Island hopping by bike in Gothenburg's archipelago
The Öckerö Islands extend like a string of pearls towards the North Sea between Vinga and Marstrand, in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago. Each one of the ten inhabited islands has its own distinct personality and several of the islands are linked by bridges, ferries and boats. The islands offer safe and beautiful bike paths that are ideal for the entire family.
Remember that the choice of activities, and opening times of restaurants, shops and hotels vary over the year. Check the companies’ own websites for current information.
Day 1 – boat from Gothenburg to Hönö
From Gothenburg it's easy to get to the island of Hönö. The ferry M/S Kungsö, operating in summer, takes an hour from the Stenpiren terminal, passing through the entrance to the port of Gothenburg, out into the archipelago to Hönö Klåva. Bicycles can be brought onboard, for a fee, as long as there is space. Children under 8 travel for free, in the company of an adult. At other times of year it is easy to travel to Hönö Klåva from Nils Ericson Terminalen (the Gothenburg bus station) with Västtrafik, the public transport company. The trip takes one to one and a half hours. On these buses it is not possible to bring a bicycle, but at the destination you can rent one. You can also ride a bicycle from Gothenburg, and take it on the short ferry tour out to the island. This involves a ride of just over 20 kilometres.
Hönö – shopping, swimming and fishing adventures
You will arrive in the middle of vibrant Klåva harbour on the island of Hönö, amidst cute little shops and a large selection of cafés and restaurants. If you didn’t bring your own bike, you can rent one at Paoloscykel, which also has children’s bikes and bike trailers.
Hungry already? Then drop by the Tullhuset restaurant, which always offers freshly caught fish and shellfish on the menu. Or why not dine at the charming Lilling Cottage, which serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine using seasonal ingredients. Under the same roof there is also a flower shop and a picturesque home interior shop with carefully selected products. You can find more tips on where to eat on Hönö here.
Hönö’s deep anchorage to the fishing industry is clear to see when you visit the island. At Fiskemuseet, the Fishing Museum, a popular destination for all ages, you can see what boats looked like before, and how people fished in the past. If you want to try your luck at fishing, there are several trips on offer from Hönö Klåva. In summer Kastor Boat Trips go out daily on seal safaris, or you can take a trip to Gothenburg’s most westerly isle, Vinga, with Hönö Båtturer who run on a timetable daily. When you’re there you can wander round the island by yourself, take a dip in Gattulsviken, visit the lighthouse or enjoy an ice cream in the harbour.
The Hönö countryside offers plenty of places of natural beauty. The Ersdalen nature reserve on the northwest side of the island is known for a type of rock climbing called bouldering. Meadows, gently sloping rocky cliffs, sandy beaches and shallow inlets line the eastern shore of the island. That’s where you’ll find Jungfruviken, with its pleasant hiking trail, swimming beach and a small playground.
Travelling between the Öckerö islands by bike is easy and allows you to choose from a variety of accommodations to use as a base from which you can take daily outings. If you are travelling with the family, the Havskatten Hotel & Hostel on Hönö and Nimbus Öckerö on the adjacent island Öckerö are good options. Bed & Bike Öckerö occupies a newly renovated house in the traditional archipelago style, where you can reserve complete bicycle experience packages. You can find more accommodation options on the Öckerö Islands here.
Photographer: Frida Winter/Göteborg & Co
Day 2 – bike to the north and take the ferry to Källö-Knippla, Hyppeln or Rörö
After breakfast it is high time to get back in the saddle and head out on your bike – today, the journey goes to the north. Bridges connect Hönö with Öckerö, and onward to Hälsö. The sea is never far away and you can ride your bike all the way to the Burö Ferry Landing on separated bike paths with amazing scenery. Stop for a coffee break or lunch with home-baked goodies at Evas på Hälsö. The stretch from Hönö Klåva to the Burö Ferry Landing is 8 km long.
Once you are on Burö take the ferry, which is part of the road system and is free of charge, over to one of the islands Källö-Knippla, Hyppeln or Rörö.
