Österlen is the south-eastern tip of Skåne in the south of Sweden. It’s all about beautiful landscape, a slow pace of life and a friendly atmosphere. Österlen offers a unique mix of beautiful nature and interesting culture. Stroll through fields carpeted in colourful flowers, enjoy stunning views over the land and sea, and don’t miss the famous apple plantations.
Österlen offers picture perfect views and rolling white coastline, ancient ruins and pristine gardens, which is why it attracts so many artists. It’s a great place to combine rural pleasure with quiet, cultured sophistication.
Get active in Österlen
There’s lots to do in Österlen for a weekend or even a longer break. Try the golf courses in Vik, Sjöbo, Ystad and Tomelilla, take the old steam train into Brösarp, ride horses, enjoy water sports, including fishing and boating. Or stroll the cobbled streets of picturesque Ystad or Simrishamn.
Festivals and activities all year round
From early spring to late autumn, Österlen welcomes you with lots of events and festivals. Konstrundan, probably one of the world’s largest art exhibitions, takes place in springtime where local artists open their studios and workshops to visitors.
Matrundan is a culinary journey through Österlen’s food producers around Ascension weekend. Local growers, food artisans, farm shops, hotels, cafés and restaurants invite you to sample great local dishes prepared with love.
Österlen lyser is a festival of light held in late October/early November. Villages throughout Österlen display original lighting ideas, hold light processions, illuminate buildings and objects, and offer lots of food, drink and entertainment along the way.
September’s apple market in Kivik showcases the tens of thousands of kilos of apples grown in Österlen. Taste different flavours from the more than 90 vendors, check out who wins the “Golden Apple” award, sample great apple-based drinks and admire the artwork made entirely of apples. There are lots of children’s activities based around apples.
Find more events and activities in the area here.
Sandhammaren – Sweden’s most beautiful beach
Österlen’s most famous beach is the silky white strip called Sandhammaren, with white sand that matches the Caribbean. This 12-kilometre long strip of sand has been voted Sweden’s best beach several times. It’s perfect for sunbathing and water sports during hot summer days, or for taking long beachcombing walks all year round.
Farm shops & local delicacies
Drop by a quaint farm shop and pick up fresh, delicious, locally produced food. Food traditions are strong in this region due to the rich, fertile soils, mild climate, dedicated growers and surrounding water wildlife. Turn off the road and turn on to some great locally grown delicacies in one of the many farm shops. You can eat well at any number of country inns, harbour fish stalls and gourmet restaurants. Farm stalls sell vegetables, fruit and of course the region's celebrated apple cider.
Go on a taste tour
Fine foods around Ystad
Start by Österlenkryddor and sample different spices, then move on through Köpingsberg's vineyards, on to coffee at Olof Viktors, or a lunch in Ingelstorp at Pastafabriken (the Pasta factory). Continue along the road to Hagestad, lined with farm shops, flowers, furnishings and more. Start back towards Ystad past Södra Kompaniet to buy locally-produced sausage before ending your day in picturesque Kåseberga, enjoying artisan food at Kåseberga Fisk.
Very berry nice from Sjöbo
Enjoy the berry buffet and strawberry plate at Eriksgården close to Sjöbo before a meat feast at Tolånga 17. Pop by Glashyttans Orangeri for a mix of sustainable crafts combined with food culture. Skåne’s äggakaka (egg cake) is a dish not to be missed, so drop into Östarps Gästis and sample some of the best, along with a chance to experience 19th century rural life at Kulturens Östarp.
Delicacies and delights around Simrishamn
Squeeze your own canola oil at Gunnarshögs Gård. Meet Hans, Sweden's only mustard farmer at Petersborgs Gård, producing authentic Skåne mustard. Then drop by for coffee and a piece of delicious chocolate at Österlenchoklad in Skåne Tranås. Go on to Kiviks Musteri that makes delicious drinks from the local apples. Take in the farm-style shopping centre at Svabesholm and stroll in the English garden. Then head to Stenshuvud for a walk to the top with the beautiful views of Österlen or enjoy a swim at the beach.
Three towns you shouldn’t miss
See more than sea in Österlen
Österlen is famous for its beaches, but there’s so much more to do and see.
Dag Hammarskjölds Backåkra is a memorial estate and nature area in the Hagestad nature reserve that celebrate the life of the former UN Secretary General. Walk around the museum dedicated to his life, and to his taste in modern design. If you want a memorable marriage (or christening), then why not do it at the meditation ring, a circle of stones overlooking the sea just a couple of hundred metres away?
