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  • Photographer: Jonas Ingman

Marstrand - Walk alongside the sea

Marstrand is one of Sweden's most popular tourist destinations. As well as sailing, culture and entertainment there are many beautiful footpaths in the area. There is a coastal path around the island of Marstrandsön, and on Koön there are three footpaths with different levels of difficulty and types of terrain.

Idyllic, summery, historic Marstrand

Marstrand lies where the archipelago ends and the sea starts in southern Bohuslän. It is a historic place that was founded at the beginning of the 13th century by the Norwegian king Håkon Håkonsson. In 1658, Bohuslän fell under Swedish rule and the grand Carlstens Fortress was built as a protective monument on the peak of Marstrandsön. For many visitors this popular sailing and swimming place has become a favourite, and there are excellent footpaths for those who enjoy the pleasures of walking.

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Food and accommodation nearby

A good walk on Marstrand fills your lungs with fresh, salty sea air. The footpaths are good for short walks as well as all-day hikes, depending on how often you want to stop to soak up the views, sunbathe on the rocks, cool off in the sea or take a coffee break. It takes about an hour by public transport to get from central Gothenburg to Marstrand, where you’ll find many options for comfortable accommodation and good meals. You can find walking maps at the tourist office in Marstrand or you can download them from the internet.

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Once around Marstrandsön

Marstrandsön has a lot of countryside and history for you to discover. The footpath around the whole island is about 5 kilometres long and takes around one hour with no stops. There are several alternative routes. Stop for a dip along the way at the nudist beach, take a stroll through the Smugglers’ channel, explore caves and the Trollskogen forest, and admire the rare red water lilies in the Näckros pond. One rather special feature is the passage through Nålsögat – the eye of the needle – which is so narrow that you have to go through sideways. If you walk out to Skallens lighthouse you can see the magical meeting of the seas Skagerrak and Kattegatt.

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Three good footpaths on Koön

The town of Marstrand spreads over the two islands, the eastern part being on the island Koön. There are three well-marked paths with different levels of difficulty. The black path, the most advanced, has steps and footbridges that take you past cliffs and old cannon defences along the sea line. There are viewpoints that face Pater Noster in the west and Åstol in the north. The blue path is a little easier, taking you over the hills and along paths that run parallel to Älgöfjorden. The black and blue paths are both around 5 kilometres long. Those looking for a more accessible walk with a wheelchair or stroller should take the 2.5 kilometre green loop that joins up with the paths in Rosenlunds nature reserve. You can combine these paths to make a longer walk. All the sections have well-kept rest areas and barbecue facilities.