Sweden cycling travel guide


Cycling and Sweden go together like Benny and Björn. Unlike a driving tour or city break, getting on your bike is a brilliantly immediate way to discover the open spaces, cool lakes and vast forests that make up most of the country. Follow quiet roads and family-friendly cycling trails, many of which start on Stockholm’s doorstep. In doing so, you’ll be making the most of allemansrätten, or the right of public access, a concept that’s central to Sweden’s cultural heritage. It allows everyone to roam freely, camp anywhere and forage for food, which makes cycling here as much about what you can do off the bike as on. On a self guided cycling holiday you can enjoy the freedom to swim in pristine lakes, graze on wild blueberries, kayak or eat cake, before pedalling on through peaceful scenery. You don’t get that on a trip to IKEA!

Find out more in our Sweden cycling travel guide.

Is cycling in Sweden for you?

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… you want variety. Cycling in Sweden is as much about being out in the fresh air, stopping to hike through a forest or pop into a palace, as it is about racking up the miles on two wheels. Cycling helps you unlock Sweden’s great outdoors, but doesn’t have to be the sole activity.
… you like your freedom. Self guided cycling is easy once armed with a good map and you can go at a pace that suits you, while still covering a decent amount of ground.
… a week is all you can spare. Gorgeous scenery and excellent cycle trails sit on Stockholm’s doorstep, so you can fly in and, after a short transfer by ferry or road, be straight on your bike. The sights then come thick and fast, from sparkling lakes to the Baltic islands, giving you a great taste of Sweden in just seven days.
… you want a family break. The terrain, particularly on Stockholm’s archipelago, is easy going, the tracks are safe and traffic-free, the distances can be short and your luggage can be transferred for you – Sweden is ideal for cycling with children. The country’s family-friendly culture and abundant open space is the icing on the kladdkaka.


… you crave a challenge. Most cycling in southern Sweden is along cycle paths and quiet, sometimes narrow roads, with modest hills providing lots of short climbs, but nothing mountainous. Distances are manageable and speeding just means you miss the swimming spots and vast views.
… staying in one spot is your thing. Cycling holidays in Sweden tend to follow a point-to-point route, staying in different accommodation, so you can bag the biggest range of landscapes. You might spend a couple of nights in one place during a week’s break, but centre-based trips are not so common.
… you’re only free in winter. Summer’s the time for cycling in Sweden, with pleasant temperatures and long days of sun. Most trips run from May to September – something to do with the difficulty of pedalling through snow during a Scandi winter!
… you want to cycle with an experienced local guide. Most Swedish cycling holidays are self guided, so you pedal out independently each day and stay in small, personal guesthouses and B&Bs, rather than hotels that cater for groups. You will also have the benefit of a briefing, detailed maps, trip notes and 24 hour emergency support.

Best time to go cycling in Sweden


The cycling season is May to September, but in May most restaurants and shops are still closed, particularly in summer resorts. So the best time to cycle in Sweden is mid June to early July, when places have opened, but it’s not yet peak time for Swedish tourists. It’s also very green and the weather is pleasant, at 15-20°C. There’s no need to hurry from point to point either. In June, the days are over 18 hours long in southern Sweden. Outside the season, the weather is unpredictable. There can be snow in April, and by Oct the nights draw in and it turns cold.
Photo credits: [Topbox: Mats Hagwall] [Temp chart: Erika Biblioteket] [Helpdesk: Håkan Dahlström]
Written by Joanna Simmons
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