In May / June 2019 we made a wonderful tour through Germany, Denmark and the south of Sweden. We enjoyed pleasant cities such as Lübeck, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm, the varied landscape with surprising coastlines, picturesque lakes, rocky fields with Roman remains, meadows, fields and forests and were surprised by the elongated mill and bird-rich island of Öland.
Curious about the route?
Day 1 To Lübeck (500 km, 2 nights)
From Utrecht you can reach the highway in a good 5 hours. For a first day this is a reasonable ride, so that you can already spend the afternoon and evening in Lübeck.
We have already made a first short city walk and visited a restaurant in peace.
Day 2 Visit Lübeck
Lübeck is a Hanseatic city in the north of Germany, not far from the Baltic Sea. It is located on the River Trave and has a historic town center that has been classified as a UNESCO heritage site since 1987. You will find countless monumental buildings, such as the Dom, the 13th century Rathaus with a very special facade and city gates such as the Holsteltor; now museum and the Burgtor.
Our hotel was close to the old center. We could leave the car this day. In the morning we made a tour around the medieval city and the rest of the day we walked through the city and enjoyed all the beautiful facades, sights, shops, etc.
Day 3 To Køge (250 km, 3 nights)
From the German Puttgarden we sailed in about 45 minutes to Danish Rødby. We reached the hotel in Køge via the inland roads of Lolland, Falster and Sjæland.
Day 4 Visit Copenhagen
The train takes you from Køge station to the heart of Copenhagen in 40 minutes.
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, lies on the Sound and has many monumental buildings dating from the 17th century. The colorful Nyhavn, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world (Tivoli), the royal palace Amalienborg and Rosenborg with surrounding park can all be reached on foot from the central station, as well as many museums and the most famous long shopping street Strøget. The city of The Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen, the Carlsberg Brewery and Freetown Christiania is also very attractive for cycling enthusiasts.
If you have purchased a day ticket for public transport, this also includes the water bus that runs through the city at around ten locations. This is a cheap alternative to the expensive cruises that mainly depart from Nyhavn.
Day 5 Visit Copenhagen
One day is not enough in this beautiful, cozy and varied city, hence a second day. We used both days for self-marked city walks along all interesting locations. Furthermore, we have of course made great use of the water bus that also showed us a lot of modern architecture, such as the Opera building and the redeveloped district behind the central station.
Day 6 To Gothenburg (315 km, 2 nights)
We have chosen to cross the Sound by ferry at Helsingor. When leaving the harbor you have a beautiful view of Kronborg Castle where Shakespeare set his Hamlet. After a good fifteen minutes we were already able to get off the ferry in Helsingborg, into Sweden and we drove smoothly with various stops to Gothenburg.
Day 7 Visit Gothenburg
This modern port city is the second largest city in Sweden and has more than half a million inhabitants. Although the industry is considerable here, the city center is lovely. You will find nice (shopping) streets, the several kilometers long Avenyn, beautiful parks and plenty of sights for a wonderful day.
We had chosen a hotel from where we could reach the water bus on foot to go to the city center. So here too a very affordable port tour is a nice way to get an impression of this port city.
Day 8 To Köping (375 km, 1 night)
Köping is an industrial town and in 2018 served as the backdrop for the Dutch television program Kroongetuige (Crown witness).
We were looking for a stopover between Gothenburg and Stockholm and we had followed this series, so we thought it would be nice to have a look around. Of course we took a walk along a number of locations visited in the episodes. Even the hotel where we stayed was in it (mission washing route), just like the bowling restaurant where we had dinner.
Day 9 To Nacka Beach (175km, 3 nights)
This shorter journey makes it possible to gather a first impression of Stockholm in the afternoon and evening. By bus you can quickly get to Slussen, which is located nearby Stockholm’s old medieval town, Gamla Stan. Here you can stroll to your heart’s content through the narrow streets with cobble stones and there are plenty colorful restaurants and shops. Here you will find the royal palace that is used as a work palace for the King and for official occasions and the changing of the guards.
