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  • Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Hike on South Koster
Strömstad

14 km, moderate

On South Koster, the largest of the Koster Islands, you’ll walk through lush scenery, with deciduous woodland, flowery coastal meadows and long sandy beaches perfect for a dip. Surrounding you is Sweden’s most species rich sea area, the Kosterhavet National Park.

 

Quick facts

Length: 14 km

Timing: approx. 4 hours, but the walks can be shortened

Difficulty: moderate

Terrain: nature trails, fields, rocky plateaus and occasional gravel and asphalt roads

 

Discover South Koster’s varied landscapes

The beautiful Koster Islands lie off the coast of Strömstad. The two main islands, North and South Koster, are perfect to explore on foot, along paths and way marked trails. South Koster is the larger of the two islands and the scenery is varied, with open fields, coastal meadows, woods and smooth rocky outcrops.

Fika at a cliff by the ocean

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Choose between four colour marked trails of between 3-7 kilometres, or combine some of them to do a longer, approximately 14 km walk around the whole island. The route takes you over the island between the harbours, and also along the shoreline.  Stop to admire the view from Valfjälls lookout point, have a swim from the long sandy beach in Kilesand, or explore life under the water at Rörviks snorkel trail. Kosters Gardens is a great place to stop for something to eat, and you can admire their lovely flower beds and greenhouse at the same time.

Photographer: Åsa Dahlgren

Lots of information in the naturum visitor centre

On your walk you’ll discover lots of sights, stunning natural landscapes and your own secret hideaways. Everything you need for a seaside holiday is here – peace and quiet, beaches, delicious seafood and lovely accommodation.

Kostergården is one of the larger hotels, and offers modern and comfortable accommodation in a peaceful setting, with a restaurant, two open air eating areas and a bar in the lobby. Start off your walk with a visit to naturum Kosterhavet visitor centre, on South Koster. As well as lots of interesting information about this group of islands there’s also a petting pool, exhibitions and slideshows.

Photographer: Åsa Dahlgren

Fact about the trail

Length:

On South Koster there are four way marked walking trails. The blue trail (3.4 kilometres), the red trail (6.4 kilometres), the yellow trail (7.3 kilometres) and the green trail (4.6 kilometres). If you want to do a longer 14 km round walk the blue, red and yellow trails can be combined.

Approximate times:

It takes around four hours to walk the longer, combined trail, but that of course depends on the individual and how many stops you make.

Marking:

The trails are marked with oak posts marked in the respective colours, with arrows at crossroads. The mobile app “Vandring i Kosterhavet” gives a good overview of the different walks, and provides tips on sights in the area (in Swedish). You can get paper maps from the Tourist Information Centre in Strömstad, on the Koster boats, on the jetties in Koster and in and outside naturum Kosterhavet.

Fika at a cliff by the ocean

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Level of difficulty:

The trails are classed as moderate and are mostly on nature trails in varied terrain of open fields, mixed woodland and smooth rocky outcrops, with some stretches on gravel or asphalt roads. If you want an easier walk the blue trail is a good alternative, with no significant climbs and fairly even terrain. The mobile app “Vandring I Kosterhavet” gives a good overview of the trails and terrain.

Start and end:

On South Koster there are several different start points depending on which trail you want to walk. The ferries go to the stops below all year round.

Ekenäs: The blue, red and yellow trails start from Ekenäs, where you’ll also find the naturum Kosterhavet visitor centre, which is a good place to start your walk.

Långegärde: You can start the blue and the yellow trails from Långegärde.

Kilesand: The green trail starts in Kilesand.

If you want to continue your walk on North Koster a cable ferry runs between the islands during summer. 

Photographer: Åsa Dahlgren

How to get here:

The Koster islands are just off Strömstad, and can be reached by boat all year round. Strömstad can easily be reached in under 2 hours by car from either Gothenburg or Oslo. Train from Gothenburg takes approximately 2.5 hours. The ferry leaves from Strömstad’s north harbour and takes between 30 and 60 minutes. To walk on South Koster get off at either Långegärde, Ekenäs or Kilesand, depending on which trail you want to walk. In summer it can be difficult finding parking in the centre of Strömstad, but the long stay car park at Hålkedalen, Strömstad’s secondary school and Bojaren, all close to the roundabout at the approach to the town are good alternatives. Free shuttle buses from the car parks to the centre run during summer.

Map:

You can find a digital map of the trails on karta Google Maps.

Contact information

Naturum Kosterhavet

Hamnevägen 30

452 05 Sydkoster


Phone: +46 10 224 54 00


E-mail: Send e-mail

Website: kosterhavet.se