Beautifully-developed cycle paths, the freedom to roam, deserted sandy beaches, sauna with a seawater bath, picturesque fishing villages and pulsating metropolises – a 260-kilometre (161-mile) cycling tour through Skåne, along the south-west coast of Sweden, is a wonderful adventure. You soon realise that Sweden is a country that welcomes cyclists with open arms. Discover the history of the Vikings, the thriving and bicycle-friendly city of Malmö, countless nature reserves and Swedish delicacies such as Kanelbullar cinnamon rolls.
The Sydkustleden takes you on a journey along a well-developed and signposted cycle route from the charming fishing village of Simrishamn to the lively port city of Helsingborg. Your route passes through the scenic coastal towns of Ystad and Trelleborg via the Skanör peninsula. You then cycle past the world's longest cable-stayed bridge, which connects the cycling metropolises of Copenhagen and Malmö, and continue on to Landskrona, which lies just off the protected island of Ven. From here, you’re a short ride away from Helsingborg, a port city brimming with culture.
In this Collection, I’ve compiled the six stages of the Sydkustleden according to the official route. Ranging in length from 26 and 58 kilometres (16 and 36 miles), the stages follow excellent, safe cycle paths with no steep gradients. Whether you are a beginner, young or old, this route is suitable for everyone. Ambitious cyclists can decide for themselves where to end the stages and how many kilometres they would like to ride.
The freedom to roam in Sweden allows you to decide each evening where you want to pitch your tent. However, you should ask for permission before staying on private property and respect the privacy around residential buildings. You can easily find suitable places to stay en route as there are many shelters and barbecue areas, even complete with sea views and public toilets. This makes wild camping both exciting and comfortable. You can also book cosy accommodation at the stage destinations such as holiday apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs online.
To reach the start of your journey, you can travel by ferry from Ystad or Trelleborg. The fastest ferry connection at the moment is two and a half hours from Sassnitz to Ystad. You can travel via Rostock or Travemünde to Trelleborg. From here, you can take the Swedish regional train Skanetrafiken to the starting point Simrishamn.
Today your first stage begins along the picturesque south coast of Sweden through the south-eastern part of Skåne, also called Österleden. It starts with 54 kilometers from the charming, original fishing village of Simrishamn to the cozy port city of Ystad. On your tour you will ride on well-developed bike paths without inclines along the coast and have enough time for enjoyment breaks.
There are already exciting things to discover in Simrishamn, such as the well-preserved rock carvings from the Bronze Age, the rose garden or the St. Nicolas Church. Or you can just stroll through the small alleys and enjoy the ambience that the lovingly decorated entrances of the small, pastel-colored houses conjure up.Along the rocky coast you cycle through the port towns of Brantevik and Skillinge, which entice you with a snack at the port. Afterwards you cycle about ten kilometers to Borrby with its beautiful Marienkirche. From here, it is worth making a detour to the Sandhammaren nature reserve with small paths through the hilly dune forest and perhaps the most beautiful beach in Sweden. The Sydkustleden leads you through blooming corn and poppy fields. You cycle past Nybrostrand, through the Ystads Sandskog nature reserve and can get off at any time and linger in the wonderful coastal landscape.
Your stage destination Ystad is not far away. Along the small, colorful Badhytter, which are lined up directly on the beach in front of Ystad and in which the residents stow their beach accessories, you get to the charming port city. Lovingly restored half-timbered houses, cozy cafés and blooming almond trees make up the charm of the city, which is known from the crime novels by Henning Mankell.
The ferries from Sassnitz, which take you from the island of Rügen to Sweden twice a day in lightning-fast two and a half hours, also dock in Ystad. If you arrive via Ystad and don't want to miss the first stage on the Sydkustleden, you can get on the train in Ystad and travel to Simrishamn in 40 minutes. The trains leave every hour just before the hour, you can get tickets directly at the train station and the bike rides for free. In Ystad and the surrounding area you will find fantastic accommodations and campsites by the sea, which you can reserve online. Thanks to everyone's rights, you are sure to find a wonderful place for wild camping with a sea view.
After yesterday you were already convinced of the beauty of Österleden, today you continue on no less enchanting 49 kilometers to the southernmost city of Sweden. Along the coast you will always find public barbecue areas and fire pits by the sea, which testify to the sense of community of the Swedes. Here you can comfortably conjure up an outdoor grill plate for the whole family, and after a swim in the sea you will even find a free freshwater shower.After 33 kilometers you will reach Sweden's southernmost point, the Smygehug. Here you will find a nice café that invites you to take a break. As you may have noticed, it is common practice in most cafes in Sweden to be able to refill the filter coffee for free.On your route you cycle straight along the coast and can let the Baltic breeze blow around your nose without inclines. Small lighthouses, sweet cherries, lively fishing villages, bird watching footbridges and sandy beaches line your path. Your route consists almost exclusively of cycle paths that run away from car traffic or structurally separate, so that you can cycle in a completely relaxed manner.Soon you will reach your stage destination, where the Vikings built their first settlements a thousand years ago, today's port city of Trelleborg. The particularly fertile soil around the city also makes it a culinary experience, as specialties from regional agriculture are offered here. The historic Viking castle is definitely worth a trip.You can also get to Trelleborg from Germany by ferry via Rostock or Travemünde. The ferries take about seven hours, much longer than via Sassnitz, but you can travel overnight and book a sleeping cabin. If you want to start your tour there, you can travel from Trelleborg to Simrishamn in about two hours with a change with the regional Skånetrafik train.
