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Cycling Scandinavia: Copenhagen to Stockholm

Castle-dotted shores, undulating pastures with tidy red farmhouses, pristine lakes, and a bucolic canvas of endless islands steeped in history.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 6.2 - 40 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Perfect for those trying a bike vacation for the first time.
  • Airfare Packages Available

New for 2018

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Cycling Scandinavia: Copenhagen to Stockholm

This is VBT’s Scandinavia, surprisingly undiscovered by cyclists … until now. In the bike-friendly nations of Denmark and Sweden, you’ll pedal flat easy routes amidst magnificent vistas, from Hamlet’s castle at Elsinor and old Göta Canal towpaths to the countless byways linking the charming villages and historic quarters of the Stockholm Archipelago. Along the way, delight in elegant accommodations, including a restored monastery on the scenic banks of Lake Vättern, indulge in typical smörgåsbords, and bask in renowned Swedish hospitality.

Cultural Highlights

  • Cycle two of Scandinavia’s most bike-friendly countries: Denmark and Sweden
  • Enjoy easy coastal riding, taking in magnificent sea views
  • Ferry across the Öresund – the strait between Denmark and Sweden overlooked by Hamlet’s castle
  • Pedal the tranquil pathways of Ven Island, steeped in royal history
  • Savor Swedish cuisine, including the famed smörgåsbord, in beautiful outdoor settings with local hosts
  • Enjoy a festive reception with games and beer inspired by a rich Viking past
  • Stay overnight at a beautiful restored monastery set on the shores of Sweden’s breathtaking Lake Vättern
  • Ride along Sweden’s historic Göta Canal and view its famous flight of seven locks at Berg
  • Coast into Stockholm past the royal residence of Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit Stockholm’s Skansen Museum, the world’s first open-air museum
  • Spin among the fishing villages and pastoral settings of Stockholm’s 24,000 islands

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain throughout the trip and is ideal for beginning cyclists.

Average Daily Mileage: 6.2 – 40 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 4 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Copenhagen
May  61º/46º  Jun  66º/52º  July 70º/55º  Aug 70º/54º  Sep 63º/50º

Average Precipitation (in.) – Copenhagen
May 1.6  Jun 2.4  July 2.4  Aug 2.4  Sep 2.4

What’s Included:

Bicycle Vacation Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Copenhagen – 2 nights for only $295 •  Post-trip: Helsinki – 3 nights from only $395-445*

*Depending on that departure date, your extension price may vary.

Both Vacation Options Include

Reading List

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $745 | Land Only Single Supplement: $545

Please note: Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only. Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer.

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Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Copenhagen

Depart from home for Copenhagen. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Copenhagen

Upon arrival at the Copenhagen airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. VBT’s local representative will meet you outside the customs area in your arrival terminal and will be holding a VBT sign. Your representative will help you transfer to your hotel.

If you are going to be delayed meeting the transfer representative due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service. The drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you will be responsible for your own transfer. You may also contact One Call travel assistance (information available in your final docs) to advise them of your delay, and they will contact VBT’s transfer service.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 4:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Hotel: The Square

DAY 3: Bicycle Vacation begins in Copenhagen / Train to Rungsted / Warm-up ride and ferry to Helsingborg / Welcome reception

At 9:30 a.m. meet your VBT Trip Leaders in the lobby of The Square Hotel (Rådhuspladsen 141550, Copenhagen V, Denmark, telephone +45 3338 1200). Please come dressed for cycling (with your pedals or saddle if you use your own), as there will be no place to change into cycling clothes before beginning the warm-up ride.

