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  • Photographer: Farawayistan

Gravel cycling

Gravel cycling, or gravel biking as it’s also known, is a great way to get out on a bike, as suitable for beginners as it is for experienced cyclists. It’s action packed, easy and can be done almost anywhere in Sweden.

Cycling on gravel means that you get the best of two worlds: exploring the same scenery as when you’re mountain biking, but with the fast pace that road cycling offers. It’s a fun activity that’s becoming ever more popular all over the world.

The charm of gravel biking is the freedom to discover new areas. Because Sweden is teeming with meandering gravel roads it’s never far to your next adventure. Here are suggestions for some circular cycling tours that are great for both experienced cyclists, and anyone wanting to try out gravel biking for the first time.

Photographer: Farawayistan


Gravel biking in Dalsland

The countryside in Dalsland is perfect for gravel biking. It’s easy to do longer stretches and there are a surprising number of places to stop at and enjoy a fika or lunch.

  • Dalslands Canal loop 30 km. Gentle and relatively flat loop that’s good for beginners. Start and finish in Upperud and pass several pretty lakes along the way. Take the opportunity to have lunch at Upperud 9:9 when you get back.
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Part of the Unionsleden 57 km. This loop is a bit more challenging, with a steep climb approximately half way. There are lots of great places for a pit stop including Not Quite’s café, Baldersnäs Herrgård and the Stenebygrytan restaurant at Dalslands Aktiviteter (where the loop starts and ends).
    See the map and download a GPX file

You can hire gravel bikes and book guided tours at The Dalsland Experience.

Photographer: Farawayistan


Gravel cycling on Tjörn

The island of Tjörn on the west coast is another place offering lovely gravel biking, in a whole other setting than up in Dalsland. Here, the endless coniferous forests have been exchanged for smooth rocks, jetties and dappled beech woodland.

  • Cycle round Tjörn 67 km. A great loop that takes you on a lap of the whole island. We suggest you start in Skärhamn. You’ll cycle past many lovely places to stop, from swimming spots to cafes.
    See the map and download a GPX file

Photographer: White Elk


Gravel biking on Billingen

Billingen table mountain in Skövde is a popular spot for outdoor activities, and that also includes gravel biking. Here are some different loops to choose from. All of them start from the Billingen recreation area.

  • Billingehalvan 29 km.  An easy start with a descent, followed by a climb up Billingen before finishing on flat terrain.
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Gröna Milen 10 km.  An easily cycled exercise track (shared with walkers). Perfect training for the Cykelvasan Vasaloppet race.
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Grusgrus Sydväst 39 km.  A gravelly loop which heads to Varnhem, past Jättadalen valley and finally back via Ryds caves. A really nice tour!
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Gravel road rally round Lerdala 66 km. A longer trip taking you beyond Billingen, through lovely Vallebygden and round Lake Flämsjön. Perfect longer workout, with lots of beautiful scenery to look at.
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Hallanrundan 28 km.  Easier tour on gravel and some asphalt roads around Billingen’s forests. Tough slope to finish.
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Vasaspåret 18 km.  A flat loop leading up onto Billingen round Blängsmossen. A large part of the route is along “Raka Linan”, a dead straight gravel road.
    See the map and download a GPX file

  • Vasaspåret 34 km.  Really good training for the Cykelvasan. The loop starts north of Blängsmossen, then goes past Jättadalen and on to highway 49 before you turn off to get back to Billingen recreation area again.
    See the map and download a GPX file

Photographer: Jesper Anhede


Common FAQ about gravel biking

What is a gravel bike?

A gravel bike is a type of bike that is suitable for cycling on gravel roads. It’s more durable than a classic road bike and at the same time faster than a mountain bike on roads.

Why go gravel biking?

Gravel biking is the perfect activity for beginners who don't want to go out on rocky MTB tracks, but at the same time want to cycle in forests and other typical MTB terrain. For experienced cyclists, the challenge is that it puts both endurance and strength to the test.

Where can you go gravel biking?

The great thing about gravel biking is that it can be done more or less everywhere. In West Sweden you can go gravel biking on Billingen in Skövde, on Tjörn by the coast and in Dalsland, among other places.


Get some inspiration

Robin and Sabina write the Farawayistan blog where they talk about their cycling adventures around the world. In 2022 they were in Sweden, where they explored the gravel roads in Dalsland. Read mreo about their cycle trip through Dalsland.

Photographer: Farawayistan


Dalsland Gravel Race – an unmissable cycle race

Ready for your next challenge? Come and cycle the Dalsland Gravel Race in Bengtsfors. Choose between the 140 km or 70 km class. See up to date info on the race website.


Cycling in West Sweden