The western side of the Göta canal with children
Taking the family on a road trip along the Göta Canal in Västergötland can be the best adventure of the year. There is plenty to discover for both young and old. See the boats being lifted and lowered by the water in the locks, ride Sweden's smallest ferry, stay overnight inside a mushroom or try locking yourself, on the children's Mini Canal. Don't forget to stop often, to rest your legs and have ice cream or some other tasty treat!
We suggest that you start the day in Sjötorp, watching the locking in the first locks on the Göta Canal as seen from Lake Vänern. There are many locks to see here! We also recommend a visit to the Canal Museum , where you can learn more about how the canal was built, and about the boats that were built at the Sjötorp shipyard. One of the boats was the Lake Vänern sloop, Oskar. Today a replica, the sloop Oskar II, can be seen in the shipyard basin in Sjötorp. On July 5 and July 27, 2023, the ship is open from 11 AM to 3 PM. Every hour there is a guided tour on board and a treasure hunt for the children. Afterwards, it's a good idea to enjoy an ice cream at Café Baltzar !
Midway between Sjötorp and Hajstorp is the Norrkvarn lock area. The children will have fun here! They can play on the boat, Vigdis and in the children's Mini Canal. And if you have the opportunity, this is where you should spend the night – in a mushroom! The mushrooms are made of wood, concrete and plywood. Many fun and exciting details make this stop an unforgettable experience for both young and old, and beds are available both in the foot and in the hat. The mushrooms can be booked via Norrqvarn Hotell & konferens, where you can also enjoy a good dinner in the evening. After a night in the mushrooms, you can rent bicycles at the hotel and head towards Töreboda along the car-free towpath.
Just 5 kilometres from central Töreboda lies the idyllic Hajstorp. Having a coffee or light lunch by the Göta Canal's glistening water is one of the most summery things there is. In among the leafy trees, the yellow former bridge keeper's cabin is now home to the Hajstorp Lock Cafe & Hostel . Here, the aroma of coffee and freshly baked pastries permeates all the way to the outdoor dining area, where guests sit under large parasols and chat in the sunshine. In the red warehouse, the Craftsmen around the canal exhibit their creations during the summer. On the upper floor is the exhibition A farmer family's life 100 years ago . Here the children can try their hand at weaving, carving wooden boats and more. Feel free to go for a swim before you continue!
In Töreboda, in addition to cafés and canal life, Sweden's smallest regular ferry, Lina, runs across the Göta Canal. The ferry is towed by hand across the canal, and the journey takes only 20-25 seconds. You can try pulling yourself over! In Töreboda there is also Töreboda Camping & Bad, with the Göta Canal's only pool area. And at Kayakomat , the adventurous can rent a kayak or SUP to paddle the canal. Enjoy lunch or early dinner at Restaurang Krubb before cycling the 10 kilometres back to Norrkvarn.
In the idyllic summer village of Karlsborg, you can experience gunpowder smoke, underground passageways and rumbling floors. The Karlsborg Fortress Museum is a storied military museum and inside Karlsborg Fortress you can join exciting guided tours, for both young and old. Within the walls of the mighty fortress from the 19th century, there's something like a community of its own, where you can enjoy good food and coffee, an exciting museum and the beating wings of history.
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