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Visit an island in the archipelago – get there easily on public transport

9 islands to visit in the quieter months

Holidaying in the archipelago out of season is something special. By avoiding the crowds you get a more genuine experience and will also be contributing to sustainable tourism. Take a boat ride through the archipelago, go on a walk or enjoy the best shellfish straight from the jetty. Here are some tips for spring and autumn trips to islands between Gothenburg and Strömstad, which can be reached via the region’s public transport service, Västtrafik.

Travel on public transport. Plan your journey in the Västtrafik To Go app or on vasttrafik.se. Here you can choose which is the most suitable ticket for you, for example a single or longer 1-3 day ticket.

Remember! Always check destinations’ opening times before your visit.

The Koster islands

Boat trip to the Koster Islands

The Koster Islands, surrounded by the Kosterhavet Marine National Park, are situated in northern Bohuslän, off the coastal town of Strömstad and not far from the Norwegian border. There are two Koster Islands, North and South Koster.  

South Koster, the larger of the two islands, has varied landscapes, with open fields, coastal meadows, forests and rocky outcrops. There are three colour coded walking trails on the island, varying between 3-7 kilometres long. 

You’ll find the Naturum Kosterhavet visitor centre near the ferry port Ekenäs, where you can find answers to any questions and get information and maps for your visit. Take the opportunity while you’re there to have a fika and rest your legs at Pensionat Ekenäs, a short walk away.


Plan a trip to the Koster Islands
Stops: Strömstad, norra hamnen (north harbour) – Koster Ekenäs (South Koster). Search for your journey in the Västtrafik To Go app or on vasttrafik.se

Discover car free Käringön

Käringön, the little island with no cars, bikes or mopeds. You can get here easily from Tuvesvik, on the west side of the island of Orust, outside Ellös. After a 40 minute boat trip between rocks and islands you step on land among boathouses and fish shops on Käringön’s north coast.

Swedish oysters and chilled champagne. Are you already an oyster lover or maybe you want to try them for the first time? Then you’re definitely in the right place. You’ll find Karingo here, a unique oyster bar on the jetty on Käringön. If you’re a group (6-16 people) you can book a package with freshly harvested oysters, chilled champagne and a hot tub on the jetty.

Seasonal opening times for Karingo: Spring; mid-January to mid-June, and Autumn; August to mid-December. Closed in July.

More restaurants. Enjoy great fish and shellfish dishes at Peterson´s Krog or Käringöns Brygga, overlooking the harbour entrance.


  • Don’t miss: On the island’s southern tip you can find Lotsutkiken, a tiny former pilot’s house just 10 square metres wide, with a structure that is as fascinating as it is striking.
  • Accommodation tips: Lotshotellet and Hotel Käringön are two of several places to stay on Käringön. If you want to take a day trip to Käringön we recommend staying on Orust – at Lådfabriken or Hotell Strana, both 10 km from Tuvesvik, or Tavlebords Honungsgård, about 15 km from Tuvesvik.


Plan a trip to Käringön
Stops: Tuvesvik, Orust - Käringön, Orust Search for your journey in the Västtrafik To Go app or on vasttrafik.se

Ferry to Härön.

Discover scenic Härön

Härön is just a five minute ferry journey from Kyrkesund, on the island of Tjörn. You’ll be met by an island with fantastic and diverse landscapes, some of which is a nature reserve. 

Hiking on Härön is varied, with an easier walk starting at the ferry terminal to more demanding trails, like Holmudden, Änga and Rösseberget. From certain parts of the island you can see Anna, the large sculpture featured in Skulptur i Pilane on Tjörn. The 5km circular walk is part of the Kuststigen Coastal Path.


  • Don’t miss: end the day with a sauna experience at Björholmens Marina.
  • Accommodation tips: have a lovely stay at Magasinet Härön. If you decide to stay on Tjörn we suggest Björholmens Marina (6 km from the ferry terminal at Kyrkesund), where you can both eat well and enjoy a sauna after your day walking.


Plan a trip to Härön

Stops: Kyrkesund’s jetty, Tjörn – Härön, Tjörn. Search for your journey in the Västtrafik To Go app or on vasttrafik.se

Magnificent view from Dyrön.