Together, you will walk through the square, taking a last look at the distinctive City Hall, dating to 1905. Pass the historic and fanciful Tivoli Gardens, inspiration to both Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney, before arriving at Copenhagen’s Central Station. Here, hop a local train north to the Danish town of Rungsted, where your bikes are waiting. After a bike-fitting and safety briefing, begin your warm-up ride along the scenic eastern coast of Denmark toward the city of Helsingör. This historic city overlooking Øre Sound, or Øresund to the locals, is called “Elsinore” in English and is known to Shakespeare readers as the site of Hamlet’s castle. The 2½-mile-wide strait you are cycling along separates Denmark from Sweden and is one of the busiest waterways in the world, connecting the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Arriving in Helsingör, you board the 20-minute ferry across the Öresund to the Swedish city of Helsingborg, the oldest city in Sweden and your home for the next two nights. During lunch on your own on the ferry, you might try a local favorite, “two reds and a green”—a pair of sausages and a Tuborg beer.

Disembark and continue to your boutique hotel in Helsingborg’s historic center. Later, gather with your Trip Leaders for a welcome cocktail reception on the city’s lively seafront promenade, featuring local snacks. You might try your hand at the old Viking game “kubb”—similar to horseshoes—between your tastes of Mjöd, a Viking-inspired beer made with honey. Continue to an historic preserved farmhouse, where you savor a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord dinner. As you dine, take in lovely views over the city, the busy harbor and Hamlet’s castle in the distance across the Öresund.

Hotel: V Hotel Helsingborg
Meals: B (for Air package guests only), D
Daily Options: 14.3 miles (23.10 km)

DAY 4: Cycle from Helsingborg to Landskrona / Ferry to Ven Island

After breakfast, you cycle out of Helsingborg along the Swedish coast toward the late medieval town of Landskrona. Your flat, easy bicycle route leads you through small fishing villages and past intimate coves. Soon, you ride past Landskrona Castle, built in the 16th century to repel Danish invasion. Today, it is still highly regarded by historians for its remarkably preserved moat system. At the ferry terminal, embark a 30-minute ferry to the small island of Ven, a favorite destination for relaxed rural cycling. Pedal past small farms to a tiny fishing cove, where wharf-side “fish huts” sell a variety of typical fish dishes for lunch. A royal island, Ven was home to the 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The scientist established his early astronomical research institute on Ven, a locale chosen for its especially clear night skies.

Shuttle back to Helsingborg, where you can explore its cobbled streets, shops, and seafront. You might even take a swim in the Öresund. If you’d like to ride more today, join a longer option this afternoon.

Enjoy Sweden’s prolonged evening light as you head into town for dinner on your own, perhaps at a seafood restaurant on the city’s beachfront.

Hotel: V Hotel Helsingborg
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 15.7 miles (25.3 km), optional 8 miles on Ven (12.7 km), 31.4 miles (51 km)

DAY 5: Cycle to Skäret via Arild / Transfer to Vadstena

Set off from Helsingborg by bike, following a cycling route along the seafront. On the outskirts of town, pedal past a castle and forest and the coastal beauty along the Kattegat – the shallow sea between Denmark and Sweden. Your morning ride follows the Kattegattleden, Sweden’s first national bicycle route and an inspiration to local and visiting cyclists. Coast past quaint fishing villages with cozy thatch-roofed homes and boat-filled harbors. Admire stunning vistas of shoals and grassy bluffs overlooking the Kattegat. Soon, you turn inland near the town of Arild and pass dairy farms and small vineyards presided over by a windmill atop a gentle rise. Your refreshing morning reel concludes at an inviting restaurant in Skäret, where you can savor traditional fare for lunch in a garden setting with distant sea views.

After lunch, rejoin your shuttle and drive into the pastoral heart of Sweden. Your destination is the nation’s second largest lake, Lake Vättern. Your home for the next two nights is the charming lakeside town of Vadstena, significant in Swedish history as the site of Saint Bridget of Sweden’s monastery. Founded in 1350, it is celebrated today as one of the country’s best-preserved 16th-century castles. Your hotel is set among the historic monastery buildings and next to the beautifully preserved 13th-century church, with splendid views of the 84-mile-long lake.

This evening, you gather for dinner in the vaulted candlelit dining room to enjoy fresh local cuisine such as in-season asparagus, arctic char and fresh strawberry panna cotta.

