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  • Photographer: Jonas Ingman

THE GOTALEDEN - 12 GREAT FOOD STOPS YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T MISS

Forget sad plastic wrapped sandwiches and factory produced cakes. Along the Gotaleden a stop for food or fika is so much more. You’ll find lots of cafes and restaurants making the most of organic and locally produced ingredients and serving food that is both good for you, and the environment.

Gotaleden facts

Length: 71 km, divided into 9 stages from Gothenburg to Alingsås.

Timing: Around 20 hours effective walking without stops. The whole trail takes approximately 3-4 days to hike.

Difficulty: From easy to challenging – different levels on different stages.

Terrain: Forest paths and gravel/asphalt roads.

Insta-moments: Capture nature’s beautiful colour changes: from spring’s fresh greenery to autumn’s red and gold glory.

Clothes and equipment: Good walking shoes, rucksack with picnic, water bottle and clothes suitable for the weather. If walking longer than one day you’ll need a change of clothes and accommodation plans.

Be aware: Wear good socks. Get a selection of socks specifically for hiking and trekking. Walking a single stage is perfect for a day hike, or combine a few for a longer trip. The Gotaleden passes several train stations between Gothenburg and Alingsås, so it’s easy to take the train to wherever you want to start your hike from.

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Enjoy the good things in life along the Gotaleden

In the Gothenburg dialect we use the word ‘Gött’ to describe something enjoyable. And hiking should be really gött. Spend time enjoying your food stops, whether you’re brewing your own coffee over a campfire or visiting one of the region’s fabulous cafes.  

We’ve put together 12 great food stops along the Gotaleden for you here:

 

1. Stop with stunning city views

Take your picnic up to the “Gött läge” shelter on Getryggen. From the top of this huge bedrock plateau towering over Skatås you can enjoy a fantastic view of the city. A lunch companion that’s hard to beat!

Instagram tips: The view from Getryggen naturally makes a perfect Instagram moment. On really clear days you can even see all the way to the sea from some spots on the north side.

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

 

2. Get your breath back in a garden cafe

Do you like flowers? Then set aside some time to visit Jonsered Gardens. Stroll around the leafy pathways and admire the lovely flower beds which have been recreated from the original 19th century designs. Finish off with a visit to the charming cafe which serves cakes and pastries, colourful salads and light lunches.

Instagram tips: Let the stately manor house in the background peep through behind the magnificent flower displays in the garden.

Photographer: Monika Manowska

 

3. Pause at Poppels

The little local Poppels brewery in Jonsered has skilfully worked its way up to become Sweden's largest eco-brewery. Here you can get a guided tour of the brewery, take part in a beer tasting or just enjoy amazing beer and food pairings.

Instagram tips: Take the opportunity to photograph the industrial heritage site around Poppels.

 

4. Stop at a spinning mill

Nääs Fabriker, a former 19th century cotton mill, can be found right next to Lake Sävelången. It’s the pefect spot for a short pause. Or you might find yourself staying for a couple of days. That’s because it’s easy to fall in love with the hotel rooms where the ceiling height is over five metres, and there’s a fantastic lake view. Not to mention the beautiful and spacious glass veranda where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. There’s also a lovely spa with various saunas, heated outdoor pool and steps leading from the deck into the lake. A rest for both body and soul.

Instagram tips: Immortalise the rustic mill buildings and the carefully renovated facade. Or head up to the hotel terrace to capture the fantastic sunset over the lake.

Photographer: STUDIO KIM SVENSSON AB

 

5. Lunch at a castle

When you walk into Nääs Castle you step straight into the 19th century. Since the castle's last private owner died in 1898 nothing has changed. The teacups are still on the table and the beds are made in the same way. It’s a very special environment well worth pausing your hike for. And naturally you can eat well here: at Nääs Castle Café and Restaurant you’ll be able to enjoy a luxurious castle lunch or delicious pastries.

Instagram tips: Wander round the beautiful castle grounds and photograph the huge swings on the oak trees with the castle in the background.

