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THE KUSTSTIGEN COASTAL PATH – DISCOVER A CHAIN OF GEMS ALONG THE WEST COAST

The Kuststigen is a trail with an incredible variety of scenery to explore. Skirting the rocky coastline with a stunningly beautiful archipelago, quaint fishing villages and historic remains, the Kuststigen stretches from the island of Tjörn in the south, up the west coast and all the way to Oslo in the north.

Kuststigen facts

Length: The trail leads from Tjörn to Oslo and is divided into 38 stages.

Timing: The trail can be hiked as day stages.

Difficulty: From easy to difficult – different levels on different stages.

Terrain: Very varied, from coastal bedrock, forest paths and animal pastures to smaller gravelled and asphalt roads.

Insta-moments: Too  many to mention! You can take photos of everything from barren and dramatic sea views to colourful boat houses.

Clothes & equipment: Good walking shoes, rucksack with picnic, water bottle and clothes suitable for the weather. If walking longer than one day you’ll need a change of clothes and accommodation plans.

Be aware: Some parts can be steep or waterlogged, so bring a change of clothes/dry socks even on shorter day walks.  

KUSTSTIGEN.COM

The Kuststigen is a bit like Sweden’s answer to the classic “cinque terre” trail in Italy. The contrasts along the trail are marked, with picturesque boat huts, leafy forests and everything in between. But the trail is also a walk through time. If you look closely you’ll see traces of ancient cultures and natural phenomenon on every stage of the trail. In the county of Sotenäs large parts of the Kuststigen follow the same route as the Soteleden Trail.

Photographer: Lukasz Warzecha LWimages Studio

 

11 places to see along the Kuststigen Coastal Path

 

1. Mediterranean lagoons on Bohus-Malmön

Several of the stages along the Kuststigen are circular walks out on islands, which are perfect for anyone wanting to explore them on foot in a day. On Bohus-Malmön, in the county of Sotenäs, a lovely trail explores the island’s breathtaking scenery and fantastic lagoons, with Mediterranean like fine white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. There are lots of swimming spots: enjoy the popular Pärlane beach, a spit of sand with water on both sides. Or find your very own sun warmed rocks to have a refreshing dip from.  

 

2. Stångehuvud’s mighty granite landscapes

Exploring the huge rock formations in the Stångehuvud nature reserve is an exceptional experience. The smooth, bare bedrock juxtaposed with the wild seas to the west is an incredible contrast.

On the western edge of the headland a little white building stands alone. At first sight it doesn’t look like much, but this is in fact a lighthouse, built at the end of the 1800s. It helped guide countless fishing boats safely in to land, first with kerosene then with gas lamps.

Nowadays it’s one of Lysekil’s most photographed landmarks and has been named one of West Sweden’s seven wonders.

 

3. Skaftö

Another island the Kustigen meanders through is Skaftö, where you can admire the lovely archipelago scenery and explore the coastal towns of Fiskebäckskil and Grundsund. Both places have a long history in the fishing industry and later became popular seaside resorts. Skaftö has it all -  pretty fishing villages, picturesque fishing huts, grandiose sea captain’s villas and beautiful nature.

 

4. Mouflon sheep on Dyrön

Like so many other stages of the Kuststigen, the Dyröleden can be counted as a stand alone trail. The whole of this popular island in between Tjörn and Marstrand can be explored via a lovely circular walk that can be demanding in parts. If you’re in luck you might spot some of the island’s four-legged inhabitants – the wild mouflon sheep. A hot tip is to book a session in the charming sauna on the island, which can be used by anyone. It has unbeatable sea views!

Stångehuvud

Bohus-Malmön

Dyrön

 

5. Gustafsberg – Sweden’s oldest seaside resort

There are many reasons to mention swimming when you talk about the Kuststigen. Not least because it passes so many lovely swimming spots where you can have a refreshing dip - in winter as well as summer. But several of the resorts along the trail also have a distinguished heritage as historic seaside resorts.

The oldest of these is Gustafsberg, outside Uddevalla. People came here as far back as the 1600s to drink the spa waters and over time the place became a popular seaside resort with several bathhouses. Nowadays Gustafsberg is a cultural gem that you should definitely aim to visit when walking Uddevalla’s lovely coastal path.

