EXPLORING THE GÖTA CANAL
A unique way of connecting people
Swap four wheels for two and explore Sweden’s oldest communication channel
Bringing Sweden closer together
Built between 1810 and 1832, the Göta Canal was one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in Sweden. When completed, it measured 190 km and took almost 60,000 men to construct – incredibly, these hardy souls dug a staggering 87 km of the canal by hand! It’s little wonder this manmade marvel of engineering has since been named Swedish construction of the Millennium. Throughout the 19th century, the Göta Canal remained an important trade route. Today, however, it is better known as one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions. And one of the best ways of experiencing its picturesque twists and turns is not with rudder in hand but from the saddle of a bicycle.
On your way
More history can be found a few locks further on in the unique form of a stone lock-keeper’s house that dates from around 1810. Here, you will also find a large rune stone shaped like a juniper bush, which is over a thousand years old. The sensation that you are always surrounded by historical monuments to Sweden’s past is one of the unique things about travelling down the Göta Canal.
In 2007, to celebrate the canal’s 175-year jubilee, a large sculpture called ‘Water Steps’ by the artist Bengt Olson was unveiled in Sjötorp. The sculpture was a tribute to the people who excavated the Göta Canal between 1810–1832.
As you leave Töreboda you cross over the canal via Rotkilen’s roller bridge. From here, you can look forward to 5 km of level and tranquil cycling through beautiful pastoral landscape before you reach the next bridge at Jonsboda.
The journey’s end
At any point on your journey, you might also be fortunate enough to see one of the three large white canal boats that cruise the stretch of water between Stockholm and Gothenburg. These three ships – M/S Juno, Wilhelm and Diana – were specifically built to travel on the Göta Canal, and the oldest dates back to 1874. All ships have received heritage status, so keep your eyes peeled and you may find yourself gazing at a stunning piece of Swedish nautical history.
The Göta Canal is a wonderfully unique way of experiencing both Sweden and the Swedish summer. All you need is your Volvo, your bike, a bike rack and a sense of adventure. Happy cycling!
Volvo Cars Bike Holders
Taking a bike along for the ride can add a whole new dimension to a road trip or family holiday. And as people’s interest in cycling, and passion for off-road adventure grows, so does the need for bike holders that will get you and your bike where you want to go – safely, securely and in style.