Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden’s Archipelago

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden's Archipelago

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden’s Archipelago

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden’s Archipelago

Location and excellent public transportation make Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, the perfect jumping-off spot for visitors who want to explore West Sweden’s southern archipelago. In fact, it was so quick and easy to get from the city to the archipelago that a visitor to the area could certainly just make a day-trip excursion if that’s all their time allowed. Luckily for us, we had enough time on our hands to actually spend the night on one of the islands – Styrsö – and get a sense of what this region has to offer.

Ferry "Rivo" Runs from Saltholmen to Styrsö Skäret

Ferry “Rivo” Runs from Saltholmen to Styrsö Skäret

Getting There:
From Central Station – and right in front of Clarion Hotel Post where we stayed – we hopped on tram number 11 (in summer number 9 also runs to Saltholmen) for the 30-minute ride towards “Saltholmen” (last stop on the line). At Saltholmen we walked (following the crowd) about 300 meters to the ferry terminal. This is where the ferries run regularly to and from the islands in the archipelago. Tram tickets can be purchased on the tram or are included in the Go: Gotenburg City Card – either way, the ferry is included in the ticket.

Styrsö in the West Sweden Archipelago

Styrsö in the West Sweden Archipelago

Styrsö:
Styrsö is one of the larger islands and has a population of around 1400. From Saltholmen we took ferry 181 for the 20-minute ride to Styrsö Skäret. The weather was finally cooperating, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This was perfect timing in our adventure as we needed to walk (pulling our luggage) for about ten minutes along the car-free shoreline road to the guest house we would call home for the night, Pensionat Styrsö Skäret. As we approached the small dock area we had already seen where the guest house was located – the yellow timbered house stood out quite well from its few neighbours.

Pensionat Styrsö Skäret

Pensionat Styrsö Skäret

Pensionat Styrsö Skäret:
Upon arriving at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret we were promptly checked-in by the owner, Ola (Ola and Ylva Tulldah own and run the guest house), and given the key to our twin-bedded room overlooking the sea and across to the island of Donsö.

Donsö in the Southern Göteborg Archipelago

Donsö in the Southern Göteborg Archipelago

The room was pleasant and bright with light blue walls that were a relaxing contrast to the white furnishings. Large windows opened out over the garden, allowing the afternoon breeze to bring a little cooling air into the room.

Guestroom at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret

Guestroom at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret

Our bathroom was fairly spacious and featured a large walk-in shower.

Guestroom Bathroom at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret

Guestroom Bathroom at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret

We also had a small TV in the room, but as is often the case when we travel, we didn’t even turn it on. The guest house had a sitting area on the main floor, which is where we found the complimentary WIFI worked best – we couldn’t get a connection at all in our room.

Exploring Styrsö:
Ola gave us a map of the island and instructions on where we could ride bikes (available for guest use) around the island and experience the best views. A picnic had been prearranged as part of our stay and we agreed to be back down from our room within 20-minutes so that we could take a bike ride for a few hours before coming back for dinner.

Picnic on Styrsö

Picnic on Styrsö

Loaded up with a backpack full of picnic supplies – coffee, water, sandwiches, biscuits, and fruit – and we set off on bikes with good intentions of closely following our map and instructions on how to get to the points of interest. For some reason or another along the way, we felt that said advice was superfluous (how could we possibly get lost on a small, round island?), so we just meandered along the road hoping to find the first of Ola’s suggestions – the road to the highest point. Well, needless to say, we never did find it. So, we decided just to continue riding until we came upon a path that looked as though it may lead to the sea. And it did, complete with a small picnic table. Perfect! We set out our picnic and thoroughly enjoyed the fare that Ola had provided us with – it was delicious!

