Each bullet links to a ride-guide or one of our amazing partners.
Bike type: Mountain Bike
Difficulty: Very Easy
Distance: 4 km
With a small range of new Trek kids bikes with ultra fat tires for increased stability, and disc brakes for your blood pressure, Simlångsdalen is a perfect place to come out and ride with your kids and have them test mountain biking.
This route is only 4 km long and starts on a pump track, and includes two sections of trails that are both short and safe. You can easily add on another lap or another loop (Simlångsrunt for example or village trails) or you can go to the kiosk and grab an ice cream.
This route starts at the pump track across from the school, then does one lap around this running course which has your only hilly parts, then finishes at a small figure of 8 at Hule nature reserve, a perfect spot for a barbecue or fika.
Total climbing: 62 m
August 18, 19, 20. UCI World Gravel Series: Gravel, Grit’n’Grind Halmstad and Swedish Gravel Championships. A competitive mass participation ride for everyone! Register
Gravel riding and racing has boomed in the last few years as road riders tire of near death experiences and mountain bikers look for something that lets you travel beyond your local trails. The bikes have improved with hydraulic disks, tubeless tires and better geometry. With Covid we all started to look for something new to do or somewhere new to ride. Now you’ve explored your local region and are looking for something new.
How about a riding area with thousands of kilometers of winding gravel tracks? Halmstad region has a seemingly limitless supply of rural roads, logging roads, fire roads, wind farm access routes, farm roads and hunters tracks. And the best part? They are so quiet that on a busy day you can see less than 10 cars in a 100 km ride. Forget dodging cloud of dust and skirting logging trucks, imagine a gravel route where the only thing you see is nature, the rolling route, and possibly a friend?!
The city of Halmstad is a small metropolitan area famous for its long sandy beaches, its golf (if it keeps people off the roads, I support it) and its accessible wilderness. The area has more than 480 km of hiking trails, almost all of which are mixed use, meaning that cycling is allowed as well. This is partially thanks to Allemansrätten, a Swedish law that basically allows access to any wild lands as long as the user isn’t a jackass. Swedes frown on jackassism.
The region is a mix of rolling coastal pasture and farmland backed by a forested inland that is deceptively hilly. There are not many climbs over 120 m, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t bite. The forests are dotted with lakes, so many that it is no worth putting a number on them. Add to this the ability to camp on almost any wild land, and you have gravel bikers’ paradise.
This is why the UCI chose Halmstad as one of their 7 European destinations and their only Scandinavian destination for the World Gravel Series.
Halmstad is easily reached from Copenhagen or Gothenburg (Copenhagen being a favourite, as you can hop on the train, with your bike, directly at the airport and arrive in Halmstad in just under two hours). Sweden is a great place to visit for English speakers, in fact, there are as many English speakers in Sweden as in Canada! And more moose, so, there’s that.
A perfect place to bring a family for a holiday, Halmstad and the surrounding area, including the day 2, the queen stage, UCI and Swedish Championships location, Simlångsdalen, are quiet tourist destinations. You’ve got 45 km of sandy beaches, over 100 km of mountain bike trails with rentals and delivery available, a world class wake park, endless kite surfing opportunities, canoeing and kayaking and so much more. Best part, the Swedes are finished their summer holidays, so there is a lot more free space in the forest.
The race: Who is it for? Everyone. This is similar to a Grand Fondo event, or the Vätternrundan. The UCI says that any bike is legal. So if you want to wear a tiger onezie and ride your 50 year old military bike, you can! You can ride one day or all three!
It’s a three day event, with an opening day time trial, the second day is the big qualifying event, and the third day is a fun and fast 80 ride through some of the best wilderness in southern Scandinavia. Each day is different, the first day is for the fast time-trialist, the second is a longer stage with some climbing for the roadie, and the last day is a more technical route with some short sharp climbs for the mtb rider or cyclocrossist (cyclocrosser?).
How do I register? Just click here!
Last year’s Simlångsdalen Route
Trail Type: MTB
Simlångsdalen is a hikers and bikers’ paradise. We have roads and trails and tracks to explore that never seem to stop! When I’m pressed for time, one of my favourite rides is to hit all the village trails, so that I’m close to home if a customer calls, but far enough into the wilderness to get refreshed and renewed.
The trail begins behind the hotel and takes you to the industrial plats, the exit to the trail is a little ugly, a Mordor-esque wasteland to end a lovely 2 km trail. You then pop across Hwy 25 and take the paved bike path (Banvalsleden) towards the city for about a kilometer before entering Björkelund nature reserve where you ride the ‘Gammal Skog’ trail back to the village. Björkelund is a great spot for picnics, there are a number of picnic tables and fire pits hidden throughout the reserve.
From here you take the paved bike path back through the village until you hit a trail to your left up past the school and church as you head up the Lillared Stigen up to another nature reserve, Klövaberget, a 35m high cliff band hidden away in a beautiful beech forest, a favourite spot of mine. There’s a lovely little bit of downhill before you a riding back to the village again, watching for the small trail on your right that takes you back.
