Most Beautiful Places on Sweden’s West Coast

Most Beautiful Places on Sweden’s West Coast

The west coast of Sweden is currently sitting at a magical confluence: it flies just far enough under the radar that you can explore the sumptuous scenery without hordes of crowds, but just popular enough that there are plenty of tourist attractions to keep you busy. And if beauty is the driving force behind your trip to Sweden, then the west coast is sure to take your fancy. The squiggly string of coastline stretching from the vibrant city of Gothenburg right up to the Norwegian border weaves in and out of traditional fishing villages awash with classic red-wood cabins, sweeping national parks teeming with unusual flora and fauna and uninhabited islands treasuring some of the most incredible views you’ll find in Scandinavia. So sit back and strap in as we take you on a wild ride through the most beautiful places on Sweden’s west coast.


  1. Koster Islands
  2. Tjörn Island
  3. Marstrand Island
  4. The Gothenburg Archipelago


Koster Islands

Serene Car-Free Archipelago

Located on the northwestern tip of Sweden, near the Norwegian border, the Koster Islands have racked up a good few superlatives: they are the nation’s most westerly populated islands, they have the saltiest waters on the west coast and they are home to the country’s best marine national park. Okay, we cheated on the last one as the park is actually the only marine park in Sweden, but you get the idea - the Koster Islands are pretty special. The lack of cars on both the north and south island means you have no other choice but to put your legs to work - and it’s a good job too, as you’ll want to soak in every stolen moment of walking along coastal trails, trekking through ancient forests and pottering around peaceful fishing harbours. When your legs start to tire, you can settle down on a boat and let us whizz you around the Weather Islands or out on a lobster safari, or, if you still have some energy left, we can organise a guided kayak safari around the archipelago.


Tjörn Island

Art, Culture and Nature

Heading south from the Koster Islands on our journey through the most beautiful places on Sweden’s west coast, we soon reach Tjörn, an idyllic island that has garnered a reputation for its vibrant art scene, beautiful scenery and indulgent foodie culture. It is place where hearty bakeries sit against a backdrop of rolling sea-strand hills peppered with red clapboard houses, where nature trails wind through smooth coastal rocks and where pristine boardwalks pass by elegant boathouses and bustling marinas. We can arrange for you to enjoy the best of the island in one fell sweep, with a full-day kayaking and cycling tour. You and your guide can paddle your way through small bays and tiny islands to the waterside Nordic Watercolour Museum, where you can admire a range of beautiful local artworks dedicated to the beauty of your surroundings. From here you can hop on your bike and cycle through pristine pine forests to a prestigious sculpture park surrounded by Stone Age ruins. Make sure to get your photo taken with Anna, a huge white sculpture of a woman’s head by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, which sits at the highest point on the cliff and looms large and loud over all of Tjörn. 


Marstrand Island

Scandi Luxury Meets Unspoiled Beauty

Every coastal country has that one particular island that the rich and famous just can’t get enough of - for Mexico its Isla Mujeres, for Greece its Mykonos and for Sweden, its Marstrand. The island made a name for itself as the glamorous getaway of the Swedish royal family, and it still basks in its regal glory. This air of luxury seeps into just about every spot on the island - be that the glamorous sailing boats cruising into the harbour, the elegant bistros dishing out the finest lobster or the boutique stores fit with everything from stylish boating attire to tasteful Scandi homeware and artwork. When you’re ready to leave this sophisticated society behind and head into nature, we can have one of our top local guides whizz you off to the charming Pater Noster lighthouse, which is located on a rocky outcrop surrounded by choppy azure waters. For the best views of Marstrand, you can walk up to Carlsten’s Fortress, which, standing tall and proud atop a hill, offers unmatched vistas across the bustling town below and out across the ocean.


The Gothenburg Archipelago

City Splendour with a Dose of Nature

And finally, for cosmopolitan folk who can’t stay away from city life for too long (but still want a heavy dose of beauty) then you’ll be pleased to hear that Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, and its surrounding network of islands easily makes our list of the most beautiful places on Sweden’s west coast. On dry land, you can enjoy exploring old cobbled streets lined with historic buildings, elegant Parisian-style boulevards with upscale boutique stores, and networks of Dutch-style canals peppered with cosy cafes and bistros. But for some true coastal beauty, you’ll want to head out into the azure waters of the harbour. We can arrange for you to enjoy a boat tour of the picturesque archipelago, which, in our opinion, might just beat Stockholm’s in terms of beauty thanks to its range of colourful clapboard houses perched atop remote coastal islets. We can also have you whisked off on a seafood safari, where you can take part in the hunt for the finest oysters, langoustine and lobster that the salty seas of Gothenburg have to offer. And after a day at sea, it is only right to head to the Feskekorka ('fish church') market to sample some expertly-prepared seafood in a beautiful church-like setting.