Väderöarna, also known as Weather Islands, proved to be the most delightful and surprising highlight of our journey and totally blew us away. I had read about it on a bunch of blogs before our trip, and everyone was raving about how it’s a must-see destination.
Initially, my intention was simply to take a day trip, hopping on a boat to the island and returning in the evening. However, fortune smiled upon us, and due to the ongoing pandemic, we were able to secure an incredible deal—an opportunity to stay on the island for two people at the price of one. The package included boat transportation, accommodations, a delectable two-course dinner, as well as breakfast and lunch. The allure of such an offer was irresistible, and without hesitation, we booked it.
The Weather Islands, an archipelago composed of several hundred islands and rocky islets situated in the Skagerrak are acclaimed for their rugged beauty, often referred to as the most windy yet warmest islands dotting the western coast. The area is well-known for being home to a large seal colony, which is a major point of interest for visitors. Believe it or not, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some seals just before we reached our destination!
Outside the Väderöarna lies one of Sweden’s two thriving coral reefs (the other being the Koster Sea). This rich marine area provides an unrivaled haven for diving enthusiasts seeking extraordinary underwater adventures. Moreover, the surrounding environment opens up many opportunities, ranging from exhilarating kayaking to unforgettable crayfish and lobster safaris.
For many years, the relentless climate rendered these islands unfit for habitation. However, since the 18th century, it is believed that pilots – experts hired to guide ships through challenging areas or to dock at ports – have made their home on the Weather Islands, residing on the main island until as recently as 1966. One can still see a compass rose etched into the rock by sailors idly waiting for more favorable weather conditions to set sail.
Out of the numerous islands that constitute this archipelago, only one boasts human inhabitants – the caretakers of a charming inn. During a typical summer day, approximately 250 visitors come to the island to enjoy a break and savor a scrumptious meal. However, the pandemic’s influence meant that we found ourselves in an almost exclusive retreat. Aside from us, the island’s tranquillity was only shared by two other couples.
Activities on The Weather Islands
When you’re planning a trip to Väderöarna, prepare for a switch-off and tune-in experience like no other. This is a place where the internet’s buzz fades to a distant hum, replaced by the melodic symphony of nature.
We followed a winding trail crisscrossing the island, enjoying historic sites and panoramic views of the unspoiled wilderness. It’s the kind of simple pleasure that we so often forget in our plugged-in lives. The hotel borrowed us binoculars so we could enjoy the abundant wildlife.
After a hearty and delicious dinner, we took the opportunity to unwind in the hot tub. It was pure bliss – complete with a glass of bubbly to add a touch of romance. And, embracing the spirit of adventure, I dared myself to dive into the sea for a quick swim. Let’s just say, the June waters were fresher than I thought they would be! But with a traditional Swedish sauna just steps away, I was soon enveloped in warmth, leaving the chill far behind.
Depending on your visit’s timing, Väderöarna offers a lobster or crayfish safari, but during our stay, this was off the menu. Yet, we were far from bored. The island’s natural allure offered more than enough to keep us entertained.
As the day’s light dimmed, we embarked on a stroll beneath the setting sun. The sky danced with colors, putting on a show as we experienced first-hand why Väderöarna is named the windiest place in Sweden. And now, years later, our memories of that trip still bring a smile to our faces, ranking high on our list of best travels.
How to get to the island
The journey starts in Hamburgsund – a small port town near Fjällbacka where you can park close to the office. Once you check in at the reception and get your room and activities confirmed, you will start making your way down to the jetty. The trip is about 8 nautical miles and takes about 40 minutes. It is also possible to make a booking for just the boat trip.
Check official website for more info about packages and transportation.