Embark on an unforgettable adventure with our bicycle tour around the stunning Lake Vänern in central Sweden! As you pedal along the Lake Vänern bike path, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the lake, picturesque countryside, and charming Swedish villages. Our route takes you through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to beautiful beaches, giving you the opportunity to experience the best of Swedish nature.
Our tour is designed for both novice and experienced cyclists. Premium e‑bikes, with large panniers and helmets are available as option. Each day, you will be staying at cozy, local hotel (3–4 stars), where you can relax and immerse yourself in the local culture.
In addition to cycling, our tour leads you to local attractions and historical sites along the bike path, giving you the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of the Lake Vänern area. The tour follows Vänerleden, a nation, quality assured route of around 650 km. Divided in 12 stages between 40 and 85 km each.
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore the beauty of Lake Vänern and immerse yourself in the rich culture of central Sweden. Book your spot today and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
Explore the historic old town of Mariestad, "Gamla Stan," where you can visit the stunning Gothic Mariestad Cathedral, wander through charming cobblestone streets lined with well-preserved 17th and 18th-century buildings, and experience the local life at the market square. Don't forget to delve into Mariestad's rich history and culture at local museums, and discover works by local artists and artisans in art galleries and craft shops.
Borgviks bruk, or Borgvik Ironworks, is a historic industrial site in Borgvik, Sweden, established in the 17th century. Today, it is a popular tourist destination where visitors can explore the old ironworks, including the blast furnace, smithy, and workers' cottages, as well as a museum showcasing the history of iron production. The area around Borgviks bruk is known for its scenic landscapes, forests, lakes, and walking trails.
Läckö Castle is a magnificent baroque castle located on the shores of Lake Vänern in Lidköping, Sweden. The castle was originally built as a bishop's fortress in the 13th century and has undergone numerous renovations over the years. Today, Läckö Castle is renowned for its stunning architecture, well-preserved interiors, and beautiful gardens. The castle is open to the public and offers guided tours, showcasing its grand rooms, historical artifacts, and art exhibitions. The gardens are a highlight, with their symmetrical design, vibrant flowers, and sculptures. Läckö Castle also hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, theater performances, and festivals, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Hammarö kyrka, or Hammarö Church, is a beautiful church located on the island of Hammarö in Sweden. The church has a rich history, dating back to the medieval period, with many renovations and additions over the centuries. Visitors can admire the church's architecture, including its distinctive tower and intricate interior detailing. Near the church, there are Viking graves, adding historical significance to the area. The surrounding landscape, with its peaceful views over the lake, further enhances the charm of Hammarö kyrka, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.
Kinnekulle is a picturesque plateau mountain located near Lake Vänern in Sweden. It is known for its stunning views, diverse flora and fauna, and a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and bird watching. There are several trails that lead to the top of Kinnekulle, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The area also has historical sites, including ancient ruins and medieval churches, as well as quaint villages and local craftspeople. It is a great destination for those who appreciate nature, history, and culture.
The Picasso Sculpture in Kristinehamn is a remarkable piece of art history located in Värmland, Sweden. Created by the world-famous artist Pablo Picasso, this monumental sculpture stands as a testament to his abstract and cubist style. The sculpture is made of concrete and stands 15 meters tall, making it an imposing sight. It was unveiled in 1965 and has since become a significant cultural landmark in the region. Visitors can admire the sculpture and also learn more about its history and Picasso's connection to Kristinehamn at the nearby Picasso Museum.
Welcome to the start of your exhilarating bicycle journey around the magnificent Lake Vänern! Your adventure begins in the lively city of Karlstad, perfectly situated at the northern tip of the lake.
Upon arrival in Karlstad, make your way to your charming accommodations where you can settle in and freshen up after your travels.
In the afternoon, we invite you to join us for the handover of your high-quality electric bikes (e-bikes). Our team will be on-hand to ensure your e-bike is adjusted to your comfort and will provide you with a comprehensive overview of its features and operations. Our e-bikes are user-friendly and designed to make your journey around Lake Vänern as enjoyable and effortless as possible.
Once you’re familiar with your e-bike, the rest of the day is yours to explore Karlstad at your own pace. Take a leisurely ride around the city, visit local attractions, or simply relax and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.
Get ready for an adventure filled with breathtaking scenery, rich culture, and endless opportunities for exploration. Welcome to Lake Vänern!
Your journey today will take you from Karlstad to Kristinehamn, following the beautiful Vänernleden bike path. The route is a mix of tarmac and gravel paths that weave along the northern shores of Lake Vänern, providing stunning views of the lake and surrounding countryside.
- Experience the serene beauty of Lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden and the third-largest lake in Europe.
- Immerse yourself in the lush landscapes of the Swedish countryside, with its rolling hills, dense forests, and charming farms.
- Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including a variety of bird species, as you pedal along the lake.
