Getting to the archipelago
From the city centre to the islands.
The southern islands are car free and you get there by ferry from the boat terminal Saltholmen. To get to the northern islands you take the ferry from Lilla Varholmen on Hisingen. It is easy to get to both Saltholmen and Lilla Varholmen from Gothenburg, either by car or public transport.
The northern archipelago
The ten populated northern islands are accessible by car, bus and bike on highway 155 towards Hisingen/Öckerö and the Lilla Varholmen ferry terminal. Both bus Röd Express (Red Express) from the central station and bus 24 from Hjalmar Brantingsplatsen stops at the ferry terminal. You can also get directly to Hönö island by bus 290 or 291 from the Nils Ericsson terminal, both buses make several stops on the islands. You can also use the Flexlinjen bus to get around the islands as well as bus 294 on the island Björkö. From the Lilla Varholmen ferry terminal there are two car ferries, both free of charge.
The ferry from Lilla Varholmen to Hönö (stop: Hönö Pinans Färjeläge) takes 12 minutes and from Hönö you reach the three islands Fotö, Öckerö and Hälsö, which are all connected by bridges. The north islands Rörö, Hyppeln and Källö-Knippla are served by ferry from the northern ferry terminal (Hälsö Burö färjeläge) at tip of Hälso.
The ferry from Lilla Varholmen to Björkö island (stop: Grönevik färjeläge) takes 6 minutes. From Björkö island (stop: Framnäs färjeläge) there are passenger ferries to the car free islands Kalvsund and Grötö.
If you want to bicycle, take the bus out and rent a bike. Rentals are available both on Hönö and Björkö. Be sure to reserve your bike in advance.
The Southern archipelago
The car free islands in the south archipelago are easily reached with the boats from Saltholmen boat terminal. Tram 11 from central Gothenburg (or tram 9 during summer) takes you to the terminal in about 35 minutes. During peak season the trams depart approximately every 7-8 minutes and the bus 114 Ö-Snabben is also available during peak season.
All the islands in the south archipelago are car free and during peak season the parking lot at Saltholmen boat terminal gets a bit crowded. The recommendation is to park your car at the Långedrag tram stop parking lot (1.3 km from Saltholmen) and then hop on the tram to the Saltholmen boat terminal.
Styrsöbolaget manage all boat traffic to the southern islands and they are available all year round. Generally the boats depart once every hour to the bigger islands Asperö, Brännö, Köpstadsö, Styrsö, Donsö, Vrångö. During peak season the boats departure a bit more often and there are also boats to the smaller islands Knarrholmen and Stora Fotö.
The tickets used on trams and buses are also valid on all boats managed by Strysöbolaget.
Swedish ’fika’ on the ferry
The ferries Silvertärnan and Ylva from the Saltholmen terminal both have cafés on board. So why not grab a Swedish ‘fika’ on the way out to the southern archipelago.
The Silvertärnan and Ylva ferries traffic the routes 281 (Saltholmen-Vrångö), 282 (Saltholmen-Brännö Husvik) and 283 (Saltholmen-Brännö Rödsten). The on board cafés serve hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, buns and cookies as well as ice cream and candy. They’re open 7 days a week from early morning to late afternoon/evening and accept cash, cards are unfortunately not accepted.