Travellers' Tales: Scandi non-drama in the Sweden

Most of the route is car-free
Andrew Stevenson enjoyed an easy 270km bike route through Sweden

Sydostleden: we had seven days to practise pronouncing it. The name of this 273km route through southern Sweden appears regularly on brown signposts. It runs from Simrishamn to Växjö or vice versa. We rode the former.

From Copenhagen airport, we caught the 20-minute train shuttle to Malmö, over the bridge. For lovers of Nordic noir, that’s ‘The Bridge’. An Öresundstag train took us and our bikes to our start at Simrishamn.

The seven stages of Sydostleden average 30-45km, through diverse landscapes with one common denominator: they’re safe. Sydostleden steered us away from the traffic. Yes, some sections run beside roads, but are separate from cars. More often, we wound our way along decommissioned railroads. Often there were forest or seaside paths.

We took refuge in the still, clear water during the exceptional 30° heatwave we encountered, as there are lots of lake and seaside beaches. And if the water was a little cold even on a hot day, there was always Swedish filter coffee to warm us up.

Sydostleden is a simple breeze of a bike ride. Seven stages, five syllables, no hills. You can double up the stages if you’re feeling fit. All there is to worry about is how to pronounce Växjö…  

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Travellers' Tales are first published in Cycle magazine, if you would like to share your cycling story email