Getting to the archipelago
There are ferries from Lilla Varholmen to Hönö and Björkö in the northern part of the archipelago all year round. The car-free islands in the southern archipelago are easily reached with Styrsöbolaget’s boats from Stenpiren Travel Centre or Saltholmen boat terminal.
Getting to the archipelago
You’ll reach the car-free southern islands by ferry from boat terminal Saltholmen or from Stenpiren Travel Centre. To get to the northern islands you take the ferry from Lilla Varholmen on Hisingen. Both the northern and the southern archipelago are beautiful and well worth a visit. Here a few tips on how to get there.
Enjoy delicious seafood at Tullhuset and Skärgårdshotellet
In Hönö Klåva harbour you will find savoury seafood at Tullhuset and Skärgårdshotellet. Both restaurants come with sunny and lively terraces, and there is often music entertainment of some kind. If you miss the ferry back to town, or simply did not have enough of the archipelago, just stay overnight at the hotel Skärgårdshotellet.
Experience the island history at The Fishing Museum
Fishing, fishermen and fishing boats are crucial to the archipelago’s history and culture. At The Fishing Museum in Hönö Klåva you can step into a distant time filled with pilots, sailors and fishing nets and enjoy an inspiring history lesson.
Go for a salty swim
A few minutes’ walk from Hönö Klåva you will find the bathing spots Hästen and Lappesand, both equipped with jettys and facilities. Jungfruviken, on eastern Hönö, is well worth a visit and Hjälvik, on Öckerö, has a beautiful sandy beach as well as a beach volley court. It is also possible to find a private bathing spot if you look around.
Fresh shrimps and mackerel at Klåva Fisk
If you want really fresh fish, head over to this traditional place in the Klåva harbour. Stop by to catch a glimpse of the island’s fishing culture and leave with some freshly caught shrimps.
Or why not order a lunchbox with a mix of smoked salmon, mackerel, crab cakes, salads and sauces, and enjoy it by the sea?
Evert Taube’s Vinga, crab fishing and seal safari
Want to get even further out? Join one of the boat trips from Hönö Klåva headed for Vinga, where famous Swedish singer Evert Taube grew up, with its characteristic beacon and lighthouse.
You can also go on a seal safari, and watch our grey friends sunbathing on the cliffs, or try your luck at fishing crabs, mackerel and lobster. Marine Events, Kastor Boat Trips and Hönö Boat Trips are three of the tour companies.
Go climbing in Ersdalen
The nature reserve Ersdalen on western Hönö is popular among those who like bouldering, a type of rock climbing performed on smaller rock formations. Many of the Ersdalen rocks are beautifully situated by the sea and offer a climbing experience out of the ordinary. No need to be a climber to enjoy this area though, there is plenty of untouched nature to enjoy on the ground.
Mingle with sailors at Seaside
The restaurant Seaside at the island Björkö has everything you could wish for. Wooden bath barrels filled with hot salty water, a party venue with a private bridge and the restaurant’s own boat taxi service. Oh, and plenty of savoury food of course, with a sea-inspired menu that varies according to the seasons. Sing-alongs and aftersails are a regular part of the event calendar.
Have a Hönö beer
In 2014, marketing professional Mats Hansson decided to start Hönöbryggeriet, and today they brew lager, American Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale as well as seasonal beers inspired by the ocean. On the islands you can find their beers at the restaurants Tullhuset, Franses, Hälsö Brygga and at Systembolaget on Öckerö.
Explore untouched nature on Rörö
It takes a while to get to Rörö, the northernmost island in the archipelago, but if you love wild animals, rare flowers and untouched nature you will not be disappointed. Close to the ferry there is a restaurant as well as a grocery store where you can shop for provisions – before heading out to one of the walking trails.
During the summer, the island is covered in heather and honeysuckle, and you can spot various birds, seals, minks, foxes, wild rabbits and horses.
Spend the night at a former ice factory
At the end of the pier in Donsö harbour you’ll find Isbolaget – a hotel and restaurant in a former ice factory, that provided ice for the Gothenburg fishing boats between 1953 and 1993.
Here you can enjoy the seaview and amazing food in a unique setting. You can also rent a bike from the hotel, and go on an exploration tour around Donsö and the neighbouring island Styrsö!
Brännö Varv – hammocks and chill
Café Varvet on the island Brännö is really something special. The pace is slower, the beer tastes better and the fish taco is quite extraordinary. Put your feet up and just relax. Visit the café’s website for more information and opening hours.
Stay the night in a (modern) boathouse
The island Vrångö is a real gem and if you want to stay the night the small houses in the harbour at Kajkanten is a good choice of accommodation. In the houses you will find a small kitchen, a shower, a toilet and all you need for a simple yet pleasant stay. A great tip is to book some kayaks while you’re at it – it is hard to find a better way to see the islands. Another attraction during the summer is the floating sauna.
Brännö Värdshus is a well-known restaurant and meeting place on the island of Brännö. From time to time they have live music and culture nights.
Traditional dance at Brännö brygga
This is an iconic summer tradition in Sweden! During the summer, people gather to dance on the island of Brännö. Hop on a ferry and join the party.
Enjoy extraordinary seafood
Gothenburg is home to some of the best fish and shellfish in the world and to enjoy them on the islands is a real treat. Buy some shrimp or crayfish at one of the little shops, such as Fiskeboa on Vrångö, and have a picnic on a cliff by the sea.
Visit the island Köpstadsö
Köpstadsö (or Kössö in the local dialect) is the right island to visit if you prefer tranquility over an abundance of restaurants, cafés and such. At this car-free island the wheelbarrow is the most common vehicle. Bring a picnic basket and set course for nice walks and a slow but beautiful day by the sea.
Find a great view from an old pilot station
Here and there on the islands you can see small, red miniature buildings. These are former pilot stations from where ships used to be guided through the archipelago in the old days. Of course, the pilot stations were built at locations with unbeatable view – so when you see one, be sure to climb up and take a look for yourself. This picture is from Vrångö and there is a famous one on the island Brännö as well.