Over 8000 islands make up the West Sweden archipelago. Each island has its own charm and unique offerings. The archipelago of Gothenburg and the charming Bohulsan coast are filled with lush forests and crystal clear waters. There is also great accommodation and food options.
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It can be difficult to choose the right island for you. We’re sharing ten of our top picks to help you in your research.
Kladesholmen, which is just a short ferry ride from Tjorn Island, is one of West Sweden’s most beautiful islands. It features cute red and white cottages that are set against dazzlingly blue waters.
The island’s claim to fame was once its home to more than 30 herring processing plants. Although this number is now five, you can still find an adorable little museum dedicated to Kladesholmen’s history.
We stayed at Salt & Sill for our stay on Kladesholmen. The floating hotel is Sweden’s first.
The small island of Stenungson, which is just a short distance from the mainland, is located in Stenungsund. It is home to less then 300 people.
We stayed at the Stenungsbaden Yacht Club in a beautiful suite with a view of the ocean during our stay on the island. The Club boasts a spa on the third floor with stunning views and a floating sauna. You should definitely stop by the Kookaburra Restaurant while you are there.
Marstrand is a popular destination for island-hoppers traveling through West Sweden. The island, which is car-free, is only a two-minute ferry ride from the mainland. It is home to spectacular shopping, the Carlsten fortress and scenic hiking.
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Marstrand Havshotell was our choice. There are many restaurants on the island but we prefer Grand Hotel for dinner.
Tjorn, Sweden’s sixth-largest island, is home to the Tjorn Runt, one of the largest sailing competitions in Sweden. It also houses an incredible watercolor museum that showcases Tjorn’s breathtaking landscapes.
We stayed on the island as part of a Meet the Swedes program. This is a group for small businesses that offer accommodation. They are also willing to share their lives with guests. It was a wonderful experience to learn about the culture directly from our hosts.
You should also take advantage of Tjorn’s amazing nature by either hiking, cycling, kayaking, sailing, kayaking or even kayaking!
Styrso, located in the Gothenburg archipelago’s south, is home to approximately 1400 people. There’s also a post office and adorable little shops, cafes, guesthouses and restaurants.
Styrso is a great place to hike up to Stora Ros. It’s the highest point on the island. On a clear day you can see the entire island and colorful fishing villages below.
This island, which is accessible by ferry from Orust and is car-free, can be reached easily via a well-developed tourist route. There are pristine hiking trails and swimming spots on the island. You can also enjoy separate sunbathing areas, for both men and women.
Karingon, the main point for ferry service throughout the archipelago in the summertime is ideal.
Orust is the largest island of the Bohuslan Province and the third-largest island in Sweden. It is home to beautiful fishing villages and lush forests, as well as a fantastic tourism infrastructure. There are many accommodation options available on the island, including hotels and AirBnb’s.
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Rent a bike or kayak to explore the island, and then stop by one of the cute cafes for a Swedish sweet.
The tiny island off the coast from Tjorn, which is car-free, is a picturesque paradise with beautiful views, hiking trails, a sauna and a harbour. This island has been inhabited for 3000 years and is home to remnants of an early settlement.
Take the Hakefjorden passenger ferry from Ronnang Jetty to Dyron. The ferry will take passengers through the sound to the Marstrand Fjord before taking them to Dyron.
Skafto, a lively island off the North coast Orust, has excellent swimming spots, luxury spas, and amazing hiking trails. The island hosts year-round cultural events like film, horse jumping and dance nights.
Bohus-Malmon is a collection of small villages with red and white wooden buildings, set against the backdrop of the blue ocean. The island is just a short ferry ride away from the mainland. It features three centers, Malmon, Bohus Malmon and Stallen. The latter boasts a cute art gallery.
Bohus-Malmon is a place where you can enjoy nature and savour delicious coffee at a local café.
How to get to West Sweden
Start your Sweden trip from Stockholm. If you want to visit the West Coast-hub of Gothenburg, this is where you will start your island explorations. This trip can be done by car or train and takes approximately five hours. Fly directly to Gothenburg’s Landvetter airport.
Many of these islands can be reached by ferry from Gothenburg. However, it is important to verify ferry times and ferry routes to make sure you have a smooth journey. You can also reach many of these islands by car, as they are connected to larger centers via bridges.
- Sweden Packing Essentials
Winter gear: You’ll need a thick down jacket, gloves, or mittens for any winter excursions in Sweden. A beanie should cover your ears.
Layers are key to a comfortable trip to Sweden. Layers are key to a comfortable trip to Sweden. Make sure you pack thermal underwear, fleece-lined leggings and a few cardigans.
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Waterproof gear: Bring along water-resistant shoes, boots, raincoats, raincovers for your backpack and a travel umbrella to protect yourself from the Swedish rains.
Sun protection: I don’t care what season it is, I will never travel without sunscreen and sunglasses.
Swimwear: Bring a swimsuit, quick-drying towel and a few other items so that you can enjoy the Swedish saunas and spas.