Styrsö & Vrångö - Archipelago idyll
In Gothenburg’s archipelago there are many magical islands, but two of them that shine extra brightly are Styrsö and Vrångö. It’s hard to imagine that there’s a city so close to these two idyllic islands – but Gothenburg isn’t far away at all.
Along the coast of Gothenburg the islands in the archipelago stretch out like a pearl necklace. There are around 20 islands altogether, all incredibly picturesque and charming in their own way. Many of them, Styrsö och Vrångöincluded, are completely car free.You get around on foot, bicycle or flatbed moped. Exchange the city bustle for a day in a fantastic archipelago setting – experience the peace and quiet, enjoy a dinner of seafood that couldn’t be fresher on smooth granite rocks, and finish with a lovely salty swim in the sea. Calling it a unique experience is an understatement!
Photographer: Jonas Ingman - M2B AB
How to get there
Styrsö and Vrångö are a short tram ride and boat trip from central Gothenburg. Hop on the Ö-snabben 114 bus or spårvagn 11 in Brunnsparken and travel to Saltholmen. Change here to ferry 282 to Styrsö or ferry 281 to Styrsö/Vrångö. The whole journey takes 48 or 57 minutes respectively and you can get there all year round.
Styrsö is the main settlement in Gothenburg’s southern archipelago. Here distances are short, roads narrow and the buildings idyllic. On Styrsö there are several walking and nature trails that take you to the very outskirts of the archipelago, and to look out points with magnificent views of the surrounding islands and Gothenburg’s harbour entrance. From the highest point on the island, Stora Rös, you can enjoy a dazzling view of the archipelago.
The facade, decor and the personal details – visiting Pensionat Styrsö Skäret is like going back a hundred years in time. Every room is decorated in a unique style, and the guest house is right on the sea front. The view from the dining room and terrace is stunning, and you’ll eat really, really well here too. The menu consists of classic Swedish dishes, with of course lots of fish and shellfish.
Photographer: Lina Börjesson
Another gem on the island is Café Öbergska. Sit in the garden with a delicious ‘fika’, maybe play a round of boules, or enjoy the fabulous live music. The place even has its own gin and tonic bar!
Vrångö is the southernmost of the all year round inhabited islands in the archipelago. It’s known for its lovely scenery and excellent swimming possibilities. You’ll find a mixture of flat sandy beaches and the smooth rocks more typical of the region. Some rare and unusual plant varieties grow here, and the smaller islands and skerries make fine breeding grounds for seabirds.
Vrångö’s former harbour pilot lookout is definitely worth a visit.In the past the pilots looked out for ships to help manoeuvre into Gothenburg. Today this place offers a panoramic view that includes Vinga Lighthouse, the Öckerö islands, and the mainland.
Photographer: Emil Fagander / Göteborg & Co
On Vrångö’s west side you’ll find Kajkanten, where you can have a comfortable stay in modern boat houses, with a shower, toilet and kitchenette for self catering. If you want to maximise your island experience hop on board Kajkanten’s floating sauna or hire kayaks to explore the archipelago at sea level.
Photographer: Maja Nylander/Kajkanten
Where the ferry lands on Vrångö you’ll be met by the charming Skärgårdens café, with a restaurant, cafe and ice cream kiosk. And best of all – the sea right below.
- Brännholmsviken – a lovely cove onStyrsö’s south coast. It’s tranquil here, far from habitation and you can have a peaceful moment to yourself.
- Fiskeboa on Vrångö – buy a bag of fresh prawns to enjoy on the rocks or sit in the glass veranda and eat in peace and quiet with a view of the harbour. Fresher or more local fish and shellfish would be hard to find.
- Isbolaget on Donsö – walk over the bridge fromStyrsö to the tiny unspoilt island of Donsö. At the end of the pier in Donsö’s harbour you’ll find a renovated ice warehouse, and in this unique location you can eat well. Just in time for summer 2019 you’ll also be able to stay there!
- Visiting Styrsö & Vrångö all year round – the islands are magical in summer, but every bit as fantastic to visit in spring, autumn and winter. The changed landscapes offer a stillness and tranqillity that would be hard to find anywhere else. Several of the restaurants serve traditional Christmas buffets, and if you’ve never tried a winter dip before, now’s your chance!
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