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Your third stage takes you to the Skanör peninsula, which will enchant you with its secluded, white sandy beaches. The tour is only 33.7 kilometers long and gives you enough time to plan a visit to the exciting Viking Village open-air museum Fotevikens, to simply relax on the Baltic Sea or to cycle even further to Malmö.
In Trelleborg, the route begins along the coast and takes you along quiet country roads, past small farms and fields to Kämpinge, from where you can be at the Amber Museum in no time. Now it's back to the coast and towards Skanör. On the way you will pass a nice, typical bakery, where you can treat yourself to some refreshment after cycling almost 20 kilometers. The typical cinnamon rolls, in Swedish Kanelbullar, taste excellent here. Incidentally, it is pronounced "Kanehl-bullar".
It continues on a beautiful, finely graveled route away from car traffic and you will soon reach the small settlements of Skanör. The route leads you through the housing estates to the coast and you arrive at a dreamlike stretch along the beach. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the Baltic Sea in peace and of course jump into the waves.
The tour ends behind the small port of Skanör, a pretty destination with a good gastronomic offer. If you want to spend the night here, there are also holiday apartments and hotels on the peninsula. At the top of the island is the Solhejdan Naturist Camping, where nudism is practiced and small huts can be rented in addition to pitches for tents. At this section of the beach you can go swimming unclothed. If that's not for you, then there is also the conventional Falsterbo Camping on the other side of the island.
Today it goes back down from the peninsula and 48 kilometers to the lively and complex city of Malmö, which is one of the ten most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. You can admire life-size, interesting bronze figures along the coast near Höllviken.You continue along the fields and you come to a farm shop that introduces you to the cashierless Swedish payment method. If you want to buy regional products here, you should definitely have cash with you. If you drive past self-made signs with the inscription "Loppis", they point to private flea markets, where many a gem is hidden.Further along the coast you cycle along the Bunkelflo Strandängar nature reserve and you will soon see the Öresund Bridge, which connects the cycling metropolises of Malmö and Copenhagen. Before the bridge it goes up a small hill, from where you can enjoy a great all-round view of the reserve, the bridge and Malmö.You cycle along the coast and completely car-free into Malmö. On the route along the beach promenade, past the traditional Ribergsborgs Kallbadhus, a bathhouse with sauna and through the new construction areas at the harbor, you will get a foretaste of the diversity that awaits you in Malmö. The tour ends in front of the main train station, where your own tour of discovery can begin.In Malmö you can find many accommodations and book them online in advance. There is a camping and holiday park by the Öresund Bridge. Thanks to everyone's rights, you can of course find a nice campsite with a view of the Øresund Bridge on your own.
Today it's 58 kilometers on the longest stretch to date to Landskrona in front of the historic citadel. On the way out of Malmö, you can once again enjoy the ingenious bicycle infrastructure. Then the Sydkustleden takes you away from busy roads and directly to the coast.
You cycle through the pretty harbor town of Lomma, where you can treat yourself to a delicious ice cream with a view of the sailing boats in the harbor. We continue through the small forest of Habo Ljung and along the Baltic Sea coast. In Bjärred you have another opportunity to take a sauna in a traditional bathhouse with a view of the sea and then jump into the cold water.
Afterwards you cycle in a dangling path along fields through Löddeköpinge, where you can visit another Viking museum, the Vikinga Tider. Here you are about halfway and cycle another 30 kilometers on field, coastal and forest paths to your stage destination Landskrona in front of the remarkable fortress from the 16th century.
From Landskrona, it is worth taking a trip to the island of Ven, which is under nature protection and where only about 400 people live. You can regularly chug the ferry from the port in Landskrona to the island in 30 minutes. There is a campsite and other overnight accommodations that you should reserve in advance. You can also book nice accommodations in Landskrona. About five kilometers further north is a shelter with a barbecue area, beach access and toilet nearby, where you can comfortably camp in the wild.
It's hard to believe that your last stage on the Sydkustleden is already starting today. It is only 26 kilometers long and you can plan longer stopovers or an extensive exploration tour through Helsingborg.On the usual well-developed bike paths, the route first leads you along the coast and on to the first small hill of your tour, Glumslövs Backar. The shoreline slopes down into the sea with a beautiful cliff. You zoom back down the hill to the flat coast, where you will find another great shelter with sea views on Fortuna Beach.The route continues on a straight coastal cycle path to the picturesque fishing village of Råå, where you can take a short break and enjoy the ambience of the small houses and cobblestone streets. From here you always cycle along the coast to Helsingborg after only seven kilometers.The final destination of your route, the vibrant port city of Helsingborg, will enchant you with its rich cultural offer, numerous restaurants and shops as well as bathhouses with sea views. You can also explore Sofiero Castle with its magnificent castle garden and Frederiksdal, Sweden's second largest open-air museum.
Your journey does not have to end here, because the Sydkustleden merges seamlessly into the Kattegattleden, which takes you 390 kilometers to Gothenburg. The inland of Sweden also attracts with countless lakes, mystical forests full of mushrooms, elks and picturesque villages in the typical Fallun red, which are reminiscent of the stories of Astrid Lindgren.If you want to travel back, there are several options: On the one hand you can take the regional train Skånetrafik without changing to Trelleborg and with a change in Malmö to Ystad. Various ferries to Germany are available from Trelleborg and Ystad. The fastest connection runs between Ystad and Sassnitz in two and a half hours. Alternatively, you can travel via Denmark if you also want to explore this country. You can book the Helsingborg-Helsingør ferry connection in combination with Gedser-Rostock or Rødby-Puttgarden.