Öland’s geology varies dramatically due to the crushing movement of ice during the last Ice Age, and the effects of the subsequent melting process, which took place 10,000 years ago. To the south is a massive limestone plain known as alvaret; indeed, limestone has been used here for thousands of years to build runic monuments, dry-stone walls and churches. The northern coastline is craggy and irregular, peppered with dramatic-looking raukar – stone stacks, weathered by the waves into jagged shapes.

Among the island’s flora are plants that are rare in the region, such as the delicate rock rose and the cream-coloured wool-butter flower, both native to Southeast Asia and found in southern Öland. Further north are the twisted, misshapen pines and oaks of the romantically named trollskogen (trolls’ forest).

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