Halvvättern’s route is 150 kilometres long. It goes south along lake Vättern, makes a wide circle and then heads back north again to the finish in Motala. There are four rest stops. The course is very beautiful, varied and challenging enough for both beginners and intermediate cyclists. The cyclists start in groups during the morning and the finish does not close until 8pm, which means that the participants have all day to enjoy the ride.
Course officials are posted at various points along the route. They will help you at traffic junctions and in places where there may be some doubt about the directions. In addition traffic cones and other markings are used to keep you on track. You do not need a map, as the route is well marked.
Snacks, beverages, massage and bicycle repairs are available at all service depots (except for the self-service one).
Service depots are clearly marked in advance with the sign “Depå”. If you do not want to stop at the service depots, move out into the middle of the road. If you want to stop at the service depots, keep to the right and signal. Use hand signals and be observant as confusion at service depots entry points can lead to collisions.
The first stop is usually reached quickly. Beverages, buns and bananas.
Self-service depot with water only.
Beautiful views over Lake Vättern. Beverages, buns and bananas.
Self-service depots with water only. Split timing station.
Home of the famous rune stone, with the world’s longest runic inscription, and a popular service depot half way to the finish. Beverages, buns and bananas.
This service depot is in the town square of a well-preserved medieval town. Beverages, buns and bananas.
After being escorted out of Motala, the cyclists head south and pass Vadstena, a picturesque medieval town and a “must-see” in the Michelin Guide. After the service depot in Borghamn, you will bike over Omberg, known as the mountain of flowers, which is a nature reserve. From there the route continues south along the lake to the next service depot in Ödeshög.
The course then turns east and the landscape changes to deep forest. After some kilometers you reach Boet, where you can fill up your bottle with water. Now the course turns north again crossing beautiful farming country.
At the service depot in Rök you can see the famous rune stone with the world’s longest runic inscription. After Rök you approach an area that was a centre of power for many of the kings that ruled Sweden during the middle ages. While keeping your eyes on the road you can allow yourself to glance at the churches of Appuna and Bjälbo, two particularly important churches during the middle ages among the many churches on these plains.
The last service depot is in the town square in Skänninge. Skänninge is a well-preserved town established in the 12th century, once considered the country’s capital.