A week-end in Kungshamn, on the West Coast of Sweden

Kungshamn at dusk, Sweden.

Kungshamn at dusk, west coast of Sweden.

Driving 6h across the country on a Thursday evening after several stressful weeks is not exactly what I had in mind when I talked about “spending a relaxing midsummer week-end”.

But going out of town to enjoy life in the family stuga (cottage) is what you are supposed to do for midsummer when you live in Sweden. With no family cottage to crash in, we ended up renting one on the other side of the country (“the right side of Sweden” according to the ones who live there). “It has better worth it!” I mubbled as I packed my bags, annoyed. What I will realise during the week-end is that the great thing about Kungshamn, is that you don’t have to do so much over there.  And just for this reason, it was worth the long drive.

Kungshamn, small town of the west coast is the perfect place to be off for a few days and reconnect with your senses. Here are 5 simple pleasures to experience during a week-end in Kungshamn, Smögen or pretty much anywhere on the Swedish west Coast.

The laugh of the seagulls: You can hear them from far away and they always remind you of the sea. Lay down on the deck chair, close your eyes. Listen to the seagulls and smile. That’s when vacation starts.

The touch of your feet in the cold water: climb the rocky shoreline -there are rocks literally everywhere around Kunsghamn and Smögen-  and get close to the sea. Take a dip if you dare in the cold waters of the north sea. An alternative is to simply enjoy the soft feeling of the massive rocks warmed up by the sun. The choice is yours.


The taste of the north sea:  There is one thing that all Swedes agree that is the best on the West Coast -even Swedes from Stockholm-: the seafood. Räkmacka, a sandwich with prawns is the local specialty, and a must try during your stay on the west coast. “Freshness you can taste” could have been the tagline of the one I ate.

The smell of barbecue: Swedes just love their grill, and in the summer it’s impossible to ignore the pleasant smell of grilled meat spreading in the village and tickling your nose. If you rent a cottage a barbecue will most likely be included, so why resisting? Just fire it up and join the party.

The sights of incredible sunsets: the nordic countries are famous for their really long summer days (18h long around the solstice) but it’s at the golden hours that the sun reveals its best secrets. With a sunrise at 4.00am you will most likely still be sleeping. Check the time for the sunset, and don’t miss it.


West Coast at the golden hour, from the Smögen-Kungshamn bridge


Just after sunset.

Make it happen – Week-end in Kugshamn & Smögen

When to go: The friendliest season to visit is the summer 🙂

Getting there: Kungshamn is located 1h30min from Gotenburg, and 5h30 from Stockholm by car. Smögen is 3km away, there are buses and boats to get there but you could simply walk and cross the bridge.

What to pack: a rain jacket, a swimsuit, sunglasses – to be ready for all climates!

Go for a boat ride: you can’t go to the west coast without getting out on the sea. Yacht, sailing boat or even kayak there are options for all taste and budgets. You can also just take the shuttle boat between Smögen and Kungshamn (40sek, every half hour the all day during high season).



Traditionnal fishermen houses in Smögen

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