Time to plan your summer adventures! Here are some ideas for outdoor activities in and around Gävle and Gästrikland, brought to you by Gävle Tourist Centre.
15 summer trip ideas
1. Paddling in Gästrikland
Rent a canoe and paddle your way around the beautiful settings of Smörnäs. Why not start by the Smörnäs campsite and go to Oslättfors, an idyllic former ironworks village. There, you'll find a second-hand store and a Bed and Breakfast. Other nice places to go canoeing or kayaking include Färnebofjärden's National Park, the Gavleån river, and the Pråmleden canoe trail in Hofors. Find maps and more information on Naturkraft Gästrikland's web page.
2. Discover Axmar Bruk - a part of Jungfrukusten (the Maiden Coast)
Buy some Swedish fika from Orangeriet (the conservatory café) and have a picnic in the English landscape-style park. Paddle around the ancient shipwrecks of Axmar Blue Park or go for a stroll around the old ironworks. Visit Axmar Bruksbod and embark on a bee safari. Enjoy a luxury seaside dinner at restaurant Axmarbrygga Havskrog (pictured above). Overnight parking spots for motorhomes are available. Click here to read more about Axmar Bruk - a historical ironworks site.
3. Skoj på hoj
Skoj på hoj is an orienteering activity adapted for cyclists. Get your map at Gävle Tourist Centre, rent a bike, and go for a tour towards Valbo. Whilst in Valbo, don't forget to stop for coffee and a bite to eat at Växtzon 4, a lovely garden centre with an outdoor café. Go shopping in the shopping malls of Valbo Köpcenter and Valbo Köpstad. Before you return to the city centre, make sure to visit Mackmyra Brukspark for a bike tour through the picturesque park built in the 1820s. On your way home, buy some local delicacies from Diléns and freshly baked bread from Kavlat & Klart.
4. Norrsundet – a part of Jungfrukusten (the Maiden Coast)
Go to Norrsundet and have a bite to eat at new seaside gem Bergmans fisk in Saltharsfjärden. This fish and seafood restaurant also has a shop if you want to bring some local delicacies home. Gåsholma and Kusön island are two other places nearby that are well worth a visit. Read more about our coastline Jungfrukusten, or the Maiden Coast, here.
5. Urban outdoor excursions in the Boulogner Forest
The Boulogner Forest, Gävle's green lung, is located in the city centre. Here, you'll find a bathing spot with barbeque facilities and a beach volley court. Nearby lies an outdoor gym and courses for mini golf and disc golf. There are nice spots of green grass literally everywhere; why not sit down for a picnic, stop by a bench or sit by the riverbank. Enjoy an ice cream from the café and let the kids play around in the large playground. Near the park is Elsa's Coffeeshop, a café/restaurant with plenty of outdoor seats available. Your four-legged friend is welcome, too!
If you take a walk and follow the Hälsans Stig trail around the park, we highly recommend you to make a detour to Valls Hage, an outdoor forest museum. Or why not take a walking tour around Gävle?
6. Walk the Norrlandet coastline walking trail
Walk all or parts of the seaside walking trail along the Norrlandet coastline. However, don't miss the part that passes Gråberget and its magnificent view (pictured above). Buy some traditional böckling (in English buckling; hot-smoked kippers) from one of the smokeries, rent a kayak or take a bath at Gammel-Anna bay. There are many alternatives for a coffee or a bite to eat: Skärgårdskrogen Utvalnäs, Böna Café, Huseliiharen, Engeltofta or Engesberg's Camping. Click here to read more about the walking trail.
7. MTB - go mountain biking
Take your bike for a spin around the mountain bike trails of Högbo Bruk, recently elected the best in Sweden according to Expressen newspaper. Previous experience is not needed; there are trails both for beginners and professionals, and also bikes to rent. The picturesque surroundings of historical ironworks area Högbo Bruk are full of activities for young and old: mini golf, golf, paddling, hiking and much more. Spend the night at Högbo Brukshotell and enjoy the spa and the top-class food.
