My camper trip through Sweden started with a scenic drive along the west coast. I left the famous Oresund bridge behind me and took the E6, a motorway which runs more than 300 kilometers parallel to the west coast. The Swedish west coast spreads out over 2 provinces: Halland and Västra Götalands län. The coasline of Halland differs clearly from the Bohuslän coast in Västra Götalands län. In Halland, long, sandy beaches follow one antoher, while Bohuslän is a rugged coastline with rocks of granite and a thousand of small islands. You will find the most idyllic fishing villages and harbors along the west coast. Here is my top 5! By the way, did you know that the E6 (the European road 6) runs all the way to the north of Norway!?
It was already quite late in the afternoon when I started my journey along the west coast, so I quickly started looking for a charming place to stay. That’s how I ended up in Bua, a fishing village in the province of Halland. I was able to park the camper near the waterside and took a short evening walk to “Krogstadsudda Lighthouse”, a lighthouse from 1928. I stayed there, sitting on a bench, until sunset. It’s such a peaceful place! WAUW! One of the many wauw’s I would shout out during the trip. There are camper places nearby the port of Bua (paying).
My first stop in the region of Bohuslän was the fishing village ‘Klädesholmen’. Although Klädesholmen is located on an island, you don’t need a boat to get there. The small island is connected to the larger island of Tjörn via a bridge, which in turn is connected to the mainland by the Tjörn bridge. The roads in Bohuslän are impressive, and then we haven’t even mentioned the coastal towns. You can park the car / camper just before the bridge of Klädesholmen, and then continue by foot. The island is so small that you can discover it while walking. Explore the streets of Klädesholmen, with its white-painted houses and picturesque docks.
Klädesholmen is also called “the herring island”. In the 19th century, people lived from the fishery and the canning of herring. There were numerous canning factories on the island, of which only one remains today. In the herring museum (Sillebua), you can learn more about that period of time.
Grundsund is an incredibly charming fishing village that is little known by tourists. The village is split in two by a sea channel. This means that one part of the village is located on the island of Skaftö and the other part on the island of Osö. The canal was dug out during WWI with the intention of making fishing boats easier to pass by. The small bridge on the Lönndallsvägen connects both parts of the village. From that bridge you have a beautiful view over the canal and the many boat houses built along it, often painted in the deep red color that is characteristic for Sweden. Close to this bridge, you will also find the church of Grundsund. The church, which is painted light green inside, dates back to the 18th century. Unfortunately, the church was closed when I was there.
HIKING TIP. On the eastern side of the village, there is a wooden pathway along the rocky coastline which runs to the small town of Vigerna, a few kilometers away. Follow the eastern quay (the quay on the island of Skaftö), and you will reach the wooden pathway very easily. I can highly recommand to follow this route. You will have a magnificent view over Grundsund and the surrounding islands. At a certain point, the wooden pathway comes to an end. Yet, it is possible to walk a little further. I went fruther and discovered another nice place (with the help of google maps and the advice of a curious resident). I followed the Backavägen to the end came by an open space by the sea. That’s what I call a hidden gem!
Smögen is a fishing village located on an island. Just like Klädesholmen, it is accessible from the mainland via a bridge. You might recognize the picture below. It’s an image that is often used in travel books and magazines about Sweden … It’s the wooden pier in Smögen with a series of colorful boat houses. The photogenic Smögenbryggan, which is 600 meters long, starts at the Klevenvägen and ends at the fishing port, where fresh fish is sold almost daily. There is a parking lot on the Klevenvägen, with a stairway to the start of the pier. Although it can be very busy during the high season, it was still nice and quiet in June 2019. It even went smoothly to take a photo of the pier without other tourists on it. Happy me! After taking some pictures, I wandered past the numerous shops on the pier and ate fresh mussels in one of the restaurants.
Fjällbacka, that’s a criminally beautiful fishing village along the west coast! And you can take that literally. In the books of Camilla Läckberg, the village of Fjällbacka and its surroundings is a common crime scene. The Swedish writer was inspired by her native village to write an exciting book series. In reality, Fjällbacka is fortunately a peaceful harbor village.
The village has become a popular holiday destination, especially in summer. Actually, I discovered the Swedish west coast by reading the books of Läckberg. A few years ago, I read the first book in the series, The Ice Princess, and the other books soon followed. I became more and more curious about the little fishing town, so I just had to go there myself. It was such a cool experience to walk past the hotspots of the books, such as the imposing gorge in the middle of the center and the picturesque harbor. Again something to tick off on my bucketlist! The gorge ‘Kungsklyftan’ is very remarkable. The gorge was once formed by an earthquake, and splits the 74-meter-high Vetteberget in two. You can walk through the gorge to the top of the Vetteberget.