Exploration is at the heart of every Macs Adventure trip. While we often set our sights on far-flung destinations for our exploration, there are many places closer to home which are undiscovered by many and well worth delving into. If you fancy discovering an area of gentle, grey-lit beauty, unique coastal scenery, a slow, peaceful way of life and an outstanding gastronomic scene, then look no further than West Sweden and the Weather Islands.
Where: West Sweden is (believe it or not) to be found on the West Coast of Sweden! Sitting on the Northwest coast just below the border with Norway you will discover the region of Bohuslän, where this walking adventure takes place. You will explore the towns of Smögen, Fjällbacka and Bottna before taking a ferry over to the Weather Isles. (Väderöarna as they are known in Sweden) To finish off the trip, you take a ferry back down to spend your last couple of nights in beautiful Gothenburg.
Distance: The walking on this trip is 67km over 5-days, but there are plenty of free days built into the itinerary so that you get time to really relax into the slow pace of the region and really soak up its natural beauty.
Grade: We grade this trip Easy to Moderate. There are few undulating days as you walk the Soteleden trail on days 2 and 3, but nothing too extreme and any uphill is always worthwhile for the views. The trails are generally in excellent condition, but the occasional bit of wet granite or muddy forest mean that a good pair of sturdy boots are a must!
There is something deeply enchanting about exploring this part of the world, something so entirely relaxing and understatedly joyful, that you will most certainly return with a different mindset than the one you arrived with. The pace of life is wonderfully relaxed, a strong sense of togetherness and community runs through the area and everything just seems, well…better.
The Bohuslän coast is one of the most sensitively developed areas in Europe, with humanity making as little an environmental impact on the land as possible. There is such a strong partnership with nature that it could almost be no other way. The towns along the coast exist because of fishing and there has been no mass tourism boom to ruin what is a region of almost perfect peace.
The walking on this trip is sublime taking you thorugh areas of stark beauty, rich forest and craggy coastline, always reaching somewhere comforting and welcoming at the end of your day and it is this whole experience that makes the trip so worthwhile. At the end of the day you will feel like you are welcomed in to a community where you will be encouraged to experience the very best of the region, be it the hospitality, the local attractions or the local cuisine.
Smögen is a delightful little fishing town, with one of the most photographed sea-fronts in all of Sweden. The town is all about its links to the sea, offering cruises and discoveries of local seal populations, but really offering a great chance to experience the fresh catch of the fishing fleets. Then there is Fjällbacka, the picture-perfect town that stands at the bottom of a granite monolith called Vetteberget, which has a wooden staircase winding to its summit. This is the place for some Fika, the Swedish tradition which loosely means having coffee, cake and a chat. Fjällbacka is where Ingrid Bergman came for her fika, so that is a fairly good recommendation!
The Weather Islands themselves are the ultimate in tranquillity. This is the place to disconnect, relax and marvel at the forces of nature. All but one of the islands are uninhibited, and this is where you will find the Väderöarna Vardshus guesthouse which has an outdoor sauna and two outdoor hot tubs, filled with heated sea-water, for your enjoyment. Relaxing in them with a view to the horizon is not something you will forget in a hurry!
Heading out to West Sweden is not too difficult. As the trip starts and ends in Gothenburg you can simply catch a flight to Gothenburg airport and a 40 mintue transfer will take you in to the city centre to your hotel for the night.
If you have any questions about the route, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Destination Specialists, who will be more than happy to help.