Koster Islands, 452 04, Sweden
Photo by Henrik Trygg
The Road Trip for Adventurers: Koster IslandsGothenburg is a big city that embraces its natural surroundings: rocky shoreline, forests, and, of course, the coast. There are countless ways to take to the water, and Slottsskogen Park’s woodland trails let you glimpse distinctive Swedish wildlife (deer, moose, tawny owls) within city limits.
Still, to really seek out adventure, you’ll want to devote some time to exploring the Bohuslän archipelago, whose 8,000 islands stretch north to the border with Norway. From the harbor at Strömstad, a ferry will bring you to the Koster Islands—an enchanting nature reserve whose surrounding waters have been declared Sweden’s first (and only) marine national park. You can rent kayaks to explore the rocky islands, skerries, and scenic waterways on a self-guided or expert-led excursion. There are no strong currents or tidal waters, and the water is warm during the summer and early autumn.
Paddling is available for all levels of experience: calm, sheltered waters in areas like the Fjällbacka archipelago for first-time kayakers, as well as exposed deep-sea stretches for more experienced adventurists. You could also join the parade of yachts, canoes, kayaks, and tour boats plying Dalsland Canal, which connects the highest density of lakes in all of Sweden.
The lack of cars makes the Koster Islands themselves ideal for exploring by bike, and even walking feels like an adventure when you’re traipsing through heather-clad moors and past fields of ancient stones. Opportunities for fishing trips, hiking, and rock climbing also abound.