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Gothenburgers are lucky: they live only 1.5 hours away from these beautiful islands. Regular ferries ply the waters between the Swedish coast and the 2 archipelagos. Although they are jointly referred to as the Gothenburg archipelago, each island group has its own characteristics. Choose from dozens of pleasant destinations and enjoy the fresh air.
The northern archipelago (norra skärgården) is the most accessible and popular with day trippers. Many Gothenburg residents have a summer cottage here. The southern archipelago (södra skärgården) is much quieter, more rural and free of car traffic. Most visitors opt for a boat tour around the islands; the archipelago itself is also worth a stop though: pleasant walking trails lead through picturesque villages and beaches. A perfect destination for nature lovers.
After a short ferry ride from Hisingen to Hönö, Björkö or Öckerö, the smaller islands are accessible by bridge. With its many hotels, Öckerö is a good starting point for those who would like to spend several days on the archipelago. Serene Hönö, just south of Öckerö, is considered to be the prettiest spot in the archipelago. Here you will find only a few guesthouses, pubs and interestingly, a fish museum. To sample local delicacies, visit Hönökakan, a café in the port of Klåva. The soft, thin bread that the café is named after is freshly baked on the premises.
The islands of the southern archipelago can be reached by ferries departing from Saltholmen, which is only a 10-minute tram ride from the centre of Gothenburg. Styrsö features a popular inn, a great base from which to explore the island. To visit several locations in one day, it is best to book an organised boat tour. Transportation is limited on the car-free islands. However, island residents are known for their creative solutions: in the old days, the wives of Köpstadsö’s fishermen would meet their tired spouses in the port with a wheelbarrow so they could wheel them home in time for dinner. Känsö is completely off-limits to visitors: the island’s rich flora and fauna can only be admired from the water.