Looking for a boating experience inland?
Göta Canal is part of a 382-mile long system of waterways that bisects Sweden and includes Sweden’s two largest lakes. It provides a route from Gothenburg on the Atlantic, to Söderköping on the Baltic. The canal, which opened in 1832, was intended for cargo traffic, though it quickly became redundant for industrial use as the railroad system was built.
Today Göta Canal provides an excellent and mellow way to explore the countryside off-road. While floating along on the canal you’ll pass through old factory towns and by sights such as the medieval church at Vreta and the old fortress in Karlsborg. Between are green fields where cows graze and deep forests like Tiveden national park.
The elevation on the canal changes substantially, necessitating a total of 58 locks; the most famous being the seven successive locks at Berg which lift or lower boats a total of 18.8 meters.
Historic ships offer everything from short daytrips down the canal to six-day cruises between Gothenburg and Stockholm. Canoeing and bike trips along the towpaths are other popular options. For those who’d rather navigate on their own there are boats for rent.
By: Sarah Clyne Sundberg