West Coast of Sweden | Visit Västsverige
EXPLORE THE BEAUTIFUL THE BOHUSLÄN COAST
Picture this. A pint-sized European rental car jammed to the gills with two growing teen brothers and their not-so-little tween sister. Shove in the majority of the Christmas dinner fixings, all the wrapped gifts as well as some that weren’t, stockings to hang, candles to light, fishing poles, winter clothes, and wellies. We’re going on a road trip to Sweden. Or rather. We went. To little Fjällbacka, Sweden. I want to take you along.
HELSINGØR-HELSINGBORG FERRY CROSSING
From Copenhagen, it is only a five-hour drive north to little Fjällbacka, Sweden. A mere 400 kilometers. That’s 250 miles if you work in those. Doable in a day. Even with a packed car and unconvinced children. It doesn’t feel so far really, especially when you punctuate the trip with the quick and efficient ferry crossing between Helsingør, Denmark and Helsingborg, Sweden.
ForSea operates two fully electric, battery powered ferries for this quick crossing. Book online for the day you want to depart and roll up at any time as your ticket is valid all day for the next available ferry. There are crossings every thirty minutes, so you never have to wait for long. If you haven’t already, you can buy a ticket right at the terminal from the automated machines, then proceed to your designated lane.
Book your ForSea ferry crossing online here.
SWeDISH BORDER PATROL
Don’t forget your passports. There is a possible border check before you board. To avoid an issue, a valid identification is recommended for all members traveling with you. It is a simple and easy procedure, just don’t forget or you won’t be allowed to cross. When instructed, roll on board the M/F Tycho Brahe or the M/F Hamlet (appropriately named for the nearby Elsinore Castle which Danes claim is the home of the Shakespearean prince.)
Once aboard, lock-in or bring your valuables, as you aren’t allowed to remain in the car for the crossing. And don’t dally. Chop chop. Hurry upstairs toot suite. With only twenty minutes between the countries, there’s just barely enough time to grab a snack, peruse the Duty-Free, stock up and get back to your car before landing across the sound. The Øresund.
NORTH TO FJÄLLBACKA, SWEDEN
Once in Sweden, follow the signs towards Göteborg (Gothenburg). You will remain on the E6 for most of the drive to charming little Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden. This is Västsverige. West Sweden. We rented a cozy cottage from Airbnb near the water.
Never tried Airbnb? We love the flexibility, charm and homey feel of staying in an apartment or private home when we travel. Being able to save costs while cooking part of our meals in an added advantage. Space for growing children to claim – that we all can get behind.
Click here for 255 Dkk off your first booking at Airbnb.
MURDER MYSTERY TOUR – CAMILLA LÄCKBERG
Fjällbacka is famous for a few things. Lobsters. Ingrid Bergman. And murder. Or murder mysteries rather. Local writer Camilla Läckberg’s popular crime series is set in and around little Fjällbacka. I hadn’t read any of her books, but now have them on my list! If you are a big fan of the series, you can take the Murder Mystery Tour nearly every Saturday, starting again mid-February. You will learn some history of the fishing village and get a first-hand look at infamous sites set in the books; led by the author Camilla herself. For more information and bookings, see here.
Ingrid Bergman, of Casablanca fame, grew up spending summers here on her family’s little island, Dannholmen, off the shores of Fjällbacka. The town clearly feels a deep connection with the Swedish actress and has named their center plaza Ingrid Bergman Torg where you can relax and get an intimate look at her life and family time here in Vastsverige. If you have littles in tow, you may enjoy the small playground situated nearby, beneath the huge granite cliffs that border the village.
Close to Ingrid Bergman Torv, you will find the arched entrance to the Kungsklyftan. The Royal Gap. Take the stairs and scramble up over the rocks. Don’t worry, no special equipment or experience is necessary or required. You will soon come to a large channel between two granite cliffs. Wedged overhead are four enormous boulders. Up here even on a windy day, the channel is serene. The Nordic light was raking through in its winter zenith. Low and pointed and beautiful. It felt otherworldly. To me. I can’t assure you the teenagers felt the same. *Wink, wink. But, we had the gap to ourselves. And it was beautiful. A bonus for a winter visit for sure.