Snogeholm Land Art
Snogeholms hiking area with its mixed forests, hills, clearings and different hiking trails is the ideal place for project Land Art. Land art, or earth art involves creating art from natural, pure materials so that no impact is made on nature. Rock, soil, stone, wood, reeds and grass have been used to create six works of art in a "tour" of about 5-6 km. Take a walk in the woods, experience the art and take good care of the “artful” countryside.
Övedskloster is a castle in Öveds parish in Sjöbo municipality built in French rococo style. This red sandstone building is surrounded by beautiful avenues. Take a guided tour of the castle including the magnificent rooms and explore the history of a monastery that existed here from the 10th Century. Visit the farm that focuses on crops, forestry, and local organic beef production. If you fancy a swim, Lake Vombsjön is just a 10-minute walk from the castle.
Christinehof Castle in Tomelilla is an 18th Century Baroque style building and the former home of Christina Piper, one of the foremost female entrepreneurs in Swedish history. When her husband was captured in Russia in 1709, she began investing in more property and farms, and eventually employed around 900 people. Take a “storytell walk” and learn more about Christina or stroll down to the mill and enjoy a coffee. The Eco Park at Christinehof offers several excellent hiking trails, from 1.4 to 12 kilometres, all starting from the castle car park.
What to do in Österlen
Hike Sweden’s most beautiful paths
Hike along the Backaleden trail, from Alunbruket via Brösarp to Skepparp's winery in Haväng on the coast. This magic trail passes Hallamölla, Skåne's highest waterfall, then head to Brunnsvik creek, pass Brösarp village with its magnificent views. Don't miss Lindgrens Länga, an outdoor museum with an exhibition about the nature, culture and history of the Haväng area.
Enjoy the thrills at Äventyrscampen
This adventure camp in Sövde has lots of things to keep you happy. Try Sweden's first 12-metre high adventure course on 3 levels with 36 different stations. Discover the area on a mountain bike, play adventure golf, football golf or frisbee golf. Zipline along the countryside, scoot up the climbing wall or canoe on the lakes. Then relax in the sauna and take a dip in a big tub.
GO water cycling
RedBird water cycling lets you explore water from a new perspective. Enjoy the peace and tranquility on Sövde, Snogeholm or Gyllebosjön, the region’s most attractive lakes which are home to a diverse range of wildlife. The only sounds you hear are from birds, fish jumping and the gentle lapping of the water. The unique water cycles give you easy and safe access to the lakes. No special instruction is required. Life jackets are provided for your safety.
Try some “down to earth” adventures
Jordnära Upplevelser (down to earth experiences in Swedish) is an activity centre in Brösarp that offers tailor-made or group activities for mountain biking, trail running, and MTB. It also offers women only activities like MTB. The centre also runs “the Apple Train”, a guided apple safari for the whole family. It’s a 3-hour nature and apple experience visiting orchards, tasting freshly squeezed juices and even a lesson on apple culture.
Where to stay in Österlen
There are lots of great places to stay in Österlen, from camping and small country cottages to boutique hotels and spas. Here are just a few.
This small farm hotel places great attention to detail and minimalism. Enjoy stone-baked sourdough pizza, develop craft in the glass workshop, and redefine what a long, lazy breakfast really means. The rooms are simply, tastefully decorated using the highest quality materials. Buy home and locally grown produce from their garden shop and enjoy ice cream that is literally a frozen delight.
This charming B&B is in Alunbruket village and surrounded by the forest and River Verkeån which flows by. Alunbruket is part of Verkeån's nature reserve, one of the largest nature reserves in southern Sweden. If you love hiking or cycling, then you’re in the perfect place. Skåneleden, Backaleden and Sydostleden pass through Alunbruket. Enjoy deliciously brewed coffee together with home-made cakes and biscuits.
Karlaby Kro, close to Simrishamn, is among Österlen’s canola fields and cropland. The hotel’s restaurant offers excellent, locally produced food and great wine. Everything is about the personal touch. Step into the bar and enjoy a cappuccino, walk down to the kitchen and talk to the chefs, or choose your tea in the bar. Spoil yourself by lounging in your bathrobe for breakfast, take dinner when you want, and relax in the orangery. Swim by the pool, enjoy a sauna or enjoy one of the therapies on offer
This calm, peaceful spa hotel offers the best of the natural magic and history of Österlen. Kåseberga SPA is designed to feel like your second home, a place to treat yourself, relax and use as your starting point for exploring Skåne's beautiful east side. Soak in the outdoor jacuzzis, take a hot steam sauna, dangle your feet in the indoor fish-spa or book a treatment.