Another great place to go mountain biking is Jädraås. Spend the night at Jädraås Herrgård, a manor house built in 1856. Go for a morning dip in the Jädraån river or take a "forest bath" along the Gästrikeleden trail, where you will be biking. In the winter, there is access to cross-country ski tracks and Kungsberget ski resort is only a 15-minute drive away.
8. The Limön island
Take the Limöbåten ferry to Gävle's own summer gem, the island of Limön. Take a walk around the island to see its beautiful nature, of which parts are protected as a Natura 2000 preserve. Check out the island's two lighthouses, have a coffee in the café and don't forget your swimming clothes. If you wish to lengthen your stay, there are cottages to rent. Follow this link to read more about Limön.
9. Go fishing in Hedesunda
There are several great fishing waters in and around Gävle. Why not stop by Hedesunda Camping, recently elected the cosiest camping in all of Europe. Here are some world-class fishing opportunities! Bring your own tent or rent a cottage, whatever floats your boat! Near Hedesunda Camping lies Taste of Africa, a cosy African-inspired café, restaurant and shop.
Other places to go fishing include the rapids of Gysinge, Testeboån river and Billudden - and don't forget that you can go fishing in the middle of Gävle city centre too, in the Gavleån river.
10. Hike the Gästrikeleden trail towards Gysinge
Hike the Gästrikeleden walking trail and get lots of new impressions. The walking trail runs through the whole county, and in Hemlingby Recreation Area, you'll find the part that is closest to central Gävle. There, you'll find a café/restaurant - perfect for rest or recharging! The trail also passes Färnebofjärden's National Park and its visitor centre Naturum, located in Gysinge. Gysinge, a former ironworks village, also has a fire truck museum, a small convenience store, a café, a restaurant with a conservatory and last but not least: Gysinge Centrum för Byggnadsvård, a very popular interior shop focused on the preservation of old buildings. Click here to find out more about the Gästrikeleden walking trail.
11. Discover Gävle with Hittaut
Go outside and collect checkpoints using the Hittaut orienteering map. You can either walk or go by bike. Bring some fika from one of our local cafés, just remember to take care of your rubbish. The Swedish right of public access always comes with this condition: Do not distroy and do not disturb.
You can collect your Hittaut-map for free at Gävle Tourist Centre or use the online map. Click here to find the online map and to create an account.
12. Caves and mines in Kungsberg and Hofors
Just outside Hofors, direction Torsåker, is Storberget montain where people have been mining since the Middle Ages. Its adit Stollgången is open for guided tours, and with its 265-meter-long tunnel straight into the mountain, it is one of the county's most fascinating sights. Nearby is also a Geranium Museum and Gammelstilla bruk ironworks that has its own whisky distillery. Once you're here, why not go for a paddling trip in a canoe or a kayak? The canoe trail Pråmleden passes Gammelstilla and Edsken's Camping.
Caves can be found in Kungsberg, near Kungsberget Ski Resort. The steep surrouding nature makes for an exciting excursion. The longest cave is 25 metres long and is called Gillbergs ide (in English: Gillberg's den).
13. Take a trip in the northwest direction
Follow the Testeboån river upstream and go to Ockelbo and Lingbo. There, you'll find Wij Gardens and Lindarnas gård, where you can have a nice afternoon tea. There are apple trees, kitchen plants and beautiful flowers. The Testeboån river is classified as a wild salmon area and also has a large population of sea trout. If you continue further upstream, you'll arrive in Åmot, where you can experience the calamity of Stilleben Sweden. Spend the night in this beautiful rural setting and eat some delicious food cooked from locally produced ingredients.
14. Bear watching
Peek-a-boo! At Wild Nordic, you'll get a genuine and intimate natural experience. Here, in the middle of the forests of Järbo, there are good chances to see bears in their natural habitat. Spend the night in Wild Nordic's hideout.
15. Golfing in Gästrikland
There are many golf courses throughout our destination, including Pay & Play courses. The golf course in Hofors has been elected one of the most beautiful in Sweden. Book a golf package and play your way around the courses of Gävle, Mackmyra, Trebo, Högbo Bruk, Hofors and Älvkarleby.