It seems that Germans enjoy Sweden, and they enjoy cycling. We asked Munich-based travel journalist Thorsten Brönner to tell us what it is with the Swedish landscape that attracts and what German cycling tourists expect.
A few years ago you cycled in Småland and took a trip around Lake Rusken. Did you like what you saw?
The Swedish landscape appeals to me. Our bike ride through Smaland led us through hilly terrain. No day was the other equal. Sometimes we cycled along lakes, sometimes into beautiful cities. The tour around Lake Rusken is very calm and relaxing.
You have also been to other places in our oblong country, in Stockholm for example. What are Sweden's main characteristics as a cycling country?
Sweden is well placed to become a destination for bicycle tourism. It is a safe country and the weather in summer is often steady. Tourists from Germany love the long days in the Nordic countries. There are many routes, unfortunately you will not find much information about them on the internet. Several countries in Europe have uniformly described cycling routes. Good networks of cycling routes are found in Denmark, the UK and Switzerland, for example.
How do German cycling tourists want to live and what service do they expect?
There are some German cycling tourists who want to live exclusively. Others like country inns and campsites. German cycling tourists are happy to book the trip through an organizer. He provides them with maps, places accommodation and transports luggage. I find it exciting to switch between spending the night in cities and in the countryside. So far, there are only a small number of bookable bicycle trips to choose from for German tourists. The usual thing is that they want to stay a week or longer in Sweden.
How do you look at Swedish bike tourism if you compare with Germany?
In Germany, there are many long-distance cycle paths. In Sweden you also cycle a lot on trails. I have heard that the Kattegatt Trail is well developed. You want that kind of track as a cyclist. In Germany, the cycle paths that run along the rivers are very popular. You can cycle along almost every major river. In Sweden, there is the trail along the Göta Canal, which should be nice. In the Nordic countries, I would like to think that a trip of a biking pack type for adventurous cyclists would be a good fit. Other things that I find exciting are the coastal stretches, the lakes and the islands of Gotland and Öland.