Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Island-Hopping in West Sweden: The Rugged Weather Islands

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I’ve never been a cold-weather type of gal. I would be fine with 80 degrees year-round. And thus, I never really understood the allure of islands in New England, other than three months out of the year during those balmy summer days and nights when the weather was passable. And then I visited the Swedish islands, and I got it.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

There’s a different type of magic that inhabits the rocky shores of such archipelagos.

Now, the entire coast of West Sweden is dubbed the “sun coast” because it allegedly gets the most hours of sunlight of any part of the country, so while it may be cooler than I’m used to, it’s also typically awash in sunlight (“typically” being the operative word).

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

During our week in Sweden, the normally temperate climate was unusually gray and wet, but that was fine by us—I’d packed my Wellies, my favorite rain jacket and other waterproof gear and was ready for the unknown.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

The Weather Islands, or Väderöarna in Swedish, is a cluster of 365 isles, only one of which is inhabited by a guesthouse and its employees. The ferry ride departed from just south of Fjällbacka in Hamburgsund, so we gave ourselves an extra hour or two to hit up a few of the other coastal towns like Smögen along the way.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Once in Hamburgsund, the ferry process was easy. We parked at the restaurant, loaded up our bags, boarded the catamaran-style boat and motored out for 40 minutes to Väderöarna.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Once there, it was lunchtime, so we held off checking in as we tucked into a Swedish feast. I’m not usually a huge fish fan, but man, the Swedes do it right. We had what they called a “fish burger” but was really some sort of fish casserole with cod, cheese, butter and all sorts of other delicious accoutrements. You guys, the Swedes eat dill on everything, and I absolutely love it.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

After lunch, we took our bags to our cozy cabin. It’s on the small side with no frills (i.e. no TV or other electronics), but it was perfectly peaceful for us. We had a rest and then met the resident fishermen at the dock for a “seafood safari” as they called it. Essentially, we were tagging along on the afternoon’s food-sourcing mission of crab and crayfish for that night’s dinner.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

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Now, you all know I usually get painfully seasick the second I step onto a boat, and though the weather may have looked rough, the seas were completely smooth. No meds and no sickness—I was so relieved, as the anxiety of being stuck out at sea while sick usually consumes my every thought.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

The fishermen have six spots where they keep their traps, and we checked a couple of them as they hauled up their bounty. It only took a half an hour or so, then we were speeding back to the island so they could boil up their catch.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

While they cooked, we spent the afternoon soaking in the hot tub, which overlooked the ocean and was pumped full of saltwater straight from the source, as the rain sprinkled down on top of us.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

That evening, we had a full-on feast of every type of seafood imaginable, far more than the two of us could eat, then went to bed early, because what else do you do on a quiet island with no technology or nightlife? It was exactly what both of us craved.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

We had planned to hike around the island a bit the following morning, but it rained, so we spent some time writing in the main house, had breakfast, then took the midday ferry back to the mainland to continue on our Swedish island-hopping adventures.

Getting to the Weather Islands

A ferry departs Hamburgsund one to two times daily. You can take the morning ferry and stay the night, or simply stick around for the afternoon and a meal before returning to the mainland.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

What It Costs to Vacation in the Swedish Islands

In fall, winter and spring, you can do the same overnight package we did—ferry ride, lunch, hot tub and sauna access, dinner, one-night stay, breakfast, ferry ride back—for 1995 SEK (or $245) a person.

Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands

What to Pack for Sweden

Even if you’re going during summer months, take a jacket (preferably brightly-colored) and also a pair of rain boots and a compact umbrella. The weather can turn on a dime. Here are a few of my favorite rainy weather items:


 

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Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
Sweden Travel to the Weather Islands
COMMENTS
  • October 16, 2017

    Two things: (1) I am one of those strange people who loves cold, grey weather, I want the beach at winter, mountains, during storms and islands in the grey – so this sounds PERFECT. (2) I hate taking any medication and get seasick from time to time, I have been using the same pair of PSI bands for over 10 years (you can get them on Amazon these days in all sorts of pretty colors) and I swear by them, I bring them everywhere.
    Okay and (3) I would be perfectly happy to eat crab like that every day!

