With light feet you go through the popular recreation area called Sandskogen (the Sandy Woodland). There are good spots for swimming and fishing along the long beach. The remains of an ancient sea, a medieval town and an unpredictable river bed give a new perspective to the concept of time.
The first section of the Österlenleden Trail offers easy walking and follows roads through town and then along footpaths and cycle tracks along the shore. Here you walk between sandy hills and woodland. The route passes through the whole of Sandskogen.
Further inland there are about ten sandbanks which run parallel with the coast. They were created 4000-7000 years when this area was at the shore of an ancient sea; The Litorina Sea.
Next to the Trail you can see an abandoned river bed with strange plants such as adder's tongue fern, coralroot orchid and common twayblade. The River Nybroån runs a kilometre or so to the east, and it is forever changing its course. The streaming water meets no resistance, due to the loose sand, and thus constantly creates a new path.
You walk on historical ground through the town of Ystad; over cobbles, past medieval buildings and through an irregular network of streets. The town was founded around 1200 and is one of the most well conserved medieval towns in Sweden. Ystad is also home to the police inspector Kurt Wallander from the well-known detective series.
Follow the walkway to Sandskogen, just like the residents of Ystad have done for hundreds of years. There are lots of buildings dating from the early days of seaside holidays. Historical seaside hotels, cafés and summer houses in different creative styles.
Ystad's Sandskog was an open sandy area 200 years ago and sand drift was a big problem. Different planting projects finally resulted in woodland becoming established. The pine woodland you see today was planted at the beginning of the 1900s