West Sweden and Gothenburg are virtual gateways to an archipelago of a sustainable culinary experience that seeks to delight travelers and educate them, but oh, so gently. This idyllic and poetic region is even more appealing this summer as celebrity chefs add new dining spots, countryside guest houses develop new packages and seafood safaris take guests to forage for their own dinners.
New mussel bar in Ljungskile opens July 16
The folks who run the charming clock tower by the sea of Ljungskile have built a glass hothouse where they will serve their own mussels. The freshly harvested mussels are being cultivated just a few feet away. Guests prop themselves on long benches inside the belltower’s cozy boathouse to watch over the sea or simply stand by as the mussels are cooked on an outdoor pot.
Tracing a Delectable Food Chain: from Sea to Canal
Two lodging pearls of the Göta Canal experience — the 13-room countryside Styrsö Skäret Guest House and the Norrqvarn Hotel and Conference Center that dates back to the early 1900s when it was a mill – have created a two-night culinary adventure that brings guests face to face with producers and farm shops from the coastline to the channel along the chain of locally-grown foods that appear on their fine menus.
Both properties boast restaurants that have been certified by A Taste of WestSweden and are listed in the White Guide, Sweden’s leading restaurant guide that presents the trendiest, the coolest, most culturally exotic places to dine.
Guests stay one night at the beguiling Styrsö Skäret for the first night, which is a 15-minute ferry ride from the metropolis of Gothenburg to the car-free island of Styrsö. Guests are free to stroll, fish, paddle or hike enjoying the beautiful archipelago.
On the second day guests head for the Göta Canal, Sweden’s third most visited attraction,to the Norrqvarn. Guests are equipped with maps in hand illustrating the shops and farms of local producers that both Styrsö and Norrqvarn patronize to produce their menus.
Guests will visit the farm shops and the local producers on the way from Styrsö island to Göta Canal.
Besides its traditional rooms, the Norrqvarn Hotel & Conference Center has Troll Stumps that are actually comfortable rooms inside giant manmade tree stumps that can accommodate up to four people and are extremely popular with families.
Seafood Safaris and Spa Trekking on Smögen
The only thing you have to bring are your wellies to join Smögens Hafvsbad’s new crayfish adventure. You’ll go on a seafood safari with local fishermen, pull up the creels and boil the fresh crayfish in the boathouse or you might get a close-up look at the fish auction on Smögen jetty. It’s not all work, the package includes an overnight stay at this legendary turn-of-the-century hotel whose latest extension faces the sea and blends into the landscape, a dinner of the freshest catches and an old-fashioned spa treatment. Smögen is among one of West Sweden’s oldest and most authentic archipelago communities.Its polished rock face forms a dramatic backdrop for the colorful boat houses that border the seafront.
Celebrity Chef Closes One Door to Open Another
While many were disappointed to learn that last year’s Restaurateur of the Year, Stefan Karlsson, closed his Michelin-starred restaurant known as Fond, he inaugurated another. The SK Mat & Människor that will re-open on September 3, will feature seasonal local produce on its menu. Housed in a former glazier, the venue has been carefully renovated and decorated with custom-built furniture with an open kitchen. Guests who would rather act than watch, can book a cooking course.
Food Truck Brigade Hits Gothenburg
At one time the only game in town was the Strömmingsluckan, which served quotidian Swedish favorites such as fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, but it now has a lot more company. This year 10 food trucks out of 35 applicants have
met the criteria to receive licenses to tool around Gothenburg serving everything from Mexican burritos, to Swedish classics, locally produced vegetarian meals to Ethiopian cuisine and Swedish Sunday roasts made by veteran restaurateurs to young entrepreneurs. But customers have to be on their toes because food trucks can pop up just about anywhere in town. Chances are, some bright person will figure out an app to track them down.
Atelier - new restaurant at Boutique hotel
Set in the heart of Gothenburg, the Hotel Pigalle wants to impress its guests. Specifically, its = mission is to knock you off your feet. This includes doing away with natty details like being one of the first no-cash hotels anywhere. Steeped in decadent 19th century décor of sinful Paris, there is nothing decadent about how it serves up incredible dishes, some that might appear on the menu just once. The Atelier menu is internationally-inspired while relying solely on local produce, the chefs’ moods and the seasons. To stress the farm-to-table link, suppliers and the location of their farms is noted on the menu. Atelier has a popular rooftop.