Harbor at Styrsö Tangen

Harbor at Styrsö Tangen

With limited time in our afternoon schedule, we packed up our empty containers, and once again started along the road in the direction of the fisherman’s village of Styrsö Tangen. The vistas were beautiful. We loved that there were no cars – just the occasional flakmoped (three-wheeled moped) that whizzed by. The tiny harbor at Tangen was busy with boats gassing up and visitors eating ice cream, so we continued on with our exploring and eventually found our way to the rocks at Uttervik.

Along with the bikes and picnic Ola had provided us with a combination lock (for securing the bikes), so once at Uttervik and wanting to climb the rocks and find a spot near the ocean to sunbathe, we left the bikes locked together near the main path. From our vantage point on the rocks we could view cargo ships in the North Sea making their way towards Gothenburg, other sunbathers and a couple of very hearty local lads taking a dip in the chilly (15 C) sea.

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden's Archipelago

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden’s Archipelago

Our time spent relaxing in this idyllic and secluded spot was wonderful and we only wished we had more time to discover this part of the island before making our way back to the guest house for dinner. But, all good things must come to an end and soon enough it was time to make our way back.

Arriving back at the bikes, we each took turns trying to unlock the bike lock we had secured only an hour earlier. Four numbers. What seems to be the problem? We each had a different four numbers memorized! Oh oh! Finally, we realized that we weren’t going to remember the correct code, so started to wheel the locked-together bikes in the direction of the guest house – only about 4 kms away.

After 10 minutes of struggling to push the bikes in tandem, two young women that had been sunning themselves on the rocks nearby came along, and thankfully took pity on us. They had cell phones (we didn’t) and were able to call the guest house and ask for the code. Phew! It saved us from a heck of a walk back. Note to self – two perimenopausal women can not remember a four-digit code!

Dining Room with Splendid Sea Views

Dining Room with Splendid Sea Views

Dinner:
Dinner in the restaurant at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret was divine and made from primarily locally-sourced ingredients. Seated in the main dining room we enjoyed a lovely three-course set-menu that tantalized our taste buds and satiated our appetite.

Vegetable Terrine with Crab and Shrimp

Vegetable Terrine with Crab and Shrimp

The creative meal started with a vegetable terrine with crab and shrimp, was followed by a main course of hake with local organic vegetables, and completing the meal with a light and flavorful rhubarb soup – a trio of rhubarb dessert.

Main Course of Hake with Local Organic Vegetables

Main Course of Hake with Local Organic Vegetables

Dessert: Rhubarb Soup – A Trio of Rhubarb

Dessert: Rhubarb Soup – A Trio of Rhubarb

Following dinner, and as the summer light was still shining, we again hopped on bikes and went for a short ride to wear off our wonderful meal before calling it a day.

Breakfast:
Between 8-10 am the buffet breakfast was available in the restaurant, and we were able to help ourselves to a selection of fresh-baked breads, granola, yogurt, fresh and dried fruits, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, cheeses, sliced meats, juice, tea and coffee.

Walking to the Ferry

Walking to the Ferry

Onward Journey:
The remainder of our morning was spent enjoying the guest house grounds, and going for another bike ride back towards Styrsö Tangen. Just before noon it was time for us to check out and make our way down to the dock to catch the ferry to Saltholmen – where we would then do the return tram ride back to Gothenburg Central Station.

Jill and Viv Exploring Styrsö

Jill and Viv Exploring Styrsö

We had thoroughly enjoyed our brief excursion to Styrsö, and our time on the island had been completely relaxing and rejuvenating. The air had been fresh and clean, and everywhere we looked colors were more vibrant. The guest house had been delightful, and all the people we had encountered were friendly and helpful. The peace and tranquility of this island was splendid. A unique experience that allowed us to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and feel as though we had travelled back in time at least 50 years – when there weren’t so many cars and so much noise everywhere. We felt that time almost stood still for just a brief moment during our stay on Styrsö. What more could we ask!

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden's Archipelago

Gothenburg to Pensionat Styrsö Skäret – Exploring West Sweden’s Archipelago

If You Go:

Read More of WAVEJourney’s June 2012 Visit to West Sweden:

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