The coastline around Gothenburg is one big playground for the city’s inhabitants and should be your first stop when moving on from the city. Remarkably, the Gothenburg archipelago, a vast array of forested islands, rocky bluffs and skerries, scattered off the city’s western shore, is still little known by visitors. Gothenburgers, however, rave about it – with good reason – and the archipelago is considerably less expensive to reach than the equivalent in Stockholm. North of Gothenburg, the rugged and picturesque Bohuslän coast, which runs all the way to the Norwegian border, attracts countless tourists each summer, the majority of them Scandinavian and German. The most popular spot is the island town of Marstrand, with its impressive fortress and richly ornamental ancient buildings, but there are several other worthwhile attractions further up the coast, not least the buzzing summer destination of Smögen and the nearby wildlife park, Nordens Ark.
Northeast of the city, the shores of beautiful Lake Vänern make a splendid backdrop for the journey to the lake region’s main town, Karlstad, a thoroughly likeable place the perfect jumping-off point for river-rafting trips through the rural province of Värmland.
Top image: Marstrand © Michael Krucker/Shutterstock
On a fine day, Gothenburgers make for the coastal islands, where bathing in the sea and sun is a real pleasure and it’s hard to imagine you’re so close to a city; regular boats leave for the archipelago from Saltholmen, at the end of tram line #11.
If you’re looking for unspoilt nature aplenty, a beguiling shoreline punctuated with skerries and islets and a perfect place to get away from it all, the furthest of the main islands, candle-shaped VRÅNGÖ, is sure to please. Its one small village lies on the island’s west coast, opposite where the ferry from Saltholmen puts in. From the jetty, turn left for the undulating walking path that leads around the island’s southernmost point to the village. On the way you’ll pass a perfect lagoon with a great beach and a spit of flat stone forming one side. Beyond here are countless creeks and bays where you can sunbathe naked, should you choose, undisturbed. The path continues north of the village, cutting through a nature reserve, on its way back to the ferry quay on the eastern shore.