Sweden

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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foxyrider
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Sweden

Postby foxyrider » 2 Nov 2018, 1:42pm

Has anyone toured southern Sweden? I'm looking at flying out to Stockholm then via a bit of island hopping make my way across to Malmo pretty much following the south coast (bit of a Wallander fan!) to fly back from Copenhagen (although I could be tempted to ride down to Holland and ferry back to UK). The plan is to camp and or use camping sheds maybe with a couple of b&b's across about 14/20 days.

So has anyone done anything similar? How easy is it to get from Stockholm to Nynashamn for the Gotland ferry? How easy is it to use the Swedish rail system with a bike? Is it possible to island hop the archipelago south of Karlskrona?

I'm in the early stages of planning atm, i'm thinking of July / August or maybe September - any thoughts on that?

I look forward to hearing any advice
Convention? what's that then?
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teamonster
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Re: Sweden

Postby teamonster » 2 Nov 2018, 2:20pm

Never toured Sweden, but do spend a reasonable amount of time there as my wife is Swedish. Surprisingly for a country where lots of people cycle and there's a big focus on being green, provisions for bike on trains is not very good. I have managed to take my bike on a local commuter train from Uppsala towards Stockholm, but as I understand it they are not allowed at all on longer distance trains. That train stopped at Arlanda (Stockholm's major airport) but you couldn't officially embark or disembark with bikes there, nor could you at Stockholm Central Station !. Hopefully somebody else on here may be able to give more detailed info.

profpointy
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Re: Sweden

Postby profpointy » 2 Nov 2018, 2:30pm

no useful advice on touring, but do try and see the Vaasa in Stockholm. it is their equivalent of our Mary Rose - the most powerful warship in the world ... for about 20 minutes. Despite 300 years on the bottom it is intact due to the brackish water. highly highly recommended

brynpoeth
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Re: Sweden

Postby brynpoeth » 2 Nov 2018, 2:34pm

The cities are modern, Sweden is one of the "best" (wealth, standard of living, laws) countries in the world, lots of immigrants are integrated

But much of it is very rural, are there long distances between shops in "Sverige profonde"? A bit like trumpland?
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Vorpal
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Re: Sweden

Postby Vorpal » 2 Nov 2018, 3:57pm

Bikes are fine on some trains. The biggest problem is the scarcity of information. On local services, they do not require advance booking, but on regional trains they do. there are some exceptions to this. The regional service that goes across the Swedish-Norwegian border at Halden does not require advance booking. SJ theoretically do not take bikes, but there are some exceptions. Also, if you put it in a polythene bag (like the Cycling UK one), it becomes 'baggage' and can be taken on any train. That's a hassle, of course, but maybe better than some alternatives.

Stick https://arskortguldsj.wordpress.com/201 ... aren-2017/ in a translator, and you get a partial list. There is also some information available on the 'visit Sweden' site.

Ferries tend to be good. I don't know the Gotland ferry, but my experience with ferries in Sweden is good. Bikes often go free.

For island hopping, I would google 'färja' + the name of one or more islands that I wanted to visit.

Camping is also good. Sweden has a land access law that allows people to camp anywhere that is not cultivated, as long as they are more than 150 metres from any dwelling.

The Swedish Tourist association has camping cabins https://www.svenskaturistforeningen.se/ There are also some websites for finding such things. There are a bunch linked here http://www.stuga.com/ You'll have to stick that in a translator if your browser doesn't do it for you.

Also, some public beaches have showers, if that's a reason to use a cabin or B&B.

As for Wallander... Ystad has several sites that you can go see
This page has a list (Swedish) though it is well down the page http://din-rejseguide.dk/ystad-saltsjobad/
The turist bureau has this guide in English & Swedish https://www.ystad.se/globalassets/dokum ... e_2017.pdf

There are a lot of mosquitoes in summer, though coastal areas are usually okay. It's something to be prepared for if camping, especially in forested areas.

I haven't ridden the route you describe, but I've doen Gothenburg - Stockholm viewtopic.php?f=16&t=97356&hilit=stockholm
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pete75
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Re: Sweden

Postby pete75 » 2 Nov 2018, 4:22pm

teamonster wrote:Never toured Sweden, but do spend a reasonable amount of time there as my wife is Swedish. Surprisingly for a country where lots of people cycle and there's a big focus on being green, provisions for bike on trains is not very good. I have managed to take my bike on a local commuter train from Uppsala towards Stockholm, but as I understand it they are not allowed at all on longer distance trains. That train stopped at Arlanda (Stockholm's major airport) but you couldn't officially embark or disembark with bikes there, nor could you at Stockholm Central Station !. Hopefully somebody else on here may be able to give more detailed info.


