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The Österlen Way 73

Walking the Österlen Way

Overview

The Österlen Way is a circular trail in southeast Skåne (Scania), one of Sweden’s signature trails, starting and ending in Ystad, 56 km from Malmö. Our itinerary allows you to walk the southern and eastern parts of the trail between Ystad and Alunbruket. Most of the time, the walk follows the Baltic Sea coast, but at some points, the trail takes you inland into forests with oak, pine, and beech. The undulant hilly landscape culminates at Hammarsbackar and Stenshuvud, where you will enjoy fantastic views. During your walk, you pass through charming fishing villages and stay at small idyllic B&Bs and family-run hotels.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Ystad

You travel to Ystad by train or by bus. After check-in at your accommodation, you will have time to explore the city’s cobbled streets and half-timbered houses – a genuine Skåne cultural heritage founded around 1200. Or you can check the locations of the TV series about Kurt Wallander, the famous character created by Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell.

Day 2: Ystad to Kåseberga | 21 km

The first stage of Österlenleden is long but easy to hike. Follow the town along the shore, and you’ll come out in the Sand Forest, where many planting projects have taken place to keep the sand from blowing away. To the east is Nybroån, and the flowing water means the outlet is constantly changing. After Nybrostrand, you reach the Hammar hills, where a firework display of marigolds and honeysuckle blooms in spring: pure magic! On Kåsebergaåsen stands Ale Stenar (Ale’s Stones), Sweden’s largest ship set with 59 stones that have mysteriously arrived there. You can have dinner down in Kåseberga harbour after checking in at your accommodation.

Note that the standard accommodations in Kåseberga are 1.6 km from town; they do not have restaurants but can arrange catering on your request. It is more convenient to have dinner in Kåseberga before going to the accommodation. Upon request in advance, the owners might be able to pick you up from Kåseberga or drive you back for dinner. The accommodations also offer rental bikes.

Day 3: Kåseberga to Skillinge | 22 km

If you didn’t visit Ale Stenar yesterday, you once again have the opportunity to do so. You hike on pleasant paths to Löderups Strandbad, where you turn off from the sea and hike inland. You come down to the sea again at Sandhammaren, where you are greeted by endless sandy beaches and sand dunes. Bring your swimwear because the hike takes you past famous baths such as Mälarhusen, Sandby beach, Borrby beach and Kyhls strandbad. Arriving in the cosy fishing community of Skillinge, dating back to the 9th century, you’re sure to be in for a good dinner. The small town also has plenty of art studios to visit.

Dinner at the accommodation is served on request; please order in advance (payable on-site). Skillinge Hamnkrog www.skillingehamnkrog.se is open during the summer season. It is also possible to have dinner at Karnelund Krog www.karnelund.se, which is a famous restaurant. Again, reservation in advance is necessary. Please ask the hosts about a transfer.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 h, ↑145 m ↓145 m
  • Accommodation: Sjöbacka gård or similar in Skillinge or Hoby Gård (located at Hoby, a few km from Skillinge)

Day 4: Skillinge to Simrishamn | 13 km

A shorter stage awaits you today, so plenty of time for nice stops such as Gislövshammar, Brantevik and Örnahusen. For the bird lover, there are many good opportunities here. For those interested in history, a detour to the medieval castle of Glimmingehus is recommended. Finally, you reach the famous fishing town of Simrishamn. We would suggest that you end the day by having dinner at one of the nice local restaurants. After that, you might want to take a stroll through the old town and visit the harbour.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 3 h, ↑240 m ↓260 m
  • Accommodation: Kockska Gården or similar in Simrishamn

Day 5: Simrishamn to Kivik | 22 km

Today is the longest hike of the tour, so make sure to bring some food, snacks and enough water. The hike is varied: across meadows, forests, beaches and through charming fishing villages like Baskemölla and Vik. Climbing Stenshuvud mountain is the toughest part of the stage, but it offers great views of Hönö Bay. The last stage takes you through the apple orchards to Kivik. Cool off with apple juice when you reach the day’s final destination.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 h, ↑450 m ↓240 m
  • Accommodation: Agda Lund or similar in Kivik

Day 6: Kivik to Brösarp | 12 km

You start the hike along the beach, past Kivik’s famous marketplace, and through the Vitemölla hiking area. The trail turns inland, and you hike over Ravlunda’s heath. Finish along the rolling hills of Brösarp before reaching your hotel in the little village of Brösarp.

Day 7: Brösarp to Alunbruket | 14 km

The last day of the trip takes you into Skåne’s beech forests, where the light filters through the treetops and a truly magical atmosphere prevails. The trail follows the stream “Verkeån”, with plenty of bird life, and if you’re lucky, you may see trout spawning in the river. The trail then continues across pastures and passes Christinehof’s eco-park with the historic Andrarum alum mill. Check-in at your accommodation and celebrate having hiked the Österlen Trail!

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 4-5 h, ↑620 m ↓550 m
  • Accommodation: Alunbruket B&B or similar

Day 8: Departure

Departure or an extra day on request. Transfer to Brösarp Bus Station/city is included.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodations on this tour include a mix of charming 3-star hotels and guesthouses/farms with ensuite rooms. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and/or unique services.

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*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days, as well as one light dinner. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the hotel you are staying at or at the village restaurants.

Difficulty & terrain

The grade is easy to moderate, and the longest day is 22 km. The total walking distance is 103 km. The walking is not challenging (3-6 hours per day), but it is sometimes an undulating landscape. The ground varies from narrow paths over beaches and forest roads to smaller village roads and shorter sections along country roads (read more about difficulty grades). Österlenleden is well-marked. Walking inland and through forests, you follow the orange circles. Walking along the coast, you follow the sea. There are signs when the trail changes direction. Comprehensive route notes and maps are supplied. You can also call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available to start on any date between the beginning of March and the end of November. Daytime summer temperatures normally range from 15°C to 25°C. The air is relatively humid, making warm days feel warmer and cold days colder. The best time to visit is June-August, with the warmest month being July, with an average temperature of 20°C. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Copenhagen

By train or bus

Arrival: It is easy to reach Ystad by train from Copenhagen with a change of trains in Malmö (90 km total, 1.5 h).

Departure: After a short transfer from Alunbruket to the Brösarp (included), you can travel by bus to Tomelilla, Simrishamn or Ystad. From the chosen destination, you can continue your travel by train. The closest international airport is Copenhagen (120 km from Brösarp).

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in private rooms in 3-star hotels and guesthouses as listed in the itinerary
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Light evening meal in Alunbrucket
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information: personalised trip notes and map (emailed before departure and a hard copy provided at the first hotel; one set per room), GPS tracks
  • Luggage transfers (1 pc up to 20 kg per person) on the walking days
  • Transfer Alunbruket – Brösarp station on Day 8
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on the spot)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights
  • We can book other hotels on request

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