The well-preserved medieval town of FALKENBERG is named after the falcons that were once hunted here. With a long beach and a pleasing old quarter, it's a likeable little town, though it only really comes alive in July and August. Sir Humphrey Davy, inventor of the mining safety lamp, visited in the 1820s to go fly-fishing in the River Ätran that runs through town, and as its reputation for salmon spread, a succession of wealthy English countrymen followed him here, leaving their mark on the town. Today, the waters have been so overfished that it costs relatively little to try your hand in the two-kilometre stretch from the splendid stone Tullbron toll bridge of 1756 – permits are available from the tourist office from March to September, cost 80kr and allow you to catch up to three fish a day.
Regular buses and trains drop you close to the centre on Holgersgatan, just a couple of minutes from the tourist office in Stortorget (mid-June to Aug Mon– Sat 9.30am–6pm, Sun 2–6pm; Sept to mid-June Mon– Fri 10am–5pm; Tel:0346/8861 00, Web: www.falkenbergsturist.se ).
The comfortable and well-equipped youth hostel (Tel:0346/171 11, Web: www.falkenbergsturist.se/fbgvandrarhem ; mid-March to mid-Oct; Price: under Kr500), with dorm beds from 150kr, is 3km south of town on Hansagårdvägen, near Skrea beach. It's just a few minutes' walk through the neighbouring campsite (Tel:0346/171 07, Web: www.skreacamping.se ) at the southern end of the beach. The best-located hotel for the beach is the sprawling Strandbaden (Tel:0346/71 49 00, Web: www.strandbaden.elite.se ; Price: Kr900-1200); rooms are large and luxurious, and rates include entry to the Klitterbadhuset complex. More interesting is the charming eighteenth-century Hvitan at Storgatan 24 (Tel:0346/820 90, Web: www.hwitan.se ; Price: Kr700-900). The cheapest option is Hotel Steria, a ten-minute walk up from the river, at Arvidstorpsvägen 28 (Tel:0346/155 21, Web: www.hotelsteria.se ; Price: Kr500-700).
About the best place for lunch is the atmospheric Falkmanska Caféet, Storgatan 42 (closed Sun) in the oldest secular building in town; try the huge baguettes and decadent cakes. For outdoor eating, the CaféRosengården enjoys a great location just above the old bridge at Doktorspromenaden, while the trendy AZäta's restaurant/bar at Storgatan 37 attracts a younger crowd, with international dishes priced from 130kr. The poshest restaurant is Gustav Bratt, Brogatan l, near Tullbron bridge, serving good fish dishes and with prices from 200kr; it turns into a club on weekend nights.