They are allowed on longer distance train but have to be packed in a proper bike box or carrier. Info from my son who cycled UK to Stockholm in 2016. Some of his return journey was by train due to time constraints.

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foxyrider
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Re: Sweden

Postby foxyrider » 3 Nov 2018, 8:43am

I was planning a couple of days in Stockholm for the Wasa etc so that's all good.

What are the roads like for cycling? Are there cycle routes to keep off main routes? Are the roads all surfaced? I have a choice of my Airnimal or the big wheel tourer which works better for unmade surfaces.
Convention? what's that then?
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IanA
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Re: Sweden

Postby IanA » 3 Nov 2018, 3:58pm

The Tandem Club had their international rally on the island of Oland off the south east coast of Sweden this year so there were quite a few tandems wandering there way across Sweden to the rally. We chose almost the exact route you are asking about. We flew into Arlanda Airport, Stockholm and arriving late stayed at a hotel in the airport terminal. Then into Stockholm for a few days (another vote for the Vaasa museum - there will be a queue at busy times so get there early, but the wait is worth it), Nynashamn, ferry to Gotland, ferry to Oskarshamn, then generally followed the coast all the way round to Trelleborg.

There are lots of national, regional and local cycle routes all over Sweden aimed at everything from cycle tourists to local leisure cyclists and commuters. We used some of the national/regional ones for guidance but did not necessarily follow them precisely all the time. They are all generally well signposted once you know which one you are following. For the national and regional routes there are usually supporting web sites, such as https://www.sydostleden.se/en/, or https://swedenbybike.com/cykelleder/. The routes are also marked on the osm cycle mapping and some of the routes on the very expensive Swedish cycle maps. Most of the routes we came across or used were road based with occasional surfaced tracks. Nothing a reasonable road/touring bike wouldn't cope with.

Most roads either have a dedicated cycle track or are perfectly OK for cycling. Our route out of Stockholm to Nynashamn was about 40 miles and mainly followed roads along the Straket cycle route. There is a quieter more remote one detailed to the west of about 50 miles. Overall the roads, cycling facilities and driver attitudes are fantastic compared to the UK. You have to get used to drivers giving way to cyclists and there are so few potholes you can relax and spend more time looking at the views.

The ferry to and from Gotland is good. We booked on-line before travelling but I am not sure you need to. Bikes go on first so you get the good choice of seats. Snacks and bigger meals are available on board. We were taking it easy so didn't get out of Visby but it is a great town to wander round. There also looked a lot to do and see across Gotland so well worth exploring.

Following the coast you are never really remote and some of the bigger towns can be busy, modern and not particularly appealing. However, there are opportunities for routes on smaller roads through the forests/farmland which give a feel of what much of more remote Sweden must be like.

Re Karlskrona - I tried to look into ferries for the islands before we went but found very little information so stayed on the mainland. However, I picked up an 'Official Cycling Map' of Karlskrona while we were there and it shows ferries to and between all the islands. The western island of Haslo also appears to be joined by road to the mainland and also has a ferry to Ronnebyhamn to the west, which also then has one indicated to Karlshamn. I have no details of the ferries but the map/leaflet indicates that you can take your bike on archipelago ferries for a fee if there is space. Contact details include: cykel@karlskrona.se and visitkarlskrona.se.

In Ystad we stayed in an old timber framed hotel, Anno 1793 Sekelgarden, which I understand features in Wallander. A brewery a few doors down also proved very good for eats/drinks. A pleasant old town for a day off, although it rained when we were there. The south is less forested and more pleasant rolling farmland with small towns and ports. Try not to miss the old viking standing stones at Kaseberga on the way to Ystad.

We were there for the last 3 weeks of August. It was the end of a very hot summer and mainly pleasant cycling weather. Occasional rain but not a lot. Main problem was a head wind almost every day although I understand this is not usual. I think their traditional holiday season ends about the second week in August and it ends very quickly. Some dedicated tourist facilities finish at the same time. July would also be good cycling times but I understand things can get very busy at peak holiday times at destinations such as Gotland or coastal resorts. We didn't have much of a problem with mosquitos, perhaps because it had been so dry.

Although I understand bikes are allowed on trains we didn't pursue it as tandems are not allowed.

From Trelleborg we took the ferry to Lubeck, Germany and continued across northern Germany to the Netherlands and returned from Europort.

landsurfer
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Re: Sweden

Postby landsurfer » 3 Nov 2018, 4:10pm

"ONLY PLACE ON EARTH WHERE THE CLOUDS ARE INTERESTING !"

