With a position by Lake Vattern’s northeastern part, the Gota canal, Lake Boren and Motala river, Motala offers magnificent surroundings and many activities by and on the water. Plus, its location by the lake guarantees 80 more hours of sun a year than areas further away.
With an average water temperature of 24°C in summer, the long and sandy beach of Varamon, only five minutes by car from the center of Motala, is ideal for sunning and swimming. When the wind and waves allow, consider windsurfing or kitesurfing. Still days are optimal for kayaking and canoeing.
In the 1930s, Varamon were noticed far beyond Motala – special trains for sun and bathing enthusiasts went from Stockholm to Motala’s waterside. Referred to as “Riviera beach”, Varamon is the biggest inshore swimming site in Scandinavia and can attract more than 10,000 visitors a sunny day. Last year, Varamon was voted the second best beach in Sweden. For good reasons.
Bike along one of Sweden’s most well-known tourist attractions or go by narrow boat and pass through the canal’s steepest flight of locks, the second largest flight on the canal, in Borenshult. Here, boats are sluiced between Lake Boren and Gota Canal at a difference level of 15 meters.
The classic canal boat M/S Kung Sverker, built in Finland in 1907, drives guests at a leisurely pace from Motala. Learn about the history of the canal by the captain and enjoy lunch on board as you pass by the scenic landscape of the county.
Vätternrundan and Tjej-Vättern
Every mid June Motala hosts the world’s largest recreational bicycle ride, Vätternrundan (Around Vattern) of 300 km as well as the shorter alternative Tjejvättern of 100 km (women only). Last year, ten thousands of people from 38 different countries took part in Vätternrundan. I have experienced both events as a spectator and Tjejvättern as a participant and found both just as fun and memorable.
Climb the Radio Masts
Sweden’s first station for broadcasting radio offers moments out of the ordinary for the courageous. Climb all the way up the approximately 120 meter high radio masts and look out over Motala at the top. A great adventure for friends and families.
By the start, Motala Broadcasting Station had the world’s strongest radio transmitter and for a long time Europe’s strongest. In the museum you can listen to old programs and see the original transmitter equipment.
Motala Motor Museum
The largest and most visited motor museum in Sweden is located in the harbor of Motala. Motala Motor Museum is a fascinating experience for all ages. Admire cars from the early 1900s to 1988 in an exhibition area of 2,000 square meters. How about Cadillac 1907, Chevrolet Capitol 1927, Mercedes 190 4D 1957, or a collection of Rolls-Royce cars?
Located on the same place since 1978, Konstgalleri VÄTTERN in downtown Motala shows work of regional, established Swedish and international artists. During my visit, I was especially pleased to see work by Alain Soucasse. There’s also an art hall in Motala located on Repslagaregatan 3.
Where to Stay
For a central and comfortable stay, the world’s largest hotel chain Best Western offers two locations in the heart of Motala – The Best Western Hotel M and The Best Western Hotel Motala Statt.
The Best Western Hotel M
Next to Stora Torget Square, The Best Western Hotel M is a 3-star eco-friendly marine hotel in Motala. The 55 non-smoking single rooms are furnished in a maritime style with ‘nautical’ features such as rope-lined mirrors, traditional round boat windows, and wooden rope-lined walls followed by white boat-patterned wallpaper and white-blue checked beds – all to harmony with the lake and the canal. Apart from the interior, I particularly enjoyed the view of a large, leafy tree from my room .
Before bedtime, unwind in the relaxation facilities or order a glass of beer or wine in Mässen pub downstairs.
A light sleeper? Bring ear plugs. The walls are far from sound-proof and you want to wake up in time for the excellent complimentary breakfast in the morning.
Book your stay at www.hotelm.se
The Best Western Hotel Motala Statt
Overlooking Stora Torget Square, The Best Western Hotel Motala Statt is a classic 4-star hotel and the leading business and conference hotel in western Ostergötland. Ideal for leisure as well, partly thanks to the hotel’s summer packages (golf, radio mast climbing, motor museum visit and canal boat excursion).
Across the hotel you can see a statue of the founder of Motala, Baltzar von Platen.
With a mix of old and new to suit every need, all 78 non-smoking single and double rooms, as well as family rooms and luxurious suites, are individually decorated. Rooms on higher floors offer photography-friendly views of the lake and the center of town.
Guests receive free access to a relax area with sauna. You can also borrow one of their bikes for a trip through Motala or along the canal. Plus, workout sessions are available at Fitness Center Feelgood, 50 meter from the hotel.
For lunch and dinner, Harry’s Bar and Restaurant (with entrance through the hotel), serves international and Swedish food. Live-entertainment in the evening and outdoor restaurant from May to September. As a guest, you receive free entrance to the nightclub on Saturdays.
Book your stay at www.motalastatt.se
Both Hotel M and Hotel Motala Statt are within walking distance from Motala Motor Museum, Konstgalleri VÄTTERN, shopping in Gallerian and Cityhuset, the waterfront and guest harbor. Only 3 km to the beach.
The nearest airports are Linkoping City Airport (45 km) and Stockholm-Skavsta Airport (180 km). Motala train station is just 500-700 m away.