Things to do
Sweden’s best cycling routes
Cycling in Sweden lets you explore rugged mountain ranges, long stretches of varied coastline, bustling cities and lush countryside. This guide takes you through the best cycling routes as well as the best places to eat along the way – there really is something for everyone!
Biking in Sweden is one of the best ways to discover this beautiful country. Why not take a long ride along the stunning coastline or explore the national parks of the north. You can also tour Sweden’s lake and forest-covered interior or enjoy the cities on comprehensive dedicated city cycling lanes.
Covering an astounding 2,500 kilometres, the Swedish stretch of the Baltic Sea Cycle Route takes cyclists from the far northern town of Haparanda on the Finnish border down to Ystad on the south coast. Along the way, you’ll experience everything from sandy beaches and rushing rivers to hushed forests and rolling countryside. And because you’ll pass through many towns and cities, you can hop on and off almost anywhere.
If you want a bite to eat before hitting the road, Haparanda has a number of excellent restaurants, including the River Restaurant, which is known for delicious, hearty fare – and it caters to vegetarians. Köksbaren in Umeå serves modern Nordic fare, while in Sundsvall Villa Marieberg is perfect for treating yourself.
A bit further south and to the west is Sweden’s ski mecca Åre, where you’ll find a number of excellent cycling trails. Storulvån runs 120 kilometres, Ullådalen offers some serious uphill challenges but is a relatively short 32 kilometres. The Karoliner Monument in Duved is a 22 km mixed gravel and paved road. It’s on this route that you can try some of the great food served at the Millestgården Eco Lodge.
Dalarna in central Sweden has a wide variety of cycling trails, with Cykelvasaleden arguably the most famous, mainly because it follows the same path as the world famous Vasaloppet cross country ski race between Sälen and Mora, which stretches 90 kilometres. In Sälen, restaurant Viktors offers classic Scandinavian fare.
Sweden’s West Coast
The award winning 370 km Kattegattleden is Sweden’s first national bike route, taking you from Halland in the south to Gothenburg in the north. It is divided into eight sections, running along the coast as well as through gorgeous rural areas. Falkenberg is increasingly known as a foodie paradise. Köket at Falkenberg Strand is a particularly well regarded eatery.
While cycling the west coast of Sweden you might also want to island hop in the Bohuslän Archipelago or try the car free 87 kilometre Göta Canal, which runs the length of Sweden’s longest waterway. The mostly flat route starts in the small town of Sjötorp and ends in Tåtorp. For food, try Mallboden Café’s specialty waffles, the high-end fare and excellent wine list at Brunn Restaurant in Söderköping, or Kapten Bille’s Restaurant in Norsholm, which features a beautiful veranda overlooking the water.
Klarälvsbanan is another car free trail winding through the beautiful inland scenery of west central Sweden. The 220 kilometre long route features forests, lakes, and mountains, while also passing through a series of charming villages, such as Munkfors, Sysslebäck, and Hagfors, where you might want to stop by the museum dedicated to legendary Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund.
Sweden’s East Coast
On the east coast you’ll find Sweden’s oldest cycling route, the 400 kilometre Mälardalsleden, which takes you around Lake Mälaren. The trail connects a number of cities, including Stockholm, Södertälje, Eskilstuna, and Västerås. It covers the entire Mälardalen valley and also connects to the Sverigeleden cycling trail, which gives you access to a large network of trails totalling about 800 kilometres.
The Viking Route not only has a great name, it’s also an excellent 35 kilometre trail that begins along Lake Erken then moves south towards the medieval villages of Malsta and Lohärad. On the shores of Lake Erken you can try one of Sweden’s finest traditions – fishing for crayfish (in season, of course: usually August and September).
You can also island hop with a bike in the Stockholm archipelago. Sandhamn is a perfect day trip, while Möja not only allows you to explore inland forests and beautiful coastline, the legendary Wikström’s Fisk Restaurant is found here, where they serve only what they catch from the surrounding sea.
Further north on the east coast you’ll find Sweden’s High Coast (Höga Kusten), where the 130 kilometre High Coast Trail takes you from Hornöberget in the south to Örnsköldsvik in the north – and through the entire UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way you’ll experience country meadows, rugged mountains, sandy beaches, and deep, dark forests.
Recharge your batteries at any number of eateries as you bike. Strike in Kramfors has a hearty menu, while Trattoria Nevia in Örnsköldsvik has those carbs you need. The family-owned Mjälloms Tunnbröd Factory in Ullånger has been making their unique style of Swedish crisp bread for generations.
Sydostleden takes cyclists from Växjö in Småland to Simrishamn on the coast for a total of 270 kilometres. The terrain is easily accessible and offers some of Sweden’s finest nature, from lakes and forests to pristine coastline. Before leaving Växjö, take time to enjoy the city’s budding food scene, including Michelin starred PM & Vänner and Brasserie 1742 inside the Kosta Boda Art Hotel.
In Ystad, try Store Thor, described as one of the best by none other than famous fictional police superintendent Kurt Wallander.
Ginstleden – the Genista Trail – is south of Gothenburg and follows the North Sea coastline. Skåneleden – the Skåne Trail – is a 1,250 metre long marked trail that offers five separate sub trails for a total of 105 sections. As you pass through Malmö in the south take advantage of its reputation as an international food destination. Salt & Brygga offers Mediterranean influenced seafood, while at Bloom In The Park you can eat in or take away. In Sweden’s far southwestern region, in Tranås in Skåne, Daniel Berlin is making a big name for itself, so stop by and taste Skåne on a plate.