When autumn comes, Swedish is spoken again in Sweden. Tourists can only be found sporadically; holidaymakers in the winter sports resorts in the north only come with the snow. A perfect time to get to know the country from a very special, quiet side.
Bike Magazine Pedalieros
There are no fewer than 221,800 islands in Sweden.
Winter is coming with big strides, but we have not yet declared the cycling season over. So get out of your comfort zone, into the camper towards Sweden - everyone can do southern Europe in autumn! Mountain bikes and racing bikes come on board, because we want to experience southern Sweden in all its facets.
So it is an excellent thing that our HYMER B-MC T 580 has an invitingly large rear garage, we easily accommodate our four bikes inside. So that they stand a little better next to each other, we only loosen the screws on the stem and put the handlebars sideways. Six bikes would fit into the garage without any problems if you removed the wheels, a few more. The space is impressive, so we are not spoiled for choice as to which bike to take with us on the road. With MTB and racing machines in our baggage, we are well equipped for on-road and off-road use.
Even if Germany and Sweden do not have a common border, the Scandinavian country is almost in the neighborhood. Just a little over 70 kilometers as the crow flies, separate Cape Arkona on Rügen from Trelleborg on the south coast of Sweden. There are numerous ferry connections to Sweden, but we choose to travel overland via Denmark. This not only saves time, but also leads over the spectacular bridges over the Great Belt and the Öresund.
Starting from Kiel, we reach the Danish border after only an hour. Less than 100 kilometers further, behind Kolding, we leave Jutland, the Danish mainland, and turn right onto the islands. The first bridge leads across the Little Belt to the island of Funen. The bridge over the Great Belt follows after 80 kilometers. The first toll is payable here, but the hefty price is worth it.
We reach the island of Zealand, on which Denmark's capital Copenhagen is also located. After another 100 kilometers, just behind Copenhagen, we come to the Öresund Bridge, which is also subject to tolls. On the other hand, we can already see Malmo, Sweden. The meter shows a mere 430 kilometers from Kiel to here, a very acceptable distance for a vacation trip.
Our first destination is the Kullaberg, located on the Kullen peninsula, around 100 kilometers north of Malmö. Washed by the rushing waves of the Kattegat, there should be an excellent mountain bike trail.
Jacob, Local and Hotelier, invited us to do a lap on his favorite routes. We meet him in Mölle at the Grand Hôtel, a sophisticated building with a great view of the traditional seaside resort.
The area around Kullaberg is very busy in summer. The nature reserve is very scenic and extremely popular with Swedes and tourists. But today, on one of the last days in November, there are no hikers and walkers to be seen, the forest appears deserted.
The trail is barely visible under a thick layer of leaves, luckily Jacob knows every inch of the way, we just have to follow it. It goes up to the Kullaberg, it is 188 meters high and offers a great 360-degree panoramic view. Standing in the fresh wind, we do not linger long, we simply cruise into the valley. Winding, over beautifully laid out steep curves, it goes downhill. There are no special demands on riding ability, the focus is on fun.
The Kullen peninsula is surrounded by the Kattegat, the sea acts as a huge heat store, the water temperature rarely drops below 5 degrees Celsius. The winters are accordingly mild, snow rarely falls, and if it does, it only stays for a short time. Southern Sweden is a year-round travel destination, difficult road conditions are unlikely, the temperatures allow outdoor activities such as cycling all year round. If you have the right clothes and a soft spot for cinnamon buns and Glögg, you can experience fantastic days here in autumn and winter.
It is a remarkable tour around the Kullaberg, the landscape is extremely varied. It feels like we're going through the whole world. Out of bare deciduous forests, it goes from Norwegian-looking cliffs, then into the Scottish highlands, then on a dusty Mediterranean trail, until we finally land at the lighthouse, Kullens Fyr, at the end of the tour. Proudly perched on the cliffs, the view from here up to the sea is magnificent.
