|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||32 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Sundays: May 18-Aug 24, 2014|
|Start city:||Katrineholm, Sweden|
|End city:||Katrineholm, Sweden|
Anyone who longs for intact nature and outdoor activities is definitely in the right place here! Experience Sweden from its most beautiful side. The tour starts in middle of Sweden to Katrineholm, which is situated 62 miles (100 km) south-west of the capital Stockholm.
From there you will start your circular trip by bike through green forests, along sparkling lakes to picturesque homesteads and, above al l along Sweden’s most beautiful waterway, the Gota Canal. At a length of 118 miles (190 km) the canal combines lakes from Stockholm across Sweden to Göteborg on the westcoast.
Enjoy yourself on well-marked bikeways, as you pass typical red framehouses and relish the silence of untouched nature!
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Katrineholm Arrival
Arrival to Katrineholm.
Overnight in Katrineholm.
Day 2: Katrineholm - Vreta (29 miles/48 km)
The first stage is easy cycling, so you will arrive quickly at the Ericsberg Castle, dating to 1680, with its lovely gardens built after French example. You will cycle further to Wira Bruk and Sweden’s biggest porcelain museum. Soon you will arrive at Stavsjö, a small steel works place from the 17th century.
Overnight in Vreta.
Day 3: Vreta - Söderköping (31 miles/50 km)
Today's route will lead you to one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sweden. The lovely little town of Söderköping used to be one of the most exclusive cities in Sweden. With buildings from the 18th and 19th century, it is well-worth seeing.
Overnight in Soderkoping.
Day 4: Soderkoping - Linköping (33 days/55 km)
There it is, the Göta canal, which first started in 1810 with 58 watergates. You will not cycle the complete canal, but quite a good stage of the 118 miles (190 km) of waterway. You have the possibility of following the busy activities at the water-gates and take a picture of the beautiful houses of the bridge care takers. The lively university city of Linköping awaits you with a cathedral well worth seeing, as well as the castle and a cozy city center and some marketplaces.
Overnight in Linköping.
Day 5: Linköping - Motala (31 miles/51 km)
Today you will experience the most famous water-gate of the Gota canal! The 'Karl Johann Watergate' forms a long stair along with 7 other water-gates and allows interesting observations. You will cycle through green landscapes to the ruins of the Vreta monastery, Sweden’s oldest monastery from the 12th century. Today’s destination is situated idyllically on the Vätternsee. Vätternsee, with its 730 square miles (1,900 sq kms), appears more like a semi-enclosed sea.
Overnight in Motala.
Day 6: Motala - Askersund (43 miles/69 km)
Through the broad forests of Ostergötland you will cycle to Zinkgruvan, an old coal mine town from 1860. Gaze at the exhibits of the museum or use the lovely swimming site for a cool refreshment. The last distance of the route is easy cycling as it heads to the north bank of Vätternsee to Askersund, with its lovely frame-houses, tiny harbor and paved market.
Overnight in Askersund.
Day 7: Askersund - Regna (40 miles/65 km)
Past innumerable lakes you will cycle to the castle of Boo, situated within a beautiful park. Visit the little 'Herrenhofkirche' (a country estate church) of 1870, which was exclusively built for the castle owner. Afterwards you will cycle to today’s accommodation at Regna.
Overnight in Regna.
Day 8: Regna - Katrineholm (25 miles/42 km)
Your last cycling day presents you with a colorful mix! Spend your time in green forests, around blue lakes, enjoy the bright colors of freshly painted frame-houses and take a look at the black of ironworks in Övre Hävla Bruk. Here you can inspect the last still known blacksmith technique, the so called "Deutschherd".
Overnight in Katrineholm.
Day 9: Katrineholm Departure
After breakfast your lovely cycle tour will end in Katrineholm.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Hotels are 3- and 4-star comfortable, middle-class hotels.
Dufweholms Herrgard, Katrineholm
Soderkopings Krunnshotel, Soderkoping
Scandic Frimurarehotellet, Linkoping
Hotel M, Motala
Hotell Nora Vattern Askersund
(Note: this simple pension hotel has a shared bathroom in the hallway)
Dufweholms Herrgard, Katrineholm
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
Available bikes for rent on this tour:
They are equipped with a saddle bag.
Most operators allow you to bring your own pedals and shoes. On guided tours, the guide will often switch out the pedals for you, but you should bring your own tools just in case. For all self-guided tours, you must bring your own tools. While the tour company may be able to swap them at the start of the tour, you typically just drop off your bike at the end and would need to swap them on your own.
Many tour operators also allow you to bring your own saddle or saddle and seat post combination. If you would like to bring your own saddle, please let us know the specifications of both the saddle and seat post, and we can check with the tour company to see what is possible. Please note that the tour operators can't guarantee a fit, as they often have bicycles with different specifications, and with the number of bikes they have to move around on any given day, they may not always be able to deliver one with your specifications.
This tour is easy cycling and, if at all necessary, you can push your bike. There are some dirt and gravel stretches along the path.
My partner and I just finished the Göta Canal tour in Sweden, and loved every minute. We thought it was going to be a walk in the park (only 30-40 miles a day) but there were lots of long stretches on dirt and gravel, and the bikes were (appropriately) heavier hybrid bikes rather than road bikes, which made it more challenging than we expected.
Everything about it was well-planned and -run: BikeTourDirect's management, the staff at the start of the ride, the terrific hotels, the food, the luggage service. The route was spectacularly lovely, with lots of beautiful churches and other historical sites to visit along the way.
Our only quibble was with the (English) directions and maps, which were at many points completely useless, except for telling you your day's ultimate destination. Fortunately because the distances were not great, we could afford the occasional inadvertent sidetrip. But I'd recommend bringing a device with GPS and pre-downloaded google maps, which saved our bacon more than once. The long long days meant there was lots of time to explore your day's destination when you got there. Strongly recommended!
(Note from Bike Tours Direct: The route maps are received at the start hotel and are not available in advance of your departure.)
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Stockholm, Sweden
Nearest train station: Katrineholm, Sweden
Getting to and from Katrineholm
Katrineholm, where the tour starts and ends, is situated 62 miles (100 km) southwest of Stockholm and easily accessible by train. Trains leave about once an hour between the two cities, and the ride takes about 1 hour. Trains also run between Katrineholm and Stockholm Airport about once an hour, and the ride takes about 20 minutes.
Tips on getting to and from your tour
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Sweden is known for its distinctive style and offers some of the most singular and original architecture and design in the world, while remaining a center for winter sports lovers from around the world. But while Sweden is known for its frigid winters, its weather is surprisingly temperate in the summer and allows for a variety of outdoor activities that don’t include a pair of skis or a snowmobile.
Stockholm is a cultural hub, home of great art, design, theater, and nightlife – all scattered over a series of small islands that comprise the city. But it's Sweden's natural sites that attract the most visitors. Many travel to witness the Northern Lights in the skies or enjoy active pursuits like skiing and snowboarding. The beautiful mountains, hills, and canyons offer visitors lots of hiking and walking opportunities as well.
Cycling Sweden is a small company (just the owner and his wife) selling about 150 incoming and about 500 outgoing guests. They have been open for about 15 years and cooperate with most of the leading companies throughout Europe.