Hotel: Klosterhotel Vadstena
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 25 miles (40 km)

DAY 6: Cycle the Göta Canal

After breakfast, you can choose to cycle or shuttle to the town of Motala to begin a magnificent ride along the historic Göta Canal. This 380-mile waterway was constructed in the early 19th century to connect Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast with the Baltic Sea on the east coast. It was dug to take advantage of a number of lakes and rivers, including Lake Vättern. You cycle along well-packed gravel, sharing the path with local cyclists, as pleasure boats cruise the canal. Rolling farmland and neat red farmhouses mark your progress today, a picture-perfect Swedish landscape pierced by church spires poking through distant trees. You end the ride at Bergs Slussar, where a set of seven locks gently lowers boats to the lower level of Lake Roxen. Aside from the inspiring scenery, a highlight of today is a traditional Swedish picnic provided by your Trip Leaders. At the ride’s end, shuttle back to Vadstena.

This evening, there’ll be time to explore Vadstena’s historic cobbled center of 16th- to 18th-century buildings, including Sweden’s oldest town hall. Vadstena Castle, with its distinctive circular turrets, was built during the reign of King Gustav Vasa, considered the founder of modern Sweden. Tonight, you may choose from one of Vadstena’s many lively restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Klosterhotel Vadstena
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 28.3 miles (45.6 km), 39.7 miles (63.9 km)

DAY 7: Shuttle to Ekerö ferry / Ride into Stockholm via Drottningholm Castle and Djurgården Island / Skansen visit

After breakfast, bid scenic Vadstena farewell and shuttle for 2½ hours to Stockholm. Your transfer includes a 15-minute ride on the Ekerö ferry, after which you reel into Sweden’s capital, passing Drottningholm Castle, the private residence of the Swedish royal family and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stockholm, constructed across 17 islands and graced with lakes, inlets and charming neighborhoods, is linked by numerous bridges and is one of Europe’s most bike-friendly cities.

You will stop on Djurgården Island, once a royal hunting ground and now home to many of Stockholm’s fine museums. One of them, the Skansen museum, is the world’s first open-air museum and zoo, dating from the late 19th century and dedicated to preserving Sweden’s pre-industrial heritage of architecture and crafts. After a hearty smörgåsbord lunch, you may wander through the many original buildings brought here from throughout Sweden and enjoy commentary by craftspeople and docents in charming historic dress. Later, continue to your next hotel via the city’s ferry service or enjoy a longer riding option. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Hotel: Elite Hotel Marina Tower Stockholm
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 15 miles (24 km), 24.2 miles (39 km)

DAY 8: Cycle the Stockholm Archipelago

One of Europe’s most picturesque cities, Stockholm is pure pleasure to explore by bicycle, as any local will tell you. Today’s ride reveals the wide-ranging breadth of Stockholm’s scenic and extensive archipelago. The largest in Sweden, it extends almost 40 miles into the waters of Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. Around 24,000 islands and islets comprise the municipality, though the city occupies just 17 of them. Originally a collection of tiny fishing villages, today you will find elegant parks, charming coves and ports and myriad pleasure boats against a tranquil backdrop of shimmering blue water. Your ride options deliver you into these scenic areas with long and short options and a stop for lunch on your own at a local restaurant. Later this evening, you gather for a farewell dinner in a beautiful waterside Stockholm setting.

Hotel: Elite Hotel Marina Tower Stockholm
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 6.2 miles (10 km), 12.4 miles (30 km)

DAY 9: Free day / VBT Bicycle Vacation Only ends

VBT Bicycle Vacation Only guests: Your tour ends after breakfast. A taxi ride from the Elite Hotel Marina Tower to the Stockholm train station costs approximately SEK180/$20 USD and takes approximately 15 minutes. A taxi ride to the Stockholm airport costs approximately SEK SEK900/$100 USD and takes approximately 45 minutes.

