Bohuslän, extending along the coast of the Skagerrak from Göteborg to the Norwegian frontier, is the most westerly province of Sweden, to which it has belonged since the treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The traditional fisheries, for long the region's only significant source of income, have been supplemented in recent years by a growing tourist and holiday trade, resulting in overcrowding during the summer.The much indented coastal regions with their innumerable skerries, worn smooth by wind and water, and their clean, salty water have been a popular holiday area for more than a century. In addition Bohuslän is rich in remains of the past, particularly rock carvings of the Stone and Bronze Ages and Viking stone-settings.
The main traffic artery of Bohuslän is the E 6, which runs north from Göteborg to the Swedish-Norwegian frontier at Svinesund (continuing to Oslo). Numerous attractive side trips, going west towards the coast, can be made from this road, particularly in its southern section.From Göteborg the road runs north below the Götaälv and then follows the valley of the river (here canalized).
Kungälv - Bohus Castle
On the southern outskirts of the town of Kungälv, E 20 crosses the Nordreälv, on an island in which (to the right) can be seen the large ruined castle of Bohus, built by King Håkon of Norway in 1310, from which the region takes its name. For centuries this stood on the frontier between Sweden and Norway.
From Kungälv a country road runs west to the coast (18km/11mi), from which bridges and a ferry lead to the seaside resort of Arvidsvik on Koön (Cow Island). From here there is a ferry to the resort of Marstrand, situated on a small island (motor vehicles prohibited) and dominated by the 17th century Carlsten Castle. St Mary's Church dates from the 13th century (rebuilt 1804). The island is an internationally known sailing center.Beyond Kungälv E 6 leaves the canalized river, runs past the medieval church of Kareby and soon afterwards passes the Ingetorpssjö (on right), with an Iron Age cemetery.
From St Höga an attractive side trip can be made on Road 160, which runs north to Uddevalla by way of the islands of Tjörn and Orust, through a beautiful skerry region with many prehistoric remains. The Stenasund is spanned by a massive suspension bridge 600m/660yds long, opened in November 1981, the successor to an earlier bridge which collapsed in January 1980 when a ship crashed into it. On the west coast of Tjörn is Skärhamn, a fishing town and a port for the export of motor vehicles.
Road 160 continues over a bridge to the island of Orust, the third largest in Sweden (336sq.km/130sq.mi), with many fishing villages and seaside resorts. Off Orust is the little island of Gullholmen, with the oldest fishing village in Bohuslän (13th century). Orust is best known for the manufacture of pleasure craft at various boatyards.The road returns to the mainland on the 603m/660yd long Nötesund Bridge; then either left for Fiskebäckskil or right for Uddevalla.
From St Höga E 6 leads a little way inland to the seaside resort of Lyckorna (founded 1876) and the commercial town and resort of Ljungskile, on an inlet opening off the Havstensfjord, with the ruins of a 12th century church. 5km/3mi farther on, off the road to the left, is Resteröd church, one of the oldest in Bohuslän (partly 12th C., restored 1919-20).
Uddevalla (pop. 47,000), a busy industrial town with large shipyards, lies near the outflow of the Bäveå into the Byfjord. The beaches of Uddevalla are overflowing with seashells, it is considered one of the largest shellbanks in the world.In Kungstorg can be seen an equestrian statue of Charles X Gustavus (1908), and to the east of this an early 19th century church, with a belfry of 1751 on higher ground beside it. The Bohuslän Museum has interesting displays of material on the history, natural history and landscape of the province, together with an art collection. To the south of the town is Gustavsberg, one of the oldest seaside resorts in Sweden (18th c.).From Uddevalla Road 44 runs east to Lake Vänern. 2.5km/1,5mi along this road, at Bräcke, are the Skalgrusbänkar, banks of gravel deposited by the sea.
The Bohuslän Museum features exhibitions that reflect the local culture, countryside and industries. The main exhibit depicts the life of local inhabitants over 10,000 years ago.The museum also has temporary exhibitions on various themes such as contemporary art and cultural history.