At the end of the Kungsklyftan, you can take stairs to the top of the cliff. I highly recommend the easy ascent. The views from the top over the surrounding archipelago are fantastisk. That’s Swedish for fantastic. There is a path that you can walk to return you down to the other side of the village, but the wind was extreme and we enjoyed the view and returned down the same stairs.
LOBSTER AND SEAFOOD
For all of its famous residents and epic landscape, Fjällbacka is really just a simple fishing village. Herrings. Shrimp. Crabs. Oysters. Mussels. AND LOBSTER. Hummern around these here parts. Västsverige is known for its seafood. Especially the lobster. Black gold, they call it. As it can fetch a more than a fair price at the market. Care to pluck the crustaceans yourself? You can. Charters are available, veritable seafood safaris, complete with a full feast afterward. Unfortunately for us, they aren’t available at Christmas. Lobster traps lay dormant upon every dock. Taunting us with treats we wouldn’t be able to try.
We settled for sampling other local seafood specialties from Fjällbacka Fiskaffär down the street – a fresh fish shop and delicatessen. Luckily, we caught it open in the hours before Christmas. And while we may have missed the local lobster and oysters, I can highly recommend their house-cured gravlax (salmon) and the unassuming Fjällbacka seafood salad – a Swedish staple done to perfection. Filled with crab meat, shrimps, and fish in a dilled mayonnaise and soured cream mixture delicious on toast.
RELATED: WHERE TO GO CRABBING IN WEST SWEDEN
The mild days of summer bring swarms of sailors and seafarers to this gorgeous Swedish coast. Come winter it’s quiet. And charming. And personal. Literally, it felt like we were only a few of the people here this past Christmas. It was perfect. For me. Easy to explore. Serene to soak in.
Like a little anthropology with your travels? You’ll love the region even more. Sporting the highest concentration of Bronze Age petroglyphs in Scandinavia – sites around Tanum are easy to find and fun to discover.
SCANDINAVIAN ROCK ART | TANUM PETROGLYPHS
SPEND A WEEKEND AWAY IN THE WEST SWEDEN ARCHIPELAGO ON TINY ÅSTOL
Happy New Year friends. I hope it brings you adventure and exploration. In your here and your there. Best wishes for a Godt Nytår from Denmark! Cheers, Erin
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60 thoughts on “Find your way to Fjällbacka, Sweden”
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What a fun christmas! I saw the ferry when we went to Helsingor and wanted to take it but never got time. Something for a return visit #farawayfiles
it looks wonderful! I think I’d have loved taking the murder mystery tour if I had visited it even if I hadn’t read the book:) #farawayfiles ps. isn’t there a part of Stockholm called like this village? it sounds familiar to me, and I was in Stockholm last year
Possibly? I’m not as familiar with Stockholm’s archipelago – but there are myriads of little islands up there – I’d love to explore them too!!
ooh looks like an adorable seaside village – I think my husband would love this especially for the seafood! I love how you included what this little town is famous for! #FarawayFiles
You really can’t miss the importance of those famous people – evidence everywhere! Wink, wink. Pun intended. It truly is adorable.
I love this line.. “it is only a 5 hour journey”. I laugh along because that is a day trip for us but Europeans find it unconscionable dont they?! What a maginficent..fantastik! place with so much natural beauty and delicious seafood. The perfect away from home Christmas!
I know – so many people here in Copenhagen have NEVER heard of it! 5 hours is not even a day-trip in the States! With kids – I’ve gone 10! Not ideal, but definitely doable!
I do love a winter’s visit to the coast, precisely for the reason you pointed out: it feels like such a quiet, personal experience. Fjallbacka sounds right up my street – I do love a good seafood medley! #FarawayFiles
Yes! I love the coast in winter – seems more rugged and introspective at the same time! Cheers, erin
Looks really beautiful. A wonderful cold weather destination. Great pics too.
