15 islands with magical walking trails
Who doesn’t enjoy a daytrip to an island and a walk round it? Many of the islands in West Sweden have lovely walking trails.
The whole of the Bohuslän coastline is known for its islands, with quaint fishing villages, red fishermen’s huts and vast rocky landscapes. But you can also hike to islands through beautiful forests and fascinating places inland.
The Dyröleden is a circular walk around pretty Dyrön, around 5 km. Despite its modest size the island boasts dramatic landscapes. Explore the narrow ravine between two high cliffs, say hello to the wild mouflon sheep and enjoy the fantastic views of the archipelago.
Why not stay for a bite to eat at Trålverket or a fika at Linas Brygga? You can also book a session in the idyllically located public sauna on Dyrön, perfect for an autumn or winter hike.
When you’re on Bohus-Malmön in Sotenäs you can almost feel as if you’re in the Med! There are lots of small bays and lagoons here with turquoise waters. Take the ferry out to the island from Tullboden and walk a stretch of the Kuststigen Coastal Path or the Soteleden, 12 km.
Our tip is to explore the island in autumn when the summer tourists have gone home. If you want to stay over we recommend Bohus-Malmöns Pensionat.
3. Fotö, Hönö, Öckerö and Hälsö
The northern part of Gothenburg’s archipelago has many lovely islands to explore on foot. Take the ferry over to Hönö and decide whether to walk south to Fotö or over to Öckerö and Hälsö. The Gothenburg archipelago trail is 27 km in total and consists of three stages: Stage 1: Hönö-Fotö, Stage 2: Hönö-Öckerö and Stage 3: Öckerö-Hälsö.
There are lots of cafes and restaurants out on the islands, including Lilling Cottage, Franses Skärgårdspub, Tullhuset and Skärgårdshotellet Hönö.
Kållandsö is in Lake Vänern, just north of Lidköping. The island is perhaps best known for Läckö Castle which is situated on its northeastern tip. There are many walking trails on Kållandsö. The 4 km long path out to Roparudden, passing Läckö Castle, takes you to the furthest point in Lake Vänern’s beautiful archipelago. And on the western edge of Kållandsö the 7 kilometre long Tranbergsleden goes through an area steeped in history, with a rich flora and fauna.
If you haven’t been inside Läckö Castle before you should absolutely book a guided tour. Its interior is as beautiful as the exterior!
Koön is the island the southern half of the town of Marstrand is on, and there are three lovely walking trails here of varying difficulty levels, the longest of which is 5 km. Hike over rocks, stop at grill areas, check out the old canon bunker and enjoy the view of the Pater Noster lighthouse, the island of Åstol not least the Carlsten fortress topping the island of Marstrand.
Top tip! Stop at Bergs Konditori on Koön and buy some picnic food to enjoy out on the rocks. You can also have dinner at Marstrands Havshotell.
There are lots of great places to explore on Tjörn. We recommend a circuit of the Säbyleden, 4 km. The trail goes through open countryside, fields and forests, on paths and roads. You can also take a detour out to Säby island, which is in fact two little islands with a narrow spit of land between them.
If you have time we definitely recommend a trip to Skulptur i Pilane on the way back, it’s a fantastic sculpture park set in beautiful natural surroundings.
7. Flatön and Malön
Between Orust and Skaftö the Kuststigen coastal path traverses some smaller islands which are perfect for anyone who loves island walking. The ferry takes you to Malö and then you walk over a bridge on to Flatön. These charming little islands are magical places to explore all year round.
Epic is a good word to describe hiking on Ramsviklandet, also known as the Kingdom of the Rocks. The area consists of a huge expanse of smooth granite rocks, dotted with heathlands, fields, and small wetlands. It’s incredibly beautiful! The hiking trail is 14 km long and is part of the Kuststigen Coastal Path and the Soteleden.
If you want to stay overnight in the area we recommend Ramsviks Stugby or Ramsviks Övergård.
The little island of Mjörn lies between Tjörn and Orust. Here you can walk the Sundsby Trail, a 4.5 km path in lovely coastal surroundings, with a mixture of rocky landscapes, windswept pines and a peaceful beech forest. You’ll get a stunning view of Stigfjorden and in some places there are exciting climbs through narrow clefts and caves.
Sundsby Säteri, the former estate manor house, is a great place to stop for a fika or lunch.
The island of Brommö is in the Lake Vänern archipelago, just outside Mariestad. The 14 km Brommöleden takes you through wild bilberry woods with some lovely swimming spots, both from rocks and sandy beaches. Perfect for a day trip, just remember to pack a picnic!
Skaftölandet is known for its beautiful scenery and pretty little seaside villages. From Fiskebäckskil the trail winds along gravel roads and mixed forests before ending up in the old fishing village of Grundsund, 6 km later. Make sure you stop and have a look at the fishermen’s huts and seaside villas on each side of the sound in Grundsund.
There are many nice restaurants in Fiskebäckskil, including Brygghuset and Gullmarsstrand Hotell.
The Bergaleden trail starts at the ferry terminal on the island of Hamburgö, off Hamburgsund in Bohuslän, and winds round Hagberget. The trail is slightly hilly and follows paths and old roads, with lovely views of the sound in some places.
Take the opportunity to stop at Hjalmars Bar & Brygga in Hamburgsund for some food after your hike.
The island of Härön is a five minute ferry ride over Kyrkesund from Tjörn. Lovely walking trails wind through the nature reserve on the island, with fantastic views, rocky landscapes, sea views and nature. The longer 5 km circular walk on Härön is part of the Kuststigen Coastal Path.
Magasinet on Härön is the ultimate place to stay the night or have dinner after your walk.
14. The Koster islands
Sydkoster is the larger of the two Koster Islands,and is characterised by leafy landscapes with deciduous woods, flower filled coastal meadows and long sandy beaches. A walk around the island is around 14 km, but you can also do shorter stages of 3–7 km each. Have a lunch stop at cosy Kosters Trädgårdar in the middle of the island, or at Pensionat Ekenäs Koster. If you want to know more about Kosterhavet’s fantastic natural surroundings pay a visit to naturum Kosterhavet.
On Nordkoster there are two hiking trails, around 5 km each. The Ice Age has left fascinating remains behind here in the form of glacial cobble fields which, with the view from the lighthouses at Högen, (Koster’s highest point) are the most exciting sights along these lovely walks.
Experience Marstrand’s nature and fascinating history on a 5 km hike around the island. Stop for a dip at the nudist beach, walk through the Smuggler’s Cleft, explore the magical Trollskogen forest and enjoy the view of the mighty Carlsten Fortress crowning the island.
Bergs Konditori is a cosy spot for a fika and if you plan to stay for dinner we recommend Grand Hotel Marstrand.