Few things can compare to experiencing nature by foot. Scents, sights, wild animals and plants – everything gets closer to you. There is an almost infinite amount of hiking trails and paths to choose from on the west coast, and here we have listed a few of them.
Discover a hiking trail by the sea that mixes trails, archipelago architecture, hills, incredible views and historic remains. To reach the trail, get a bus, bike or car to Hönö ferry port and then follow the trail on the islands of Hönö, Fotö, Öckerö and Hälsö. The trail is part of the longer hiking trail Kuststigen.
Want to get some nature, but still stay comfortable? Along Gotaleden’s 71 kilometres you will find Swedish fika, restaurants and hotels along the way, and all the legs can be reached by commuter train. Nääs Fabriker, Aludden and Jonsereds Trädgårdscafé are some of the highlights on Gotaleden, and for those who prefer sleeping outside there are many shelters to choose from.
Pilgrimsleden Göta Älv
Hiking the Pilgrimsleden Göta Älv from Gothenburg to Vänersborg is about hiking with history theme. The rich ancient and medieval history is ever-present. With Lödöse as a historical hub, you step right into the history. Lödöse was one of the largest cities in Sweden in the Middle Ages and is also Gothenburg’s predecessor. You can hike Pilgrimsleden Göta Älv the full stretch or select one or several stages.
The trail extends from Lindome in the south, at the border to Halland, to Strömstad in the north. Bohusleden trail is divided into 27 sections, which offer a total of 340 kilometres of scenic and varied hiking through Bohuslän’s wild and beautiful scenery. You can reach the trails Bohusleden, Gotaleden and Vildmarksleden from Skatås in Gothenburg.
If you want to get out into the woods and hike a trail that isn’t so challenging, which also is just a tram trip away from the city, then Vildmarksleden is a good choice. The trail starts at Skatås fitness centre and continues 40 km to Hindås. It can be divided into different stages and many people appreciate cycling the trail. There are three places with wind shelters where you can stay overnight.
The Delsjön area is one of Gothenburg’s closest and most popular nature areas. Just a few stops away from the city centre, there are entrances at Härlanda Tjärn, Skatås and Stora Torp. Stora Delsjön runt is an easy 7.5 kilometres hiking trail, and may we suggest you combine it with coffee and waffles at Kaffestugan Lyckan?
Änggårdsbergen nature reserve
Änggårdsbergen nature reserve is another easily accessible area, that borders on the Gothenburg Botanical Garden in the north and Mölndal in the south. Here you will find two marked hiking trails that are 10 kilometres each, and a myriad of paths to explore on your own. Just remember that putting up a tent is not allowed in the nature reserve, so head for the shelter at Trindemosse if you want to spend the night.
The largest park area in Gothenburg, with wetlands, winding trails and beautiful scenery. Hisingsparken is located just a short ride from the Gothenburg city centre. Enjoy a run or a walk along the winding trails, go grilling near the wetland area Slätta Damm or visit farmyard animals at nearby farm Kättilröds gård.
The valley around Lärjeån is popular for hiking, walking, horseback riding and sport fishing. In the north-east of Gothenburg, you will find Lärjeleden trail, a 7.5 kilometre long nature trail. It extends from Hjällbo to the centre of Angered. Lärjeåns dalgång has a high natural value with lush forest and a rich plant and animal life. There are both trout and salmon in the river.
In this vast nature area north of Angered, there are nine different trails between 3 and 25 kilometres. Here you can enjoy lakes, rivers, rare plants and a large variety of birds – like woodlark, nightjar, Black Grouse and capercaillie. You can spend the night in a tent or shelter, and if you feel like resting your legs there’s a canoe rental in Vättlestugan.
Kuststigen is one of West Sweden’s most beautiful hiking trails. It consists of a continuous trail between Uddevalla and Sotenäs, as well as several shorter looping trails and separate stages. It offers a wide variety of different coastal hiking options for both day trips and longer hikes. Most stages can be reached by car and public transport.
The Gothenburg Archipelago
Rörö is one of the local islands well suited for hiking. Furthest north in the archipelago, you will find this untouched wilderness gem with heaths, heathers and several nature trails to choose from. Björkö has easily accessible trails and walking paths. The nature is varied, and you will experience large beautiful open spaces with the sea as a background. Ersdalen on the north-west side of Hönö, offers spectacular views and a walking path to the sea. The area is also a very popular bouldering spot. Further south, you find the islands Vrångö, Styrsö and Galterö next to Brännö, all popular with hikers. Find more hiking suggestions for the northern and southern islands here. How to get there? Västtrafik.se shows the way.
The Gothenburg archipelago – unique experiences year-round
The Gothenburg archipelago is amazing and there are so many islands for you to discover. Walk along winding trails near the sea, through quaint fishing villages and experience beautiful nature reserves.
The island Stora Amundön offers spots for swimming and a diversified landscape, ranging from coastal meadows to oak forests. Here you can walk the nature trail Naturstigen, which is about 4.5 kilometres and goes around the island. At Amundön you will also find a snorkel trail below the surface, where you can learn more about the marine animal and plant life in the waters.
The nature reserve Rya skog is a really lush oasis, located between Ryaverket and Skarvikshamnen. The area is unique, with remnants of a very old forest – maybe even prehistoric. Hike the winding paths in the jungle-like alsump forest and take a break in one of the glades just made for picnics.
Sandsjöbacka nature reserve is a large nature area that stretches between Kungsbacka in the south and Gothenburg in the north. Here you can experience an exciting and diverse landscape with mountains, small lakes, heather moorlands and forest. There are many trails here for both relaxing walks and challenging hikes.
Do you want to hike in a group?
Tikitut Community-based tourism arranges experiences where people and meetings across language boundaries are in focus. From city and nature walks in northeastern Gothenburg to canoe rental in the Nature Reserve Vättlefjäll. Pilgrimsleden Göta Älv organizes various hiking tours for groups in the nature. If you want to hike in combination with forest bathing, then Sense In Nature is an alternative. Take the opportunity to (re) discover Gothenburg’s nature in a new way.
A few things to remember
Bring enough water and find out if you can refill along the way. According to the Right of Public Access, you can spend a night camping anywhere without asking permission, but there are exceptions in certain nature reserves. Wrong shoes can ruin your hike in an instant, so make sure they fit your feet and bring some plasters for blisters. Other things that may come in handy: clothes according to the weather, first aid kit, pocketknife, fire striker or matches, camping stove, map, hat, mosquito repellent and seat pads.
The right of public access
The Right of Public Access gives you and everyone else the freedom to roam the Swedish countryside. Just make sure to remember that with freedom comes responsibility, so please respect nature and your fellow explorers.
Head out with the Hittaut map and app
The app or the physical map Hittaut is a fun and educational way to discover Gothenburg and the archipelago. Get around and tick off all the checkpoints and discover the inner city and its surroundings. The app can be downloaded for free from App Store or Google Play, and the physical map can be picked up from 1 April at the Gothenburg Visitor Center and at the Gothenburg City Library at Götaplatsen.
Do you want even more options? Check out westsweden.com, goteborg.se, Ut och njut, Friluftskartan and Naturkartan.se.