West Sweden Tourist Board is a regional tourism organization. The organization’s main ambition is for West Sweden to become the most visited, appreciated and profitable tourism region in Scandinavia. We embrace the ambition from two directions, working with marketing on selected markets as well as business development. The business development is focused into five areas where we find the conditions in the region to be good. This is nature tourism, culture tourism, food tourism, maritime tourism and business travel through meetings and incentives. Adding to this is, since 2009, the work we have undertaken through sustainable tourism where the aim for West Sweden is to be at the cutting edge within this development in Sweden and Europe.
Wild West Sweden
Magnificent ancient forests, meandering bike paths and a fantastic coast; western Sweden offers a variety of natural settings that appeals to many. In the region you find 400 nature reserves and four national parks, among them Kosterhavet, which is Sweden’s first marine national park. The park, which opened in September 2009, has the highest marine biodiversity in Sweden and is a beautiful destination for experiencing the wildness of nature. The main part of the park is located under water.
In West Sweden you also find the famous Lake Hornborga, a lake where more than 12 000 cranes will dance every day during a couple of weeks in March and April: a sight that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. Adding to this are the great forests in the northern parts of the region. Here you find the national park Tresticklan, which is the largest untouched area of forest in the southern parts of Sweden.
Go kayaking in West Sweden
The west of Sweden offers fantastic opportunities for kayaking. The Bohuslän archipelago, with its many islands, islets and rocks, is unique. From Gothenburg in the south to Strömstad in the north there is paddling for all tastes, with everything from calm, sheltered waters for people who have never tried kayaking before, to exposed deep sea stretches for the more experienced kayaker. That this is a coast with no strong currents and tidal waters, and that the water is warm in the summer, combine to make the Bohuslän archipelago one of the most spectacular and accessible kayaking areas in the world.
Visit Kosterhavet, Sweden’s only marine national park, with a greater number of different species than anywhere else in the country; the Fjällbacka archipelago with its smooth, reddish granite islands, or the attractive winding, sheltered waterways of Nordströmmarna. Paddle between picturesque fishing villages along the coast’s biggest islands, Orust and Tjörn, or visit the impressive old castle on the island of Marstrand. Or explore the exciting archipelago right outside the city of Gothenburg.
All along the coast, the landscape is dotted with old fishing communities with small wooden houses leaning cosily against each other. Youth hostels, bed & breakfasts, and modern designer hotels offer accommodation for those who don’t want to pitch a tent on a deserted beach on their very own island. The choice of food is just as varied. Prepare your own dinner overlooking the ocean, or enjoy freshly caught fish and shellfish in one of the many restaurants along the coast. You won’t have to paddle far to find one.
The best kayaking: Along the coast of Bohuslän.
Also good: Lake Vänern, around Kållandsö and Vänersnäs.
Walking and hiking in West Sweden
With its varied landscape, the West of Sweden offers first class walking. Wander through deep forests in Sweden’s southernmost wilderness, explore the islands along the coast, or follow the pilgrim trails in Skaraborg, the cradle of Sweden.
Being so close to Gothenburg means that the north-east of Bohuslän and Dalsland can offer walking with a wilderness feeling that you would otherwise have to travel far to find. Deep forests, open heathland, and glittering lakes where the black-throated loom breeds and the osprey soars, are only a short distance away from coastal walks in Sweden’s only marine national park, Kosterhavet.
You can go for long walks on trails that run through the entire county, from north to south, inland along the trail Bohusleden, or by the coast along the Kustleden trail. Or you can take shorter walks, with a pleasant place to stay to which you return in the evening; for a sauna, a swim, dinner and a soft bed. Choose whichever suits you best.
The best walking: The coast of Bohuslän, the mountains Kynnefjäll and Kinnekulle.
Also good: Halleberg and Hunneberg, Svartedalen, Bredfjället and Herrestadsfjället, Billingen.