Landscape:

The landscape of West Sweden offers some of the most picturesque and varied scenery in Sweden; an archipelago of some 10,000 islands, lush open countryside, vast forests and lakes. It is a delight to tour this region by car, whether for a short break or for a longer more relaxing stay.

The archipelago:

The 170km Bohuslän Coast splinters into thousands of granite islands, islets and skerries north of Gothenburg. It is home to a great variety of wildlife and much of Sweden’s fish supply. Bridges and ferry services link the inner archipelago to the main land. Of those islands accessible to visitors, Marstrand, Käringön, Tjörn and Orust, in particular, warrant a visit.

Marstrand, 71km north of Gothenburg, is a pedestrianised island and a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. Dominated by the Carlsten Fortress, the island hums with life in July and August. Out of season, Marstrand is a tranquil island whose narrow cobbled streets and charming location justify a stop.

Marstrand, Sweden Marstrand, Sweden

Käringön boasts a picturesque fishing village and a vibrant, summer island scene. A short stroll from the harbour will lead to a collection of historical houses and gardens that have changed little since the 19th century – a wonderful contrast to the busy marina.

The neighbouring islands of Tjörn and Orust are the largest in the archipelago and afford wonderful view points and nature trails.

All along the Bohuslän Coast quaint fishing villages can be found: Mollösund, Lysekil, Gullholmen, Fjällbacka – where Ingrid Bergman spent her summers, Smögen, Hunnebostrand, Fiskebackskil and Grebbestad - famous for producing 90% of Sweden’s oysters, to name a few.

Smogen, Sweden Smogen, Sweden

Fjällbacka and Swedish literature:

With pan-Scandinavian crime thrillers topping the charts for both books and films, the world’s eyes now turn to the picture-perfect coastal village of Fjällbacka, 90 minutes north of Gothenburg. With regular boattrips to the unspoiled Weather Islands and colourful wooden buildings that stand out against a rocky backdrop, it may come as a surprise that Fjällbacka is the birthplace of Camilla Läckberg and setting for her grizzly crime novels.

The Weather Islands, Sweden The Weather Islands, Sweden

Fjällbacka is a popular summer retreat with a holiday atmosphere during the warmer months - restaurants and bars brimming with locals and holidaymakers open onto the harbourfront. During the autumn and winter months the village attracts visitors for its excellent sea food experiences.

Fjallbacka, Sweden Fjallbacka, Sweden

History and culture:

For those looking for history and culture, West Sweden has much to offer. Attractions worthy of a mention include the Nordic Water Colour Museum and Pilane Sculpture Park on the island of Tjörn, Vitlycke Museum in Tanum, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its high concentration of Bronze Age rock carvings; and the 13th century Läckö Castle located on the shore of Lake Vänern.

Nordic watercolour museum Nordic watercolour museum

Gastronomy:

The three regions of West Sweden, Bohuslän, Dalsland and Västergötland have their own local traditions and specialities. Seafood and shellfish are popular along the Bohuslän coastline. Dalsland has plenty of game, such as moose and deer, cultivated whitefish, pike and perch in its lakes and woods full of wild mushrooms and berries. Västergötland specialises in smoked fish and locally produced cheese.

The West Sweden Tourist Board has established the 'Taste of West Sweden' programme. The emphasis is on high quality, locally produced ingredients, traditional cooking techniques, friendly and knowledgeable service and respect for the environment. 30 restaurants along the West Coast have been certified by the programme including Strysö Skaret Guest House, Villa Sjötorp and Stora Hotel Bryggan.

Villa Sjötorp, with its excellent restaurant, is a perfect destination for a Midsummer and/or Christmas celebration.

Shellfish journey:

Producing some of the finest seafood in the world – oysters, lobsters, prawns, herring, crayfish and mussels – this region is home to a host of excellent seafood restaurants and a wide selection of water based activities. From 22 September, visitors to West Sweden can try their hands at Lobster fishing and sample oysters as part of the annual shellfish journey.

Crayfish Crayfish

Nature and activities:

The county of Dalsland on the Norwegian border is ideal for nature lovers. Relatively unexplored by UK  visitors, Dalsland boasts vast forests, undulating countryside and shimmering lakes – including Lake Vänern, the third largest lake in Europe covering an area of 5,648km2.

This is a region for walking in the Kroppefjäll mountains, cycling and fresh-water fishing. Also possible, is a day cruise along the Dalsland Canal (departing from Håverud), boat excursions from the town of Åmal and visits to the numerous small museums and studios presenting the traditional and modern artefacts.

Dalsland Canal Dalsland Canal

Kayaking:

The Bohuslän coast has the perfect environment for kayaking with calm, protected waters, inshore sheltered bays, narrow passages and quaint, fishing villages. The kayaking is varied and really quite magical. Guided kayak excursions and self-guided tours are available.

West Sweden is quickly becoming recognised as a leading destination for kayaking and offers experiences for all abilities.

Kayaking Kayaking

The crane dance at Hornborgarsjön:

Witness the breathtaking display of 10,000 cranes dancing above Lake Hornborga, considered to be one of Sweden's best bird lakes (mid March - mid April). The birds perform as parts of their mating ritual, flying in from Spain to their traditional breeding grounds.

Rebecca in Sweden

By Rebecca Staniford

18th April 2018



Talk to our The Algarve expert

Rebecca in Sweden
Rebecca Staniford

Rebecca provides the important administrative backbone our European tailor-made programme, making sure the complicated documentation is in order and that everything goes out on time. She joined in 2013 from Lindt Chocolates but previously she had considerable travel experience with the specialist Magic Group of companies that were taken over by Thomson Holidays and before that with Holiday Hypermarket.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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