Kattegat Loop Bikepacking - Denmark and Sweden


January 22, 2022☕️ 3 min read 17

In the summer of 2021, my friends and I spent a week bikepacking the Kattegat - a sea area bounded by the Jutlandic peninsula in the west and Sweden in the east. We started in Ystad, cycled through Gothenburg, took a ferry to Frederikshavn, Denmark and closed the loop in Copenhagen.

Kattegat Loop Bikepacking

  • Distance: 900km
  • Elevation: 3130m
  • Time: 8 days
  • Date: Jul 2021

Coastal Bike Path


Staying close to the sea meant that the route profile was rather flat with not that many hills. However, at the same time it was windy and the weather could be unpredictable. Starting from Ystad we followed the coastal bike path which led us through Malmö, Helsingborg, Halmstad and Gothenburg. The bikepacking-friendly “Everyman’s Right” law allowed us to camp in the wild. We used this website to find camping spots. We spent two nights camping close to the sea, waking up to the sound of waves and brewing our morning coffee on the beach. We also camped in the wilderness shelter located at the lake in the forest close to Gothenburg (map). he lake water was just perfect for a refreshing evening swim. During the first 3 days of cycling, we covered 440km, averaging almost 150km per day. On the fourth day, we reached Gothenburg where we rested and explored the city. In the afternoon we caught a ferry to Frederikshavn in Denmark.

Camping at the sea


On the other side of Kattegat, we were hit with harsh weather. It got cold and windy with some rainy days. Unfortunately, wild camping in Denmark is not allowed everywhere so we had to spend two nights in established campsites for a fee. However, there are several designated forests where wild camping is permitted. Here is an excellent map for finding such spots. Danish bike paths led us from Frederikshavn along the coast to Hadsund, Randers and eventually Aarhus. We got our next ferry to Sjællands Odde, located about 100km from Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Pleasures

Our bikepacking adventure concluded in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital. We took two days to immerse ourselves in the city’s vibrant life. Museums, delicious food or shops didn’t surprise us as much as the hippie Freetown Christiania. Located on an island within the city, it came to life as a squatted military area in the early 70s. This anarchist commune is independent of Danish regulations. It has its own set of rules, for example, forbidding theft and hard drugs. It means that the Green Light District, a cannabis market located on Christiania’s streets, can operate uninterrupted. I strongly suggest spending some time walking around and getting to know more about the history and existing housing regulations which I find quite amusing since Christiania originated as a squatter utopia.

In total we spent 6 days on bikes, covering 730km. We rode gravel/touring bikes with 35-42mm tyres. For navigation, we used a mix of Komoot and bike route signs in Sweden, which worked well. This trip not only got us around Kattegat, but also marked our completion of cycling along the Swedish southern coastline (from Stockholm to Gothenburg). On our previous bikepacking trip we cycled from Stockholm to Ystad. That journey is described in previous blog post: Bikepacking & wild camping in Sweden.