05 Lidköping - Vänersborg, Vänerleden
This is a long stage with little accommodation along the way, so it’s a good idea to find accommodation in Lidköping or Vänersborg and take a picnic or other food with you on your bike ride.
Visit Vänermuséet and Rörstrands in Lidköping
Lidköping contains some great sights and attractions that we recommend you visit. The town is one of Sweden’s finest. Its vibrant town centre includes the old town hall Gamla Rådhuset on the large square Nya Stadens Torg, and Limtorget Square with old preserved wooden buildings. At Rörstrand Center you can visit the porcelain museum and bag a bargain in the shop at outlet prices. The route continues out towards Vänern and follows the shoreline past the guest marina. Shortly afterwards, you will reach Vänermuseet, which is a museum well worth a visit. Here, both children and adults can learn all sorts of facts about Sweden’s largest lake; the 17,000 exhibits, 1,600 artworks and 150,000 photographs teach us about nature and life in and by Vänern. The most popular exhibit is the aquarium, in which you can see examples of Vänern’s 38 species of fish. If you’re lucky, you can watch them being fed.
Outside the museum you’ll also find a heated outdoor pool, Framnäsbadet, if you want to stop for a swim, and slightly further on you will come to Kronocamping, which is handy for accommodation in cabins and tent pitches directly next to Vänern. If it’s not time to turn in for the night, the site also includes a restaurant. The route then winds its way through residential areas via cycle paths, past Läckövägen Road and out into the countryside via Brynåsa and Rackeby. You will pass the country fashion and accessories shop Butiken på Landet located at Apelås Gård.
Amazing Hindens Rev
On this section, you will pass a sign for Hindens Rev, and we highly recommend that you plan a stop here and go for a walk on the 5 km terminal moraine that extends straight out into Lake Vänern. It’s narrowest point is 25 m and its widest is 100 m. If you feel like a swim, the popular Svalnäs bathing spot is one of Vänern’s finest and is located in the immediate vicinity.
In the village of Söne, you can take a break at the Söne Mejeri dairy for coffee or lunch. From Söne, you then continue to Örslösa. The route follows country roads and gravel tracks through fertile farmland. In Särestad, you can take the opportunity to visit the Särestad old farming museum, Landsbygdsmuseum. Then continue your bike ride towards Salstad and Flo.
Hunneberg, a mighty table mountain
Having arrived in Flo, turn right at the junction, and pass the junction by the bus stop at the sign for Bragnum. After about 70 m, turn right. After a further 400 m or so, you will pass through a farm, after which the road turns into a farm track covered in grass (about 500 m). You may encounter harvesting machinery here at certain times of year, so we urge you to show consideration for working farmers. At the end of the grass track, turn left onto the small road that leads up the Hunneberg table mountain. This next part of the route climbs uphill for 800 m, so if you have heavy luggage on your bicycle, now can be a good time to dismount. However, up on the hill you will be richly rewarded if you stop at the magnificent Flo lookout point. It gives you a wide, beautiful view over Dättern and Vänersnäs and the rest of Vänern. About 200 m from the lookout point, turn right towards the Bergagården outdoor recreation area and restaurant, which is about 5 km away. About halfway, you will reach Erdalen, a picturesque site where the charcoal burners’ association Hunnebergskolarna constructs a charcoal pile every year. Just before the entrance to Bergagården, you pass Lake Eldmörjan, which is excellent for canoeing/kayaking. There is also a scenic walking trail around the lake, and with a bit of luck you might spot beavers, which are common in this area.
One good tip is to visit Kungajaktmuseet Älgens Berg (the Royal Hunt Museum, Elk Hill), for lunch, coffee or information about local walking trails. Here, you can also accompany a certified guide in the area and learn more about the table mountains or go on a beaver safari.
When you have passed the entrance to the Bergagården outdoor recreation area, you will have about 1.9 km to cycle to reach the community of Vargön, where you can stay the night at the cosy hotel and manor house Ronnums Herrgård. Before you reach Vänersborg, we also recommend that you take a detour to swim at Nordkroken and look at the excitingsub-Cambrian peneplain. These flat rock surfaces were already here more than half a billion years ago! They consist of bedrock formed 1,700 million years ago as part of an enormous mountain range that was perhaps as high as Himalaya. The mountain range weathered and eroded to create the flat landscape visible here today. The peneplain can be seen especially clearly here at Nordkroken.
If you choose to cycle directly to Vänersborg, you will ride on scenic cycle paths directly adjacent to Vänern. You will then arrive at the pretty park Skräckleparken, which offers several great bathing spots, green spaces for fun and games such as disc golf (Frisbee golf) and a tasty lunch or coffee in the Skräcklestugan café. Follow the cycle path along the shore to Fisktorget Square beyond the large historic building Residenset, that is nowadays partly used as regional government offices.
Vänersborg , “Little Paris”
Vänersborg was nicknamed “Little Paris” by the Swedish poet Birger Sjöberg and offers a rich variety of activities and sights. Explore the “cultural axis” from the large historic Residenset building to Vänersborgs Museum, which contains Sweden’s oldest preserved museum environment and is especially known for its unique collection of African birds. Along the cultural axis you will also find the tourist information centre Turistbyrån, which can provide you with more information. Vänersborg offers several forms of accommodation, supermarkets and grocery stores, restaurants and cafés, and Sweden’s oldest cheese shop. Enjoy the boating scene by the harbour canal and guest marina before continuing on your bike ride or taking the train home.