Meet 2014’s World Champion Bartender at Clarion Hotel Posts
When folks at the Norda Bar and Grill at the Clarion Hotel Posts in Gothenburg claim they have Sweden’s best bartender, they’re not just bragging. Dosa Ivanov won the the coveted title of World Champion Bartender in London’s Leicester Square earlier this year. Donning a straw hat, a Chinese robe, he carried a wok filled with a mysterious cocktail that managed to dribble into the tower of glasses he stacked.
Ivanov doesn’t part with his recipes except to say he strives for cocktails made with love and harmony between sweet and sour. The Champion Bartender will represent Sweden in the World Cup in Cape Town. http://www.nordabargrill.se/en/
Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se
West Sweden is a wonderful setting for outdoor activities, with its rocky coastline of 8,000 islands, as well as lakes and forests providing the perfect landscape for adventurers. Visitors can partake in all types of activity, including sea kayaking, canoeing, hiking, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking with a GPS.
Paddling / kayaking
Paddling is one of the best ways to explore Sweden’s captivating coastline.There are no strong currents or tidal waters and the water is warm during the summer and early fall. Paddling for all levels of experience is available – calm, sheltered waters for people who have never tried kayaking before, and exposed deep-sea stretches for the more experienced adventurist.
Choose from self-guided or expert-led guided kayak trips, each featuring top quality accommodations, delicious cuisine and soothing spa visits. Or, why not get even closer to nature by wild camping along the way instead? Many of the islands have BBQ stations, allowing kayakers to cook-up a hearty meal. And with no shortage of islands to choose from, paddlers very often get to camp on their own private island. This is because visitors have unlimited access to nature in Sweden thanks to its freedom to roam law, making it legal to trespass, camp, fish and pick berries on private and public land.
Popular kayaking locations include the idyllic Koster Islands – set in Kosterhavet Marine National Park as well as the Fjällbacka archipelago, one of the region’s most sheltered settings. Other highlights include The Weather Islands, where kayakers will often spot seal colonies, as well as the pretty islands of Orust and Tjörn.
Dalsland lake district is an awe-inspiring setting for paddling, too, with its labyrinth of glittering rivers and lakes, surrounded by deep forest. Set off on a canoeing adventure as part of a relaxing holiday in the region, resting in an overnight tipi or cottage right by the lake. Or challenge yourself by taking on the famous annual Dalsland Canoe Marathon (August 9) - Sweden’s biggest canoeing competition, with over 1,000 competitors of all abilities tackling the 55km (34 miles) course. Alternatively, there’s the Dalsland Open Water, which is all about paddling the race in your own time, without participating in the actual race. The only requirement is that participants complete the 55 km (34 miles) course within three consecutive days!
Hiking / walking
Walking in West Sweden is an absolute treat for lovers of enchanting natural beauty, wildlife and calm, friendly towns. There are many well marked trails and maps available and visitors can combine hiking trips with tours of the scenic towns. Good walking trails can be found throughout numerous nature reserves in Bohuslän, including the car-free Koster islands set in Kosterhavet Marine National Park, and The Weather islands, West Sweden’s most westerly, windy and warmest islands.
Another popular hiking area in Bohuslän is Fjällbacka, the setting of the best-selling author Camilla Läckberg’s crime fiction novels, which have been successful all over Europe. There are numerous trails available where you can visit Lackberg’s murder scenes, including a 3km (1,5 miles) Valo hike, where you can then relax at Valö Pesionat and have a fika (coffe break) or lunch in the garden. Guests can also trek up Vetteberget Mountain, which towers over the village and provides one of the best views of the region.
There are numerous hiking trails in Dalsland too, where you can explore the shimmering lakes and deep forests, as well as Västergötland, which offers a step back in time through a wealth of immaculate manor houses, historical sites and beautiful countryside. Explore the historic Göta Canal or attempt the two-day Kinnekulle hiking trail.
