Kosterhavet National Park is the first marine national park in Sweden which was inaugurated in the year 2009.
It is located in Tanum and Stromstad municipalities of Vastra Gotaland County, Sweden and lies in the Skagerrak Sea.
It consists of shores and sea across the Koster Islands, and it excludes everything else on the islands. Norwegian Marine Park borders it. It also houses the largest seal colony in Sweden.
Most of the unique and rare species are found in the depth of the Koster trench in the underwater fjord. It passes along the national park and has a depth of 247m.
The Koster trench is well connected through deep areas of the submarine in Skagerrak, which goes all the way to continental slopes in North Atlantic Sea. Ocean water in low temperatures with high salinity is conveyed to Koster fjord. This way, a lot of fauna from deep waters live in proximity to the coast.
Around 1200 species are found in the national park, and it covers up to 390 sq km. When it comes to tourism, here are some of the best things to do in Kosterhavet.
Planning to explore more of Sweden? How about check out some of its beautiful castles – read it here.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Kosterhavet travel tips
- 2 Experiences and top things to do in Kosterhavet
Quick information and Kosterhavet travel tips
- Currency? Swedish krona
- Languages? Swedish
- Where is this place? Located on the West coast of Sweden. Northern Europe.
- What is Sweden famous for? Skiing, Northern Lights, ABBA, meatballs, pickled herring, IKEA.
- Best time to visit Kosterhavet National Park or Sweden? All-year-round. But if you’re not a fan of winter, come in summer, spring, or autumn. The weather won’t be extreme but mind that spring and autumn might be wet from the rain. Just make sure to bring a good winter jacket and travel shoes with you!
- How to get there? From Stockholm to Kosterhavet you can take the train (7hrs), bus (9hrs 48mins), or you can drive (6hrs)
- Other famous places in Sweden? Stockholm, Kalmar, Gammelstad, Ystad, Gothenburg, Uppsala, Malmö, Swedish Lapland, Luelå, Gotland, Österlen, Lund, Marstrand, Skåne
- Famous neighboring countries? Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland
Do you need a visa for Sweden?
Sweden is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days.
You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Sweden?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Experiences and top things to do in Kosterhavet
Hiking on the Koster Islands
The Koster Islands remain almost car-free, and these are the most westerly populated islands in Sweden, and they have main islands of South and North Koster.
Koster archipelago is one of the best attractions for Kosterhavet sightseeing. It is known to have many skerries as well as rocky isles.
The South and North Koster Islands are like dream destinations for every hiker. You can enjoy the stunning beauty from its marked trails and paths or a lot of resting places.
The two circular routes are marked for the tourists on North Koster. You do not need to plan as distances are comfortable and there are several amazing detours. You can also get hiking map with marked tracks.
It is the authentic yet small fishing harbor, which retains the same old world charm since it was built in the 40s.
It is a scenic and authentic harbor, which is popular among boat tourists and for fishing activities in Kosterhavet.
You can spend a day in the harbor with boats for a small fee by visiting them.
Enjoy Hiking in Saltö
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Kosterhavet while hiking through the west side of Salto and is around 15km southwest of Stromstad. You can also get to know about the national park and nature reserve.
The undulating terrain in Salto is well known for its steep valleys and rocky outcrops. There are also plenty of smooth walking trails which intersect the island. It is the best tourist attraction in Kosterhavet.
It has secret sandy coves and smooth rocks waiting to explore. It also has a well-known and shallow sandy beach named Hasslebukten.
Daftöland is an amusement park in Kosterhavet where there is something for everyone every day.
There is a fantastic catapult across the wave, which delivers on logs in a thrilling journey and challenges your friends on a challenging obstacle course. You can combine your trip with Daftö Resort accommodation.
Also, do not miss the first rollercoaster in the park. The storm is a great experience to challenge yourself when it blows and rocks.
Some other attractions are spinning gunpowder, radio cars, bouncing boats, radio controlled boats, and silver lining.
Explore The Stone Art Hvaler
Stenkunsthvaler or Stone Art Hvaler is a landscape covered with the ruins of old quarry on the south of Rødshue, Kirkøy.
It is easy to access throughout the year as an outdoor exhibition. It has sculptures made by the leading artists from different nations from the materials of the coastal landscape.
There is an excellent convergence between the works of today’s artists in a medium of stone and ruins of the old stone industry in this majestic scenery. The sculpture park was built up over the years.
Visit Hvaler Church
The Hvaler church is a church built in the medieval era, and its construction was started around 1100AD. It is one of the best places to visit in Kosterhavet.
It is located in the extreme south on Kirkeøy. This stone church features narrow choir and rectangular nave. The pulpit here dates back to 1600s. The church got its new altar in 1750, and it was supplemented with altarpiece in 1759.
It witnessed a complete restoration by 1955 by Hakon Christie, an antiquarian.
Located on Tjarnö Island, Tjärnö church is a bit over a half-mile towards the south of Stromstad. The church is well positioned in Stromstad municipality, and it belongs to Skee-Tjarnö parish.
Tjarnö church is a stone complex dates back to the Middle Ages. The earliest known evidence dates back to 1391. In 1630, the church caught fire, and all of its wooden furniture was built.
The church was rebuilt in the year 1632. The current church was built by getting inspired by Carl-Gustaf Blom-Carlsson in 1854-1855. The medieval church was torn apart at the same time.
There is a semi-circular apse towards the east of choir. There is a church tower with the main entrance and porch.
Selin Charter operates in Kosterhavet National Park and Northern Bohuslan and offers a vast range of easily accessible boat trips.
The boat starts from Stromstad near the Norwegian border towards the destinations like Ursholmen, the most westerly lighthouse in Sweden.
They work well with the park management for touristy activities and play a vital role in many educational programs.