Fishing Villages & Sea Kayaking Around The Bohuslän Archipelago

Bohuslän Sweden
Fishing Village of Smögen
Bohuslän, Sweden

Made up of 8,000 islands, the rugged Bohuslän Archipelago is regarded as one of the world’s great wilderness areas. If you enjoy fresh seafood or sea kayaking, it’s paradise.

As part of my West Sweden road trip with Volvo to promote their cool Overseas Delivery Program (free trip to Sweden anyone?), Katie and I spent a few days exploring these beautiful islands & their quaint fishing villages.

Katie is the reader who won my West Sweden trip giveaway this past Spring. We started our adventures in the city of Gothenburg, and then began making our way North.

Stopping in the picture-postcard fishing village of Smögen first, we wandered around colorful little houses perched on pink granite boulders beside the sea.

Sweden Road Trip
Road Trip!
Bohuslän Islands Sweden
Bohuslän Archipelago in a Volvo

West Sweden Road Trip

Hiking trails cover the entire area, and after a giant fresh shrimp sandwich for lunch at Hållö Bar we explored the rugged landscape on foot.

This village is a big tourist attraction in the summer when the weather is good. We spent the night at a beautiful old historic hotel called Smögens Havsbad.

Smögen’s pier is lined with quirky little shops and seafood restaurants. Families just pull their sailboats up and pay a fee to spend the night. Sailing is a popular pastime in Sweden. It seems everyone has a boat of some kind.

Bohuslän Islands Sweden
Rugged Pink Granite Landscape
Bohuslän Islands Sweden
Freshest Oysters You Can Eat

Sea Kayaking The Coast

Next we moved on to the Swedish town of Lysekil in the morning, meeting up with Torbjörn & Cathrine from Nautopp Seakayaking. They geared us up with high-performance sea kayaks for a day of touring the dramatic coastline.

Sea kayaks are long and skinny, designed for paddling through rough ocean chop for long distances. Much different than the short whitewater kayaks I’m used to. However the waters around Lysekil are well sheltered by a network of islands, making the sea relatively calm.

The morning was filled with paddling past pink granite islands, stopping on one for a tasty lunch of oily mackerel and dark coffee. Swedish style. For dessert? Fresh oysters!

A local oyster farmer invited us over to watch him dive and harvest his catch, giving us samples of his prized product. Let me tell you, raw oysters can’t get any fresher than that unless you eat them underwater. Yum.

Kayaking Islands Sweden
Sea Kayaking in Sweden
Bohuslän Islands Sweden
Exploring the Islands

More Fishing Villages

Once our kayaking adventure was over, we hopped back into our Volvo V40 and drove South to Fiskebäckskil, another former fishing community turned tourist attraction. The drive included a scenic ferry ride from one island to another.

Checking into The Gullmarsstrand right next to the water, we were too tired from kayaking to do much other than stuff our faces with more fish at their restaurant. That was followed by sitting on the docks to watch a colorful sunset.

With a full-time population of only 400 residents, Fiskebäckskil gives you a glimpse of what rural fishing life on these islands must have been like many years ago.

Fiskebäckskil Sweden
Fishing Town of Fiskebäckskil
Sweden Sunset
Look at that Sunset!!

Bohuslän Archipelago

The small islands and villages that make up the Bohuslän Archipelago are relaxing, but can be adventurous if you want them to be. It was a nice change of pace from the previous few days in the “big” city of Gothenburg.

Island hopping around to check out the laid-back lifestyle, local fishing culture, and watersports of the Bohuslän area was a very good idea. It was easily the most scenic leg of our West Sweden road trip too.

Travel Planning Resources For Sweden
Location: Smögen, Sweden
Accommodation: Smögens Havsbad & The Gullmarsstrand
Activities: Nautopp Seakayaking

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights on Skyscanner. This is my favorite search engine to find deals on airlines. Also make sure to read how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Car Hire is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Book Accommodation

Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent apartments from locals on Airbnb. Read more about how I book cheap hotels online.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.

Suggested Reading: Lonely Planet Guide to Sweden

Enjoy This Post? Pin It!

Made up of 8,000 islands, the rugged Bohuslän Archipelago is regarded as one of the worlds great wilderness areas. Join us for a little tour at ExpertVagabond.com
Made up of 8,000 islands, the rugged Bohuslän Archipelago is regarded as one of the worlds great wilderness areas. Join us for a little tour at ExpertVagabond.com

READ MORE TRAVEL STORIES

I hope you enjoyed my story on sea kayaking in the Bohuslän Archipelago! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Have you eaten raw oysters? What about kayaking? Let me know in the comments below!

THANKS FOR READING

Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 9 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel more with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
Join 20,000 others who receive exclusive email updates!

7 Reasons To Subscribe →
This post may contain affiliate links. For more info please read my policy page.

Leave a Comment

Comments (12)

  1. Great post. I’m a little biased but think that Bohuslän is one of the best places in Europe for kayaking. The North of Scotland is up there too.

  2. Amazing scenic beauty…where sea as well as fishing. It’s like dream experience for me…I love this place. Like to travel this iceland

  3. Too bad I missed that you were in Sweden, I would’ve loved to come and greet you! Around the area where you went too is also where my girlfriend grew up so she is an expert of the area =)

  4. Interesting article, Matt. I was intrigued about Bohuslän Archipelago – first time I heard about is from your blog. I think Scandinavian countries have not too much exposure in the world of travel blogging. Will you go back in one day? Thanks.

  5. I was in Norway earlier this month, travelling by trains and boats up to Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands. Much of the scenery similar to Sweden but the weather was low cloud and rain most days. I wrote a bit on my blog about the trip.

    • Awesome Christopher, yeah the Lofoten’s have been on my wish list for a while too. However Western Sweden is pretty spectacular also!

  6. i love the old historic hotel you stay I am in some way obsessed with that kind of places and fishing for me is so relaxing

  7. Temporary data experiment (referring to the Cluv reductionism). Definitely interesting to evaluate differences in comment traffic.

    Sweet post. I think you nailed a great balance (spoken about in the past) and knocked us out again with great photos to illustrate the adventure.

    Were the oysters your best local dish, or was that more driven by spontaneity? lol

    • I think the oysters were my favorite for sure! But it was totally spontaneous that we were invited over to try them while kayaking.

  8. Oysters are quite literally my favourite food in the whole world! Holy hell these ones look amazing.

    I feel like Sweden is such an undiscovered destination!

    • Totally agree Britt! I didn’t know much about Sweden before I visited, and seeing all the diverse landscapes was a pleasant surprise. They’ve got thick forests, thousands of rocky islands, and plenty of mountains up North. Plus great coffee & seafood!