VBT Air Package & Post-trip Extension guests: Enjoy a free day to explore Stockholm on your own. Your hotel is located on Stockholm’s waterfront, accessible to its center by municipal ferry or tram line. The Royal Palace, City Hall and Gamla Stan, or Old Town, are all easily accessible. VBT provides City Information, including recommendations for cafés, restaurants, museums and transportation, so you can get the most out of your stay.

Hotel: Elite Hotel Marina Tower Stockholm
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast*, transfer to the Stockholm airport (approximately 45 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel’s reception desk the night before your flight. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Cycling Scandinavia: Copenhagen to Stockholm Map

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Accommodations

Cycling Scandinavia: Copenhagen to Stockholm

The Square

With spectacular views of Copenhagen’s City Hall and Central Square, The Square is ideally situated downtown. This stylish oasis, thoughtfully designed down to every detail, is an inviting and relaxing introduction to Danish hospitality and was voted one of Denmark’s Leading Boutique Hotels for two years. Enjoy a drink in the lobby lounge and breakfast on the bright rooftop terrace. Tivoli Gardens are just a short walk away and you’ll enjoy all the amenities you’ll need in your comfortable room.
Free WiFi Included

V Hotel

With its unique personal design, relaxing atmosphere and endless charming touches, V Hotel is a distinctive boutique hotel in the heart of Helsingborg’s historic center. This 4-star property occupies an historic Helsingborg building and complements its heritage with unique art work and furnishings meant to inspire. Unwind in the living room with a drink by the fireplace or enjoy a classic dish in Bistro V. Each room features an individual design, high-end linens and details and warm colors that soothe and calm after a day of riding.
Free WiFi Included

Vadstena Klosterhotel

Set directly on Lake Vättern, Sweden’s second largest lake, the charming and atmospheric 4-star Vadstena Klosterhotel occupies several historic buildings that once served Saint Bridget’s Order. Beautifully preserved and updated with all the modern amenities, the cloister and monastery sit alongside the beautifully preserved 13th-century church. Enjoy the outdoors with a stroll along a lakeside path, accessible directly from the property. Or walk into the charming town of Vadstena to explore its historic cobbled streets and squares. The excellent restaurant serves fresh, locally sourced cuisine.
Free WiFi Included

Elite Hotel Marina Tower

Situated on Stockholm’s waterfront, the Elite Hotel Marina Tower is a 4-star property in an historic mill building. Its colorful interiors are bright and cheerful and its spacious rooms offer all the comforts you’ll need after rewarding days of exploring Stockholm. If you wish, indulge in the spa’s indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and soothing treatments. The outdoor café sits directly on the waterfront and provides sweeping views. You’ll enjoy easy access to the municipal ferry and tram that whisk you to Gamla Stan, the Old Town, and the other islands of Stockholm’s archipelago.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Haven

The gracious 4-star Hotel Haven is located directly on Helsinki’s port in Helsinki’s Market Square and within walking distance of the city’s main squares and attractions. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it has been thoughtfully designed for warmth and style. Enjoy breakfast in the Sundman’s building, the second oldest stone building in the city, while taking in splendid city and harbor views. Newly renovated rooms are plush with comforts, graced with classic furnishings and a modern touch. Relax over a drink in Bar Haven and step right outside for enriching exploration of Finland’s magnificent capital.
Free WiFi Included
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Classic Red Tiled rooves in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, Germany & Austria

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The heart of Central Europe is revealed on an itinerary that touches three distinct countries as we bike through scenic landscapes from Sumava National Park to the banks of the Danube. We’ll also discover the rich history of Cesky Krumlov—a UNESCO World Heritage site—Prague and Passau.

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Hungary Bike Tour - traveling over ancient bridges

Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube

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Cycle into the Old World on this unique active vacation where we’ll crisscross the fabled Danube river to pedal amidst undulating farmlands and traditional Hungarian and Slovakian villages and stay at two of the Leading Small Hotels of the World.

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Ireland Biking along the dramatic coast

Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast

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Discover the unique landscapes, ancient ruins and colorful people of Ireland the best way—by bicycle—on this sweep of the country’s west coast, including the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands and Connemara.

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Xanterra

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