Once you arrive in Kristinehamn, take some time to explore this quaint town located on the northern shores of Lake Vänern. Highlights include the Picasso Sculpture, a testament to the town's rich cultural heritage, and the beautiful Kristinehamn church.
After a day of cycling and exploration, you'll retire to your accommodations for the evening, ready to rest up for the next stage of your adventure.
Kristinehamn to Sjötorp (80 km): Start at Kristinehamn's Guest Harbor or Herrgårdscamping. Head towards Värnerskärgården and the Picasso sculpture, where you should take time to enjoy the viewpoints. Cycle through a villa area and take a swim at Fyrudden or other nearby beaches. Follow Jutviksvägen to the pine forest-lined Possebergsvägen, stopping at Jutvikens beach.
Continue south to Värnanäs and King's resting place, and then to Revsand family camping for a night's stay or a swim. Further south, consider detours to Hult's summer home, Vike undivided village, and Sörgården farm shop for local organic meats.
South of Hult, head to Baggerud or Edskorset, passing Medhamn and Hamnudden. Optional detours include Dyrön's and Nötön Åråsviken nature reserves, and Visnum kil's church with its medieval inventory. After Visnum kil, spot deer enclosures and visit the farm shop at Hygns vilt. Cycle to Sund and turn off towards Bengtsgårds bathing place. Children can enjoy Värmland Säby farm's park labyrinth.
Cross road 26 cautiously, and continue through the forest on a gravel road over the dressage track. At the three-way intersection, choose to head towards Käbberud or continue towards Grunnebacka, Rudskoga church, and Gottbol's bathing place. Follow the gravel cycle path parallel to road 204, turning off towards Södra Råda and keeping an eye out for flea market signs. Consider a visit to Kronkärr's paint farm for wool crafts and a potential overnight stay to fully experience the countryside.
A 40 km ride to Mariestad with time to explore. Start at Sjötorp, the beginning of the Göta Canal. Spend the day biking along the canal. At Sjötorp, enjoy the locks, cafes, and smoked fish.
Bike along the Göta Canal for 10 km. Attractions include the Hamnmagasinet museum in Lyrestad and the Norrqvarn lock area with its hotel and unique accommodations. Further along, Hajstorp offers a cafe, hostel, and museum.
Once in Mariestad, explore the charming Old Town, museums, and take a boat tour in the Vänern Archipelago. Accommodations and restaurants abound, with options like Sill & Dynamit and Restaurant Bojjen.
Mariestad's old town is one of the country's best-preserved city centers with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. In the middle of wooden houses and cobblestone streets, the mighty cathedral, which began to be built in the 16th century, also rises.
Travel through varied landscapes featuring beautiful vistas, deep forests, and interesting nature reserves. The route includes low-traffic roads, gravel paths, and car-free sections, passing train stations where bikes are allowed.
A must-see is Aranäs Castle Ruins, once a royal castle, perched beautifully by Lake Vänern. In Hällekis, explore open studios in Falkängen's Craft Village and take short detours to Utsiktens coffee cottage or the lookout tower on Kinnekulle for stunning lake views.
The large quarry on Kinnekulle, known as 'Little Grand Canyon,' is a local attraction with a fishing lake at its center. The 40-meter-deep quarry was once used for limestone extraction.
Visit Västerplana storäng, a nature reserve next to Lake Vänern, with its deciduous forests and oak pastures. Stop at the café at the monastery for delicious soup or homemade treats.
In Lidköping, explore the lively city center with its Old Town Hall and market trade at Nya stadens torg. Visit the Rörstrand Center museum and outlet store, and don't miss the Vänern Museum, where you can learn about Sweden's largest lake and its 38 fish species.
Day 6: Rest day and Optional Detour to Läckö Castle
On this day, you have the option to rest or explore Lidköping, immersing yourself in its local culture and history. Alternatively, take a detour to the iconic Läckö Castle, located directly on the southern shores of Lake Vänern, approximately 25 km from Lidköping. Though not part of the Vänerleden, the castle is a picturesque landmark that's worth the visit.
At Läckö Castle, we highly recommend joining a guided tour. The castle's guides are well-versed in its rich history, from its inception to its role in society, and the people who once lived there. Feel free to ask questions and delve deeper into Läckö or Swedish history. Regular tours in English are available.
During the summer months, you can also explore the castle on your own. The castle houses a myriad of rooms filled with both permanent and visiting exhibitions, giving you a glimpse into its past grandeur and significance.
On this stretch, make sure to take a detour to Hindens Rev for a 5 km hike on the narrow ridge extending into Lake Vänern.
In Söne, stop by Söne Dairy for a snack or lunch. Continue through Örslösa, along country roads and gravel paths through a fertile farming landscape. In Särestad, visit the local rural museum, before continuing to Salstad and Flo.
