Österlen

 
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In paid partnership with Visit Skåne

A guide to Österlen in Sweden

Perched on Sweden's south-eastern tip, the idyllic coastline of Österlen invites you to relax on white sand beaches, cycle around quaint villages and enjoy a fika-moment in beautiful orangeries. A local summer haven, this small piece of land is picture perfect, and a serene sanctuary.

 
 
 
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Kivik facades and beach (first and last image); home-made pasta at Pastafabriken; interior details at Örum 119 hotel and restaurant.

Kivik facades and beach (first and last image); home-made pasta at Pastafabriken; interior details at Örum 119 hotel and restaurant.

 
 

 

I get a little sad when I think of the summer of 2018. Not because anything disheartening happened, but because I fear all summers to come will have to compete with it. And I fear they won’t win. 



You might think this is all to do with the scorching temperatures we—and so many other regions of our fragile world witnessed. And of course, trying to put aside the terrifying reasons for this change in weather, the rare fact that we could swim in the ocean every day was pretty great. 
However, I blame the summer success on our usual lack of planning ahead. As well as our aversion to getting on an air plane during summer. And as a result hereof, our spontaneous trip to spend a week in Österlen, just a two hour drive from Copenhagen.

Why we have never visited this area of Skåne before is beyond me, especially considering my ever-growing love affair with our neighboring country. So close to home, so incredibly charming, and pretty much the perfect summer vacation destination.



Please scroll down to end of post for a guide on where to eat, sleep and my best tips to Österlen.

 
 
 
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Greenhouse at Mellby Klockargård; caprese salad and bathroom details at Örum 119; roadside fields.

Greenhouse at Mellby Klockargård; caprese salad and bathroom details at Örum 119; roadside fields.

 
 
 

On a sunny day, we start our morning with breakfast on the patio of our Airbnb in Kivik. A charming old fishing village with a small selection of cafés, a bakery, and an old school ice cream truck serving frozen treats from local ingredients. We go for a dip in the sea from the beach that has an almost tropical vibe to it; its lush trees dipping their leaves in the sparkling water. From there, we stroll through the winding streets with quaint and colorful wooden houses, making a stop at the playground, followed by lunch at the local fish restaurant on the harbour. It’s a low-key eatery, we sit outside in the shade, listening to the ocean whilst eating our grilled salmon with potato salad.

We take it slow, stroll around aimlessly, and completely wind down. Because that’s the kind of place Österlen is. There’s plenty of things to do and see; but there’s also a feeling that it’s completely okay to just relax, be in nature, spend an entire day doing nothing, allowing the days to slowly vanish into one another. 



For dinner, we choose between a surprisingly large selection of eateries for such small area, all of them incredibly charming. This evening, we opt for the savory crêpes at Franskans Crêperie, a barn-like restaurant filled with vintage chairs, smiling young locals behind the counter, and a backyard garden with enough tables to seat everyone going out this mild June evening. Most of them greet each other; most likely locals from the area, and people living in Malmö spending every summer in family vacation houses on Österlen.

 
 
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Greenhouse café at Mellby Klockargård; Stenshuvud beach; garden restaurant at Fridens Gårdskrog

Greenhouse café at Mellby Klockargård; Stenshuvud beach; garden restaurant at Fridens Gårdskrog

 
 

 

Österlen is small—if you want to, you can see most of it in just a few days—but its charm way outgrows it. From Haväng in the north to Ystad in the south, the 80 kilometres of coastline is filled to the brim with stunning nature reserves, small towns, and beautiful beaches. There’s also a couple of sights in the area, and a good selection of routes for either hiking or biking. But what I fell for was the calm, the quiet, the serenity. Omnipresent throughout our stay, and especially during our last few days at the Örum 119 hotel. The afternoon coffee breaks (also known as the ‘fika’ time) in the beautiful garden, children running around playing, asking for an ice cream from the hotel’s ice cream stand. Parents in the shade enjoying a glass with friends, chefs getting the home-made pizza dough ready for tonight’s service.



It was a feeling of familiarity, of home, of serene summer idyll. Brought to us by the kindness of everyone we met, by the wild and untouched landscape transporting us light years away from Copenhagen, despite its proximity to home. It could have rained every day of our stay, and I feel confident we would have still created these beautiful summer memories.

 
 
 
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Field flowers of the area; interiors and lunch in the garden at Örum 119; pathway in Stenshuvud national park.

Field flowers of the area; interiors and lunch in the garden at Örum 119; pathway in Stenshuvud national park.

