Island hopping – Take a day trip and discover Brännö – island of contrasts
Brännö has everything you need for a day of diverse experiences. How about a cup of coffee among the wooden boats and oil barrels at the charmingly dilapidated Brännö boatyard? Or perhaps a bite to eat at the traditional Brännö Värdshus?
By the way, did you know that the inn is a former pilot house, built around the 1900s with lots of period features, including crystal chandeliers and a glazed verandah? It’s also well worth taking a stroll among the timber houses on the old village street in Husvik. If you enjoy leafy broadleaf forest and rugged shorelines then Brännö is definitely the place for you!
Departure to Brännö
The 283 ferry service runs every day, all year round to Brännö in the Gothenburg Archipelago.
There is something special about Brännö. You feel your body and spirit relax as soon as you set foot ashore. The quayside is dotted with flatbed mopeds and bikes. The flatbed mopeds are a familiar sight on Brännö, in fact they are the only motor vehicles allowed here, and a popular means of carrying goods and getting around for the 900 permanent residents of the island.
Coffee at Brännö Varv Café & Bar
Explore Brännö on foot. A good way to start is the stretch between Rödsten and Husvik. A couple of hundred metres along Rödstensvägen you come to a large white sign on the left of the road. This leads to one of the gems of the island Brännö Varv Café & Bar, which is open daily in summer and on Fridays to Sundays in May and September. Follow the gravel path towards the boatyard, past the red shacks and an old rail siding. Brännö Varv is a wonderful mix of the Swedish west coast and the Caribbean. The café and bar are filled with palms, sun chairs, hammocks, old wooden boats and an assortment of old porcelain. Next to the restaurant is Brännö Varv’s own Bed & Breakfast which has four rooms from which you can enjoy the sea view in summer, as well as a jetty with guest moorings for boats.
Discover more of Brännö
The island’s history stretches back to Viking times and the oldest buildings on the island are in the heart of the village, along the road to Husvik. Some of the houses here date from the 18th and 19th centuries, although most of the bigger ones are later additions. Rose bushes and leafy hedges surround the fine old timber houses and lead the way to the island’s little heritage museum, Brännö Lagård, housed in an old barn. Take a step back in time here with the help of the museum’s various exhibits. Brännö Lagård is only open on certain days during summer and information is only provided in Swedish, but the site is staffed during opening hours. If there is anyone in your group who does not speak Swedish, there is always someone around to tell the story of the island in English.
Before you reach the museum it is well worth climbing the hill to the highest point on the island – Brännö’s old pilot lookout with its fantastic views of the archipelago and Gothenburg harbour entrance.
Just past Brännö Handel grocery store you will find a steep hill that winds its way up to the right between the cottages. All of a sudden you enter the forest and all signs of habitation are left behind. The small road leads through beautiful broadleaf forest to a pedestrian bridge across to Galterö, an uninhabited island that is mostly nature reserve, with free-grazing sheep and several lovely spots where you can swim. Please close the gates on the bridge behind you to stop the sheep escaping! If you would like to make a detour to Galterö and walk around the island you should allow a couple of hours at normal walking pace.
Photographer: Emil Fagander, goteborg.com
Lunch or dinner at Brännö Värdshus
Walk back the same way you came and continue heading south for a few minutes along Husviksvägen. You will soon reach Brännö Värdshus, a beautiful old pilot building that has now been converted into an inn that serves lunches and evening meals. If you prefer something simpler you can also get sandwiches, coffee and pastries from the inn’s own bakery. The inn is open throughout the year, but not every day. If you visit Brännö outside of peak season you can check the Brännö Värdshus website to make sure it is open. You can stay overnight here all year round, either in one of the inn’s guest rooms or at the cosy Baggen guest house nearby.
Saturdays, Dance on Brännö jetty
A good evening should naturally end with a dance. The very popular Dance on Brännö jetty is held on Saturday evenings in summer. This is where young and old, island dwellers and visitors all meet to dance to live music, socialise or just sit on the hill and soak up the atmosphere. When the dance ends you can take the 283 ferry service back to Saltholmen from Rödsten jetty.