There is something special about the Gothenburg archipelago, especially during the summer when the sun is shining, the temperature is just right and you can smell the calming scent of the sea in the air as you feel its gentle splashes of water on your bare legs. The west coast has a lot to offer, which is why we have written this simple guide to the Gothenburg archipelago.
With or without your own boat
If you have your own small vessel to explore the west coast with, it is much easier to enjoy the archipelago. However, very few of the archipelago’s visitors have their own boat, especially those coming from further away.
Eriksberg's ferry location
A popular option for exploring the archipelago is to book a hotel that is not too far from the ferries that will take you to the various islands. You can, for example, book in at Quality Hotel™ 11 and you will have yourself a fine accommodation located very near Eriksberg's ferry terminal. From here, there are several trips that run to Hönö and back. From Hönö you can easily get on to Fotö with another boat trip or via bus. From the Eriksberg ferry terminal you can also take the ferry to Stenpiren, perfect for exploring central Gothenburg or if you want to explore the southern archipelago islands.
Sea and nature are never far off on the west coast.
Stenpiren (Lit. The Stone Pier)
It’s highly recommended to stay in central Gothenburg, from which you can take ferries from Stenpirens Resecentrum (The Stone Pier Travel Centre). Then Comfort Hotel is an excellent choice, as the hotel is located only 100 metres from the travel centre. There are several lines that run to the various archipelago islands from Stenpiren. You can reach Donsö, Vrångö and the popular peninsula and bathing area known as Saltholmen.
Why not explore the cosy surroundings of Vrångö?
Lilla Bommen (Lit. The Little Boom)
Not too far from the Central Station and several suitable hotels in central Gothenburg is Lilla Bommen. From here you can get to the outer archipelago islands, such as the island of Vinga, known for its lovely baths and the beautiful lighthouse. From here, ferries also go to Fotö, Öckerö and Hälsö. Hälsö is particularly worth remembering, as from here you can get to other islands such as Hyppeln, Källö-Knippla, and Rörö.
Explore the Gothenburg archipelago
The archipelago consists of several large and small islands, easily divided into a northern and southern area.
The northern archipelago consists of the islands Rörö, Risö, Hyppeln, Källö-Knippla, Burö, Hälsö, Björkö, Öckerö, Grötö, Hönö, and Fotö, as well as the small island of Vinga which is located quite far from both the northern and southern islands. From Eriksberg and Stenpiren you can reach the northern archipelago. There are direct ferries to the northernmost islands but usually you get off at Hönö's southern guest harbour.
Hönö is actually one of the most inhabited islands on the northern archipelago. The island offers beautiful nature, shopping and restaurants with fantastic views. A must for those who like good seafood dishes – from fresh fish to scrumptious shrimp.
Enjoy seafood and wine, right on the seafront.
The southern archipelago consists of the islands of Rivö, Asperö, Brännö, Galterö, Köpstadsö, Stora Knarrholmen, Stora Förö, Vargö, Styrsö, Donsö, Vrångö, Tornö and Valö. To reach the southern archipelago you can take the ferry from Stenpiren and from Saltholmen as well.
The largest islands here are Donsö and Styrsö, but if you are looking for dance and entertainment, Brännö is an excellent alternative. Here you will find Brännö Varv, a former boatyard but nowadays a café and bar with live music, as well as Brännö Värdhus, which offers both good food and accommodation. Walk to Husvik on the south side of the island to get to Brännö's legendary pier, where dancing is arranged on Saturdays during the summer.
The different islands out on the west coast all have their own charm and unique sights to offer, from nice bathing spots to delicious coffee and cake, not to mention countless beautiful views. There are also interesting museums to visit, lots of delicious fresh fish to sample and they even have their own microbrewery. Saturdays at Brännö (previously Thursdays) offers those with a spark in their step the opportunity to dance with both tourists and islanders. Don't be surprised if you long to come back to the west coast once you get home again.
Sunset on Brännö.
Also remember to explore Gothenburg We have also created a simple guide for those who do not want to miss out on anything worth doing in Gothenburg. Here you will be able to find everything, from the sausage kiosk at Mariaplan to Sjömagasinet, Yaki-Da, Artillery and the fantastic view from Kök & Bar 67. In fact, we have an abundance of good tips for those who want to get to know the city; check out our tips on attractions and things to do in Gothenburg.