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8 autumn experiences

Discover Lake Hornborga

Keen to do an excursion, discover something new or simply to enjoy coffee and cakes at a charming café? Here are some tips if you want to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn air, the glorious colours in the countryside and great visitor attractions. If you’re also looking for interesting accommodation, then view our 8 tips below.

1. Harvest time, art and culture

Late summer and autumn is harvest time, yielding tasty vegetables, sun-ripened fruits, pumpkins, flowers and production of delicious processed products such as jams and preserves. Autumn at Lake Hornborgasjön also offers art and culture.


  • Between 22-24 September you can experience a colourful weekend in Falbygden at one of West Sweden’s biggest art tours – Konstnatten Mekelsmäss!
  • Experience the harvest festival around Lake Östen. 23-24 September.
  • At Malta Johanna Marknad at Järnvägstorget in Falköping you can buy local products directly from producers every Saturday until 24 September.

2. Hike through lakeside meadows and view migratory birds

Experience the tranquillity of the lakeside meadows and enjoy views of Lake Hornborgasjön. There are numerous hiking trails of varying lengths and character close to the lake. Lake Hornborgasjön is one of the country’s most important locations for migrating birds. On certain autumn days up to 50,000 migrating geese and ducks may be gathered on the lake. It’s a magnificent sight to see. 


  • View the cranes as they once again pass through Lake Hornborgasjön from late August to early October. However, this is a slightly more low-key visit than in spring. The best viewing spot is the Trandansen site at Bjurum at dusk as they fly out onto the lake to sleep.
  • Visit the Naturum Hornborgasjön visitor centre, which is built out over the water on the eastern side of the lake. It houses an exhibition about the lake and its abundant birdlife. Next door to the visitor centre you can enjoy refreshments accompanied by beautiful views of the lake at Café Doppingen.
  • Discover beautiful art indoors and out at Löfwings Ateljé & Krog. They also serve home-made refreshments and lunches. And if you want to stay a little longer in the area, they offer charming B&B accommodation too.

3. Action-packed autumn experiences on Billingen

Enjoy the wonderful autumn colours on two wheels along the mountain-biking trails on Billingen. Cycle through the forests of Billingen, over logs and stones, along well-marked mountain-biking trails of varying character and levels of difficulty. Challenge yourself with a tough fitness session or take the whole family along the slightly shorter trail. 


  • Explore Billingen Mountainbike Arena– challenge your cycling skills with trails, curves, jumps and descents. It is also home to two pump track courses of varying levels of difficulty. 
  • Not far from the pump track courses you will find a totally different adventure on high. Bring your family and friends and swing through the trees on the Upzone high ropes course.
  • No bike of your own? No problem. Billingecenter at the heart of the area offers mountain-bike hire for the whole family.
  • Want to stay a little longer? Stay overnight at Hotell Billingehus with outdoor recreation on hand. Enjoy a delicious evening meal in the restaurant and chill out after an active day on the mountain.

4. Historical ruins at Varnhem Abbey

A special atmosphere rests over Varnhem, thousands of years in the making. You can visit Kata Gård here – the ruins of a thousand-year-old farm church from the 10th century. Kata Gård also has an exhibition where you can learn all about the Christian Vikings who lived here.


  • Klostersjön in Varnhem has been restored, so we can now look out over this abbey lake just as the monks would have done in their day. The short footpath around the lake affords fine views of the abbey grounds in their autumn finery.
  • Round off your visit with coffee and cakes or a hot meal at Varnhems Klosterkafé or Mellomgården Café & Gårdsbutik outside Varnhem.
  • Take a drive along the Skaraborg Culture Route, passing through Varnhem. It’s a brown & white signposted tourist route from Karleby to Tidan with numerous interesting sights along the way. Download the app and head out on an exciting road trip!

Did you know that...?

  • Varnhem was the birthplace of Andreas Dahl, who was a student of Carl Linnaeus. The dahlia flower was named after him in recognition of his contributions to botany. The dahlia beds of Svenska Dahliasällskapet (Swedish Dahlia Society) in Varnhem display just over 170 plants of 60 varieties. 

5. Plateau mountain offering activities and beautiful views

At Mösseberg in Falköping you can enjoy a variety of wonderful nature experiences, outdoor activities and beautiful views of Falbygden. The tracks and hiking trails on the mountain vary in length and type, and are suitable for walking, running and mountain-biking. You will also find a disc golf course, play areas and a small animal park.  


  • Lunch or perhaps a spa day at Mössebergs Kurort? Want to stay a little longer? They also offer overnight accommodation in a delightful spa resort setting.
  • Small-town shopping in Falköping town centre, with a pleasing selection, charming cafés and first-rate service.
  • A large cheese shop and delicatessen, refreshments and a cheese buffet can all be found at Falbygdens Osteria. Their annual Christmas market starts at 10 am on 10/10.

Did you know that...?

  • Mösseberg is 327 m above sea level and forms part of Platåbergens Geopark. Västergötland boasts 15 table mountains. 

6. Explore the Valle district on foot

Take a trip to the beautiful Valle district. A gentle, rolling landscape dotted with lakes, like something from a fairytale. You can enjoy the reds and yellows of the autumnal woodland, an abundance of small, sparkling lakes and picturesque nature reserves that follow one after another. Pack your rucksack and head out on one of the many hiking trails here. There are hiking trails aplenty for several days of exploration.


  • The views from Jättadalen in autumn are glorious. The red leaves and small lakes are wonderful viewed from above!
  • Make a weekday excursion to the area and end your hike with a delicious lunch at Flämslätt kurs- och Stiftsgård. They serve local food and are open on weekdays for lunch.
  • Enjoy beautiful works of art created by local artists in the art gallery at Karlsfors Gård. Alongside the art gallery is the Shop at Karlsfors, which stocks stylish homewares and also offers the chance to sit and enjoy refreshments in a charming setting. And don’t miss out on visiting the picturesque Silverfallet nature reserve.

7. Skara – a historic small town close to Lake Hornborgasjön

The historic neighbourhoods in Skara’s picturesque town centre are home to a number of treasures. A visit to the magnificent cathedral is a must when visiting the town, and there is a strong sense of history as you stroll around the area.


  • Within the walls of the Old library you’ll find not only Bokäventyret, but also the beautiful 19th-century library with its original flooring and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.
  • Enjoy a unique art experience at Skara Konsthotell or Skara Stadshotell. The Konsthotell boasts a large, unique art collection, with works by Anders Zorn and others, while the Stadshotell has a number of works by Lars Lerin.
  • At Västergötland Museum you can discover fascinating tales of the Bronze Age shields from Fröslunda, and Kata, the woman who was in charge of the large farmstead at Varnhem in the 11th century. 

8. Mediaeval abbey ruins

The Cistercian abbey at Gudhem was a convent founded in the 1160s. It enjoys a beautiful setting with views over Lake Hornborgasjön. Today you can explore the abbey ruins and Gudhem parish church. There is also a small abbey garden and museum. 


  • Shop for homewares and take a coffee break at Kdesign in Östra Tunhem.
  • Hike along the Pilgrimsleden Trail (Falköping to Varnhem), which passes by the abbey.
  • Other recommended historical visitor attractions include Åsle Tå, Sweden’s largest collection of ‘hill cottages’, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. While the story of the gold collar from Ålleberg, Sweden’s oldest domestic dog and the raspberry girl sacrificed in a bog are just some of the fascinating tales you can discover at Falbygdens Museum.

More to experience

For opening times and prebooking (if required), please check individual websites!