What is a national tourist Bicycle Route?

Photo: Mickael Tannus

Sydostleden became Sweden's second national tourist Bicycle Route in 2016. The certification certifies that the trail is of high quality, traffic safe and that there is a wide range of experiences and service along the route.

The Sydostleden is classified as a national trail for cycling tourism – but what does that really mean? Government-owned Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration, has established criteria that assure a high standard on designated national trails for cycling tourism. This includes quality-assured traffic safety, and that there is a wide variety of services and natural beauty along the trail. There should be a variety of options for food, accommodation and public transportation along the trail and within reasonable cycling distances. But the trail must also include worthwhile visitor attractions, such as nature reserves, sites of cultural-historical significance, rural areas and village life.

Trails must be more than 200 kilometres in length, and the certification guarantees that the trail is open annually between 1 April and 1 October. The trail can consist of stretches with gravel/dirt surfaces and paved cycling trails, and may also include stretches shared with other vehicles on the national road system provided the traffic volume is low. A certified trail must always be safe and comfortable regardless of surface.

There are currently just two cycling trails in Sweden that have been awarded this certification: The Kattegattleden Trail, which has been assigned the number 1, and the Sydostleden Trail, which has been assigned the number 2.