November 14, 2016 | West Sweden
Kostergården is a brand-new hotel, on South Koster Island, positioned right next to the Koster sea, with 22 cabins, five bedrooms and one suite, all with stunning sea views. The food at the restaurant is ‘authentic with a twist’, offering a selection of classic and modern dishes. There’s a lovely terrace for the summer months and a bistro for slightly simpler meals. A one-night stay costs from 1200 SEK (£108) per room (2 persons) including breakfast.
The car-free Koster islands are located in the westernmost waters of Sweden – Kosterhavet, a marine national park – and are home to around 12,000 species, both above and below the surface, as well as one of Sweden´s largest seal colonies. It is a heaven for divers and snorkelers, whilst kayakers will enjoy the sheltered waters and secluded beaches. There are numerous scenic routes for cycling and hiking too, or try your luck at mackerel, crab, lobster or trout fishing. The Koster Gardens is a lovely restaurant and café set in delightful gardens, serving home-produced organic food and a range of local beers for guests to try.
Challenge yourself this spring – try the new rock climbing routes on Gullmarsstrand the Rock, adjacent to Gullmarsstrand Hotel & Conference. Experienced instructors are at hand to help beginners and experienced climbers alike, and all equipment is provided, including climbing shoes, harnesses and helmets. Guests can then relax in the hotel’s new outdoor pool and sauna, both right next to the sea, perhaps followed by a relaxing spa treatment, delicious dinner and then a good night’s sleep. Rock climbing package is available every Saturday throughout the year and costs from £155 pp, including a one night’s stay at the hotel (two sharing), breakfast, a two-course dinner, all equipment and a picnic lunch served on top of Gullmarsstrand the Rock. A one-night stay excluding the rock climbing costs from £108 pp (two sharing) including breakfast, a two-course dinner, entrance to the spa area and loan of bathrobe and slippers.
Former hotel Best Western Göteborg has during 2016 gone through an extensive makeover. The new Comfort Hotel now has 158 fully-renovated rooms, a new breakfast room and lobby, gym with sauna and a brand-new Asian-themed restaurant. There’s will also be a large new roof-top terrace with spectacular views over the harbor finished in Jan 2017. The Comfort Hotel is only a five-minute walk from the city centre, and 10 minutes from Central Station. A one-night stay costs from £52 pp (two sharing), including breakfast, free wifi and free fair trade coffee.
Baldersnäs Herrgård – a magnificent 200-year old mansion located on a peninsula in Laxsjön, next to the Dalsland Canal – will have 22 brand-new cabins in its grounds ready for next summer (six are ready to stay in), each with two bedrooms (sleeps four in total) and stunning views over Lake Laxsjön. Each cabin costs £186 per cabin (including bed linen and cleaning).
Bohuslän is a gorgeous unspoilt region located on Sweden’s west coast, lined with smooth, sculptural pink granite rocks, quaint fishing villages and an archipelago of 8,000 islands, stretching north from Gothenburg right up to Sweden’s border with Norway. With so many islands to explore (some car-free), Bohuslän is perfect for outdoor breaks by the sea. On the way, you’ll pass many of the small brightly-painted boat-houses and docks typical of the Bohuslän archipelago.
The West Sweden Tourist Board suggests a new island-hopping itinerary through Bohuslän’s beautiful archipelago, from Marstrand in the south to Uddevalla in the north, with the opportunity to hike and bike around each island. Recommended accommodation includes The Grand Hotel Marstrand, on the yachtie island of Marstrand, close to Gothenburg, Salt & Sill, Sweden’s first floating hotel, on Klädesholmen island (also called The Herring island), and Hotel Villa Sjötorp in Ljungskile, a beautiful Gothic villa by the sea. The full itinerary for this new trip will be available in July (and two weeks in August) 2017.
Dalsland is famous for its lakes, the Dalsland Canal, the aqueduct in Håverud and canoeing …but there’s also a hidden trail system to explore, if you fancy venturing deep into the region’s forests. At the core of this walking route is The Pilgrim Trail, 100km of ancient paths.
Café Upperud 9:9 is an old mill (the former House of Crafts), just 10 km from Mellerud, and has been converted into a hotel and restaurant plus a centre for hikers, canoers and mountain bikers. The five comfortable rooms are all fashioned from solid wood, and Lake Övre Upperudshöljen is right on the doorstep. The café uses only local produce and offers delicious homemade meals. The Pilgrim Trail passes right through, so it’s perfect for a pit-stop.
In 2017, seafood lovers have another reason to visit Gothenburg – to meet Johan Malm, the World Champion in Oyster Shucking, in his restaurant Gabriel, in the famous Fish Church. Johan first won the prestigious title in 2010 and then again in September 2016. He claims the best oysters in the world are found in Grebbestad, off the Bohuslän coast, West Sweden – why not visit his restaurant and check out his claim for yourself?
From 21 – 22 January 2017, Ulricehamn will organise the World Cup in Cross-Country Skiing. It will be a huge festival, with numerous snow-based activities for visitors throughout the week.
From 21 to 27 January 2017, Europe’s best equestrian athletes will gather in Gothenburg for the FEI European Championships Gothenburg 2017. The participants will compete in jumping, dressage, driving and para-equestrian dressage. There will be 300 of Europe’s best riders from 30 countries, along with some 590 horses and 700 volunteers. The competitions will take place all over the city so, if you love horses, this is the time to visit Gothenburg! Tickets can be bought here.
From 27 January to 6 February 2017, Gothenburg will host its 40th annual Gothenburg Film Festival, the largest film festival in the Nordic countries. The festival attracts over 30,000 visitors to Gothenburg every year and is the main springboard to promote new Nordic films to the rest of the world.
On 25 and 26 June 2017, Coldplay will make its first ever stadium appearance in Gothenburg, in Ullevi stadium. Tickets can be bought here.
During 2017 and 2018, Liseberg Amusement Park will be investing around £23 million in new attractions and concepts for the 8,000 sq m area near to the famous Balder rollercoaster – one of the largest wooden rollercoaster in Europe. The inspiration comes from Scandinavian myths and legends, and Balder will be joined by two new attractions: Loke and Valkyria. In April 2017, Loke will open, and will be Europe’s tallest Gyro Swing attraction – and, in 2018, Valkyria will become Europe’s longest Dive Coaster. The park will also have brand-new shopping, amusement and restaurant facilities. All the new additions will follow a theme inspired by Norse myths and legends.
Holidays to West Sweden are available through numerous specialist tour operators, including Discover the World, Green Traveller, Inntravel, Nature Travels, Magnetic North Travel, Off The Map Travel, Simply Sweden, Sunvil and Taber Holidays.
West Sweden can be reached by a short (two-hour) direct flight to Gothenburg with British Airways (Heathrow), Ryanair (Stansted and Edinburgh), SAS (Heathrow), Norwegian (Gatwick), British Airways/Sun-Air of Scandinavia (Manchester) and bmi regional (Birmingham).