Next to Gothenburg, The Gothenburg Archipelago (Styrsö, Donsö, Vrångö)
Whether you’re enjoying a shellfish platter at a nice restaurant, trying your luck at fishing from the jetty or taking a salty a dip from a sun warmed rock you can be sure of one thing: the sea, and island life, is a big part of the Gothenburg experience. Here are some tips for anyone visiting Gothenburg looking forward to a day out on the islands just next to Gothenburg.
Your journey starts at Saltholmen
Wherever you are one thing is certain: if you want to explore Gothenburg’s southern archipelago then Saltholmen is the gateway to all the loveliness out there. We suggest you jump onboard whichever tram will get you there to start your (hopefully) fantastic day out.
Make Styrsö your first stop
As the ferry chugs away from Saltholmen towards the south west, wave goodbye to Gothenburg and city life for the moment. You’ll pass a series of lovely islands out in the archipelago and it’s completely up to you which ones you choose to visit. If you stop off at Styrsö Bratten, on the way out to Donsö and Vrångö, we recommend a walk along the scenic path up to Stora Rös, Styrsö’s highest point. The route takes you through charming alleyways and lanes full of seaside villas and traditional fishing huts, with a stunning view of the archipelago from the top. Make it extra special and pack a picnic with local food specialities to enjoy after your exertion.
If you’d rather treat yourself to a fika then head to Café Öbergska, where apart from eating delicious cakes or pastries you can also play a round of boules, admire the sweet smelling herbs in the garden or buy something nice in the home interiors shop.
On to Donsö and/or Vrångö
The proximity of the islands to each other means that you can explore several in a relatively short time. When you leave Styrsö you can travel to either Donsö or Vrångö.
If you choose Vrångö we suggest that you start with a walk when you get off the ferry in Mittvik on the east side of the island. It takes 10 – 15 minutes to cross to the other side of the island where there’s a larger and very charming harbour by the old town. Or if you prefer water based adventure, you can hire kayaks there at Kajkanten Vrångö.
If you like seafood, you’re in luck – you’ll get many opportunities on Sweden’s West Coast to enjoy it. At Fiskeboa you can buy a bag of fresh prawns which are best eaten either straight away on a nearby boulder or in Hamnkrogen Lotsen’s outdoor seating area. Wherever you decide to sit we can guarantee one thing: a sea view!
Donsö – a traditional fishing village
If you go on to Donsö, you’ll come to a classic fishing community, still today characterized by picturesque wooden houses and salt-sprayed boathouses. The island is car free which makes it ideal for strolling around in peace and quiet. You’ll be able to see the archipelago in all its glory from several directions, at a range of different vantage points such as Stora Onseberget, Myrevale or the island's lighthouse.
Depending on what time you are on Donsö we recommend lunch or afternoon fika at the cosy Popsicle Café. Located in the island’s old fire station it’s as charming on the inside as it is on the outside. The lovely staff magic up almost everything foodwise – lunch, sandwiches, home baked cakes, fika, ice cream and excellent coffee. The hardest part isn’t choosing what to eat, it’s deciding what not to have!
You can finish your day at the end of the harbour pier on Donsö, where you’ll find Isbolaget – a former ice factory used to store ice for the fishing boats, which has recently been turned into a restaurant and hotel. Enjoy the absolute freshest fish and shellfish as well as delicious from farm to fork ingredients.
When it’s time to go home
When you’re ready to head back to the mainland hop on the first available ferry back to Saltholmen and get ready for a new day. Or maybe you’ll decide to stay overnight on Vrångö. Kajkanten’s accommodation is in modern boat houses right by the harbour. Why not end the day by booking a session in their floating sauna? Balm for both body and soul after an adventurous day full of impressions.