Tresticklan National Park, Dalsland, West Sweden
Hiking to the lighthouse on Marstrand, Vastergotland, West Sweden

West Sweden Holidays

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Shimmering lakes, old-growth forests and a rose-hued coastline scattered with islands – nowhere showcases Sweden’s beauty better than the wild west. Explore this natural playground by boat, bike, foot or kayak, sampling some of the finest, freshest, sustainably caught seafood along the way. As laidback as its clean-living surroundings, cultural hub Gothenburg provides a healthy injection of urban cool.

West Sweden Holidays

From short breaks to Sweden's second-largest city to island hopping trips in the archipelago, we can plan any trip to this beautiful region. Below you'll find a selection of our favourite West Sweden holiday ideas for inspiration.

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Life is always better on the west coast, where Swedes lust nostalgically after good food, long summer days and cosy winter nights.

An excellent starting point for journeys, lively port city Gothenburg is well known for its outdoor festivals, Christmas markets and a buzzy, bohemian atmosphere.

Island life begins a short tram ride from the city in the surrounding archipelago, but head further north to raw and rocky Bohuslan for even more idyllic escapes. Finish up at the Koster Islands, pedalling through nature reserves and diving into Sweden’s first marine park.

Inland, lakes and forests decorate pristine protected areas, and the bristling tops of pine trees share a skyline with Baroque castle turrets. Admire feats of human engineering at the Gota Canal or the aqueduct at Håverud, travelling by boat or hiking along car-free towpaths.

Whatever your mode of transport, the pace is always relaxed; there’s never any rush in the west.


Sweden Static Maps (423Px X 596Px) West Sweden V1
Hiking through Tresticklan National Park, Dalsland, West Sweden

Dalsland | Sweden in miniature

A watery mosaic of 1000 lakes, this enchanting region sparkles like an enormous mirror during summer months when sunlight reflects from its glassy surface. Paddling in canoes is a popular pastime, along with hiking on forest trails where moose can often be seen. A patchwork of fields and farmlands is dotted with stores and cafés stocking a selection of fresh produce and regional specialities. A star attraction is the aqueduct in Håverud, famous for transporting boats over rapids in a steel trough.

Kayaking through the Bohuslan archipelago, West Sweden

Bohuslän | The Best Coast

Bathed in rosy glow at sunrise and sunset, this scenic coastline is beautiful at any hour of the day. Yachts glide between 8000 islands, passing wooden cottages perched on pink granite platforms, running from Gothenburg right up to the Koster Islands in the north. Join fishermen on a shellfish safari to catch the finest oysters, mussels, lobster and langoustines; jump in a kayak to explore hidden corners; or trek the Kustigen Path, a multi-stage route hugging the west coast right up until Oslo in Norway.

Kinnekulle in Vastergotland, West Sweden

Västergötland | Lakes & History

This historic region wears its past proudly. Described as the cradle of Sweden, its architecture charts the nation’s development – from 12th century churches frequented by kings right through to towns built around thriving porcelain and textile industries. One of the country’s finest castles, the 17th century Baroque-style Lacko Slot, attracts visitors with its grand gardens and a programme of cultural exhibitions. Buts it’s not only the buildings of this region that make for a magnificent display; in spring and autumn, birdwatchers come to see 20,000 migrating cranes gather at Lake Hornborga.

We'll send you a complimentary copy of Bradt's Travel Guide Book to West Sweden when you book your trip to these wildly contrasting vistas with us

Highlights of West Sweden

Vrango island, Gothenburg archipelago, West Sweden

Gothenburg & the archipelago

Days unravel at a delightfully gentle pace in Sweden’s second city, where nature is never far away. Excellent restaurants, bars and galleries line canals, while the charming Liseberg amusement park is a focus for winter activities. But it’s not just leafy boulevards that make Gothenburg a green destination: all city hotels are eco-certified and there are plans to develop a zero-emissions transport zone. A short tram and ferry ride away, many islands in the surrounding archipelago are car-free.

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Grunstund fishing village, Vastergotland, West Sweden

The Göta Canal | Sweden's Blue Ribbon

Built by 58,000 soldiers in the 19th century, this historic waterway remains one of Sweden’s biggest and most painstaking construction projects to date. Winding through the countryside from Lake Vänern in central-west Sweden to the Baltic Sea, the 190km ‘blue ribbon’ was once an important means of transportation. Today boat cruises are far more leisurely, with an option to cycle along car-free tow paths, stopping at craft breweries along the way. 

During winter, from October to April, the Göta Canal is closed – although it’s possible to ice skate across the frozen surface.

Kayaking through the Koster islands, Bohuslan, West Sweden

Koster Islands

Typically associated with tropical climates, it’s a surprise to discover Sweden has a coral reef system, part of the Kosterhavet National Park. Access the marine spectacle from virtually car-free South Koster (a short ferry ride from Stromstad), part of a scenic archipelago characterised by photogenic fishing villages, where water and land tours can be booked. Signposted walking trails run across North Koster, leading to lighthouses and secret coves. During winter, very little is open on either of the main islands, but the scenery and silence are great draws.

Walking through Tresticklan National Park, Dalsland, West Sweden

Hike In Tresticklan National Park

One of the last remaining areas of old-growth forest in Sweden, this pristine national park on the border with Norway is a cherished wilderness region. Pine trees huddle below mountain ridges framing marshlands and lakes, where the water is so clean it’s safe enough to drink. Granite outcrops wrapped in mosses and lichens are remnants of an ancient past, along with Stone Age finds and remains of abandoned crofts. Far from roads and development, it’s like stepping into a bygone world.

Wonderful Places to Stay in West Sweden

West Sweden In Pictures

Elk in the forest by Lake Svärdlången, Dalsland, West Sweden
Dalsland Elk, Dalsland
Kämpersvik In Bohuslän, West Sweden
Kämpersvik, Bohuslän
Fjällbacka fishing village, Bohuslän, West Sweden
Fjällbacka fishing village, Bohuslän
The Bohusleden Hiking Trail, West Sweden
The Bohusleden Hiking Trail, Västergötland
Aerial view of Salt & Sill, West Sweden
Aerial view of Salt & Sill, Klädesholmen
Hiking between the islands on Bohuslan, West Sweden
Hiking between the islands on Bohuslän
Aerial view of Grebbestad harbour, Vastergotland, West Sweden
Aerial view of Grebbestad harbour

We can't wait to help you plan your trip to West Sweden