Running in West Sweden is extremely popular, due to the varied inclines, terrain and interesting running trails. Smögen in Bohuslän is particularly ideal for both hiking and running. The Kuststigen and Sotenleden trails in Smögen have the most to offer when it comes to exciting environments. Everything from magical forests, smooth red granite slabs, unique stone quarries and small enchanting fishing villages. The Icebug Xperience (September 3 – 7) is a brand new three-day 80km (34 miles) outdoor activity in Smögen, where you can chose to either walk or run. The challenge is for all abilities and competitors can stop for lunch, and then in the evening, enjoy delicious locally produced food. There’s also the Dalsland X Trail (October 4), a 12km (7,8 miles) running event through Dalsland’s stunning scenery.
There’s also an array of cycling opportunities available across the region. Feel the sea breeze in your hair and your relaxation levels reach new heights, as you cycle in the Bohuslän coastal region, where many of the islands are car-free and extremely safe. The Koster Islands are an especially scenic setting for cycling and there’s also Skaftölandet island, where you can take a tour from Lysekil and explore quaint fishing villages. There are also a range of cycling trips available in the Göta Canal area, offering visitors the chance to take in this historic, calming setting from the saddle of a bike.
Press contact in USA: Annika Benjes, Director PR VisitSweden
Phone: 212 885 9762 (for media only); 212 885 9700 (for consumers)
Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se
Take a cruise through Bohuslän on the Swedish West Coast with Kulturbåtarna. The vessel M/S Svea will bring you from Göteborg up through the beautiful coastal landscape towards Fjällbacka.
Whether you choose a day trip or a multi-day cruise, this will be an unforgettable trip.
The tour can also be done reverse, travel by bus to Fjällbacka and cruise south with M/S Svea towards Göteborg
Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se
The Food Journey coastline to forest - experience the Göta Canal and Gothenburg’s Archipelago. Eat well, live well and on the journey, visit farm shops and meet our producers who lovingly generate their produce. You will stay and eat at the Norrqvarn Hotell & Konferens by the Göta Canal and at the Styrsö Skäret Guest House - Gothenburg in the Archipelago. Two pearls of West Sweden that you now have the opportunity to enjoy in one and the same package.
Photo: Fredrik Broman/ imagebank.sweden.s
The Icebug Xperience is a new outdoor event in the archipelago of Bohuslän. Participants spend three days walking or running through a varied and stunning natural landscape. The region, ranked by CNN as the seventh most beautiful wilderness in the world, offers magical forests, agricultural land and the windswept coast, with its pink granite and smooth rocks.
Photo: Andreas Nordström/imagebank.sweden.se
Swedes go crazy for herring – they eat it in different, creative incarnations at celebrations across the year as part of a Smörgåsbord buffet. Herring even has its own National Day, on 6 June 2014 – The Day of the Herring - and Klädesholmen on Sweden’s west coast is a great place to celebrate.
Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se
As the southernmost inhabited island in Gothenburg’s southern archipelago, Vrångö has 400 inhabitants; during summer that population soars. Completely car-free, Vrångö is famous for its fine sandy beaches that locals rate as the archipelago’s best island for swimming. Large parts of the island are part of a nature reserve with groomed walking trails. Stop in to an archipelago café, pass the marina, fishing dock, and fish shops. Take the tram from the center of Gothenburg and then transfer to the ferry to reach the idyllic Vrångö.
Photo: Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se
The seafood in West Sweden is the best in the world because of the salty, clean, mineral-rich and cold water, so they grow slowly and get a lot of taste. Rather than just order your fish, join local fishermen to catch, cook and savor your bounty in Bohuslän.
Go on a sea food safari along the coast tasting mussels, oysters, lobster, crayfish, shrimp and staying in cozy island hotels. New this year is the Smögens hafvsbad, a package that includes a visit to Smögen’s fish auction, crayfish safari, dinner and spa.
Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se
Experience Bohuslän in a relaxing way by bicycling on pedestrian islands enjoying the surroundings that CNN has listed as one of the last beautiful wilderness areas. There are several bike packages along the entire coast, which include accommodation, food and bike. http://www.vastsverige.com/en/biking-the-archipelago/products/147896/Premium-Cycling-Package-Orust-coast-to-coast/