The Stranglers .... :D
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
The road goes on forever.

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foxyrider
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Re: Sweden

Postby foxyrider » 3 Nov 2018, 4:35pm

Thanks for all that info IanA - very helpful indeed! How long did your trip take?

And some other good tips from others - now I just need to start saving! 8)
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

landsurfer
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Re: Sweden

Postby landsurfer » 3 Nov 2018, 7:51pm

Instead of ferries from the UK to Sweden try shipping agents ..
We sailed from Harwich to Gothenburg.
Then cycled to Stockholm via Linkoping.
We sailed on a bulk carrier in ballast for £35 each .. dined with the Captain .. 3 days ... £5 ea. / day for superb food ..
Our "bunk" was huge, en-suite and we had a great time with the crew .. who where mostly from HK ..
Officers where Cloggies and everyone spoke better English than us .... :lol:

The return was on a HGV bulk carrier... British crew and 2 days of great travel ...£50 each ...
It was an adventure in itself ......
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
The road goes on forever.

IanA
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Re: Sweden

Postby IanA » 4 Nov 2018, 10:47am

foxyrider wrote: How long did your trip take?


About 21 days in Sweden, including 7 days at the tandem club rally, 7 days in Germany and 10 days in the Netherlands, all including occasional days off. Our mileages ranged from about 30 to occasional 60 plus mainly depending on accommodation.

Have a good trip.

teamonster
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Re: Sweden

Postby teamonster » 4 Nov 2018, 2:12pm

foxyrider wrote:Thanks for all that info IanA - very helpful indeed! How long did your trip take?

And some other good tips from others - now I just need to start saving! 8)


Couple of tips of the money front. First cash is not king ! Sweden is very well advanced in moving to a cashless society, even toilets and beggars take cards not cash now. In most Banks you can't pay in cash, I spent a lot of the last year in Sweden and never used cash once. In fact I still have the 20 Kronor note that sat in my wallet for most of the time. Secondly, Sweden can be expensive, but there are also good deals to be had - don't buy booze in cafes and restaurants it's expensive. Wine can be bought from System Bolaget (State run off licences) but beware they have limited opening hours and only half day Saturday at weekends. If you drink beer as long as it is 3.5% or less you can buy in supermarkets and it is comparable or less than in the UK. Strong Beer and wine you can only buy from System. In terms of eating out, not all restaurants are that expensive, but you have to search out the cheaper ones, nearly all offer good deals at lunchtime during the week, look for Dagens Lunch. Some larger supermarkets also have cafes offering similar deals. I spend most of my time in Uppsala, so sadly no local knowledge of where you intend to go

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foxyrider
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Re: Sweden

Postby foxyrider » 4 Nov 2018, 9:37pm

teamonster wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Thanks for all that info IanA - very helpful indeed! How long did your trip take?

And some other good tips from others - now I just need to start saving! 8)


Couple of tips of the money front. First cash is not king ! Sweden is very well advanced in moving to a cashless society, even toilets and beggars take cards not cash now. In most Banks you can't pay in cash, I spent a lot of the last year in Sweden and never used cash once. In fact I still have the 20 Kronor note that sat in my wallet for most of the time. Secondly, Sweden can be expensive, but there are also good deals to be had - don't buy booze in cafes and restaurants it's expensive. Wine can be bought from System Bolaget (State run off licences) but beware they have limited opening hours and only half day Saturday at weekends. If you drink beer as long as it is 3.5% or less you can buy in supermarkets and it is comparable or less than in the UK. Strong Beer and wine you can only buy from System. In terms of eating out, not all restaurants are that expensive, but you have to search out the cheaper ones, nearly all offer good deals at lunchtime during the week, look for Dagens Lunch. Some larger supermarkets also have cafes offering similar deals. I spend most of my time in Uppsala, so sadly no local knowledge of where you intend to go


That's all good to know - I might enjoy a beer with dinner but I can manage without! I had intended to change up to some Krona to take along each month, sounds like i'll be better off putting in the savings account. Take it my Visa debit will be okay to use?

How are prices for self catering? Staples like bread etc?
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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foxyrider
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Re: Sweden

Postby foxyrider » 4 Nov 2018, 9:42pm

IanA wrote:
foxyrider wrote: How long did your trip take?


About 21 days in Sweden, including 7 days at the tandem club rally, 7 days in Germany and 10 days in the Netherlands, all including occasional days off. Our mileages ranged from about 30 to occasional 60 plus mainly depending on accommodation.

Have a good trip.


Cheers, that sounds like it'll fit well with what I have in mind.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!