Family cycling holidays along the Göta Canal
Cycling along the Göta Canal is a popular family activity. Busy locks, cosy cafés and exciting things to see along the canal mean that cycling will never get boring.
For families with children who fancy a holiday trip to Sweden, a cycling adventure along the Göta Canal is the perfect choice. It is easy to rent a bike, or you can book a ready-made package with itinerary, accommodation and food (read more below)
Photographer: Jonas Ingman
Car-free cycling in a delightful landscape
The Göta Canal starts in the little village of Sjötorp on the shores of Lake Vänern, Sweden’s largest lake. You can rent bikes here and the old towpath along the canal is car-free, easy cycling with no hills. The villages aren’t far from each other, so the next ice cream break is never far away.
Göta Canal is a pure Swedish summer idyll. Indulge your fascination for the boats that are raised and lowered by the rushing water in the locks, or simply enjoy the beautiful landscape on all sides.
Watch all manner of boats as they glide along the canal, pause to pat the sheep that live along the banks, and take an evening dip from a jetty.
Splash around in the model canal
At the old harbour warehouse, Hamnmagasinet, in Lyrestad there is a traditional country store from the turn of the century, and when you reach the lock area at Norrqvarn there is every reason to slow down and stop for a while. The children can splash about in the model canal and everyone can enjoy locally produced food on the restaurant’s jetty.
The Warehouse in Hajstorp
At Hajstorp there are no less than nine locks. Take a rest and enjoy the activity from the canal-side at Hajstorps slusscafé. Upstairs in the old warehouse (Magasinet i Hajstorp) there is an exhibition of high-quality craftwork and children can try their hand at creating something themselves with activities such as weaving or making a bark boat to launch onto the canal.
Fika, fika and more fika!
In Töreboda a stop at Café Visthuset is an absolute must. If there is one good thing about the canal, it’s all the cafés. And locks. It is so much fun for the grown-ups and the children to watch the boats going up and down in the locks – and, like most things, it’s even better with a bun or an ice cream in your hand!
Photographer: Jonas Ingman
Shortly after the two pretty villages of Jonsboda and Vassbacken you will come to Lanthöjden, an island in the middle of the canal. On the island there is a tall obelisk that is worth a look.
In Tåtorp, the canal changes character, continues out onto Lake Viken and on towards the old industrial area of Forsvik. Tåtorp is a good turning point on this cycling route, but naturally, you can plan your route exactly as you would like it.
Along the canal there are hotels, campsites, hostels and B&Bs. Possibly the most extraordinary accommodation is Norrqvarn’s enchanted tree stumps and mushrooms.
4 popular cycling packages along the Göta Canal
#1 An organic cycling holiday
Café Visthuset, Töreboda
A fully organic cycling holiday surrounded by beautiful countryside and the simple pleasures of life along the Göta Canal. You will cycle between Café Visthuset in Töreboda and Tåtorp’s Hostel beside Lake Viken.
- The package includes: overnight accommodation, dinner, breakfast, picnic lunch and bike hire.
- Don’t miss: Stop for a picnic on the island of Lanthöjden, which is one of the canal’s highest points.
#2 The Children’s best cycling package
Norrqvarn Hotell & Konferens, Lyrestad
The route starts in Sjötorp and follows the canal to Norrqvarn where play, ice cream, dinner and an overnight stay await.
- The package includes: overnight accommodation, 2 course dinner, breakfast, bike hire, map and ice cream.
- Don’t miss: All children can borrow a boat for playing in the model canal.
#3 An easy weekend by e-bike
Sustainable Stella, Töreboda
Easy cycling with an e-bike along the Göta Canal combined with locally produced food. Perfect if you’re looking for a nature experience that isn’t too strenuous.
- The package includes: overnight accommodation, 3 course dinner, breakfast, lunch, map and entrance to the Göta Canal Museum.
- Don’t miss: The Göta Canal Museum in Sjötorp where you can learn about the fascinating history behind Sweden’s largest building project.
#4 A 3 day tour filled with adventure
A carefree cycling holiday with accommodation at a B&B in Töreboda. Visit all of the canal’s picturesque villages including Sjötorp, Vassbacken and Tåtorp.
- The package includes: overnight accommodation, dinner, breakfast, packed lunch, bike hire, map and entrance to the Göta Canal Museum.
- Don’t miss: One of the canal’s hand operated locks from 1814 in Tåtorp
Tips for more cycling adventures
West Sweden is a popular destination for cycling. Discover all the heart racing mountain bike trails, meandering coastal roads and family friendly cycle paths.