Hamburgsund, Bohuslän
Per Pixel Petersson/

A Swedish National Treasure

Known as a Swedish natural treasure, the Bohuslän Coast stretches from Gothenburg, all the way to Norway, a total of around 280km of stunning coastline, perfect for a sea kayaking holiday.

The rocky coast of Bohuslän with its remote outer archipelago and sheltered inner islands, is known as one of the most beautiful areas for sea kayaking in Europe, and with its varied landscape, it perfectly suits beginners and more experienced kayakers alike.

Along the way, you will find crystal clear waters, an abundance of pretty beaches, majestic rock formations, and picturesque fishing villages neatly nestled amongst a vast archipelago of over 8,000 islands, islets and skerries.

When you are not exploring by kayak, you can explore the islands by foot, visit traditional fishing villages, swim in sheltered coves, cook on an open fire and fish from the rocks.

Sweden's Coastal Adventure Playground

We like to think of Bohuslän as a giant adventure playground for kayakers. The archipelago offers solitude whilst never being too far from civilisation. Experience true coastal wilderness around the outer islands or skirt the coastline to take in the atmosphere from some of the lively fishing villages found in the area.

Whether you choose the shorter 4 day trip or the slightly harder and longer 6 day trip, our self-guided trips start from the very best of Bohuslän. You can choose to follow the suggested route, which will take you to the highlights of the Bohuslän coast or discover it's hidden gems for yourself.

'A Paradise for Kayakers' - CNN Travel

cnn travel

CNN Travel recently named Bohuslän coast as a 'paradise for kayakers', due to it's sheltered coves, unspoiled natural beauty and abundant wildlife. It also named it as one of the top 10 last great wilderness areas in the world.

lonely planet

Lonely Planet also describes Bohuslän Coast as 'Dramatic, stark and irrepressibly beautiful', and in a way far more eloquently than I ever could, James Kay (Lonely Planet) writes; 'Drifting across the mirror-still surface of a shallow bay in Kosterhavet, Sweden’s first national marine park, the reason why the Bohuslän Coast beguiles visitors becomes as clear as the water barely stirring beneath the kayak'.

bradt travel guide

Bradt Travel Guide describes Bohuslän Coast as 'one of Sweden's most enchanting and alluring regions'.

Hamburgsund, Bohuslän
Scandinavian Kayaking Adventures

Bohuslän Wildlife

If you are interested in wildlife then Bohuslän Coast is a fantastic place to spot a diverse range of animals both on land and underwater. Here are a few examples of wildlife which thrives along the coastline.

Common Seal
Charles J Sharp

Common Seal

The rich sea life along Bohuslän Coast not only attracts tourists but also hungry seals. Common Seals inhabit the waters of Bohuslän Coast and are often spotted resting on rocky shores, sandy beaches and mud flats. They are known to swim up stream into large rivers and fjords when in pursuit of prey but will generally be spotted resting on the granite rocks or bobbing around in sheltered harbours. They often follow kayaks, purely out of curiosity.

Common Seals feed upon fish, mainly herring, cod, flatfish, sea bass, anchovy, menhaden, sand eels, gobies, hake and whiting. They will also occasionally feed on squid and shrimp.

Short-beaked Dolphin
Gregory Smith

Short-beaked Dolphin

Not easy to spot but a truly amazing experience when you do. Common dolphins are fond of coastal waters, but are also found well out to sea. Generally, they prefer warmer weather so if the summer is good, the chances to spot a dolphin increase significantly.

These dolphins normally travel at 5 to 7 miles per hour (although they are known to reach speeds of 29 miles per hour when pursuing food), and can move up to 150 to 200 miles in a 48 hour period.

Great Cormorant
Andreas Eichler

Great Cormorant

Watching the Great Cormorant dive is a fascinating sight and what better way is there to observe it than sat at sea level in a kayak. Another one of Sweden's large birds, which is found all along Bohuslän Coast. Cormorants are generally gregarious, nesting in colonies, gathering in flocks and often also hunting together in groups.

They feed almost entirely on fish, which they catch by diving from the surface, chasing their prey under water and seizing it with the hooked bill. They can typically dive to a depth of around 10 meters. They also eat small numbers of crustaceans and marine worms.

After a long day fishing they are often seen drying their wings on the smooth granite rocks by spreading their wings out to the sun.

Ryan Hagerty


More likely to be spotted along the roadside when travelling to the coast but it is hard not mention the moose when writing about Sweden. In fact, there are more Moose in Sweden per square kilometer than any other country in the world. The Summer population of Moose in Sweden is estimated to be 300,000–400,000 individuals. 

