St. Bernard’s lilies and black-tailed godwits
Hulterstad Alvar is an open and beautiful area of limestone where first hoary rock-roses bloom in June and biting stonecrop lights up the expansive gravel alvar areas later in the summer. In the western parts, there are flat rocky areas of limestone and karst fissures where the St. Bernard’s lily has one of its more abundant occurrences on Öland.
Hike to the Tingstad stones
Far out on the Stora Alvar, on a beach embankment formed by ancient seas, stand the legendary Tingstad stones, Öland’s most famous thingstead. Alvar paths, now long forgotten, once led from numerous villages to this place, where important decisions were made, justice was done and people’s fates were decided. From Hulterstad, you can hike along a 7 km path to the Tingstad stones. The path initially follows the old district road towards Kastlösa and passes wetlands where you can see northern lapwings, black-tailed godwits and Eurasian curlews. Further out on the alvar, the St. Bernard’s lily blooms together with the hoary rock-rose, breckland thyme and swallow-wort. At the mid-wall, which was built when the outlying fields were divided between villages and parishes in the 1800s, turn north for about two kilometres, before you turn west and reach the beach embankment where the stones are located.
Characteristic alvar limestone flora
Hoary rock-rose is characteristic of the Hulterstad Alvar. In the western part of flat rocky areas of limestone and karst, there are fairy flax, swallow-wort and breckland thyme. In deeper soil there is tufted milkwort and limestone wormwood. The St. Bernard’s lily is rare on the island of Öland but is most prominent on the Hulterstad Alvar. There is also plenty of shrubby cinquefoil, bird’s-eye primrose and devil’s-bit scabious at Penåsabäcken and in the wetlands.
Rich bird life
Size: 859 ha, (2123 acres)
Year of creation: 1998
Purpose: To maintain the unique grazing-based cultural landscape and the vegetation types that are representative for areas of alvar, to provide good conditions for both typical and rare plants and animal species, to preserve and improve the visibility of cultural relics, and to facilitate the public’s experience of the natural and cultural assets in the area. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
The reserve is located just to the west of Hulterstad village in south-eastern Öland. In the centre of the village there is a road leading to the car park at the start of the alvar.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 56.44617 , 16.56575
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (678 kB): Hulterstad Alvar
Download: the entire brochure (in Swedish only) (19 MB): Utflyktsguide Öland
© Lantmäteriverket, Ur Geografiska Sverigedata, översiktskartan Dnr. 106-2004/188”
Source: County Administrative Board, Kalmar