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.

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.

Tipi Camping In The Forests Of Dalsland

Dalsland Camping

Tipi Camping in Sweden

Steneby Prästgård, Sweden

Thor happily munches away as I stroke his large velvety antlers. I’ve always wanted to pet a moose. Sweden has over 300,000 of them living in the wild.

Thor is no longer a wild moose though. He’s one of seven now living at Dalslands Aktiviteter outdoor park in West Sweden.

Pontus, the owner, adopted Thor 10 years ago after his mother was killed. These days the moose park has grown, allowing visitors to learn more about these big goofy animals up close.

I was driving through the Dalsland wilderness with Katie (the reader who won my blog contest) as part of our West Sweden road trip with Volvo.

We’d stopped for a fun day of outdoor adventures, Swedish style.

Dalsland Moose Park

Meet Thor the Moose

Dalsland Zipline

Katie Rocking the Zipline

Zipline Adventure

Dalsland is known for its dense old-growth forests and countless crystal clear lakes. The area is an outdoor lover’s paradise — a perfect landscape for enjoying activities like hiking, fishing, camping, mountain biking, canoeing, and more.

After hanging out with Thor and his moose friends, we strapped on harnesses and went for a short hike into the woods. Our destination? A 600 meter long zipline over the trees.

I’ve experience many ziplines during my travels. They are becoming a popular tourist attraction all over the world. Yet because Katie had never tried one, I was more excited to watch her give it a go!

Zipline’s are pretty scary the first time. Placing your trust in equipment is sometimes easier said than done. Flying through the air hundreds of feet from the ground will make anyone nervous.

But once you take that leap, the adrenaline rush kicks in, and you’re hooked.

Dalsland Camping Food

Dinner is Served!

Camping In Sweden

We drove down the road to a lake where we’d be spending the night camping. But it wasn’t your typical camping experience… we’d be sleeping in a tipi tent!

Why a tipi? Well the Native Americans weren’t the only people to use them. An indigenous group in Scandinavia called the Sámi have their own version called a Lavvu.

Our tipi camping adventure was part rustic, part luxurious.

The beds were made of pine branches covered with soft reindeer hides, and to keep bugs away we lit a fire inside the tent. Smoke billows up through a hole in the top.

A wood-fired hot tub on the edge of the water was perfect for unwinding at the end of the day. For dinner, grilled pork with potatoes & salad.

Dalsland Camping

Tipi Camping in Sweden

Crafted By The Journey

To me, travel is more about the journey than the destination. It’s the little unexpected moments that happen along the way that make a trip particularly special. For example, a scenic road trip with a new friend.

Or attempting to sleep outside in a land with 20 hours of daylight. Jumping into cold lake water followed by a scalding hot tub. Petting a giant moose. Hanging a hammock under the trees and napping to the sound of birds singing.

These are the things I’ll remember most about Sweden with a smile. ★

More Information

Location: Steneby Prästgård, Sweden [Map]
Company: Dalslands Aktiviteter
Useful Notes: They offer all sorts of different outdoor activities as well as tipi camping. Others include horseback riding, a ropes course, archery, and riflery. There’s even a restaurant that serves, you guessed it, moose burgers! Don’t worry, meat doesn’t come from the moose park.

READ NEXT: River Surfing In Montreal

What About You?
Do you like to go camping? Ever been in a tipi before? I would LOVE to hear…

Disclaimer: #WestSweden #InAVolvo is made possible in partnership with Volvo and the West Sweden Tourist Board. However all content & opinions are entirely my own.

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Thor happily munches away as I stroke his large velvety antlers. I've always wanted to pet a moose. Sweden has over 300,000 of them living in the wild. Click through to read more about Tipi camping in the forest of Dalsland, Sweden.

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.