Moose is the largest of all the deer species. They reach 170 – 210 cm height at shoulder. Bulls weigh weigh 380 – 850 kg and cows weigh 200 – 360 kg.

Their diet consists of both terrestrial and aquatic vegetation. During Summer when food is plentiful they typically feed on herbs and leaves. During Winter they survive on shrubs and buds from Pine trees.



Fishing Villages

You can find quaint fishing villages dotted all along Bohuslän Coast, each with their own unique characteristics and charm.

Freshly caught fish, crabs, crayfish, oysters, lobsters, mussels and more are on sale, either straight from the many fishing boats or from the quaint traditional wooden restaurants, often found in the harbours of these pretty little fishing villages.

Below are some of the highlights which can be found along the coast.

Smögen, Bohuslän
Bengt Nyman


Fjällbacka is a small fishing village in Tanum and a favourite to start any kayaking trip in Bohuslän Coast, due to it's central location and position near the best of Bohuslän Coast.

The resort takes its name from the large rock mountain that characterizes the village. The old Fjällbacka turns beneath the mountain to the sea, while the newer buildings located on the fields towards land and on the mountains. Offshore, Fjällbacka archipelago rests and all the way out to the west is where the Weather Islands are located. Fishing, shipping and trade was formerly important industries which today has been replaced by manufacturing and tourism.

Fjällbacka is best known for the books by crime writer Camilla Läckberg, all set in this idyllic seaside community, and the fact that our perhaps best known actress ever, Ingrid Bergman, spent her summers here.


Grebbestad is a village along the coast and one of Bohuslän's most popular seaside resorts. As in so many other places in Bohuslän, fishing and seafaring has in the past been significant industries, and even today there are still several fishing trawlers left in Grebbestad. In fact Grebbestad is famous for producing 90% of Sweden's oysters. Fresh fish, shrimp, lobster and of course oysters can be enjoyed in most of the restaurants in Grebbestad.

Grebbestad and the surrounding area offer a wide and varied range of activities and sights. The resort has many ancient remains from the Iron Age.

Langoustine at Grebbestad, Bohuslän
Henrik Trygg/


Smögen is located as close to the sea as you can get. It is best known for its long picture perfect wooden pier, the Smögen Pier, which runs along the side of its old fishing harbour. During the summer months this is one of Sweden’s most popular visitor destinations, with a large range of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. The Pier has something for everyone.

Smögen is also home to one of one of a small number of Swedish fish auctions, where the local fishermen’s catches are auctioned – a fantastic experience for anyone interested in seafood! As soon as the boats dock, their catch is unloaded and taken straight into the auction. Next door, private individuals can buy fresh fish or shellfish; or you can delicacies from the sea in one of the many restaurants in the harbour.


Hamburgsund is a village in Tanum and is located both on the mainland and the island Hamburgö. In the village there is a large proportion of the older buildings still stand in the form of boat houses and old residential buildings.

Hamburgsunds marina is quiet and family friendly, close to the city center and the range of restaurants and shops. One part of the marina is located on the mainland and the other on the island Hamburgö.

Hamburgsund and the surround areas are full of history. Don't be surprised if you come across a Viking ship, whilst paddling in the surrounding waters, as just south of Hamburgsund is a replica Viking village. Here you can also find the ruins of Hornborgs castle perched high on the cliffs, a worthwhile stop off point if you are interested in history.

Fjällbacka, Bohuslän
Henrik Trygg/


The coastal community Hunnebostrand belongs to the municipality of Sotenäs, dating back to the 13th century. For much of the 20th century, this was one of the main centers for the Swedish stone industry. Nowadays, during the summertime there is a thriving resort with a wide range of shopping, restaurants, nightclubs and attractions. Hunnebostrand has something for everyone!

At the stone hut museum you can try life as a stonemason together with skilled professionals. Here a living museum building has been built to show how it was possible to break Bohuslän granite in the past.


The first thing you notice about Lysekil are the amount of boats scattered around the surrounding archipelago. Around Lysekil, these tend to be pleasure craft rather than fishing boats, as the surrounding islands with their beautiful smooth rocks in red Bohus granite offer a fantastic location for boaters and kayakers alike.

Lysekil is one of the more attractive areas for swimming. The area has a large number of bathing areas and beaches.

There are plenty of areas around Lysekil with protected paths to paddle between the islands and in the fjords, and the amount of boats dotted around mean you are never too far from someone, making it a nice place for beginners to explore.



Bohuslän Map

Below you can find a map of Bohuslän Coast highlighting just some of the best places you can stop off at on your visit to this beautiful coastline.

Photo Credits:

Per Pixel Petersson/, Henrik Trygg/, Malin Skoog/, Bengt Nyman, Benreis.

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