Västra Götaland County is a county or län on the western coast of Sweden. The county is the second largest of Sweden's counties and it is subdivided into 49 municipalities. Its population of 1,616,000 amounts to 17% of Sweden's population.
I've written a lot about Gothenburg, you can see the articles in detail here: Gothenburg
Gothenburg is Sweden's second city, with a suburban population creeping above one million, it crams a lot into a small space. Also known as lilla London, due to its climate, and historic connection to London it
is the home of Volvo, a hub for music and a city edged on one side by the water and islands of the archipelago and on the other by the forestsof Bohus.
I've written about the Archipelago a few times:
Gothenburg's southern Archipelago is beautiful in the spring and summer and deserted in the winter as people abandon their summer homes and head back to the mainland leaving only a few hardy soles to remain on the larger islands.
The Archipelago has a half dozen large islands, without cars, but with homes, a very few shops and restuarants as well as beaches, nature walks and scenery. Ferrys can be caught from Saltholmen (and Stenpiren in the summer). Outside of the summer period, check ahead of time for timetables and opening hours as especially on the smaller islands you may be unable to get food or drinks.
I've written about the forests and camping of Bohusleden a couple of times:
Bohusleden and Delsjön are huge forests with nature trails through them to the east of Gothenburg city. Thanks to Sweden's right to roam, you can camp anywhere out of site of a house for a day or two, and the strict eco legislation means any running water is drinkable. (I still recommend a purifier of some sort) Within half an hour you can be out of the bustle of the city and in calm nature.
I've written about Marstrand previously here: Marstrand
Marstrand is one of those odd towns which is separated by water. It is essentially two islands, the first acts as summer-homes, some larger shops (as it is joined to the mainland by a bridge) and the ferry terminal. On the other island is the heart of Marstrand. There is Carlsten's Fortress, a number of restaurants, small boutique shops, and several bathing spots in the ocean. There is a long nature walk around the island talking to to St. Erik's Grotto, the Giant's Cauldrons, and the lighthouse.
Its a lovely island to spend the day at and it also has a Kayak rental place, which allows you to explore the nearby smaller islands and see places that rarely have humans walk on them. You can, if you are brave enough, even spent the night camping on any of these small islands.
I've written about Orust here: Kayaking in Orust with a GoPro
I headed up to Orust and took a Kayak out for the day. The weather was sporadically poor, with a lot of wind on the return journey, but the landscape is incredible, great granite cliffs rising out from the ocean, often almost vertically. Occasional small bays and inlets where you can pull in for a break. Fika on a rocky outcropping overlooking the islands.
Ulricehamn is a small town with a small ski slopes attached to it. (Its about a 40 minute walk from one to the other, quite tough with a full set of gear!) and accessible from Gothenburg by direct bus, which makes it one of the few public transport accessible ski options near to Gothenburg.
In the centre of the small town of Ulricehamns, this Chinese restaurant provides good food at a reasonable rate and was kind enough to deal with our snowboarding gear, despite being a 30 minute walk from the slopes.
The food at the slope is surprisingly good, and the goulash in particular is excellent. We were asked with surprise why we where there on our first visit when it was clear were English, as its not a tourist spot for skiing.
A small set of slopes, blue and a red if you are feeling generous, its a good place to get your snow-legs back or get some practice in before going somewhere larger. For somewhere an hour outside of Gothenburg, its perfect for a day of snowboarding, though the lack of chair lifts is frustrating.