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.

More Information

Location: Smögen, Sweden
Accommodation: Smögens Havsbad & The Gullmarsstrand
Activities: Nautopp Seakayaking
Useful Notes: Nautopp offers guided day or overnight sea kayaking trips, but if you’re more experienced, just rent boats and a map from them to head out exploring on your own.

Suggested Reading: Lonely Planet Guide to Sweden

READ NEXT: Fun Things To Do In Gothenburg

Have you eaten raw oysters? What about kayaking?

Do you eat raw oysters? Ever been sea kayaking before?

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Made up of 8,000 islands, the rugged Bohuslän Archipelago is regarded as one of the world's great wilderness areas. Join us for a little tour.

Any Questions Or Comments?

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11 Comments

  1. 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 =)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

    1. 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!