Explore the Koster Islands by Foot

The Koster Ocean. Photo: Fredrik Broman

The Koster islands are about as far northwest on the Swedish west coast as you can get; a final frontier before the North Sea. They aren’t large, but the landscape here ranges from forested and agricultural to wild and craggy. The varied scenery makes for great gentle hiking and exploring. Koster and the surrounding waters were recently given national park status. Hiking trails have been cleared and marked out for those who want an easy way to explore nature off the gravel roads that make out the islands’ main arteries.

For sparse cliffs exposed to the open sea and small sandy beaches hidden among the rocks, try the trail around the northwest of North Koster, the smaller and less built up of the two main islands. Chances are you’ll run into some of the shaggy Scottish Highland Cattle that graze here.

Seals outside of Koster. Photo: Mikael Almse

On South Koster you may want to walk the trail around the southwestern edge of the island, from the small natural harbor at Kyrkosund, where fisherman’s boathouses line the water, onward along fields of stones perfectly rounded by ice age glaciers and moors where woolly sheep graze among juniper and heather. This path will take you to Brevik, another tiny out-of-the-way fishing encampment turned sailor’s haven. If you’d rather admire old wooden houses and sample some of the local delicacies; try the trail around Ekenäs to the northeast, the most built-up and sheltered part of Koster. Fresh-caught shrimp and lobster can be bought in the harbor when in season.

Fisherman’s boathouses. Photo: Fredrik Broman

Both islands are small enough that someone used to hiking could traverse the edges in a long day.

For more information on Koster, how to get there, where to stay and what to see, enter here.


By: Sarah Clyne Sundberg


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