 
 
 

Locals we talked to said that this area is not unknown to tourists and visitors, yet, it somehow felt like it. It was not crowded at all, and felt a bit untouched, unspoiled. It reminded me of the popular Danish island of Bornholm—located in the Baltic Sea just off the Österlen coast—with its wild nature, white beaches and sand dunes. And the similar emphasis on food made from local, seasonal ingredients that has made Bornholm quite the attraction in recent years. Same goes for the many local restaurateurs, hotel keepers, ice cream makers and farmers who make sure there are plenty of interesting experiences awaiting in Österlen. But as a contrast to Bornholm, no flocks of tourists around.

One of these local places that is worth visiting in Österlen is Mellby Klockargård, a place I discovered via beautiful images on Instagram. There was a greenhouse café, a lovely garden, and what looked like the prettiest rooms shrouded in Swedish countryside charm, so I had to see this combined bed&breakfast and café/restaurant. It did not disappoint, and although we only managed to go for an afternoon coffee and cake (we easily adopted the daily fika tradition), I promised myself to go back here next time. For a lunch or dinner made from vegetables, berries and fruit grown at the farm, for a stay in one of the charming rooms, and most definitely for another fika moment.

 
 
 
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Lunch and dinner is served at Mellby Klockargård, where you can also stay in one of the lovely rooms in this charming bed&breakfast.

Lunch and dinner is served at Mellby Klockargård, where you can also stay in one of the lovely rooms in this charming bed&breakfast.

 
 
 
 

Another place serving a great meal with a lovely vibe was Pastafabriken in Ingelstorp, close to Örum. Bringing the warmth and charm of Italy to Skåne, pasta is close to religion here, made in the factory in the back (‘fabrik’ translating to factory’) and served with natural wines and a small selection of tasty starters. I think we spent the better of three hours here; just relaxing in the sun, sipping coffee and enjoying Italian treats after our meal, letting the kid crawl around exploring every pot of herb and stone on the ground. 


We only spent five days in Österlen, but the trip made the entire summer of 2018 stand out. And although this year will have a tough time competing with it—scorching temperatures or normal ones alike—I will try to not get sad and emotional about time passed. Instead, I will cherish the fact that small pieces of untouched paradise still exist in this fragile world of ours. And that they’re so easily accessible within a two hour drive from home.

 
 
 
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Come for the pasta, stay for the atmosphere. Pastafabriken in Ingelstorp offers home made pasta and natural wines for lunch and dinner with a Southern European vibe on the side. The three founders are also behind famous bakery Söderberg och Sara serving the ‘kanelsnurrar’ in Malmö and Ystad

Come for the pasta, stay for the atmosphere. Pastafabriken in Ingelstorp offers home made pasta and natural wines for lunch and dinner with a Southern European vibe on the side. The three founders are also behind famous bakery Söderberg och Sara serving the ‘kanelsnurrar’ in Malmö and Ystad

 
 
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Österlen Glass serves ice cream from local ingredients. Find the stall on the harbour of Kivik, where you will also find fish restaurant Buhres serving freshly caught sea food on the waterfront

Österlen Glass serves ice cream from local ingredients. Find the stall on the harbour of Kivik, where you will also find fish restaurant Buhres serving freshly caught sea food on the waterfront

 

ÖSTERLEN GUIDE

Eat + Drink

Pastafabriken Ingelstorp
| Our favourite eatery in the area; great pasta and natural wines in a lovely setting. Sit outside in the backyard and stay a while.
Friden Gårdskrog | Very popular kid-friendly restaurant serving delicious pizzas in a beautiful garden. It’s widely popular, so book ahead during the high season.
Franskans Crêperie | Sweet and savoury crêpes in an informal setting.
Mandelmanns trädgårdar | Organic farm serving cakes and baked goods, as well as a simple lunch.
Örum 119 | Stay at the charming hotel, or visit the beautiful pizza restaurant in an old barn with a beautiful garden
Mellby Klockargård | Fika, lunch and dinner served in the stunning greenhouse. A fairy-tale place.
Talldungens Gårdshotel | Fine dining with a Southern European twist (we didn’t go here, but I’ve only heard great things from foodie friends I highly trust!)
Olof Viktors | Cosy farm café serving light lunch dishes, home-baked cake and coffee

Do + Visit

Haväng | Nature reserve with beautiful sandy beaches and meadows
Kivik | Cosy little town with a harbour, great ice cream shop, and a charming little beach
Stenshuvud Nationalpark | Almost tropical-like beach reached after a good walk through woods and fields

Stay

Orum 119 | Charming countryside hotel with 15 rooms, a pizza restaurant (go even if you’re not staying here) and ice cream shop
Mellby Klockargård | Seven rooms in a romantic setting, café and restaurant in the greenhouse outside Kivik
Talldungens Gårdshotel | A lavish five-course dinner followed by a stay in one of 18 beautiful rooms


— This post was created in paid partnership with Visit Skåne —