Signature Trail Österlen is one of STF’s signature trails.
Signature Trail Österlen in brief
- Length: 93 kilometres in total, 5–19 kilometres per day
- How much time: Seven days hiking, 1–8 hours per day.
- Number of overnight stays: Six
- Water/food along the trail: Shops, cafés and restaurants. You need to bring lunch and drinks.
- Accommodation during the hike: hostel, hotel and campsite.
Discover Skåneleden Österlen and Signature Trail Österlen
During a hike between Nybrostrand and Kivik, you get to experience both exciting cultural history and magnificent nature all in one. The trail runs over the ridge Kåsebergaåsen, which was created by the continental ice sheet 15 000 years ago. Sweden’s largest stone ship, Ale Stenar, is on this ridge. A beautiful, mythical and exciting place. During the hike, open landscapes are interspersed with dense deciduous forest. The terrain is everything from flat to rolling and sometimes steep. You hike over heaths shimmering in pink, white sandy beaches and sloping rocky slabs. Pretty much every step of the way is taken in a welcome sea breeze.
See and do along the trail
There are many galleries, as Österlen has always attracted artists of various kinds. There are also lots of apple orchards that sell both apples and apple products.
Bring swimwear! The hiking trail runs next to and on several beautiful beaches.
Stages of Signature Trail Österlen
Day 1: Nybrostrand-Backåkra: 19 kilometres, 6–8 hours of hiking.
Stay here: STF Backåkra Hostel
The section starts in the village Nybrostrand, just outside Ystad and initially runs along a sandy beach promenade. You then turn north and hike along Östra Kustvägen to Hammar. From here, the trail continues along the coastline once more. The hike passes the largest stone ship in Sweden, Ale Stenar after ten kilometres. You can load up on food and water here, there are cafés and restaurants. At Löderups strandbad, you walk up to Östra Kustvägen again and follow it east to STF Backåkra Hostel. The section is moderately difficult.
Day 2: Backåkra-Borrby strandbad: 10 kilometres, 3–4 hours of hiking.
Stay here: Borrbystrands Camping (Not STF accommodation, which means your membership discount does not apply and you cannot book via STF).
From the hostel take Bjeringsborgsvägen south and join Österlenleden again. From here, the trail is first on a heath and then through oak woodland. You then reach the sand dunes of Sandhammaren, which can be a bit of a difficult walk. The remainder of the section is on sand dunes, right by the sea. There is no food or water available along this section. At the end of the stage, Borrbystrands Camping, there is a little convenience store.
Day 3: Borrby Strandbad-Brantevik: 13 kilometres, 4–5 hours of hiking.
Stay here: STF Brantevik Hostel
The stage takes you along coastal roads and bike paths past the villages Örnahusen, Norrekås and Skillinge. Grazed wet meadows, open grass moors and sloping rock slabs are passed. Brantevik, the end of the stage, is a charming fishing village. The hostel is in the middle of the village. The is a shop and café in Skillinge, among other places, about halfway.
Day 4: Brantevik-Baskemölla: 13 kilometres, 4–5 hours of hiking.
Stay here: STF Baskemölla Hostel
The section between Brantevik and Simrishamn runs right along the coast via sandy beaches and meadows full of boulders. Once in the village of Baskemölla, you take Tjörnedalavägen north for about one kilometre in order to reach the hostel. It is a good idea to eat and refill your water bottle when you pass Simrishamn.
Day 5: Baskemölla-Kvik: 15 kilometres, 5–6 hours of hiking.
Stay here: STF Kivikstrand Badhotell
Walk back the same way you finished yesterday’s stage in order to join up with Österlenleden again. From here, the trail runs along the coast to the old fishing village of Vik. North of Vik, you enter the highlight of the section, Stenshuvud National Park, here there is an ascent of the hill with the same name. The last part of the section into Kivik is along the road. STF Kivikstrand Badhotell is in the middle of the village. You pass cafés and restaurants open in the summer along the way.
Day 6: Kivik-Haväng, 5 km, 1–2 hours of hiking.
Stay here: STF Haväng Hostel
You continue your hike north. On this day, the trail runs along Hanö Bay for the entire section. Since it is a short stage, there is time for sun and swimming if the weather permits. After leaving STF Kivikstrand Badhotell, follow the beach and hike through Vitemölla recreation area. Here you are walk on sand steppe which is a rare type of nature. An interesting and exciting place to stop could be the outdoor museum Lindgrens länga, which is in the recreation area. The trail heads inland at the end of the stage. After 300 metres, you reach STF Haväng Hostel, a genuine half-timbered house that dates back to the 19th century. There is no food or water available once you leave Kivik. The section is easy.
Day 7: STF Haväng-Kuskahusen, 18 km, 5–6 hours of hiking
Stay here: STF Andrarum Kuskahusen
On the last day of hiking, the trail leaves the sea and turns inland in a westerly direction. First you hike among grazing cattle, over the beautiful moors of Ravlunda. After crossing road 19, the trail meanders up and down the famous hills of Österlen, Brösarps backar, in Verkeån Nature Reserve. This area, which is magical and beautifully shaped by the Ice Age, has been used as a setting for the film The Brothers Lionheart and dairy company Arla’s advertising campaign Bregottfabriken. The day ends in a deciduous forest along the river Verkeån. At Hallamölla you pass the highest waterfall in Skåne. In order to get to the end of the stage STF Kuskahusen, you continue on the Skåneleden trail north about a kilometre after having passed Alunbruket. You then turn off Skåneleden and walk the last 600 metres to Kuskahusen. Water can be taken from a pump by Vantalängan (in the second half of the section), where there are also toilets. Cafés, restaurants and a shop can be found in Brösarp. The stage is moderately difficult.
Transport to the trail
The start is in Nybrostrand, 10 kilometres east of Ystad. There are both trains and buses to Ystad. From Ystad, you can take the bus to Nybrostrand. If you are driving, there are parking garages and long-stay parking in Ystad. For transport back to Ystad after the end of the hike we recommend taking a bus, which is a journey of about two hours depending on what time of day you make the journey.
"I think that the variation, both on the trail and in the surroundings, made it more special. I appreciated the meditation space at Backåkra, the breakfast at the hostel in Brantevik and the galleries in Kivik. And of course being so close to the sea!"
Our signature trails
What makes the signature trails distinctive is the beauty of their surroundings and that they are characteristic of their part of the country. Together, the trails paint a broad picture of what Sweden has to offer in terms of hiking and nature.
More about mountain hiking
The Swedish mountain range, which stretches from Treriksröset in the north to Dalarna in the south, offers fantastic hiking opportunities. Thousands of kilometres of marked hiking trails await you.