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Best of the west: five ways to explore West Sweden's coastline

West Sweden has a wealth of activities for the adventurous, from island cycling to coastal hiking.

Published 14 Aug 2019, 05:00 BST
Cycling in West Sweden
Cycling in West Sweden.
Photograph by Bruksbild

Scenic cycling
West Sweden is a cyclist’s paradise, with deep forests, open fields, narrow winding lanes, and a dramatic coastline ready to be explored on two wheels. Mountain biking in northern Bohuslän is a highlight, using Lagunen Camping & Cabins as a base from which to explore the granite rocks of the Kosterhavet National Park. Lagunen has also opened a new bike park — a playground for cyclists.  

Hit the slopes
From December through to late April, West Sweden transforms into a winter wonderland for skiers. The town of Ulricehamn is particularly popular for cross-country skiing, and has hosted the FIS Cross-Country World Cup twice. Mösseberg mountain’s ski centre, Falköping Alpin, is located just 90 minutes from Gothenburg and is one of the most snow-sure spots in Sweden. Then, Skövde’s Billingen mountain is a versatile option for experts and beginners alike.

Art on the go
Combine outdoor activity with some culture on an ‘art adventure’. Kayak from the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn, then hike or cycle to world-class outdoor park Pilane and enjoy an art tour that takes in sculptures such as a gigantic horn that can capture sonic waves from above the planet. ‘The World’s Sweatiest Art Trail’ is well mapped-out and can be experienced in various sized segments.

Make a run for it
West Sweden’s Meet the Locals initiative offers visitors the chance to explore the region with the people who know it best. You can trail-run through the Änggårdsbergen nature reserve with adventurer Johan, or meet up with Lars and his dog Fanny for a ramble through the countryside around Alingsås. Many of the tours are free, and you can even arrange to stay at the homes of some of the locals.

Take action
Running from 3 August-1 September, West Sweden Action Weeks bring together a series of running, canoeing, cycling, swimming and roller-skiing races across the region. Highlights include the Island Race in Gothenburg’s southern archipelago — the world’s biggest swim-run event. Then there’s the Icebug Xperience, an exciting trail-running race through the Bohuslän landscape.

Published in the West Sweden supplement distributed with the September 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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