Thank you Marissa! I think summer towns get forgotten in winter, but can have an equally wonderful charm, when looked at differently.
Fjällbacker sounds like an adorable little place, perfect for a cosy Christmas. Thanks for taking me along with you and thanks for hosting #farawayfiles
Such a beautiful, unspoilt part of the world. I remember taking the ferry from Helsingor to Helsingborg across the Oresund… and visiting ‘Elsinore’ castle. Great memories.
I am truly addicted. I adore Sweden. Shhhhhhhhh…don’t tell the Danes! ? (I love it here too!) Cheers from chilly Copenhagen today!
Ha ha ha!
Sounds very charming place. I think I would love the murder mystery tour. I love murder mysteries although I have never read any of those books. Another author to check out. #farawayfiles
She has been translated into several languages including English of course – and apparently they are very popular!
This looks like my perfect place, Erin. Dreamy fishing village with not much going on. What a wonderful place to spend Christmas.
It was just what I needed to be honest! I think you would love it!
Aw, this made me reminisce back to our little trip to Sweden last Summer – I love your photo of the little red roofed fishing houses. #farawayflies
Where did you visit Alex?
We visited hornbaek and that coastline in the summer but one day took the bridge over to Sweden and travelled around a bit. Loved it! (Plus Copenhagen is a definite favourite of ours now after 2 trips last year!)
Looks like a great trip. Thanks for taking us with you. 🙂 #farawayfiles
Det var så lidt! You are very welcome! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
What a fun place to spend Christmas. As soon as I saw the title I thought “Isn’t Fjällbacka where Camilla Läckberg’s books are set?”. I LOVE that series!
YES! Do you have a favorite? I want to read one now that we’ve spent time there – I love having a sense of space when reading a book!
Fantastisk Fjallbacka! It really does look the perfect winter hideaway.
I remember the E6 very well when we had a road trip around southern Sweden a few years ago. We had a day trip to Lysekil on the Bohuslan coast when we were staying in Trollhattan and had a great time on the pink granite rocks until it poured with rain and we’d left our coats in the car!
Did you get to see any of the Tanum petroglyphs while out there? The granite rocks are truly unique – makes it feel different from Denmark to me!
No we didn’t but they look fascinating. Shame we missed them 🙁
Fjallbacka looks so pretty, but cold. I love that it’s the setting for murder-mysteries as well! Was it colder than you’re used to in Denmark? #farawayfiles
Compared to Australia – yes – it’s cold, not really any colder than Copenhagen to be honest and I was actually hoping for a little colder – I really wanted the white Christmas and a little snow on the hills. We did get a pretty good storm, so it was an adventure for sure!
I love the comment about ‘only’ 400km – very American 😉 Definitely sounds a journey which was worth making though, so many famous connections and some wonderful views. #farawayfiles
Haha! I was bracing for a comment about the mileage – we’ve heard it before! We have driven MUCH further in a day on a roadtrip in the States, so to us it felt quite a reasonable distance! But I am very aware of my tolerance for time in the car! Also take into account that we don’t own a car here – that helps. Cheers and thanks for the smile, Erin
I absolutely love the Swedish west coast! I’ve only been to Gothenburg and Marstrand so far but your pictures really make me want to go back!!
Me too! New big fan! Can you believe that we have only driven through Göteborg – not spent any time there! It looked so great and I’ve heard amazing things and now that I know its so close, we’ll try to get back! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
I am one of those who function on miles. So, thanks for including the distance on those. The town looks like the perfect getaway from the city. I am sure it is words different from what you have in Copenhagen. I want to imagine how good the seafood is in there. To me, that is reason enough to visit. After all, we make the 200 miles trip to Ensenada, Mexico all the time to indulge on the seafood. #FarawayFiles
YES. Exactly my point! Slightly different presentation up here – nary a fish taco in sight – which is really too bad, because they have excellent fish! Happy New Year! Cheers from Scandiland, Erin
This sounds wonderful. My boys are off to Sweden for two weeks on Scout camp in the summer, do you think that it would be acceptable for their mother to undertake a tour of her own?
