Just north of Styrsö, the serene island of Brännö is the kind of place that seems like it was designed for two-wheeled exploration. Bright yellow bikes are available to hire beside the dock at Brännö Rödsten (including tandems, for any couples who fancy a challenge), and the car-free trails make for effortless cycling, winding past mature gardens full of apple and pear trees. Take a dip in the shallow waters off the north coast, or climb up to the lookout that crowns the island’s highest peak for views across the archipelago.
Getting there: Take ferry #283 from the boat dock at Saltholmen, a 35-minute tram ride west of the centre.
Firmly on the tourist trail (for Swedes, anyway), Marstrand is a picture-perfect, mound-shaped island where brightly painted houses and wooden sailboats are watched over by a vast stone fortress. Carlstens Fästning was originally constructed in the 1600s when the island, having been wrested from Norwegian control, became an important base for Swedish ships. For the next 200 years the fortress was expanded and today, visitors can wander through the sprawling complex learning about its bloody history, or retreat downhill for oysters by the harbour.
Getting there: Marstrand is a 40-minute drive to the northwest of Gothenburg. The road stops just short of the island, but frequent ferries are on hand to make the final crossing.