Located on the Swedish west coast, Varberg is a town with some 29,000 inhabitants. Here the rocky Bohuslän coast meets the open Halland coast with its long sandy beaches. There are numerous beaches located very centrally. Apelviken, known as Northern Europe’s best surfing location, is situated south of the town.
The town has a complicated early history and is actually the town in the Nordic region that has moved the most times. It has had five different locations, however, as “a grid town”, Varberg’s current location took shape in the 1660s. Construction of Varberg’s castle and fortress started in the 13th century on the cliff at Wardberg. Ward means guard and this was where beacons (large fires) were lit as signals for defence. The fortress has been home to numerous kings and queens throughout its history.
Life in Varberg’s health resort developed during the 19th century after a spring was discovered in Apelviken. The buildings that were used then remain and still have the same function: Kallbadhuset (the Cold Bathhouse), Varmbadhuset (the Hot Bathhouse) and Society Park. In addition there are several hotels with spa sections. They all have their specific focus, with everything from thalasso spa (salt water spa) to Asian spa.Varberg is one of Sweden’s largest tourist towns and tourism therefore plays a major role in its economic life. However, there is a wide range of industries in Varberg. Large food producers, distribution companies and creative IT businesses and consultants feel at home here. A major sector is the footwear industry. Innumerable designers, agents and wholesalers have their head offices in the town. Breathtaking 70 percent of all shoes in Sweden passes through Varberg.