Sweden's best cycling routes
Cycling in Sweden allows you to explore long stretches of varied coastline, bustling cities and lush countryside. The extensive range of national and regional cycling routes offers bike touring in Sweden in a safe and quality-assured way.
This guide takes you through the best cycling routes in Sweden and some great places to discover– there really is something for everyone!
Biking in Sweden is one of the best ways to discover this beautiful country. Sweden's national and regional cycling routes are all easily accessible, with starting points that are reachable by public transport. All routes are divided into shorter sections, and some are connected, making it easy to find a distance that suits you – from a few hours' getaway to a week-long bicycling holiday. No matter which one you choose, the scenery and the services won't disappoint you – all national and regional cycling routes offer a beautiful and varied landscape with a good supply of accommodation options, restaurants and attractions.
FAQ Cycling in Sweden
Biking on Kattegattleden
Kattegattleden in Halland is Sweden's first national cycling route.
Photo: Oskar Albrektsson
Helsingborg-Gothenburg, 390 kilometres.
Kattegattleden is Sweden’s first national cycling route and was named ‘European Cycle Route of the Year’ 2018. This stunning coastal path takes you all the way from Helsingborg in the south, through the province of Halland, up to Gothenburg in West Sweden. A bike trip along Kattegattleden includes idyllic fishing villages, beautiful gardens and iconic bathhouses. Kullaberg nature reserve is an excellent outdoor activity stop for hiking and rock climbing.
3 highlights along Kattegattleden:
- Kallbadhuset Varberg is one of the best-known cold bath houses in Sweden, with a history dating back to the 1820s. The bath house is open year-round, and bathing ‘au naturel’ is encouraged.
- Taste Kattegattleden – ‘Smaka på Kattegattleden’ – is a collection of tasting tours that lets you cycle and sample food and drinks from small-scale producers along different parts of Kattegattleden.
- Tylösand is Sweden’s most majestic beach, with seven kilometres of sand dunes and shallow water. Hotel Tylösand, an award-winning spa hotel with the most extensive art gallery in the country, is situated on the beach.
Sydostleden stretches almost a full 300 kilometres. The trail starts in Simrishamn, southeastern Skåne, and takes you through an ever-changing landscape all the way up to the city of Växjö, in Småland.
Photo: Mickael Tannus
Växjö-Simrishamn, 274 kilometres.
Sydostleden nestles through some of Sweden’s finest nature, from deep forests and lakes in Småland’s inland to pristine beaches on Skåne’s east coast. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for a gastronomical stop, too – Michelin-starred PM & Vänner in Växjö and fish-oriented Buhres in Kivik, to name a few. Do not miss the fantastic scenery of Brösarp hills (Brösarps Backar) and Stenshuvud National Park. If you can’t get enough, continue your bike touring in Sweden on the connecting Sydkustleden.
3 highlights along Sydostleden:
- The Mörrum River is famous for its salmon and trout fishing. Fishing equipment, permits, fishing guides and packages are all available for online booking.
- Absolut Home is situated in a grand villa in Åhus. Here, you can experience the incredible story about the iconic Swedish liquor brand Absolut Vodka and join a cocktail class.
- Try glamping at Urshult Camping, located on the shores of Åsnen – a unique lake archipelago and national park with various outdoor activities.
Sydkustleden goes through Malmö, which is considered one of the world’s ten best cycling cities.
Simrishamn-Helsingborg, 260 kilometres.
Sydkustleden picks up where Sydostleden lets off and is the ideal route for a bicycle holiday that combines the city with the beach. Get ready to discover Skåne county’s most beautiful beaches, like Sandhammaren, and the vibrant cities of Malmö and Helsingborg. The route is sprinkled with cultural hotspots too, including the ancient Viking fortress Trelleborgen and the former royal summer residence Sofiero Castle. Should you long for a tranquil detour, bring your bike on the boat to the island of Ven.
3 highlights along Sydkustleden:
- The films and tv series about Inspector Wallander have made fans worldwide travel to the medieval town of Ystad. Join a guided tour and follow Wallander’s footsteps over the cobblestone streets.
- Enjoy lunch at one of the cosy restaurants in the old fishing village Kåseberga and then hike up to the mighty Ale’s Stones, dating back to 400 AD.
- Malmö is considered one of the world’s ten best cycling cities, and worth spending a night or two. The bustling boutique hotel MJ’s is a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Baldersnäs Manor, Unionsleden
Baldersnäs Manor is a beautiful mansion with a gourmet restaurant, located by Unionsleden in West Sweden.
Photo: Jonas Ingman/Westsweden.com
Moss (Norway)-Karlstad, 350 kilometres.
Unionsleden got its name from the union between Sweden and Norway established in Moss 1814 and dissolved in Karlstad 1905. You’ll not be short of historical and cultural sites here; the route is dotted with churches and manor houses. Nature-wise, Unionsleden takes you through rolling landscapes and spellbinding waters – after all, Värmland county is called the land of the lakes. Parts of the route also go along the Dalsland Canal, so there are many wild swimming, kayaking and fishing opportunities. In Karlstad, Unionsleden connects with another national cycling route, Vänerleden.
