Let me take you on a trip to unique attractions located in the Skåne region. The first one is called Ales stenar. This mystical early iron-age monument consists of 59 stones that form a shape of a Viking longship!
The way to Ales stenar
Ale’s stones, Ales stenar, are located in Kåseberga, around a 10-minute drive from the town of Ystad. No one knows who or why these 5-ton heavy stones are placed on the hill facing the Baltic sea. Some people believe that it has been a burial site or used for ceremonies, others think that the stones are an ancient astronomical clock. At least you can forecast the time of the summer solstice by the location of the stones. What I think is the most interesting fact about the stones, is that they form a shape of a ship. You don’t notice this right away but you can see if you have a chance to marvel at the place from above.
The easiest way to access the stones is to drive to a nearby parking area (not so many parking spots so be early!) and climb up to the hill. You can find a small kiosk, a restaurant and toilets just next to the parking area.
While you are walking up the hill, mind your steps! There are cows grazing all over the meadow so you might step into an unwanted surprise 😉
It also should be obvious without saying, but it is not allowed to climb on these stones. They are over 1000 years old, god sake! Now we saw two kids (not Swedish but from a central European country) climbing and jumping off the stones with the mom just calmly looking at her offspring. Please, respect the cultural heritage sites of other countries. You won’t break your kids by setting them some boundaries.
You should visit Ystad on your way to Ales stenar. My boyfriend’s mom thinks that this is the prettiest town in Sweden, and I don’t think she is exaggerating too much. This town used to belong to Denmark until the year 1658, and the Danish history is still visible in architecture, restaurants and dialect. The town has only 20,000 inhabitants but it feels bigger than that. It’s a quite popular tourist destination, with people coming from Denmark, Germany and elsewhere Europe.
We ended up tasting Danish sausages, pølse, that I ordered in Swedish. The salesperson replied something, I think it was a question, but I understood zero of it. Simply zero. If you have ever been imposed to the infamous Skåne dialect, you understand my pain. That dialect is a mix of Swedish, Danish, “having a hot potato in your mouth” with a hint of Dutch.
Extra tip: visit Sweden’s apple capital
If you have a chance to drive a bit north of Ystad, you should stop in the town of Kivik. That is known as Sweden’s apple capital. Yeah, apple capital might not sound that sexy but it was actually a pretty cool place. When we went there, the apples happened to be in season (mid-September), which made the visit even better.
You can stop at some local apple farms and purchase fresh apples. There were also random tables by the sides of roads. On the table, you find bags of different apple varieties and a small tin box to pay (or a number to Swish your money to). That operates purely on an honesty principle. When in Kivik, make sure to visit Kivik Musteri. That is a family-owned company founded in 1888 offering basically everything you can make of apples: juice, sparkling wine, jam, lollies, marmalade, and fresh apples of course. We bought a bottle of non-alcoholic apple sparkling, and oh my god, that was tasty! I regret not buying more.
This was my first trip to a couple of interesting places located nearby! Give me more tips on places to go to!