 

6. Local artisan food in Floda

If you’re a foodie then a stop at Garveriet in Floda is a must. Enjoy lunches made from locally produced ingredients, or delicious breads and pastries baked in the stone oven that forms the heart of the renovated former tannery. There is a restaurant, café, brewery and conference facilities. And a small shop, where you can take the opportunity to buy both home baked goodies and locally produced ingredients such as cheese, vegetables and charcuterie. Perfect for your next picnic!

 

Instagram tips: A picture of Garveriet’s delicious freshly made stone baked pizza will get you lots of likes. And the surroundings and decor are also worth snapping.

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

 

7. Wood fired food magic

Jernbruket in Floda is also an excellent choice for the hungry hiker. Step into this special restaurant housed in a former warehouse, which once was part of the Floda Järnbruk ironworks. Most of the food is prepared on a wood-fired grill. Meat is sourced from local farmers and many of the vegetables are grown in Jernbruket's own allotment. You can also enjoy beer from selected craft breweries here.

Instagram tips: Take pictures of your meal. It’s real food, beautifully presented. Or your new favourite beer, so that you remember the name!

Photographer: Nicke Johansson

 

8. Modern food and Swedish wines

For wine connoisseurs we recommend a stop at Aludden Prôvidore, in a lovely setting right next to Lake Aspen. Carefully selected wines from all over the world are served here, but our top tip is to be bold and try Swedish – Aludden’s sommelier is extremely knowledgeable about Swedish wines! With a quality to match, the food served here is modern, organic, sustainable and seasonal.

Instagram tips: Walk down to the lake, where there are shoreline glades and views that are so beautiful they just have to be captured and shared.

 

9. Stay the night in a historic manor house

If you want to have a longer break in a historic setting, Aspenäs Herrgård is the perfect choice. Cosy up by the fireplace in the library or enjoy a glass in the wine cellar, before having dinner in the excellent manor restaurant. The kitchen’s focus is on seasonal ingredients that are usually locally produced and organic. After dinner, you can spend the night in the manor hotel.

Instagram tips: Capture dusk falling over the manor house. Or early morning mist on the lake.

 

10. Train stop at Nolbygården

Just outside Alingsås, about 2 km from the start/end of the Gotaleden, is Nolbygårds Organic Bakery. Their large bread buffet is worth the detour: enjoy freshly baked bread with toppings from local and regional suppliers. Try, for example, Wrångebäck cheese from Almnäs Bruk or the elk, deer and mutton from nearby Holma Gård. In the garden you’ll find an old railbus. Pack a picnic basket and step on board the cosy carriage with green plush seats, for a different kind of lunch break.

Instagram tips: Take your most fun picture of the hike in the old railbus.

 

11. + 12. Café visits in Sweden’s Fika Capital

The start/end destination on the Gotaleden is Alingsås. And of course your hike should include a fika in the town that is famous for being Sweden’s fika capital. There are so many lovely cafes here. Both Ekstedts Bageri & Café and Nygrens Café have been chosen by the White Guide as Sweden’s best cafes. At Ekstedts everything is made from scratch and the focus is on traditional recipes, such as classic Swedish biscuits, sweets and patisserie. At Nygrens you can have a seat on one of the red velvet sofas and enjoy homemade bread, cakes and lunches.

Instagram tips: One of the loveliest spots in Alingsås is Piren on the tip of Playa Mjörn. The perfect place for a photo walk after your fika stop.

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

 

Watch the film about the Gotaleden!

 

more hiking trails in west sweden

 

Gotaleden facts

Length: 71 km, divided into 9 stages from Gothenburg to Alingsås.

Timing: Around 20 hours effective walking without stops. The whole trail takes approximately 3-4 days to hike.

Difficulty: From easy to challenging – different levels on different stages.

Terrain: Forest paths and gravel/asphalt roads.

Insta-moments: Capture nature’s beautiful colour changes: from spring’s fresh greenery to autumn’s red and gold glory.

Clothes and equipment: Good walking shoes, rucksack with picnic, water bottle and clothes suitable for the weather. If walking longer than one day you’ll need a change of clothes and accommodation plans.

Be aware: Wear good socks. Get a selection of socks specifically for hiking and trekking. Walking a single stage is perfect for a day hike, or combine a few for a longer trip. The Gotaleden passes several train stations between Gothenburg and Alingsås, so it’s easy to take the train to wherever you want to start your hike from.

GOTALEDEN.COM