Upon reaching Flo, turn right at the junction, passing the bus stop at Bragnum sign. After about 400 meters, pass through a farm, then take a left at the end of the grass road onto Hunneberg Plateau. The climb may be tough, but the Flo-view at the top is worth it, offering a panoramic view of Dättern, Vänersnäs, and Lake Vänern.
Halfway to Bergagården, visit Erdalen, where a charcoal kiln is built annually. Before reaching Bergagården, pass Eldmörjan Lake, perfect for paddling. Visit Kungajaktsmuseet Älgens Berg for lunch and information on local hiking trails and guided tours, including beaver safaris.
Explore the sub-cambrian Peneplane at Nordkroken, a half-billion-year-old flat landscape.
Vänersborg, also known as "Little Paris," offers a variety of activities and attractions. Explore the cultural axis from the Residency to the museum, known for its collection of African birds. Visit the Tourist Office for more information. Enjoy the old cheese shop, harbor canal, and guest harbor.
The Vänerleden goes west from Vänersborg. Start by crossing Dalbobron and enjoy the magnificent view of Lake Vänern.
After the bridge, cross Djupedalsvägen, pass a gas station, and take an underpass to the old Frändeforsvägen. Continue to Frändefors. Once past the church, cross the E45 and follow signs to Timmervik (7 km). The road winds through farmland and forest, eventually reaching Lake Vänern. In Sikhall, there's a guest harbor where you can enjoy the small harbor.
The route then passes through Gestad Church, Grindstad, and Bodane, finally reaching the turn-off for Dalbergså. In this village, you can visit a cozy country store and a guest harbor, plus enjoy a scenic walking path along Lake Vänern. Here, you must see the stone carvings from the Bronze Age—a unique and fascinating piece of history preserved in rock.
On your bike ride towards Dals-Rostock, you will traverse a picturesque, car-free old railway embankment, making a delightful stop at Åsnebyn cultural reserve.
Dals-Rostock is a quaint community where you can explore a well-maintained herb garden, unique handicrafts, and a local history museum with a café. For families, the miniature model of the old station house will be a hit with the kids.
In the forested area of Kroppefjäll, you can immerse yourself in nature and enjoy breathtaking views of Dalsland and Lake Vänern. Don't miss the fascinating monuments built by Dr. Saedén, a chief physician at Kroppefjäll sanatorium, during his tenure from 1916-1945.
Continuing north from Tegen, the landscape opens up, revealing charming meadows and cottages as you make your way towards Dals Långed.
In Fröskog, the magnificent Fröskog's church, a prime example of peasant baroque architecture from the 1700s, is open during summer with an available audio guide. Just 2 minutes by bike from Fröskog is Fengersfors, home to the Fengersfors Mill. This area has transformed from an industrial past to a vibrant hub for art, culture, and entrepreneurship, with its annual food festival, Glupsk på Dalsland, being a major draw.
As you approach Åmål, be sure to stop at Tollebol's mill and mill café, an intact water mill that provides insight into historical milling practices. If you find yourself in Åmål during the summer, you might also catch the town's famous blues festival. For a panoramic view of Lake Vänern, take a stroll up Kungsberget.
Day 10 of your bike tour from Ämåt to Borgvik is a scenic 65-km ride through beautiful cycle paths and diverse landscapes. After leaving Åmål, you'll pass Berga Bistro, a great spot for traditional Swedish cuisine. As you make your way through Värmland, you'll find excellent accommodation options, such as Paradisets spa and Krokstad Herrgård, both offering delicious meals and comfortable rooms. A must-visit is Duse udde, known for its stunning views over Lake Vänern, camping facilities, and a charming lighthouse restaurant.
In Säffle, you can enjoy the lively harbor atmosphere, indulge in delicious meals at Stenmagasinet or Kanalcaféet, and explore the local art scene, including the old Water Tower's exhibitions and public artworks scattered around the city center. The route from Säffle to Värmlandsbro and then to Liljedal offers a mix of cycle paths, mixed traffic roads, and both gravel and paved roads. In Liljedal, you can delve into the local history at the Glass Museum or relax by the harbor.
Borgvik, the highlight of this leg, is one of Värmland's best-preserved cultural environments. Here, you can explore the beautiful cultural and industrial landscape, including the fascinating furnace ruin. You can also visit Borgvik's museum, enjoy art and photo exhibitions at Oscar Magnusson's Sliperiet, and savor delicious meals at its restaurants. For accommodations, consider Klaraborg, Kungskvarnen, or the harbor camping. Don't miss the chance to kayak on Lake Vänern or hike the Lövåsslingan or Bokskogsslingan trails. In summer, you can even take your bike on the boat bus to Vålberg or Hammarö.
