A quick twenty minutes on the tram from central Gothenburg and you can be at the port of Salthomen; the gateway to the southern Gothenburg archipelago. The archipelago has 5,000 permanent residents and another 6,000 residents during the summer months. All the islands are strictly car free but that doesn’t mean you won’t see any vehicles! The residents of Gothenburg’s archipelago rely on golf buggies to get them from one end of the island to the other!
We spent one day of our Christmassy weekend in Gothenburg exploring the islands. The sun even made an appearance after a rainy Friday evening!
Our first stop was Styrsö one of the larger islands. Styrsö is located in the middle of the southern islands and has about 1,400 people living on it all year round, with a much larger number come the summer!
On Styrsö there are a few cafés, guesthouses and restaurants. There plenty of places to swim and lots of small ports with sailing boats. The ferry from mainland Gothenburg only take about 20 minutes and taking a stroll around Styrsö and over to Donsö is well worth it!
Donsö is an important fishing and ship-owning community and the harbour is at the heart of the island. Surrounded by fishing facilities and fishermen huts, this port was pretty much the only place we saw other human beings (apart from on the ferry) all day!
We were after a hot chocolate but unfortunately the only café we could find was closed. So, with that we headed over to the next island for more adventuring!
From Donsö we took a second ferry further south into the archipelago towards Vrångö; the most southerly island in the archipelago. Just 380 people live here the whole year round with population increasing in the summer months. As with the other islands in the archipelago, fishing plays an important role for the island.
We headed to the shore on the far side of the island from the port and climbed over the rocks as the sun began to set.
When the wind got too much and we lost the feeling in our fingers, we headed back to the ferry and the mainland of gothenburg.
How to get to the archipelago from Gothenburg
Getting the the archipelago couldn’t be simpler. Take the number 11 tram (or number 9 in the summer) to Salthomen. The ferries are run by the same people as the trams, so if you’ve bought a tram pass you can use it on the ferries too!
Where to stay in Gothenburg
We stayed at this Airbnb whilst in Gothenburg which I absolutely loved. It was close to transport links and just super cosy. If you’ve yet to use Airbnb you can get £26 off your first booking by clicking this link.
If you’d prefer to stay in a hotel, here are a few of my budget-friendly top picks for where to stay in Gothenburg.