 

6. The Sundsby Trail on Tjörn

The Kuststigen makes several short detours on the island of Tjörn, including the 4.5 kilometre circular walk around the Sundsby Trail in the grounds of Sundsby Säteri. In lovely surroundings full of quintessential west coast scenery, the paths take you over rocky landscapes with windswept pines and through the peaceful arbour of a beech forest. The view of Stigfjorden is breathtaking from the top and there are some exciting passages where you clamber through narrow clefts and over rocks.  

Do stop for a fika or lunch in the restaurant in the old manor house at Sundsby Säteri. A perfect day out for the whole family.

 

7. The Kingdom of the Rocks

One of the most visually exciting places to visit is the Ramsvikslandet Nature Reserve, also known as the Kingdom of the Rocks. The shimmering pink granite bedrock stretches over a huge area right next to the sea. You can also see traces of the ancient ice sheets here in the form of giant’s cauldrons and glacial striation.

Spend a lovely day exploring the vast rocky landscapes with heather clad moors and flowering coastal meadows on Ramsvikslandet.

Ramsvikslandet

Sundsby Säteri

Gustafsberg

 

8. Circular walk around Ljungskile

In Ljungskile the Kuststigen heads on a loop inland to show how varied the nearby scenery can be. This 6 kilometre long circular trail passes through spruce forests and the Tjöstelsröd protected area with its ancient oaks. On the way you get to enjoy the pretty Silverfallet waterfall before you arrive at Lilla Skarsjön lake from where the trail makes its way back to the sea.

Don’t miss a visit to beautiful Villa Sjötorp just south of Ljungskile. This charming turn of the century villa is home to a hotel and restaurant serving locally produced food.

 

9. The islands off Orust

Between the larger islands of Orust and Skaftö, the Kuststigen crosses several smaller ones that anyone who loves coastal scenery will enjoy exploring. The ferry takes you over to Malö and from there you walk over a bridge to Flatön. These charming small islands are magical places, with many cultural and natural landmarks signposted along the trail.

Walking on the islands means that wherever you are, you’re never far from the sea. Verdant pasture fills the spaces between the rocky outcrops and you can take your pick of lovely buildings and boat houses to dream about owning one day. 

 

10. Kungsklyftan in Fjällbacka

Take a walk around and up Vetteberget in Fjällbacka. It is a somewhat steep hike, but a number of staircases make it more accessible. The mighty Kungsklyftan cuts right through the huge rock face, and was named after King Oscar II who visited in 1887. This spectacular 200 meter long crevice was used in the filming of Astrid Lindgren’s book Ronja the Robber’s Daughter.

 

11. Gothenburg's archipelago

Did you know that the Kustigen Coastal Path crosses the islands in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago? The route hugs the coastline and makes it easy for you to explore the islands of Fotö, Hönö, Öckerö and Hälsö. The whole hike is around 27 kilometres long, divided into three stages.

Some recommended stops are Hönö Klåva harbour with its charming shops, hotels and restaurants, Ersdalen nature reserve, which is one of the best places in Sweden for bouldering, and the headland at Stuvö on Hälsö where you'll get a fantastic view of Marstrand. 

Kungsklyftan, Fjällbacka

Malö-Flatön

Gothenburg's archipelago

Villa Sjötorp

 

MORE HIKING TRAILS IN WEST SWEDEN

 

Kuststigen facts

Length: The trail leads from Tjörn to Oslo and is divided into 38 stages.

Timing: The trail can be hiked as day stages.

Difficulty: From easy to difficult – different levels on different stages.

Terrain: Very varied, from coastal bedrock, forest paths and animal pastures to smaller gravelled and asphalt roads.

Insta-moments: Too  many to mention! You can take photos of everything from barren and dramatic sea views to colourful boat houses.

Clothes & equipment: Good walking shoes, rucksack with picnic, water bottle and clothes suitable for the weather. If walking longer than one day you’ll need a change of clothes and accommodation plans.

Be aware: Some parts can be steep or waterlogged, so bring a change of clothes/dry socks even on shorter day walks.  

KUSTSTIGEN.COM