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Suburban white houses with tiled roofs overlook the ocean in Bihuslän.
Suburban west coast
To many, the west coast of Sweden is primarily known for its vacation homes and busy summers. But of course many people also choose it as their permanent home. This suburban dream is located between the Swedish city of Gothenburg and Norway's capital Oslo.
Photo credit: Per Pixel Petersson/

Sweden’s west coast and islands

Sweden’s west coast stretches from Gothenburg up to the border with Norway. Along the coast feast on some of the world's best seafood, spot seals from a kayak, have a floating sauna and soak in a seaweed bath at a spa.

Islands, islands and more islands

Sweden’s most westerly islands, the aptly named Väderöarna Islands (The Weather Islands), are kayaking heaven for seafood lovers.

At Käringön Island you’ll find quaint red fishing sheds, tiny outhouses and gardens that haven’t changed since the 19th century.

National Marine Park

Then there’s Sweden’s first national marine park, Kosterhavet, centred on the car-free Koster Islands with their unique coastline of beaches and rocky islands. And visit Åstol Island, just off Tjörn, for its freshly smoked seafood.

Fishing villages

The kooky, quaint, fishing villages are well worth a visit here. Grebbestad is where 90% of Sweden’s oysters originate, need we say more? It is also home to Everts Sjöbod, a restored 19th century boathouse where eco-friendly seafood catching and tasting sessions are on the menu.

Lysekil is a great place to base yourself for further island exploration, including the island of Skaftö with villages Fiskebäckskil and Grundsund. Do not miss these adorable, postcard-pretty villages of red wooden houses set on the water’s edge. The islands also offer several nature reserves with walking paths and cycling trails.

Celebrity hangout

Marstrand is an absolute must-see – a playground for royalty and celebrities that boasts a rich and intriguing history. Here you can enjoy the impressive views across the archipelago from Carlsten’s Fortress.

Herring, history and shellfish trips

Herring is so big on the West Coast that they celebrate ‘Herring Day’ on June 6. Join them for a bit of feasting and raise a glass to this mainstay of the picturesque fishing villages here. Check out famed Klädesholmen and waterfront restaurant Salt & Sill. Join the local fishermen on a seafood hunt for lobster, oysters and mussels.

Coastal crime novels

For a novel crime-scene setting, visit the dream-like fishing village of Fjällbacka, made-famous as the setting for Camilla Läckberg’s crime novels. You can read more about crime fiction West Sweden here.