3 highlights along Unionsleden:
- Dalsland Canal is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful waterways. In Lennartsfors, you can rest your feet at the local ice cream café and watch the boats pass through the lock.
- Sliperiet in Borgvik is an art hall and gastronomical bistro combined. Enjoy Nordic cuisine and modern exhibitions in a cultural heritage building in the Swedish countryside.
- Stay comfortable at the elegant Baldersnäs Manor, which combines a turn-of-the-century charm with modern standards. Baldersnäs is also a nature reserve with several hiking trails.
On a bike along the national cycling route Ätradalsleden.
Photo: Destination Falkenberg
Falköping-Falkenberg, 200 kilometres.
Ätradalsdelen connects with the previously mentioned Kattegattleden in Falkenberg and takes you from the coast through West Sweden’s flourishing inland. Half the route consists of car-free, disused railway embankments that cut through the colourful landscape of fertile fields and glittering lakes. You’re never far from a farm café when bicycling on Ätradalsleden, offering locally grown food and homemade sweets.
3 highlights along Ätradalsleden:
- Torpa Stenhus is a private own estate and one of the country’s best-preserved medieval castles, situated on the shore of Lake Åsunden. Open for guided tours and exhibitions during the summer.
- Falkenberg is a foodie destination with gems like Lilla Napoli – considered to serve one of the best Neapolitan pizzas in the country – and Skrea Matbruk, an authentic farm-to-table restaurant and culinary community hub.
- Påarps Gård in Håcksvik is an idyllically located farm hotel with various accommodation alternatives, from suites and cabins to military tents. The hotel has its own beach and fishing guides.
Lurö archipelago, Vänern
Lurö, situated in Lake Vänern, is the largest freshwater archipelago in Europe.
Photo: Roger Borgelid/imagebank.sweden.se
Karlstad-Åmål-Vänersborg-Mariestad-Karlstad, 649 kilometres.
Vänerleden was nominated for ‘European Cycle Route of the Year’ 2023. It takes you around Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern, which makes this the ideal route for water activities like fishing, kayaking and swimming. But Vänerleden is so much more. Discover the porcelain town of Lidköping, admire the baroque architecture of Läckö Castle and take in the spectacular views of Kinnekulle’s limestone quarries, also called “Little Grand Canyon”. Vänerleden connects with two other national cycling routes – Unionsleden in Karlstad and Göta Kanalleden in Sjötorp.
3 highlights along Vänerleden:
- Lurö archipelago in Lake Vänern is the largest freshwater archipelago in Europe, with some 250 islands. Available by boat from Ekenäs during the summer.
- In Fengersfors, you’ll find Not Quite, a vibrant cultural centre in a former paper factory. Enjoy exhibitions, artist studios, and music events, or sit down for lunch or fika at the café.
- Happie Camp is a luxurious glamping with private locations in the forests outside Karlstad. Cook your food in the outdoor kitchen, swim in Lake Vänern and listen to the silence.
Göta Canal, Östergötland
Göta Canal connects Stockholm and Gothenburg via lakes and was inaugurated in 1832.
Photo: Oscar Lüren
Sjötorp-Mem, 220 kilometres.
Göta Kanalleden is Sweden’s newest national cycling route and will be inaugurated on 10 June 2023. The iconic waterway Göta Canal is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist destinations, and watching boats pass through the locks is a must/highlight when cycling along the canal. Half of the route goes on the car-free canal bank, and some lakes along the way can be crossed on bicycle boats as long as the canal is open. You’re never far from sights and stops when cycling here – Göta Kanalleden is sprinkled with cafés, museums and accommodations.
3 highlights along Göta Kanalleden:
- Karlsborg Fortress Museum is a part of Sweden’s military heritage. Join an adventure tour that takes you back to 1865 and step down into the dark, underground passages.
- Perssons i Backen is a local fish restaurant in Sjötorp, run by a father and his son. The father is a professional fisherman and catches perch, zander and cod.
- Villa Göta is the newest hotel along Göta Canal, idyllically situated by the canal’s oldest lock in Forsvik.
Traditional houses in Dalarna
Traditional houses painted with the famous paint Falu Rödfärg (Falun Red) that contains pigment from Falun Mine in Dalarna.
Photo: Anna Holm/Visit Dalarna
Regional cycling routes
Halmstad-Hylte-Halmstad, 180 kilometres.
Hylteleden takes you through the provinces of Halland and Småland, past small villages, deep forests and large lakes. Halmstad, where the route starts and ends, is one of Sweden’s most picturesque summer towns. This is also where Hylteleden is connected to the longer Kattegattleden.
Falun-Borlänge-Falun, 50-70 kilometres.
Runn Runt is a regional cycling route around Lake Runn, Dalarna county’s second-largest lake. You’ll pass plenty of bathing spots and cafés, and the lake also boasts an archipelago with some 100 islands. Falun and Borlänge, Dalarna’s largest towns, are good starting points.
Another four regional cycling routes will be inaugurated in 2023
- Cykelleden Skåne: Lomma-Kristianstad
- Cykelleden Skåne: Ystad-Båstad
- Cykelleden Skåne: Ängelholm-Kristianstad
- Lelångenleden: Årjäng-Uddevalla