Day 10 Visit Stockholm
From Nacka Strand you can take a water bus to Nybroplan. We got off at the Gröna Lunds Tivoli amusement park on the island of Djurgården to visit the Abba museum. It was extra fun with Kees Tol’s voice on the audio guide.
On Djurgården you will also find the Vasa museet and Skånsen, the oldest open-air museum in the world. Furthermore, it is a very green island which also makes it popular with the locals.
The island is not far from the rest of the city and the Diplomatstaden with its more expensive villas and museums is also within easy reach.
Day 11 Visit Stockholm
This day we visited the residential palace with gardens of the royal Drottningholm family. First by boat, then by metro, which by the way is quite worth a visit considering the art underground, and finally by bus. The palace is beautiful, located just outside the city center.
We spent the remaining part of the day in the city center and Gamla Stan, to return to Nacka Strand by water bus.
Day 12 To Norrköping (210 km, 2 nights)
Norrköping was once the second industrial city in Europe and has been well preserved to date. Along the Motala River you will find a number of wooden spinning mills and cotton factories from around 1850. In the 70s it was decided to restore the remains. You can take a nice walk on the Industrilandskapet. The library is named after the Dutchman Louis de Geer, in whose former home the Dutch embassy is located in Stockholm.
Day 13 Göta Canal
This canal, together with the Trollhättan canal, connects the west coast of Sweden with the east coast. It is one of the largest Swedish projects ever. It was dug by 58,000 soldiers 200 years ago, mostly by hand. The Göta Canal is 190 km long, has 58 locks, runs through 5 lakes and its highest point is 92 m above sea level.
We visited, among other things, the 7-block lock complex in Berg, Söderköping and the lock in Mem, where the canal ends and eventually flows into the Baltic Sea.
Day 14 To Färjestaden on Öland (260 km, 3 nights)
This beautiful second largest island of Sweden is located in the Baltic Sea and can be reached via a 6 kilometer long bridge from Kalmar. You then arrive just below the middle of the almost 140 km long but slender island. For pedestrians and cyclists there is a ferry between Kalmar and Färjestaden.
Day 15 South Öland
On this day we explored the southern part of the island. Nature lovers and birdwatchers in particular will enjoy themselves here. At one point you will come across a very old wall built across the island, Karl X Gustav’s wall. Before he became king, this was his habitat. The 4.5 km long wall was used to keep game inside the Ottenby park.
The lighthouse Långe Jan stands at the southern tip of Öland. This is the oldest and largest lighthouse in Sweden and was built in 1785 by Dutchmen.
Day 16 Northern Öland
Ölland is an island with a whopping 350 wooden windmills. In the past every farm had one. Sometimes you find them in series.
The Borgholms Slottsruin, the defensive fort that burned down in 1807 and was no longer rebuilt, and the royal Sollidens Slott, the summer residence of the Royal family, are close together and well worth a visit.
Borgholm is the only town on the island and attracts many tourists.
Långe Eric, the smaller brother of Långe Jan, is perky on a small island in the north.
Day 17 To Skurup (300 km, 2 nights)
Along the way there is plenty to see and you could visit Kalmar, Karlskrona, Karlshamn or one of the other places.
We chose, after seeing the castle of Kalmar, to continue comfortably along roads and spent the evening in Trelleborg.
Day 18 The southernmost part of Sweden
We used this day to go to Falsterbo for a wonderful walk and drive back along the coast, where we found the southernmost tip of Sweden in Smygehamn.
Day 19 To Middelfart (275 km, 1 night)
We left beautiful Sweden via the long Öresund toll bridge and tunnel that connects Sweden with Denmark.
On the Swedish side is a viewpoint from where you can see the bridge well.
Middelfart is located on the water of the Lillebælt on the island of Funen and is a nice, quiet, centrally located town.
Day 20 To Utrecht (700 km)
Today the ride back home remains.
If you have more time to spend during this route you could think of:
- a night near Helsingborg to discover the coastal strip, with villages and towns
- a visit to the archipelago at Gothenburg and / or Stockholm
- one or more nights between Karlskrona and Kivik
- an extra night of Skurup for a visit to Ystad
- an extra night in Middelfart to explore Funen