Carrie’s Vacation: Tjorn and Grebbestad

Photo: Carrie Coolidge

Photo: Carrie Coolidge

Floating hotels and some of the world’s best oysters in abundance. New York-based travel and lifestyle writer and top blogger Carrie Coolidge decided to see as much as possible of Sweden’s west coast in just a few days. Read about her adventures in stunning West Sweden. A floating hotel and sauna on Tjorn and “Oyster Safari” in quaint fishing village Grebbestad, are some of the highlights. Read more

Retreat to your own Swedish island

Dalsland - Photo by LisaNestorson

Dalsland - Photo by LisaNestorson

Dixe Wills on Henriksholm in West Sweden in The Guardian April 9

Henriksholm is a beautiful three-mile-long island on a lake in Dalsland, West Sweden and is home to a wonderfully remote manor, which takes the concept of getting away from it all, to a new level. Guests can bask in the great outdoors surrounding this gorgeous retreat; swimming, walking and canoeing, whilst admiring the surrounding wildlife. Dixe Wills from The Guardian recently enjoyed a visit to Henriksholm, documenting his exploration of this unique island getaway…

Read the full story here

Winter paddling in nature

Sea kayaking in the winter and spring

Sea kayaking in the winter and spring. Photo: Torbjörn Söderholm

Kayaking is a great activity for getting some of that sought-after stillness and reflection. As a canoeist you get the chance to really wind down and let your thoughts wander. It’s amazing to slowly glide through the water, enjoying a break from paperwork and mobile phones. And paddling a sea-kayak in low season gives you a naked, raw, and absolutely wonderful feeling of being at one with nature. You’ll find amazing opportunities to observe the animals of the archipelago and their everyday lives.

Read more

Congratulations Eva!

Mom smile

Let us introduce California resident Eva Morato-Crose who is the winner of the Car Plus Vacation contest hosed by West Sweden, VisitSweden and Volvo Overseas Delivery.

Eva won her dream vacation—a road trip of a lifetime in West Sweden where she will be driving around and experience highlights such as Oyster safari in Grebbestad, the Sea Lodge in Smögen and the Garden Society of Gothenburg. View her full itinerary that she picked out herself here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I am a trained nutritionist, but at the moment I work as a mental heath community support worker. I support parents who have children with difficulties; I help them find resources to serve their children better.

My husband and I are celebrating our thirtieth wedding anniversary in July, so this trip came as a very pleasant surprise—we’ll celebrate our anniversary in Sweden!

What is your relationship to Sweden?

I’ve never been to Sweden, but I’ve always wanted to visit. I used to have a camp counselor as a kid who was Swedish—she was such a fun-loving, warm, and nice person. I’ve wanted to visit Sweden ever since. I want to see if the country is as warm as she was!

What are your previous travel experiences?

I haven’t traveled much at all. I have always been in school, working, or raising children so I haven’t been able to travel much. The only place I have been to so far is Canada, and I am originally from the Dominican Republic. I guess that’s why I entered the contest. I am at a point in my life where I’m finally able to travel—my youngest son is twenty-one years old and he recently moved away from home. Plus, I love exploring different cultures.

Can you tell us a bit about your expectations for this trip?

I just expect to have a wonderful time, meet a lot of interesting people, and create lots of new memories. I look forward to learning more about Sweden and its culture.

Well Eva, we are sure you’ll enjoy West Sweden and we look forward to hosting you and your husband!

Interview: Kosterhavet National Park

Picture 7

Kosterhavet National Park is the first national marine park of Sweden and was inaugurated in September 2009. It is located in Strömstad and Tanum municipalities in Bohuslän, Västra Götaland County, Sweden. It consists of the sea and shores around the Koster Islands, however excluding the islands themselves. We got to sit down with Martin Larsvik
one the head Marine Biologist at the park.
How long have you been working as a marine biologist? How long at this reserve?

I have been working as a marine biologist since 1991. In 1992 I started at the Lovén Centre Tjärnö, which is close to the Kosterhavet Marine National Park, inaugurated in 2009.

Can you describe the sea life around the park?

In the Kosterhavet Marine National Park there are about 6000 marine species. More than 200 of those have not been found elsewhere in Sweden, but can be found further west in the Atlantic Ocean. There are, for instance, large brown macroalgae (kelp), sponge animals, polychaete worms, crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers and fish. The most spectacular species is the eye coral (Lophelia pertusa), forming coral reefs at a depth of 85 meters.

I heard that the park doesn’t allow cars? Is that true? Is there protection from all sorts of pollutents?

Motor vehicles are only allowed on roads, but since there practically are no roads, we can say that the park doesn’t allow cars. But the park allow for motorboats, and there is no regulation of what kind of fuel the motorboats can use.

What are some of the most unique creatures you have come across?

There are several species which have been discovered by science in the area close to the Lovén Centre. One is a 9 mm long polychaete worm without mouth or gut.

What do you think about the oil spills off the coast of the US? How traumatic is that for sea life?

Considering the very large volume of oil that have been spilled, I think it is traumatic. Long-term effects of toxic compound of the oil accumulated in the food web, is believed to be more detrimental than the more easily seen short-term surface and shore effects.

Continue reading…

Treehouse Getaway


As a little kid we all built forts out of couch cushions and dreamed of our family living just like the Swiss Family Robinson above the rest of the world in the trees. Well now that dream can be brought to life.

Yes, as adults we can live amongst the majestic oak trees in ‘Seventh Heaven’.  ‘Seventh Heaven’ is the latest addition to the treetop house hotels in Ugglum.  The hotel at the Islanna Café & Lantkök, Ugglum. The brand new treehouse has a large balcony that lets you grab your sleeping bag and sleep under the stars! Word has it that they even hoist breakfast up to you in a basket!

This treehouse should be opening soon but in the meanwhile you and your loved ones can stay at the existing tree house Hotel Andrum outside Falköping.