THE COASTAL WALKING TRAIL
THE COASTAL PATH
Hiking at a fast or slower pace, between cultural monuments and nature reserves, among rock carvings, etc., along the waking trails called Kuststigen, Soteleden and Bohusleden.
Hiking = mixed terrain i.e. grass, gravel, forest trails and naked crags. Some parts of the trail can be more challenging as they are steep, rugged (uneven), slippery or otherwise demanding. As you leave the villages behind, you'll need sturdier shoes than sports sneakers. But even on more flat stretches, such as over meadows, it's a good trick to wear rubber boots or walking boots, especially if it has rained recently. Our bookable hikes are shown in the calendar at the bottom of this page.
Walking = slower pace, more stops and mostly prepared terrain. No requirement for special shoes. There may be stairs (ie not suitable for prams and the like).
For city walks and cultural tours on foot, by car/boat/bicycle - click here
The municipality of Lysekil consists of a mainland part and an archipelago in the west and south. Most of the islands are small and uninhabited. The exceptions are Stora and Lilla Kornö and Gåsö, which have no permanent residents. Skaftölandet, which has a bridge connection to Uddevalla and a passenger ferry to Lysekil, has two villages with year-round service. The landmass is broken up into several peninsulas or isthmuses, called "näs", that are surrounded by fjords.
In the north, the municipal border runs towards Sotenäs in the Åbyfjorden, which is quite narrow. Härnäset is the northernmost peninsula of Stågenäset (which is the main body of land) and they are separated by the wider Brofjorden. On the south side of the Brofjord lies the Lysehalvön with Preem's oil refinery well embedded in nature. Between the Lyse Peninsula and the southwesternmost part of Stågenäset, the bay Trälebergskilen wedges its way in (kil=wedge).
Gullmarn (Sweden's only threshold fjord) lies east of Stågenäset, with Munkedal to the northeast and Uddevalla to the southeast. South of the city of Lysekil, at the mouth of the Gullmarsfjord, lies Skaftölandet with the Nordströmmarna, the inland waterway that connects Gullmaren with Orust (Swedens 3rd largest island) and Uddevalla.
Please note that salmon and sea trout fishing is only permitted from 1 April to 30 September. At least 45 cm, no trolling.
The seabeds in the innermost part of the fjords are rich in sediments and are extremely important for both wading birds and marine organisms such as shellfish and newly hatched flatfish.
At a depth of a few meters, there are eelgrass beds which are extremely important for the small fish, and the rest of the food chain. You can see the eelgrass beds when you paddle across them in a kayak, or if you snorkel.
Common to all our fjords, and "kilar" (= small fjords wedging in) are also the typically Bohuslän semi-submerged coastal meadows where livestock can graze.
Within the municipality of Lysekil there are a total of 13 nature reserves! Here you can find everything from beech forests, mixed forest, shell banks and orchid meadows to rugged coastal landscapes with smooth polished granite cliffs and cobblestone fields.
The public right applies, but there may be exceptions and limitations. Therefore, check what applies in each NR that you intend to visit.
Regulations & service in nature reserves
Click on the name of the nature reserve to see what services in the form of toilets and parking spaces are available in each reserve. Also check which special regulations, so-called "föreskrifter", apply in each individual NR you intend to visit. (links in SE)
NR accessible by car:
Kuststigen, the Coastal Path passes through or is directly adjacent to all the above, but for Gullmarsskogen.
NR accessible only by (taxi)boat or kayak:
The Coastal Path, Kuststigen, is a variation of coastal hiking trails and circular loops along the West Coast. It consists of both longer continuous and separate stages in a typical Bohuslän landscape that is characterized by sea and coast!
The Coastal Path takes you through wastelands, nature reserves and coastal villages, to high vantage points and points of interest. The level of difficulty varies greatly on different sections, as does the availability of toilets and other services.
Circular loops with easy walking conditions can be found in the town of Lysekil, Lyse Kulturstig, Brodalen, Näverkärrs NR on Härnäset and Vägeröd/Nothern Skaftölandet as well as in Gullmarsskogen's NR. But most of the time you have to go back to the starting point if you arrive by car.
Most stretches are graded either as moderate or difficult. From Nordens Ark (Åby) you go south, around the Åbyfjorden. With the Åbyfjord on your right, you can choose to continue 2.5 miles south to Näverkärrs NR, at the southern end of Härnäset. From there you can order a taxi boat or pick-up if you don't want to walk all the way back. On the way there you pass Röe Gård with a café, food and accommodation and the stonemason community Fågelviken.
If you choose to go east, towards Brodalen (shop/café all year round), you pass the Broälven NR and then walk along the "Via sacra" of rock carvings in Backa, north of Brastad. LysekilGUIDE offers a number of different activities where you can learn more about petroglyphs and the Bronze Age. From Brastad (shop/café all year round) the Coastal Path continues along the Brofjorden via the village of Rixö and further along the Lyse peninsula and Trälebergskilen NR.
In Lysekil, the hiking trail runs along the spectacular Västerhavspromenaden, where you walk on a wooden footpath above a wild and inaccessible stretch of the coast. The coastal path then continues along the Strandpromenaden in Norra Hamnen (Northern Harbour), thru the old town, and on through Stångehuvud's NR.
The reserve, with its unique combination of smooth polished granite rocks and abandoned quarrying, exists thanks to a far-sighted woman, Calla Curman, who in the years 1917-1921 bought up the land and saved it from further exploitation. You can learn more about her and her husband, Carl Curman, on guided tours and city walks.
From the Havsbad area in southern Lysekil's urban area, to continue on the Coastal Path, you take the passenger ferry across Gullmarsfjorden to Fiskebäckskil. On the Skaftölandet, the Coastal Path goes through the Vägeröd and Gröderhamnsängen nature reserves. In Grundsund there is a fantastic wooden structure to carry you over the rugged cliffs while enjoying the view over Gullmarn's inlet and the Gåsö archipelago.
Maps and descriptions of the Coastal Path, Kuststigen, through Lysekil municipality:
On some sections of the Coast Path, you can walk on your own between two bus stops. However, bus services are few and far between, and finding an appointment can be stressful. So, most of the time it can be an advantage to get a ride to your starting point or back to your hotel/guest port.
Our hiking guide can join you on an extra difficult section or take you to viewpoints and other things worth photographing or looking at. We can also help with equipment for outdoor cooking or transport your pack.
If you hike with a guide, you will also receive an orientation around the area and tips from us before continuing hiking on your own. "Hiking, an introduction to challenging sections of the Coastal Path", read more and book here.
Guided hikes along sections of the Kuststigen, Soteleden and Bohusleden.
We can arrange packages with a hiking guide and boat transport to the nature reserves Ryxö, Stora Bornö, Kalven på Kornö and Gåsöskärgården. You can also order a boat taxi from Lysekil, e.g. via Fortuna or Sea 4 Fun.
To the islands Lilla & Stora Kornö (Klingkyrka in the picture), Gåsö and Stora & Lilla Bornö, you can also join us on a guided tour in steady tandem kayaks.
Do you need help to keep up the pace or hike a longer distance? Do you want help preparing outdoor cooking activities or make a larger group keep together? Or do you have a particular interest in caves, plants, birds or some other theme?
Theme-hiking: This is a collection of guided tours with different persons invited to guide on their favourite topic.