The West Coast of Sweden
Dream of leisurely days at sea with just the right amount of wind,
dancing sunlight and the feeling of complete freedom.
Sailing in the archipelago of Western Sweden is
for many people synonymous with the perfect summer.
Here you’ll find not only the sea, the sun, and the rocks,
but also the harbours that offer experiences
in the shape of food, music, shopping and entertainment.
Sailing the Bohuslän coast
Most people associate the Bohuslän coast with sun, sailing, fishing villages and the smooth, undulating rocky coastline and islands.
What is so special about the archipelago isn’t only the unusual natural environment but also all the fishing villages scattered along the coast. Not only are they blessed with an enormous range of restaurants with fresh seafood, they also have excellent shopping, a genuine archipelago culture, and each community has its own character. There are some 60 guest harbours along the coast and a large number of natural harbours.
A few tips
Charts are an absolute necessity for navigating through the 8,000 or so islands and islets, and should be acquired prior to your arrival in Sweden. One tip is to get information and equipment suitable for the Bohuslän archipelago as soon as you come to a guest harbour. The charge for mooring a boat less than 12 metres at one of the west coast guest harbours is normally around 140 Swedish Crowns. If you want to stop at one of the many beautiful natural harbours, ie small protected coves where you can overnight, you will need mooring wedges, long lines and an anchor. From the month of May, all harbours can provide you with the free list of guest harbours called ’Gästhamnsguiden’ – it’s only available in Swedish, but includes international service symbols and aerial photographs.
Places to go ashore
If your journey begins in Göteborg you can sail from Långedrag via the well-known lighthouse ’Vinga’ an on through the rather humorously named ”Snobs’ Channel” – past the islands of Vargö and Böttö, before stopping at Marstrand. This island town is a paradise for sailors and site of many international sailing competitions such as the Swedish Match Race.
Continuing north, you should drop in at the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn. Lunch at the ’Herring Island’ of Klädesholmen and restaurant ’Salt & Sill’, known for its herring and akvavit tastings. It’s also worth going ashore on the picturesque island of Käringön, where many 18th century buildings remain. At the outer edge of the island is a unique oyster bar with views of the Måseskär lighthouse. Here you sit by the water’s edge in a large tub, full of sea water heated by a wood-fired furnace, while oysters and champagne are served on floating trays.
One of the most popular coastal towns, Smögen is known for its lively, 600-metre-long quay and the super-fresh ’Smögen shrimp’. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Smögen, the nearby nature reserve on the island of Hållö offers peace and solitude. With its sculptural, rocky landscape, its giants’ cauldrons and a unique flora it’s worth visiting before you continue north via many of the other picturesque fishing ports that lie like a string of pearls along the coast. Hunnebostrand, Bovallstrand, Hamburgsund, Fjällbacka and Grebbestad are some of the larger ones you shouldn’t miss before you finally arrive at Strömstad and the Koster Islands.