The coming season of 2021

We are entering a new year - we write 2021 in the calendar. In other words it is now 40 years ago since the Viking ships were discovered in the bay of Foteviken, starting our Foteviken history.

Looking back

The first 10 years were spent with the association SVEG, the Scandinavian Viking Explorer Group, in which we explored the Viking Age in Scandinavia by travelling to famous sites like Hedeby, Jellinge, Ribe, Lejre, Ă–land, Birka, Borre, Hafsford and many more. At this time we also had our base of operations down by the Falsterbo channel while looking for land on the Falsterbo peninsula.

Exploration of ship wrecks and marine archaeology were at the top of the list. For this we needed boats, a raft, diving gear, measuring instruments etc.

It was an exciting time when we located about 40 wrecks in the waters around the Falsterbo peninsula. The most well known among them are Tegelvraket, Skanörskoggen and of course the Knösen wreck.

We spent a couple of years examining the Knösen wreck before moving on to the Skanör cog, having secured Tegelvraket on the bottom of the sea.

We received plenty of assistance from ALU at the time, providing us with unemployed archaeologists, divers, marketers, carpenters, film crew and more. A very exciting pioneer time for us all.

In the mid 1990s we gained access to the land at Foteviken. Here we would move on to establish the Foteviken Museum as a research facility for marine archaeology, experimental archaeology and later on re-enacting.

We soon realized that re-enactment of our history around the Viking Age, with the Battle of Foteviken as the guiding light, would be an interesting concept for both the locals and visiting tourists.

And it has now been 26 years since we moved here, and 25 years since we held our first Viking market.

Looking back now one might wonder how we managed to succeed.

Viking World @ Foteviken. Today the area includes the Foteviken Viking Museum with its reconstructed Viking town. Fotevikens Kulturcenter and the Foteviken Stugby holiday cottages offering 17 cottages and 16 motorhome parking spaces.

The Point Höllviken -- our scenic vantage point with picnic tables, grill site and stunning view of the sea. The Foteviken Office Hotel, Höllviken Community Centre with Foteviken Gallery and last but not least Smokey BBQ & Pickles, our Texas BBQ inspired restaurant with a large outdoor seating area, Smokey Hall and Music Hall which offers indoors seating for up to 200 people, and the Smokey Wine Bar.

The season of 2021

Then last year everything was turned upside down. What about this year?

The motorhome site will hopefully fill up more than last year, and perhaps toward the end of the summer we will receive non-Swedish visitors once again.

Svemester/hemester (holiday at home) might become a deciding factor for our newly renovated holiday cottages. We have built a new reception office building for the cottages with toilets and a heating kitchen for our motorhome visitors. Smokey BBQ & Pickles has managed to hibernate through a mix of restaurant visitors, take-away orders and strange open hours due to current government restrictions.

Last year we had a lot fewer visitors than earlier seasons, about 15% of our usual numbers and we were forced to delay opening the museum for the season until the Swedish national day (June 6). Our visitors were almost exclusively Swedes. This year we will open at Walpurgis night as usual and hope for vaccination to allow more visitors to come. We hope to receive greater numbers of our European visitors again by August / September.

The museum programme this year will focus on re-enactment through activity theatre and Viking games, allowing our visitors to see contests of rövkrok, sparke bläister, archery and more in the daily Viking Games, along with the play activity areas where the whole family can try them out.

We also look forward to visiting Viking groups throughout the season, as well as the Viking week with activities and the market, as well as the thematic family week and children's week and harvest feast.

Will we see a return to the form of previous seasons? We hope so, but only time will tell. We will be here throughout the year for our friends, Vikings and obviously for our visitors.