The Kattegat is the shallow sea that lies west of Sweden’s southwestern landmass and east of Denmark’s Juntland peninsula covering an area of 22,287km2; with a maximum depth of 130m/328ft and an average depth of 23m/75ft. As the connecting link between the North and Baltic Seas via the Skagerrak, the Kattegat has a rich maritime history which almost certainly began with Viking voyages originating in the Kattegat circa 820 AD. Later, in medieval times, Dutch traders gave the strait its name from the Dutch words kat (cat) combined with gat (gate), suggesting that only a cat could pass through this narrow passageway.
Southwestern Sweden is classified as ocean climate, a warm temperated and humid climate experiencing crisp, cold winters with occasional snow between December and April, and warm summers. Although the Kattegat offers year round diving, there are seasonal water temperature changes to consider with November to April being a very cold 2-8C/36-46F while May through to October the water averages a warmer 10-18C/50-64F. Divers may also experience rougher seas with less visibility during the months of October to March. As long as winds are not stirring the water the best visibility can be expected from September to November.
Dominated by steep cliffs rising from the sea and rocky outcrops on the ridge above, the Kullberg peninsula protrudes out into Kattegat. At its outermost point sits Kullen lighthouse. For more than 1000 years a light has been visible from this outermost tip with the current, active lighthouse dating back to 1898. The Kullaberg area was inhabited as early as the Stone Age and contains stone circles, grave mounds, ancient village remains and other archeological features.
Kullaberg Nature Reserve was created in 1971, this was later expanded to include 300m into the waters that surround the land to be added as a marine reserve. The location of Kullaberg creates a sustainable, healthy environment for a variety of marine life including fish, crustaceans, sea urchins and muscles as salty water full of nutrients washes into the reserve from Kattegatt. Harbour porpoises also inhabit the area year round. The magnificent natural environment of Kullaberg has been awarded three stars in the “Guide Michelin” book of Swedish sights.