Let Vogue Scandinavia be your guide to the west coast of Sweden

By Rebecca Hyde-Price Aggestam

Photo: Getty

From sparkling lakes to charming fishing spots, discover the bustling towns and enchanting islands of Sweden's wonderful west coast

It's been a long Scandinavian winter to test the hardiest of endurance levels, but now spring has finally sprung and Sweden’s west coast beckons. Venture beyond bustling city streets and shopping districts to explore Gothenburg’s alluring coastal paradise, boasting a captivating archipelago.


With its lively atmosphere, rich cultural offerings and stunning coastal setting, Sweden’s west coast serves as the perfect weekend getaway. It holds a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences, all within easy reach – from kayaking with seals to strolling barefoot along rocky coastal harbours. Here, Vogue Scandinavia shares a round up of the must-visit destinations to seek out west-side.

Below, Vogue Scandinavia has comprised a list of the 7 top islands to visit, and what each has to offer.



Ancient hills, historic woodlands and charming fishing villages make Tjörn the ultimate destination for those craving a laid-back holiday, when the height of exertion is a leisurely stroll along the coast. Art aficionados will be utterly charmed by Tjörn’s cultural hot spots, from the outdoor sculpture park to the fascinating watercolour museum in Skärhamn, while foodies will lap up the tastes of the region’s traditional seafood in Klädesholmen. Our hot tip? Schedule your visit to coincide with crayfish season – a local highlight!

Photo: @pilaneheritage



Historically a former fishing town, Marstrand is a haven for sailing enthusiasts and seafood lovers. The bustling marina and rich sailing culture attracts Swedes from all over, making Marstrand a popular summer destination – especially during crayfish season. Don’t miss the stunning Carlstens Fästning, an historic stone castle that offers panoramic views of the archipelago.

Photo: Getty Images



Sweden's third largest island, Orust, boasts lush woodlands, quaint fishing villages, and an active sailing community. It's perfect for water enthusiasts, offering yachting, kayaking, and water sports. Explore historic fishing communities like Stocken and Hälleviksstrand, and sample local cuisine at the island's oyster and mussel farm.

Photo: Getty Images



Renowned for its picturesque setting and mysterious allure, Fjällbacka, a popular seaside village, has long been a favoured retreat for Scandinavians and is now garnering international attention. The reason? This historic spot is the birthplace of crime writer Camilla Läckberg, whose novels paint a vivid portrait of the village’s mystique. Here, fans of her work can embark on a guided tour to explore the settings that inspired her stories. The village's cultural appeal extends beyond literature, though, as it was also once the summer home of Swedish Hollywood actress Ingrid Bergman. Her presence still lingers in the air, adding a touch of Hollywood glamour to this iconic coastal destination.

Photo: Getty Images



For a visit to Käringön, you will have to leave your car – and the real world – behind to explore the premises. Being one of the smallest islands on the west coast, with roughly 70 inhabitants, Käringön is the perfect island to visit for a daytrip. Almost all of the houses were built before 1920, making the whole environment utterly authentic, bringing forth the beauty of heritage coastal living. Today, Käringön is rich with business, including many fine shops, restaurants and accommodations – everything from hostels to boutique hotels.




Ever dreamt of embarking on a seal safari to spot those cute, doe-eyed fur balls? Well then, Hönö is the place to go. Adjacent to the harbour, several rustic fisherman boats will be eager to sail across the water to give you a taste of what Sweden's west coast has to offer. Or, if boat tours aren’t to your liking, go kayaking with friends and family to get an even closer look at the adorable furry friends that perk about on the cliffs.

Photo: Getty Images



Home of sailors and fishermen alike, Smögen is the heart of harbour life, with its famous 'Smögenbrygga' at the centre of this buzzing Scandinavian community. The mere 1,300 Smögen inhabitants doubles during the height of summer, making it one of the most coveted destinations for both locals and Scandinavians from all over. Along the almost thousand metre long pier, you will find shops, cafés and restaurants to tingle your senses. With boats and yachts incoming daily, Smögen has become some-what of a party station, with a buzzing nightlife unremitting the entire summer.

Photo: @smogen