Gräsgårds Harbour
28 June 2021
Ten day trip treasures

Day trip treasure 8. The Bird Route

The bird route

This route called Fågelvägen is a 50-km coastal road which has been designated as tourist road due to its unique attractive nature. It runs through the heart of the World Heritage Site of Southern Öland, from Gårdby in the north to Ottenby in the south. Along this scenic route you will find a wide range of ancient fortresses, bird locales, rune stones, windmills, churches, linear villages, hiking trails, nature reserves and much more.

Deserted village of Dröstorp

A beautiful, meandering road runs across the alvar from Skarpa Alby, before it splits after a kilometer or so. To the left, a road will lead to Prästgropen and Torrör, while the road to the right continues to the deserted village of Dröstorp. Öland's population increased so dramatically during the 18th century that the farmland could no longer support everyone. Many people left Öland and when the last inhabitants left Dröstorp at the end of the 19th century, the wooden houses were moved to another village. The farm buildings made of stone were left behind and their ruins can still be found here. Today, the deserted village of Dröstorp is an exciting day-trip destination throughout the year, but perhaps mostly during the spring when the orchids flower on the alvar and the skylark's bubbling warble fills the air.

priest hollow

Out on Dröstorp's alvar lies Prästgropen. It is a popular picnic spot, protecting visitors from the winds that blow across the alvar. The hollow was probably formed when the roof of a prehistoric cave collapsed.

Dry pipe

Also called Tornrör, this is the largest and most impressive Bronze Age mound of stone on the Dröstorp alvar. It is about 10 meters in diameter with a dry-stone edge of three layers of limestone slabs around it.

Sandby fortress

There are 15 ancient Iron Age fortresses on Öland. Excavations at Sandby fortress indicate that this place has a gruesome history. About 1,500 years ago, the inhabitants of the fortress were the victims of a brutal massacre. The place was abandoned and all human remains were left behind. The incident was forgotten until only a few years ago, when excavations began. At a glance, there is not more to see than just the crumbled wall. If you want to experience what the fortress may have looked like, you can visit the reconstructed Eketorp fortress which existed at the same time as Sandby fortress and had a similar appearance and layout. The archaeological findings from Sandby fortress are exhibited at the Kalmar County Museum.