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  • Walking by the ocean at sunset

    Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Walking on the Koster Islands

Discover the rich, varied nature of the Koster Islands the best way – on foot. You’ll see everything from heather moors and wild fields of shingle to deciduous forests, flowery beach meadows and wonderful places to swim, all spread over 20 kilometres of tracks and marked footpaths. There are ferry services from Strömstad to the islands all year round.

Sweden's first marine national park

The lovely Koster Islands lie on the far north of the Bohuslän coast, just outside Strömstad. The archipelago landscape in this group of islands is truly unique. The Koster Sea became Sweden’s first marine national park in 2009, and has the widest biodiversity of all the offshore waters. Nordkoster and Sydkoster, the two main islands, are easy to access on Kosterbåtarna that sail from the north harbour of Strömstad around the year. For those who want to explore both of these islands there is another ferry line that runs directly between the two of them in the summer, as well as Kosterbåtarna.

Photographer: Mikael Almse

Lots of information at the naturum visitor centre

You’ll discover lots of sights along the way, grand scenery and your own little hidden gems of rest areas. Everything you could wish for a relaxing holiday is here: peace and quiet, lovely beaches, extraordinary seafood and great accommodation. The app "Vandring i Kosterhavet" gives a good overview of the different paths you can use. Maps of the footpaths are also put up by the island's main jetties and by the side of the path. Start your trip with by visiting the Kosterhavet naturum, a visitor centre on Sydkoster. In addition to lots of fascinating information about the island group, there are also exhibitions, slideshows and a patting aquarium.

Hike on Koster Island

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Impressive fields of shingle on Nordkoster

Walk the two footpath loops on Nordkoster and explore the amazingly diverse countryside. The white loop is 4 kilometres long and the orange loop is 3.5 kilometres. After it melted the last ice age left impressive fields of shingle by Valnäbukten, which is definitely worth a detour. Valnäs is also home to the rare buttercup called Bohusranunkeln, which finds its habitat in the marshes there. The best swimming places are at Basteviken, Norrvikarna and Hasslevikarna. The highest point on Koster is the lighthouses at Högen, which offers a breathtaking view of the sun setting behind the Norwegian mountain peaks in the north on a clear evening.

Photographer: Åsa Dahlgren

Discover the varied landscapes of Sydkoster

Sydkoster is the larger of the two islands and has a varied landscape with open pastures, beach meadows, woods and smooth, rounded rocks. Choose between four marked footpaths, each around 3-5 kilometres long, or have a long walk around the whole island by combining several of the footpaths. The full tour takes you inland between the island’s harbours and along much of its coastline. Tarry a while at the viewpoint by Valfjäll, swim at the long sandy beach by Kilesand or explore life below the waves by Rörvik snorkel trail. Koster Trädgårdar is just the right place for a break and a meal while enjoying the flowerbeds and greenhouses.