Family island-hopping from Lysekil to Uddevalla
It’s no coincidence that Lysekil is most often known as the town by the sea. Whether you are in Lysekil itself, or take the boat over the Gullmar Fjord to Skaftö, Fiskebäckskil and Grundsund, a distinctly maritime feel pervades the air.
In Lysekil and its surroundings you can enjoy salty swims, go crab fishing and explore narrow alleyways and winding streets a stone’s throw from the water. Take a boat trip on to Uddevalla and you’ll find more fun experiences and activities suitable for the whole family.
Day 1 – Monday – Havets Hus
It only takes a couple of hours to get to Lysekil from Gothenburg on the 841, Västtrafik’s direct bus route. When you’re there you can choose whether to stay in Lysekil itself, or take the 15 minute boat ride over Gullmarsfjorden and stay in Fiskebäckskil, or somewhere else on the island of Skaftö. The ferry runs every day, all year round, from Lysekil’s South Harbour.
There is a variety of accommodation in Lysekil, including Strandflickornas hotel, offering a charming 19th century setting with hotel and youth hostel standard accommodation. If you book its family package, Salt & Wild, family entry to Havets Hus aquarium and Nordens Ark Zoo is included. Gullmarsstrand and Slipens Hotell in Fiskebäckskil offer comfortable accommodation close to the sea. More accommodation alternatives here.
Lysekil is often called ‘the town by the sea’. At the tip of the archipelago is the Stångehuvud nature reserve and the Pinneviksbadet bathing area, with smooth granite rocks. You can have a dip here, or go crab fishing*. For more bathing spots in Lysekil and on Skaftö visit here. Don’t miss Havets Hus Aquarium in Lysekil where you can see and touch starfish and hermit crabs, visit its ‘beach school’ and even go seal-spotting.
Photographer: Andreas Olsson
The villages of Fiskebäckskil and Grundsund are on Skaftö, with narrow, winding streets and quaint houses. At the Hannas I Hamnen store you can browse for practical outdoor clothing from the famous Swedish company Didrikson. The company was established here in 1913, making workwear for the local fishermen in Grundsund. Afterwards you can go for a stroll, buy an ice cream and eat it down at the harbour.
Round the day off with a meal at one of Lysekils or Skaftö’s many good restaurants. Several have a kids menu.
Day 2 – Tuesday – kayaking and cycling experiences in Lysekil and a boat trip to Uddevalla
Before the afternoon’s boat trip to Uddevalla why not explore Lysekil’s surroundings on land and at sea? There are excellent kayaking waters around the town to discover, on your own, or with a guide. There’s more information her on kayaking and other outdoor activities.
Lysekil is a bicycle friendly and hilly town that is easy to get around on cycle paths, even with kids in tow. On the Skaftö side there is a fine cycle path of some 5km between Fiskebäckskil and Södra Grundsund. From here you can hop on the Rania ferry which goes between Grundsund, Gåsö and Lysekil in the summertime.
You can rent bicycles from Outdoor West in Lysekil and transport them for free on the boat between Lysekil and Skaftö.
Photographer: Jonas Ingman
The archipelago boat M/S Byfjorden departs on Tuesdays from Lysekil between 3rd July and 7th August and takes passengers out to the beautiful waters of the Nordströmmarna. Dinner is served on board. The boat trip and meal have to be booked in advance at Skärgårdsbåtarna.
You will arrive in Uddevalla, via Byfjorden, at 19.15. After an adventure filled day check into your accommodation. At Bohusgården Hotell & Konferens you’re close to the fjord and the view is fantastic. At the Best Western Carlia in central Uddevalla you can stay in a room inspired by the classic Swedish singer-songwriter Evert Taube, or a standard room with bright, comfortable interior.
Day 3 – Wednesday – visiting a playground and discovering Bohuslän’s past
There are many exciting activities and excursions in and around Uddevalla for kids of all ages. For example there are the child friendly exhibitions at the Bohuslän Museum, and its popular playroom.
At the end of three days island hopping you can seat yourself on the train back to Gothenburg enriched with lots of happy holiday memories!
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
*Crab fishing is a real treat for anyone who has never been to the west coast before. Most children and grown ups (who are still children at heart) love to fish for crabs!
String, a peg and a bucket.
A mussel or other shellfish as bait.
Tie the peg to one end of the string. Crush the mussel with a stone to reveal the meat inside and use the peg to fasten it to the string. Fish for crabs from the edge of the jetty, where they like to hide amongst the seaweed and under rocks. Draw up the string when the crab latches onto the bait and put it in the bucket with water and a bit of seaweed (to shade them from the sun). Don’t forget to throw them back in!
Bear in mind:
Be careful, crabs can nip quite hard.
Take care that you don’t injure them.
Protect them from the sun.
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.