Beautifully situated Bengtsfors is a key entry point to the unspoilt Dalsland outback. Guests sleep well in comfortable beds here at Hemgården Hotell & Vandrarhem. You can also hire a bike for a shorter or longer ride along Unionsleden – maybe combined with a canal boat cruise or canoe adventure.
Outback and water activities
Hemgården’s closest neighbour is the Dalsland Canal that links together two lakes, Bengtsbrohöljen and Lelång. Across the road from the hotel and youth hostel, canoes and leisure boats glide tranquilly through the double locks in the canal. Here, you can take a seat on the small wooden quay, pour a cup of coffee from your thermos flask and enjoy that relaxed holiday feeling and maybe make plans for what to do and see tomorrow.
Hemgården is a perfect starting point for an active holiday amidst the Dalsland lakes and forests by bike and/or canoe. At Silverlake bike and canoe hire, you can hire mountain bikes, road bikes and canoes for one or several days. If you bring your own bike, there are plenty of secure overnight storage places for bikes.
“We are very conveniently located in Bengtsfors, with nearby shops to stock up with provisions before a bike or canoe trip. If you come here for a break after a few days in the great outdoors or a long day in the saddle, you will appreciate sleeping in our comfortable beds, preparing your own food in a well-equipped kitchen or treating yourself to a restaurant meal.” says Christer Emanuelsson, who runs Hemgården and Silverlake.
Hotel or youth hostel at Hemgården
Hemgården’s 17 rooms are in a charming, red-painted house and a more modern building next to it. You can choose a hotel standard room (beds made, ensuite WC and shower, breakfast) or youth hostel standard, where you bring your own or hire bedding, share a WC/shower in the corridor and prepare your own food in a spacious and well-equipped self-catering kitchen. Both these room standards are well-maintained and practical with new beds (no bunk beds), and bathrooms. Emanuelsson has worked in the tourist industry in west Dalsland for over 40 years and what he doesn’t know about the forests, rivers, lakes and travel experiences in the region is not worth knowing.
“Dalsland is fantastic. It is one of the best areas in Europe for water and wilderness outings. There are 100 places to camp here, excellent wind shelters, plenty of potable water points, good maps, and you can access many of these places by bike as well.”
One of his tips for cyclists along Unionsleden is to take a day off from the saddle in Bengtsfors and go on a canoe trip. For example, you can paddle a canoe or kayak around 15 km north on Lake Lelång to the Silverlake wilderness campsite in Kråkviken, from where you can return to Hemgården by public transport or spend the night in a tent or indoor accommodation. You can also start your canoe trip in Kråkviken for the ultimate outback experience.
Canal boat cruise
A less strenuous, but equally unforgettable day trip from Hemgården is a boat cruise on the Dalsland Canal. Every day in the summer season, one of the two Dalslands Kanaltrafik boats departs from Bengtsfors. The cruise takes you through 16 locks, idyllic greenery, glittering lakes and the cultural heritage of the landscape all the way to the only aqueduct in Sweden in Håverud. The return journey is much quicker by railbus.
“The canal boats also have space for a few bikes, so if you prefer a shorter cruise, you can jump off at the quay in Långbron or out at Baldersnäs, with its fantastic manor house and park. You can then cycle the 15 km back to Bengtsfors on cycle friendly gravel roads along the water. It’s a really great outing for all the family,” says Emanuelsson.