Ales Stenar has all the mystery of England’s Stonehenge, with none of the commercial fanfare. The 67m-long oval of stones, shaped like a boat, was probably constructed around AD 600 for reasons unknown. Limited excavations at the site have revealed no bones; it’s possible that this wasn’t a grave but a ritual site, with built-in solar calendar (the ‘stem’ and ‘stern’ stones point towards the midsummer sunset and midwinter sunrise).
The enigmatic ship is in the middle of a raised field, with an uncannily low and level 360-degree horizon. In the summer, a diminutive roadside tourist office provides information and runs tours.
Free to visit and always open, Ales Stenar lies 19km east of Ystad at Kåseberga. It’s badly served by public transport, although bus 392 from Ystad runs daily in summer. At other times, take bus 570 from Ystad to Valleberga kyrka, and then walk 5km south to Kåseberga.