Go hiking on Dyrön with its magnificent views

To the south of Tjörn you’ll find Dyrön, known for its beautiful walking trail with stunning views. Hike the five kilometre long Dyröleden which winds through varied natural scenery with leafy woodland and rocky landscapes.

Enjoy the magical views of Marstrand, Åstol, Tjörn and the Pater Noster lighthouse. After your walk a reward in the form of tasty food awaits at Trålverket down in the harbour area.


  • Accommodation tips: Have a lovely stay at Salt & Sill in Klädesholmen on Tjörn, where both good food and accommodation is available at Sweden’s original floating hotel.
  • Don’t miss: a visit to the island of Åstol, a short boat ride away from Dyrön. Stroll around the tiny island where white wooden houses are perched on bare rocks. Have a visit to the fish and shellfish restaurant Åstols Rökeri.


Plan a trip to Dyrön

Stops: Rönnäng’s jetty, Tjörn – Dyrön norra. If you’re travelling from Marstrand or Gothenburg you can take the boat from Rökan jetty, Kungälv - Dyrön södra (pre-book the trip from October up to and including March, see Västtrafik’s information). Search for your journey in the Västtrafik To Go app or on vasttrafik.se

Enjoy hanging out in Marstrand

The coastal town of Marstrand, an hour north of Gothenburg, stretches over two islands - Koön and Marstrandsön. You can get to Marstrandsön with a short ferry trip over the sound, and be welcomed by a historic setting with little lanes, a spectacular fortress and sea views whichever way you turn.

Both Koön and Marstrandsön offer several walking trails of varying difficulty levels. Are you ready for a fika? At Bergs Konditori you can choose to eat in or buy something to take with you on your walk.


Plan a trip to Marstrand
The ferry is run by Kungälv municipality. Västtrafik’s season and other tickets valid for zone B (AB, B, BC or ABC) from 24 hours and longer are valid on the ferry. Västtrafik’s single tickets are not valid. Read more about ferry tickets and what applies here.


Experiences on Donsö/Styrsö

Styrsö is the main centre in Gothenburg’s southern archipelago. Distances are short here, roads are narrow and settlements idyllic. There’s also a bridge from Styrsö over to Donsö which makes it easy to walk between the islands.

Scenic Donsö is a walking friendly swimmers’ paradise with beaches and rocks around the whole island. In the harbour you’ll find Isbolaget, a former ice warehouse which supplied fishing boats with ice. Nowadays it’s a cosy restaurant and hotel. If you want to get between the islands easily Isbolaget offers cycle hire.

  • Don’t miss: fika in the sun at Popsicle café’s outside serving area on Donsö, where you’ll also find a shop with knitted items. On Styrsö you can get lovely sandwiches, salads or why not even pancakes at Öbergska café.
  • Accommodation tips: At Isbolaget you can both enjoy tasty food and book accommodation in one of the hotel’s cosy rooms.

Explore Vrångö – the archipelago’s southernmost island

Vrångö is the southernmost of the all year round inhabited islands in Gothenburg’s archipelago. Vrångö is known for its beautiful scenery and offers a mixture of sandy beaches and the rocky outcrops so tycpical of the Bohuslän coastline.

  • Don’t miss: Hamnkrogen Lotsen - with Fiskeboas Fish & Shellfish shop under the same roof in Vrångö harbour, on the island’s west side. Lotsen serves shellfish and fish catches of the day. In the glassed veranda you can enjoy a view of the harbour inlet, whatever the weather.
    Swim and relax at Kajkanten – there’s a relaxation raft with woodfired sauna, hot tub and a ladder to get into the sea for a swim.
  • Accommodation tips: book a package at Kajkanten with accommodation, breakfast box, and a box of shellfish.

Plan a trip to Styrsö/Donsö/Vrångö

Stops: The ferry leaves from Stenpiren in the centre of Gothenburg (infrequent departures) or with more frequent departures from Saltholmen - Styrsö, Donsö and Vrångö. Search for your journey in the Västtrafik To Go app or on vasttrafik.se

Experience the West Coast without your own boat

It’s easy to get out among Bohuslän's thousands of islands with the help of local shipping companies and regular ferry services. Here are tips on how to find your own favorite spot on the west coast - from the Koster Sea in the north to the Gothenburg archipelago in the south.