Route suggestions - Two Countries - One coast - Visit Østfold

Route suggestions

Two countries, one coastline – witness some of Scandinavia’s most idyllic scenery on a journey through East Norway and West Sweden

Journey from Ostfold to Gothenburg and take in stylish cities, unspoilt beaches, rocky islands, quaint fishing villages and two marine national parks.

 

Experience one of Europe’s most scenic - yet relatively little known - coastal journeys from Ostfold, East Norway to Gothenburg in West Sweden. Stay in top-quality accommodation along the way, sample delicious locally-sourced cuisine and indulge in a range of activities including island hopping, sea kayaking, seafood safaris and crime fiction tours.

 

Day one

 

Fly into Oslo Rygge on day one to explore Østfold, the sunniest place in Norway and boasting 100 beaches, charming villages, lakes and bright yellow fields.

 

A must-do activity includes a visit to the nearby Isegran peninsula (a free 10 minute ferry ride from Fredrikstad’s city centre). It has a fascinating history, with settlers first arriving there in the 13th century; it was Norway’s only sea-based military harbour until 1680. Explore Fredrikstad museum and take a guided tour of theOld Town – often described as Northern Europe´s most beautifully-preserved fortress town.

 

Day two

 

Kick off day two by moving on to the Hvaler Islands (30 minute’s drive south). This archipelago of 833 islands, islets and skerries is home to Norway’s first marine national park, The Outer Hvaler. It’s a wonderful setting for diving, canoeing, fishing and hiking. Skjærhalden is the gateway to the islands, featuring shops, restaurants and galleries.

 

If you have time, perhaps take a short 20-minute boat ride to the island of Søndre Sandøy which a perfect place for cycling or relaxing.

 

 

Day three

 

On day three, it’s time to adventure to a new country - Sweden - to see another majestic marine national park, Kosterhavet. To reach this unique environment drive one hour and 20 minutes south to Stromstad on Sweden’s west coast – the gateway to Kosterhavet. On your way, stop at the historic city of Halden, close to the Swedish border and home to Fredriksten Fortress, offering a fantastic view of the town and the fjord, and far into what once was enemy territory - Sweden.

 

Once you’ve moved onto Stromstad, park your car and take a 30 to 60 minute ferry ride to Kosterhavet marine national park. Centered around the car-free Koster Islands, this is a place of unspoilt beaches, rocky islands and an abundance of wildlife - home to around 12,000 species in and above the water, as well as the country’s largest seal colony. Set off on a two-hour guided cycling tour during your stay, a fantastic way to take in the natural beauty and fresh sea breeze.

 

 

Day four



Catch a ferry back to Stromstad on day four and drive 30 minutes south to the dreamy fishing village of Fjällbacka (30 minutes’ drive south), famous as the setting of Camilla Lackberg's crime novels and where the iconic actress Ingrid Bergman holidayed every year, calling it ‘her place on earth’. Visitors can enjoy Läckberg-themed tours and jaw-dropping views of the archipelago from Vetteberget Mountain.

Fjällbacka is gateway to Sweden’s most westerly islands - The Weather Islands (a 30 minute boat trip away). Visit this remote, warm and windy setting where it’s possible to genuinely switch off. Embark on kayaking adventures and exhilarating walks, tuck into fresh seafood and relax in an outdoor hot tub by the shore.

 

 

Day five


On day five, return to the mainland to admire the fascinating Bronze Age rock carvings at Vitlycke museum and then drive south to the vibrant city of Gothenburg (90 minutes’ drive south). Discover quaint canals, the cobbled streets of historical Haga and countless green open spaces, including Sweden’s biggest botanical gardens, boasting over 16,000 species. The city has a buzzing outdoor café culture with ‘fika’ (a break for coffee and a sweet bun), intriguing food markets, impressive museums and multitude of enticing restaurants.

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