On day 11, you will travel from Borgvik to Karlstad, covering a 60 km stretch of both paved roads and gravel paths. Along the way, make a stop at Kullens bigård to sample their honey and honey products. In Hasseldalen, take a break and swim in Långsjön, where you'll find a diving tower, a summer-open kiosk, and toilets.
As you cycle through Segerstad, you will experience a charming rural atmosphere reminiscent of Astrid Lindgren's Bullerby. On your route, you will pass by Edsbergs gård, with its farm shop, and Liljenäs gård, which offers a playground and is a perfect spot for ice cream and a coffee break. Consider taking a detour to explore Segerstad's nature reserve, a popular recreational area with wheelchair-accessible boardwalks that lead into Lake Vänern, as well as accessible shelters and toilets.
As you approach Karlstad, don't miss Skutberget, which offers a range of activities including swimming and play areas, nature trails, jogging tracks, and a 4-star disc golf course. Nearby, you will also find Högt & Lågt, an exciting high-altitude course suitable for the whole family. Skutberget is just 7 km from Karlstad's city center.
On day 12, explore the local environment with a possible last trip to Hammarö or Skutberget. From Skutberget, the route heads towards Karlstad. Upon reaching the bike bridge over Klarälven towards Centralsjukhuset, you can either turn left for the city center or continue to Hammarö.
If you choose Hammarö, you'll pass the hospital and proceed on a separate bike path. Mariebergs strandängar is a must-stop for birdwatchers, offering scenic walking paths and birdwatching towers.
After Jakobsbergsbron, turn right on Bymiljövägen, then right onto a bike path. There's a rest spot by the riverbank. The path follows the river to Skoghall and Lunnaparken, home to Café Klarälven, serving shrimp sandwiches, coffee, and ice cream.
In Lillängshamnen, indulge in lunch at Lillängshamnens fiskrökeri, savoring views over Vänern and vibrant summer boat life. Opt for a meal at the restaurant or take-home delicacies from the shop. Hammarö Beach club, opening at midsummer, offers delicious bagels and summer-fresh pasta dishes.
The route then snakes towards First Camp Mörudden, perfect for a swim, overnight stay, or meal at Mörudden brygga restaurant. After soaking in the view and meal, pedal towards the other side of Hammarö, passing the church and Archipelago Museum, with splendid views towards Karlstad. Don't miss Hammars udde before cycling back to Karlstad.
In Karlstad, Hammaröleden leads to Inre hamn, a charming harbor with boat life, guest harbor, restaurants, microbrewery, and coffee roastery. You can cycle back to the main square via bike paths.
Karlstadis rich in water, offering numerous bathing spots in the city. For boat tours, consider the popular boat buses available from June to August.
Don't miss cultural experiences like Lars Lerin's exhibitions at Sandgrund art gallery, Värmland Museum with its international and local history exhibits, and the delightful playground between the two. If time allows, enjoy high-quality opera and musicals at Wermland Opera or explore the military exhibits at the Brigade Museum, which encourages hands-on exploration.
The routes encompass both tarmac and gravel surfaces, with no steep climbs. You'll find yourself on dedicated bike paths as well as quiet streets with minimal traffic. While the terrain itself isn't overly challenging, the duration of the trip can be demanding. It's essential to ensure you are comfortable with long periods of cycling and can handle sitting in the saddle for consecutive days.
In the unfortunate event of a breakdown, we've got you covered. We've gathered information on repair shops close to the route to assist you in getting back on track. Additionally, we've contacted local taxi companies to confirm the possibility of securing a lift, though please note this would be at your own expense. If you're renting one of our bikes, rest assured they are from a premium brand and have successfully navigated the lake route multiple times without issue.
No worries! Your accommodation is securely booked for the given dates, and we have included a rest day halfway through the tour to give you time to recharge. In the worst-case scenario, we can refer you to a taxi company to pick you up, although please note this would be at your own expense.
You can bring your own bike but we recommend you our rental e-bike. Usually it would be a Riese&Müller Multicharger. We can also offer cargo bikes.
All hotels are booked are including breakfast. Meals during the day are up to you. There are many cafés and restaurants on the route.
Don't miss Swedish fika!
We book with the best and most comfortable hotels around the route. They have usually 4 stars.
We provide you with digital maps in GPX format. You can use your mobile as navigation device (together with BikeGPX app).
Along the route you will also find these signs at many junctions.
The weather June to August is usually quite stable and sunny.
Since we provide large pannier bags with our rental bikes, you'll have ample space for your belongings. However, it's best to pack light and smart. Here are some recommendations:
Clothing: Bring comfortable, weather-appropriate attire. We recommend layering up to adjust to changing temperatures. Don’t forget a waterproof jacket just in case.
Footwear: Comfortable shoes suitable for biking and walking.
Personal Items: Sunscreen, sunglasses, personal medications, and any other personal items you can't do without.
Remember, your comfort is key to enjoying the ride, so pack accordingly!