Easy riding: Sweden’s newest national cycle route is perfect for a towpath adventure
With charming guesthouses, cheery cafes and bikes for hire, the Göta Canal’s 125 miles of trails is a great way to enjoy the Swedish countryside
Swifts dart and swoop from Norrqvarn’s eaves, the morning sun filtering through the pines as I load my panniers and get set for a slow day’s cycling. A former mill turned welcoming and, crucially, affordable hotel, Norrqvarn is my starting point for a multi-day bike ride taking in Sweden’s most impressive engineering feat, the Göta canal. The canal celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2022 and the newly opened Göta kanalleden section is the main attraction along Sweden’s national cycle route 7.
Getting the Göta canal primed for national cycling route status has been a years-long project, explains Amanda Hessle, my guide for the day (from local agency Värdskapsbyrån). Regular picnic sites replete with barbecues, fika (coffee and cake) spots alongside many of the 58 locks, plus toilets and even showers, are proof of how the state-owned canal company has dedicated time to making life as easy as possible for those on two wheels.Continue reading…