Unspoilt beauty in Europe’s most accessible natural wilderness
At Team Low Season Traveller we just love getting away from it all. We can’t get enough of exploring the globe’s hidden corners without the crowds and their accompanying sky high price tags. Well, we think we’ve found the perfect place for us. Västsverige. That’s what the Swedes call the western edge of their fair nation. Think open views of the sea, picturesque fishing villages, lush, silent forests, untouched natural landscapes, and cosy cafés filled with twinkling tea lights. You’ll feel like you’ve found a secret haven, all easily reachable from the region’s vibrant city of Gothenburg.
The stunning area thrives during a peak summer season when long days invite hikers to plateau mountains and families fill the coastal resorts. But outside of July and August you’ll find you have tranquil areas with lush woodlands, historic landscapes and medieval castles all to yourself. November sees a school holiday rise in numbers and December is big for B2B conferencing and Christmas breaks, so low season travellers should consider January to June or late August to October. At these times you can grab amazing accommodation right by the sea and good rates on cycle or kayak rental while enjoying a gentler pace of life. Some tourist focused businesses may close down, but many remain open year-round allowing you to share your experience with folk who live and work there. Once the mass of summer holidaymakers are gone you’ll eat at local cafés, take fishing trips for lobster, meet the inspiring people working in architecture, art and theatre, and have an opportunity to really feel part of the community.
Waterways of West Sweden
Jaw-droppingly spectacular the Bohuslän archipelago stretches from Gothenburg all the way to the Norwegian border. That’s some 280 kilometres of the picture postcard rugged coastline and rocky outcrops that make up a kayaker’s dream. Take a fishing boat to explore the small islands and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. A favourite spot in northern Bohuslän is Kosterhavet, Sweden’s first marine national park where seals, birdlife and many fish species frequent the deep fjord trenches. Inland the provinces of Dalsland and Västergötland boast thousands of beautiful calm lakes like magnificent Stora Le to the north. Or from Håveru, take boat or simply sit and watch the activity at the locks on the 250 km long canal that winds its way through the region.
Explore by Boot or Cycle
Whether you’re into independent day hiking or want to join a group of guided walkers or bikers, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the many beautiful trails that criss-cross West Sweden. These can be tackled in short sections or offer the challenge of lengthy routes to be enjoyed over several days. Favourites include the Kuststigen Coastal Trail with opportunity to swim at sandy beaches; the Pilgrim’s Path in wild Dalsland covering more than 100 kilometres of spectacular nature and historic churches; and the Gotaleden trail which directs hikers from central Gothenburg to Alingså, through verdant countryside like that of Delsjön nature reserve. Take your time and join locals foraging in woods for berries and mushrooms. Or check out the many farm shops, cafés, and craft markets in the small towns, each with their own history heritage, little museums and pretty wooden churches.