Värmland – packed with activities

In line with the increasing interest in holidaying at home, more and more Swedes are discovering the delights of exploring Värmland by foot or by bike. Not only do these provide great exercise and well-being, biking and hiking also opens the door to places and impressions you would not have experienced otherwise

From your bike saddle, you can see and experience so much more as you travel along. You can stop by a lake and go swimming and prepare lunch next to a stunning view. Remember to take the opportunity to take a route you otherwise would not have chosen. That way, there are no limits to what you can discover on your adventure. Värmland has a huge amount of cycle paths to choose from. Here are three trails that will take you through the magical landscape of Värmland.

Be among the first to cycle Unionsleden – the Union Trail

Length: 350 km

Do you want to be blown away by the beautiful countryside while cycling through eight municipalities, three regions and two countries? Then we can promise you that the new Union Trail – Unionsleden – is definitely something for you. From Karlstad in the east to the Norwegian town of Moss in the west, you cycle along sparsely trafficked country roads, across open landscapes where animals graze in the fields, and past outstanding scenery and glittering lakes. The cycle route is divided up into six stages – perfect if you don’t want to cycle the entire trail.

As well as a rich variety of nature and animal life along the route, there are plenty of sites to see and places to explore. Farm shops, a whiskey distillery and art galleries are just some of the lovely little spots to visit. If you are itching for more and think cycling is not enough of an activity, you will also find canoeing, boat trips, high-altitude tracks and horse-riding trails available to occupy yourself with along the trail.

The Union Trail gets its name from the union of Sweden and Norway in 1814 -1905. Like the cycle trail, the union started in Moss and finished in Karlstad. 

“The initiative for the Union Trail was taken by the Värmland – Østfold border committee. A cycle route was seen as yet another great way to bring our two countries together, simultaneously revealing more of the region and its history. Besides, cycling is something that’s increased in popularity in recent years,”

Elenor Karlson, PR and Communications Manager Nordmarkens Näringsliv

The route is Sweden’s fourth national cycle route and is ready to welcome its first cycling enthusiasts in spring 2021.

Foto: Oyvind Lund

Foto: Øyvind Lund

Klarälvsleden & Klarälvsbanan

Length: 220 km

These trails are suitable for both cycling and hiking and wind their way around the mighty Klaräleven river. Here you make your way through the countryside of Värmland, from mossy forests in the north to the open agricultural landscape in the south. The ninety-kilometer Klarälv Trail stretches from Karlstad to Hagfors and is an abandoned embankment that has been converted and covered in asphalt. You are guaranteed to be cycling here in a car-free environment.

You can stop to eat in one of the cafés, restaurants or farm shops as you make your way along the bike trails. Some stretches, however, are sparser so make sure you properly check each stage and take a packed lunch with you so you can stop to picnic.  Or for those who want, why not take a portable stove and cook your lunch where you stop!

A taste of Vänerleden

Length: 630 km

Cycle around Sweden’s Largest Lake

The Lake Vänern Grand Tour officially opens next summer, but dedicated cycling enthusiasts can secretly try it out as early as this summer. 

“The signposts aren’t in place yet but there will be digital maps and information about how to find your way around Vänderleden,” says Madeleine Norum, project manager for the Lake Vänern Grand Tour.

If 63 kilometres feels too much of a challenge, even this route is divided up into shorter stages which are perhaps more suitable for a weekend or week of cycling. The cycle route has four stages, starting and finishing at major points that are accessible by public transport: Karlstad, Mariestad, Vänersborg and Åmål.  Along the way, there will be an abundance of places to visit: for example, the Picasso sculpture in Kristineham, Hindens rev – the long, narrow, straight peninsula that projects westwards from Kålland into Dalbosjön – and the Aqueduct at Håverud.

Touring Sweden in a nutshell

Even hiking has become more popular in recent times. Enjoying the beautiful countryside on foot is a perfect way to relax and recharge your batteries. The best thing of all is that there is an abundance of hiking trails and natural areas to explore.  Here, we look more closely at a few of the twenty-one trails that Visit Värmland now coordinates.

Part of the work is quality assurance, ensuring that the trails are signposted, supplied with maps and campsites. We also make sure that the area is continuously maintained. This is to ensure that you as a visitor have a better experience and can enjoy walking along our well-maintained trails.

“Hiking in Värmland is like seeing Sweden in a nutshell. You experience so much variation, from open horizons to forest-decked mountains,” says Mattias Dahlman, Chairman of the Värmlandsleder Trails Association.

Do be aware that most of the trails do not have service stops along the route, but in some places, you will find cafés at the start and end of the trail.

Study the trail before you set off. It usually takes a little bit longer than you think to complete it.” And don’t forget to take rain clothes, water and plenty of energy,” recommends Mattias.