We drive back to the hotel and say goodbye to Jacob. We want to go a little further to Varberg. There is a nice campsite by the sea, Apelviken. Exactly the right place to park our HYMER B-MC T 580. The journey there is relaxed along the Kattegat. Equipped with excellent automatic transmission and a powerful engine, our HYMER commands on the road, we sit enthroned in comfortable seats and let the landscape rush past us with pleasure. The streets are empty and flat, a fresh westerly wind shakes our motorhome, but thanks to Crosswind Assist we always stay on track. Under these conditions, even sudden bad weather should not be a challenge.
Arrived in Apelviken, Varberg, a parking space is quickly found and the motorhome parked. For passionate bikers, the freedom that HYMER offers is a revelation. Easy and safe stowage of the bikes, plus the option to increase the scope of varied trails, because a change of location is quick and easy. This is particularly true of Sweden, because here the so-called "everyone's right" applies. It says that everyone has the right to move freely. This also includes camping in the great outdoors, officially it is allowed to stay in one place 24 hours (on weekends until the next working day), regardless of whether with the tent, caravan or camper. This freedom is cultivated in Sweden and offers the best conditions for experiencing the country very intensively.
We are completely independent with our HYMER B-MC T 580. A huge 180 liter tank, a spacious bathroom, a large refrigerator, a three-burner gas cooker, a powerful Truma heater with a warm air system - there are student halls that are less equipped. A 32-inch flat screen, a panoramic roof light and numerous cellar compartments that are even embedded in the floor make it very accessible, these are even heated. Have I already made a comparison with the student accomodation? Anyway, let's do it!
We treat ourselves to the luxury of well-kept facilities and an extensive Swedish breakfast at the Apelviken campsite. So we sit relaxed in our pleasantly warm home and end the day with a delicious Glögg.
The second stop on our trip is the island of Tjörn in Bohuslän. It is located about 50 kilometers north of Gothenburg, so we leave the big city to the left and go straight to a fantastic island world. The Swedish archipelago is famous worldwide, and not without reason. One imagines oneself in an archaic world in which Vikings played no minor role.
We drive over the majestic Tjörnbron (Tjörn Bridge) to the sixth largest Swedish island. It has 15,000 inhabitants, which doubles in summer thanks to tourists. From the bridge there is the first splendid view: countless small and large archipelagos can be seen, small bays, red houses, fishing boats - a pretty postcard idyll.
Madness, it looked like at home at first, then like in the forests of Canada, now like in Scotland. That is pretty impressive!
This goes to Skärhamn, the largest town on Tjörn. There we unload our racing bikes. We ride south from the remarkable harbor. There is little traffic on the roads and there is also a cycle lane for cyclists. This enables us to cycle the island very comfortably. The road winds between large, gray rock formations, always along the water, always with a view of the sea. A broadband cinema that could hardly be nicer. The temperatures are an acceptable 7 degrees, this is not a problem with thermal trousers and gloves.
We reach the small town of Bleket, turn right here to Klädesholmen, which is known for its herring production. At the beginning of June, people celebrate “Sillens Dag”, the day of the herring, a popular festival with lots of music and colorful stands. Today there is everyday life here, which is no less attractive. The sun is hiding behind the clouds, and so the landscape shows shades of gray in all shades. Streets and houses look like they were taken out of a delicate little treat, as if you were leading through a film set.
The road ends at the guest harbor, which is very popular with tourists in summer. We turn around and continue east. From Bleket to Tjörnbron it is a relaxed 20 kilometers. The view is magnificent, but we want to continue to Kyrkesund. After another 20 kilometers we are greeted by a picturesque place worth seeing. 14 kilometers further on we finally reached our starting point, Skärhamn.
The bikes are packed in no time, the rear garage is easy to open from both sides, loading couldn't be easier. In addition, the bikes are protected from prying eyes, which is a huge advantage, especially when you are traveling in big cities. It doesn't matter here in the country, the friendliness of the people is proverbial, the whole life style is extremely relaxed.
For us, Sweden may be the discovery of the year, you can end the autumn and the season in the kingdom in an extremely uncomplicated and relaxed way. The motorhome has offered us completely new opportunities to push our spirit of discovery, you simply cannot travel more independently. A great time comes to an end with great anticipation - anticipation of our next spontaneous trip to southern Sweden, perhaps to enjoy the last days in November again!