harbor. The meager growth at the local farmsteads meant that the farmers soon found their way to the sea for additional income in the 19th century. The fishing vessels found a secondary usage at this time when they were used for shipping along the coast. The fleet in Skillinge grew and the harbor did from the mid-19th century up until the mid-20th century housing a total of over 300 seafaring vessels. At its peak, this fleet of sailing ships was one of the most numerous in Sweden.
Most of today’s Skillinge dates back to after the great fire of 1868. Most of the village was at the time burned down and the street layout of today was set during the reconstruction. The traditional streets can, however, still be seen closer to the harbor.
Things to Do and See
Skillinge is mostly made up of residential areas with many one-family homes. It is when you reach the waterfront that you will understand why tourists are heading here during the summer months. There is the old fishing harbor here, but also a coastal walking path where you will find both canons as well as sculptures and objects related to Skillinge’s maritime past.
The harbor of Skillinge is one of the main attractions. This is where you will find the local marina as well as a few great viewpoints to watch out over the waters of the Baltic Sea.
The local maritime museum is housed in the former school building. It was founded in 1972 and tells the story of the great seafaring and shipping traditions of Skillinge from the 19th century up until the mid-20th century. The exhibitions include historic objects and photos to tell the story of Skillinge.
The local chapel dates back to 1946. It is also known by the name Sankt Pauli Sjöfararens kapell, or in English “The Saint Paul the Seafarer’s Chapel”. The chapel is actually housed in the stables of a former farmstead, a building that dates back to the 18th century. The Chapel is today a part of the Borrby-Östra Hoby Congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.
How to Get to Skillinge
- Flights: The nearest airports are Malmö Airport (MMX) to the west and Kristianstad Österlen Airport (KID) to the north. There is also Copenhagen Airport (CPH) right across the Öresund Strait in Denmark.
- Car: Skillinge lies along countryside roads south of Simrishamn.
- Bus: Buses from Skånetrafiken connects Skillinge with the surrounding area.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 622 kilometers (6 h 50 min)
- Gothenburg – 351 kilometers (3 h 50 min)
- Malmö – 100 kilometers (1 h 20 min)
- Linköping – 427 kilometers (5 h)
- Kiruna – 1852 kilometers (19 h 10 min)