Källö-Knippla offers a genuine Bohuslän archipelago environment, with tightly-packed houses and winding streets. Fresh fish is sold in the small harbour and expansive views of the archipelago will amaze you as you hike along the nature trails on the north side of the island. Not far from the path you’ll find the Tranbärsviken beach with a diving platform, floating docks and swimming ladders. Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at fishing for crabs from the docks? Read more about Källö-Knippla here.
Hyppeln offers a varied coastline with a wide variety of species of plants and birds. Hike along through herbaceous meadows, rolling hills, heather moors and wetlands. At the northeast end of the island is Sandtången, a sandy beach with protected shallow water that invites you to take a refreshing swim. The island has a small grocery shop and a restaurant that is open in the summer. Read more about Hyppeln here.
Rörö is the northernmost Öckerö island. The majority of the island is dedicated to a nature reserve that attracts hikers to enjoy treeless, heather-covered grassy moors. Follow the path through the heath, up to the rocky field and onward up to a lookout. On the way you may run into grazing sheep and horses that help to keep the countryside open. Along the path you’ll find several places where you can enjoy a barbecue. Rörö also offers many lovely beaches. Choose between sandy beaches past the outdoor barbecue right past the harbour, or enjoy a swim from the rocky cliffs. There are plenty of gently rolling cliffs by the sea so it is easy to get away from the other tourists. Find your very own swimming beach along the cliff-lined western shore. Read more about Rörö here.
Photographer: Copyright: Steampipe Production Studio AB/ Göteborg & Co
Day 3 – bike to Öckerö Ferry Landing and take the boat to Björkö, Kalvsund or Grötö
Today the bike tour heads east towards Öckerö Ferry Landing. From there you can take boat 296 to the nearby islands Kalvsund, Björkö (Framnäs) and Grötö. The boat runs year round, and the early morning boat runs as often as once an hour.
Björkö is perfect for biking with children, both for older kids who can ride on their own and the little ones who sit in a bike trailer or bike seat. From the Framnäs Ferry Landing, follow the separate bike path north towards Björkö harbour, about 3 km away. When you get there you’ll find a miniature golf course and an ice cream stand with bike rentals. You’ll also find Seaside Björkö, with its very own pier and a special menu for kids is available. Just a stone’s throw from Björkö harbour, on Klövervägen, is a cute playground tucked into the lush greenery. Not far from there, the Boviksvägen road ends and you can enjoy a nature reserve with winding paths through the varied countryside. You can wander past ponds with water lilies, where the uncommon and protected water salamander lives. Read more about Björkö here.
Kalvsund is a car-free island located between Björkö and Öckerö. If you visit the island in the summer, you can enjoy a coffee break or an ice cream at the small snack stand by the guest harbour. A hot tip, though – bring your own picnic basket and stroll along the beach trail on the west side of the island. At Valen, an old navigation mark, you’ll find a gobsmacking view of the surrounding archipelago. You’ll also find the Körrgårn beach with small sandy beaches, a low-water jetty and one that is a bit deeper, fabulous gently sloping rocky cliffs and a diving platform. Read more about Kalvsund here.
Grötö is also a car-free island that is known for its slow pace. In the harbour you’ll see wheelbarrows and wagons that the hundred or so permanent residents use to help transport goods on foot. The interior of the island has lush greenery with oaks and grassy beach meadows, with grazing animals to keep the countryside open. Down towards the water the pastures transition into rocky and sandy beaches with the occasional gently sloping cliffs leading down to the water. If a dip sounds appealing, there is a child-friendly sandy beach with floating docks on the northwest side of the island. Read more about Grötö here.
Day 4 – bike to Hönö Klåva and boat back to Gothenburg
On this final day, would you like to fit in another visit to one of Öckerö’s many islands, and take the opportunity of another dip in the salty North Sea? Perhaps you missed a lunch, coffee with treats, and some nice shopping in Hönö Klåva. Rest easy, there’s still time! The last boat back to Gothenburg leaves at 19.45. Here’s the whole timetable. Västtrafik’s buses have several departures a day from Hönö Klåva to the Nils Ericson terminal in Gothenburg – choose the one that suits you best!
Here you’ll find a relevant bicycle map
Find your island-hops
Bohuslän's archipelago is something special. To help you get a really genuine archipelago experience we've put together both ferry companies and route suggestions that will make your island hops happen.