    • October 19, 2017

      Then I can’t believe you didn’t stay in Portland (or head up to Seattle). Tucson definitely does not fit that profile 😉

      I have tried EVERYTHING, and the only thing that keeps me from getting sick is the patches. I hate that I have to rely on them, but bands, Bonine, nothing else works, ugh.

  • October 16, 2017

    I absolutely love this post Kristin!

    Like Andi above, I too very much enjoy cold weather, and with the wind in your hair, and the hint of rain or snow – brilliant!

    Yep! ‘Loving the weather islands in Sweden – you lucky girl! We went in early summer as you know, but I wouldn’t mind going in the winter months & taking part in a spot of fishing!

    • October 19, 2017

      We’ll flip-flop next time and I’ll go for mid-summer in June! That’s my favorite time of year in Scandinavia, though it really wasn’t too cold during our trip in September, just a little wet 😉

  • October 20, 2017

    Sounds like a delightful little escape. I’m starting to really enjoy places without TVs, etc. It’s nice to break away from all that while on vacation.

    • October 30, 2017

      Funny, we actually canceled our own cable! I cannot remember one time when I ever turned on the TV while traveling (OK, one time and it’s the exception: the Game of Thrones finale while in NYC! but other than that, nada). And having no Wi-Fi initially gives me the shakes then has me feeling way more relaxed later on!

  • October 21, 2017
    Taylor

    I’m with you on not typically being a cold weather kinda person – but this post made me want to hop right on a flight to Sweden. Your photographs are amazing – incredibly wanderlust provoking! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope to visit one day

    • November 1, 2017

      Thanks, Taylor! Definitely worth hopping that flight 😉

  • October 21, 2017

    This is embarrassing but I’m Swedish and had never even heard of the Weather Islands! Watching that video did make me miss home though, love seeing others experience my home country. Glad you had a great time and think I need to head further up north to see these for myself!

    • November 1, 2017

      Girl, you come from a huge country! I’m sure there are plenty of places in the States I haven’t heard of either =)

  • October 21, 2017

    I love an island, especially in inclement weather. This sounds like the perfect destination for me.

  • October 21, 2017

    After visiting Denmark I fell in love and am obsessed with returning to explore more of Scandinavia. The Weather Islands are exactly what I picture for coastal Sweden and would love to take that seafood safari.

  • October 21, 2017

    What a gorgeous location! I would love to join crabfishers out on the sea one day!

  • October 21, 2017

    I think this looks amazing! I like all kinds of weather…as they say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!”

  • October 21, 2017

    Kristin, I’ve come across your blog before and really like it. As a warm-weather gal myself (also with seasickness issues!), who found herself hanging out with lobster men in Maine recently (and loving it!), I could totally relate to this post!

  • October 21, 2017

    Ugh I just LOVE West Sweden so much. I need to go crabbing when I go back, that looks so fun! There’s just too much to see and do. Gorgeous pics too, as always!

  • October 21, 2017

    Oh my life, these photos are incredible! Would love to visit Sweden! Thanks for sharing.

  • October 21, 2017
    Emily

    The photos in this were so HD that I really feel like I’ve been to Sweden now. Wow!

  • October 22, 2017

    Speaking about the Swedish islands, till now I’ve only been to Gothenburg Archipelago. I really liked the atmosphere of the islands and I wish to visit it again one day 🙂

  • October 23, 2017

    Gah! So freaking cute. I love the look of these islands and the villages. The crab feast actually reminds me of where I live – there’s plenty of crab here and it’s a really social (and messy) way to feast. Totally bookmarking this post for future Sweden adventures!

  • October 25, 2017

    Icleand is so wonderful (apart from the weather of course haha). We’ve been there for a short trip and hope to see it in detail someday. Best Regards 🙂

  • October 28, 2017

    After this post, I’m definitely considering Weather Islands – I had actually never heard of them!
    I loved the photos, too.

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