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  • Photographer: Jonas Ingman

Island-hopping and walking in Bohuslän's southern archipelago

Experience the southern stretches of the Bohuslän archipelago like never before. In just three days you can get your fill of fantastic watercolours, striking sculptures and delicious local produce, combined with hiking on car free islands as well as cultural events and lively restaurants in a genuine turn of the century seaside town. In other words, all the lovely things that make life worth living!

Day 1 – Tjörn: a delightful mix of art, nature and good food

Tjörn is easy to reach by bus from Gothenburg. Tjörn is the sixth largest island in Sweden and has a diverse landscape that offers a wide variety of experiences. From high peaks, pine forests and oak groves to tranquil sandy bays and wild seas – Tjörn has something for all the senses. There are scenic walking trails and viewpoints that are well worth a visit.

A network of bike trails and routes links together the communities of Klädesholmen and Rönnäng in the south west to the main town of Skärhamn and Kyrkesund in the north west. The tourist centre in Skärhamn rents out bikes for SEK 125 per day.

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Tjörn is truly a destination to recommend for art lovers. Both the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn and Sculpture in Pilane have attracted international acclaim. The stretch between these two attractions also has the honour of being named the world’s sweatiest art tour. You can find out more about how to participate in this unique combination of walking, cycling and art, and why it takes place on Tjörn, here. Cycle, run or walk – it’s up to you!

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

You can choose to stay in Skärhamn or at one of the nearby communities of Rönnäng or Klädesholmen. You can even spend the night at the floating Salt & Sill hotel on Klädesholmen. Find accommodation in Tjörn here.

Would you like to eat at restaurants with local character that put the emphasis on west Swedish produce? If so, we recommend a visit to sourdough bakery Lottas Bak & Form, Restaurang Salt & Sill and Vatten Restaurang & Kafé. All members of A Taste of West Sweden – which guarantees the highest quality and serves as a guide to the best dining experiences in West Sweden.

Day 2 – Ferry trip and walking on Dyrön

The 361 ferry service runs several times a day all year round from Rönnäng to the jewels of Tjörn and the car-free islands of Dyrön and Åstol. These islands are lively neighbours with different characters. Dyrön is larger and has free-roaming mouflon sheep, hiking trails and a sauna. Åstol is a rugged, rocky island to which the houses cling tightly. 

 

The five-kilometre-long walking trail on Dyrön winds through diverse countryside. The trail is rocky, with steps, bridges and handrails. The view over the Marstrand fjord is breathtaking. Along the trail there are information boards and viewpoints with tables and benches. If you are lucky you may come across some mouflon sheep, which live wild on the island. Combine your walk with a sauna with fantastic views over the sea. You can book the sauna at dyron.se  

Don’t miss a visit to the newly built studio and workshop of gold and silver smith Tintin Hallding. It’s just a short walk from the north harbour on Dyrön. 

Day 3 – the turn-of-the-century town of Marstrand

Marstrand is about an hour by ferry and bus from Dyrön. From the south harbour on Dyrön you take the Västtrafik 326 ferry service to the Rökan stop. From there, you take the Marstrand Express bus to Marstrand ferry landing.

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

The small turn-of-the-century town of Marstrand is one of the outermost islands, at the very end of the road (45 minutes by car from Gothenburg). The car-free cobbled streets wind around charming turn-of-the-century houses in pastel colours, with lovely gardens. Overlooking them is Carlsten Fortress, a well-preserved, majestic and fascinating stronghold that offers fantastic views. 

Marstrand offers a mix of restaurants, culture and calm tranquillity, depending on when you visit the island.  The island once held a key defensive role in Scandinavia. Today, it is a magical place that you should not miss.

When you get hungry you’ll find plenty of choice here. Inside the Grand Hotel Marstrand is Restaurang Tenan, which serves popular classics such as Fillet of Beef Africana and the restaurant’s own crayfish gratin with a hint of garlic. The restaurant is ranked among the best in Sweden in the White Guide and is accredited by A Taste of Sweden. Swedish cuisine takes pride of place at Ottos Kök and a visit to Bergs Konditori bakery and café is a must! You can find more tips on where to eat and drink well on Marstrand here.

It’s always a pleasure to stroll along the quayside on Marstrand – to admire the boats and shop at one of the many stores along the road. You can also enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea, as there are several stairways down to the water. On the south side, close to Södra Strandverket, is Barnbadet bathing spot. Alongside the five-kilometre-long trail that runs around the island is a nude bathing area with separate male and female facilities.

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

 

Since 2012, Strandverket Konsthall contemporary art gallery has been housed in the former fort of Södra Strandverket, which was built in the mid-19th century to protect the inhabitants of Marstrand from the Danes. Today, however, its doors are open to everyone. In spring, summer and winter the gallery primarily exhibits contemporary photography and sculpture, but also features some paintings and digital art. Lars Lerin, Hertha Hillfon, Karin Broos, Christer Strömholm and Denise Grünstein are just some of the fine artists whose work has been exhibited here.

When you have finished exploring you can return to Gothenburg on the Marstrand Express from the bus stop near the ferry landing on Koön. If you visit Marstrand on a Sunday or Monday during the summer you can take the opportunity to book the service with Strömma Kanalbolaget all the way back to Gothenburg.

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

… or why not stay a night?

Marstrand has plenty to offer if you want to spend an extra day enjoying the views, shopping and walking. If so, you can relax for the night at Marstrands Havshotell and wind down in their sea water spa or check into one of the other accommodation options on Marstrand.

Inspiration guide and map

You can download an inspiration guide with a map for island hopping here.

Read more about Island-hopping in West Sweden.