Seamen's Shipping Office Museum
The purpose of the Seamen's Shipping Office Museum is to show what a typical shipping office looked like. The museum has an exhibition to honor 2,000 Swedish seamen who were lost in the line of duty during WWII.
From Uddevalla, E 6 goes northwest. At Torp Road 161 branches off on the left and runs via Bokenäs (12th C. church) to the old fishing village and seaside resort of Fiskebäckskil on the island of Skaftö, situated in the beautiful Gullmarsfjord, the only real fjord in Sweden.
Road 161 goes from Skaftö by way of a ferry to the attractive seaside resort of Lysekil (pop. 15,000), at the southern tip of the Stångenäs peninsula. Near the handsome Gothic church is the rocky Flaggberg, from which there are extensive views.With close proximity to the sea, outdoor activities include swimming, sailing, coastal and deep-sea fishing as well as boat tours.
Småröd - Railway Museum
In Småröd, to the south of Munkedal on E 6, is a Railway Museum, with model railroad layouts and a narrow-gauge line with steam engines running between Åstorpsherrgård and Munkedal Harbor.The rocky stretch of coast extending north to Strömstad, almost on the Norwegian frontier, is fringed by skerries and islands, old-established seaside resorts and spas; also fish-preserving industry. There are many large and well preserved prehistoric remains in this area.
Hunnebostrand Kungshamn Smögen
At Dingle, Road 174 branches off E 6, cuts across the coast road and comes to the seaside resorts of Hunnebostrand (with Hunneboklyfta, two large rock formations with a gorge between them carved out in the Ice Age, and Bronze Age burial mounds) and Kungshamn (ABBA fish-preserving plant, world-famed for Kalles caviar) and the island of Smögen, with one of the best known fishing villages and summer holiday resorts on the Swedish west coast (fish and prawn auctions).
Fjällbacka, a fishing village which is now also a seaside resort, can be reached from Road 174 off E6. In the market square is a bust of the actress Ingrid Bergman, a very frequent holiday visitor.
Greby - Cemetery Area
On E 6, between Tanumshede and the fishing village of Grebbestad, is the Greby cemetery area, with some 200 burial mounds and many standing stones ("bauta" stones), probably dating from the fourth century but associated in popular tradition with the defeat of a Scottish invading force.
E 6 skirts the western edge of the parish of Tanum, which contains numerous rock carvings (hällristningar), and comes to Tanum, with one of the largest churches in Bohuslän. Opposite the church are a runic stone and an orientation table; Rock Carving Institute and Museum.
2km/1.25mi south of tanum, at Vitlycke, are large rock carvings depicting ships, warriors and lur-players. There are other carvings at Litsleby and Fossum.North of Tanumshede is Tanums Sommarland, an amusement park.Road 163 goes off E 6 on the right, leading to the 29km/18mi-long Bullaresjö, the largest inland lake in Bohuslän. Good walking and canoeing.
From Vik a road branches off E 6 and runs west to Strömstad (pop. 10,500), the oldest seaside and health resort in Sweden (established 1781), with an Art Nouveau Town Hall and an open-air museum. 6km/4mi west is Skee church, with a Romanesque doorway.The yachting harbor and fishing opportunities attract many tourists.
10km/6mi southwest (boat trips from Strömstad) are the Koster Islands, Sweden's most westerly island group, notable for their rich flora.
Strömstad - Blomsholmsskep
E 6 continues north through wooded and rocky country from Blomsholmsskep. At Svinesund is the Swedish customs post. Beyond this the Svinesund, the narrow inlet which here marks the frontier between Sweden and Norway, is spanned a reinforced concrete bridge 420m/450yd long and 60m/200ft high (magnificent views). Among the hills around the Svinesund is Björnerödspiggen, the highest point in Bohuslän (222m/728ft).E 6 now runs along the Oslofjord to Oslo.