ABSOLUTELY! Where do they get to go? Sweden has such an amazing attitude about spending time outside, I love it!
What a fantastisk Christmas destination! I love visiting little fishing villages, and this one in a Swedish winter seems like the perfect place to spend Christmas. #FarawayFiles
Looks fantastic – although not heading that far into Sweden I am hoping to visit Malmo when I am in Copenhagen in a few weeks! You see all that Danish music I listened to (I loved your playlist) has inspired us to book a trip! I am also visiting Aarhus to see a friend I have not seen for 20 years so it’s exciting times!!!
Well it sounds as though you had a lovely Christmas (apart from the 5 hour car journey packed to the brim, I am from the UK that is a long-old journey for us lol), the Murder Mystery Tour sounds fun and I didn’t know Ingrid Bergman spent many summers here growing up – what an interesting piece of trivia 🙂 Happy New Year to you and here’s to more wonderful travels in 2017! #FarawayFiles
Sounds like such a serene and peaceful part of the world – perfect for a Christmas escape! I’m jealous of all the European road tripping you get to do..#farwayfiles
I think it is decidedly less peaceful in summer when the throngs and masses of summer house tourists and sailing segment from Stockholm, Gothenberg and Oslo come rolling in… but we loved that it was quiet! Cheers, Erin
I’ve only ever been to Stockholm, Gothenburg and Eskilstuna! I have a friend that lives in Sweden. I love the Nordic countries. Great photos and nice post about a place I’ve never heard of.
Thank you Lillian! Can you believe that we haven’t spent any time n Gothenburg? We drove right through! I have heard wonderful things, but because we live smack in the city in an apartment – I seek out more small village, nature opportunities on our small breaks to create some balance! Where is Eskilstuna? I will have to look that up! Thanks for joining in Faraway Files – happy to have you along! Cheers, Erin
What a wonderful trip. The murder mystery tour sounds intriguing. This really does sound like such a perfect part of the world to spend Christmas in. I MUST visit Sweden! #FarawayFiles
I think you would love it – lots of little hamlets, villages, fishing towns and NATURE! Cheers from Scandiland, Erin
OMG. I must go. This place looks gorgeous, serene, peaceful, and might I say a bit spooky? Amazing find! Thank you so much for sharing this unique place! #farawayfiles
I feel like Sweden would be a lot like New Zealand in the fact that there is just so much to do outside and everyone encourages it. I’m not sure if Sweden will be on our list for 2017, but it’s definitely on the list!
For the same reason – I am dying to go to New Zealand!! Cheers! And you should definitely keep Sweden, and Denmark and Norway on your Travel wish list! Cheers from Scandiland!!
I’ve never been to Sweden, but I always hear people raving about Stockholm. Another Swedish city to put on my list! #FarawayFiles
Yes Stockholm is rave worthy – what a beautiful town! Fjällbacka is tiny and cozy and little but just as lovely. Sweden is wonderful – highly recommend! Cheers for Scandiland! Erin
Sounds like Fjällbacka is a lovely place for a family holiday – with the murder mystery tour, hike up the rocks and the delicious seafood. Glad you enjoyed it!
So lovely! Happy New Year!
I’ve never visited Sweden so it’s nice to get such a lovely taster of what it is like & it does look lovely – perhaps one day we’ll manage to get up there. Thanks for sharing #FarawayFiles
I’ve heard of it from books, but never been. Cool! #farawayfiles
You were here just before me! I am having one of my nothern winters revisiting Denmark and Sweden via the scenic route from NL. Christmas and New Year in Göteborg with friend and now off-season old cottage with semi-resident cat in Sälvik. I also recommend island hopping in the Göteborg archipeligo, all for the price of bus/tram tickets.
Awesome! I loved it. I want to come back in the summer to explore the little islands! Looks so amazing – do you have any recommendations where to look for accommodation out there?