Now back past the church heading towards Simlången, the big lake, you take a left at the horse farm and hop another well hidden trail behind a big oak tree. This will bring you out on the Mahult road, which you ride up for about 200 m before dropping down on the obvious trail to your right that brings you to a private swimming spot on Simlången, and the unpaved Banvallsleden along the lakeside back to the village. A little bit of single track to mix up the ride along the way and you’re done. 15km of riding, 60-70% on trails, and you’re never more than 5 minutes from the pub…um I mean, village. The trails are a mix of beginner and beginner/intermediate, not perfect for small kids, but great for teens who might give up at any moment…
Total climbing: 228 m
Our third year running this event saw the most people sign up so far, we had 44 riders for the event, about 1/3rd choosing to ride the 60km loop and the rest choosing the tougher 120km. The sun was shining on us, with temperatures up to 26C, but averaging somewhere around 20. The day began with everyone check in and loaded up with bars and gels from Pure Power, provided by Cycle Service Nordic and some gifts from Trek Bikes Scandinavia.
The event began with a 3 km controlled start along the Banvallsleden until Svaliltbacken, a 1 km long 10% gravel grind. The groups split in to lead group of about 8 riders that stuck together for the first 40 km, and a second pelaton of 14 riders, behind that there were smaller groups of 3-4 riders working together throughout the event.
The larger groups were blown apart after hitting the two first climbs after the depot. The sun came out hard on the longest climb, the 120 m high Munkabol (Gravel) Climb., taking it up to 26C.
After the Munkabol climb the route hits its roughest roads and its toughest short climbs through the last final 30 kms. The race wound down on the beautiful new tarmac descent into Ryaberg and a final sprint into Ulf’s house and a cold and tasty SIA Glass ice cream.
A huge thanks to all our riders who came from all over Sweden and Denmark, our sponsors, Cycle Service Nordic, Trek Bikes Scandinavia and SIA Glass Ice Cream. We are already working to improve the event for 2023. Hope to see you there!
Route type: Road bike
Difficulty: Intermediate start, rest is easy
A lovely, quite road bike loop that takes you past Rydöbruk, home to possibly the best stone fired pizza in Halland, Knystaria.
Beginning in Simlångsdalen, the route hits the hilly “three Kings” to Oskarström, giving you close to 200m of climbing. From there you head toward Torup/Rydöbruk on a quiet road that follows the Nissan valley.
There is a sustained climb coming out of Rydöbruk, but once you clear that it’s a calm, rolling route home. Look for the swimming spots in Mjälahult and along the lakes in Simlångsdalen.
Total climbing: 574 m
Bike Type: Touring bike/Road Bike
This is a shorter wilderness route that takes you along the 4 lakes of the valley before wondering off into some low lying hills. Take a picnic with you, as there are a dozen or so secret picnic spots that you can discover along this route. It only sees traffic in the morning and afternoon ‘rush hour’ windows, the rest of the time, besides the occasional Dane heading up to their cabin, the roads are yours to enjoy!
Total climbing: 193 m
Bike Type: Touring bike/Road Bike
Another loop that is designed for you to stop for lunch, this shorter loop takes you into the wilderness to Ulvered’s Hjorthägn, or deer farm. Here there is an amazing restaurant where you can take a tour of the deer farm, have a burger or a fancy dinner and even stay overnight! The loop has one climb coming out of the valley, and has about 2km of gravel roads as you turn off the Mastocka road towards the deer farm.
Total climbing: 369 m
Bike Type: Road/Touring
If you’ve been looking at the other road biking loops, you’ll notice the word ‘climb’ coming up again and again. Well, good news, this is a remarkably flat loop that only features one big hill, and that’s on your way home from the city. You follow the Banvallsleden (paved train tracks) into Halmstad to Östrastrand, a super long beach that even includes a nudist beach (if you spent all your money on renting bikes and you can’t afford swim shorts). There is a lot to do in the city, just make sure you bring a decent bike lock with you! Coming home you can either take the Banvallsleden home, of you can take the route past Linda’s Eko Cafe (which we strongly recommend) through Öppinge which gives you some beautiful views of the flowing farms fields of Halmstad.
Total climbing: 233 m
This is a lovely, quiet loop that takes you from Simlångsdalen over the hills toward Oskarström then slowly up into the wilderness of Mjälahult. It is a triangular shaped loop (a loop shaped triangle?), and at the top of that triangle is a perfect little nature reserve beach with a picnic table. I’ve never seen another person there, nor had a car pass when I’ve stopped. You can enjoy a short break and even a swim if it’s warm enough. From the top of the loop it’s actually a slow downhill all the way home!
Total climbing: 506 m
Bike type: Road
This is a 90 km ride that visits two towns of medium size, Oskarström and Hyltebruk. They are well spaced out for the more casual rider who is looking for coffee and lunch breaks on their route. It is a relatively hilly route with a few longer climbs, but nothing that should bust your legs. The roads are generally quiet, and you could likely ride this route on a weekday without seeing more than a handful of cars. If you take this loop in the morning or evening, there is a very good chance of seeing wildlife. Moose, deer and boar are all common on this quiet route.
Total climbing: 807 m