Stories from my travels around the world


 

West Coast of Sweden

Stocken

Stocken
Stocken

It is the end of July 2004, wonderful weather. I had heard lots about Stocken and about the island of Orust, I've seen photos; beautiful ones. But when I crossed the bridge and was on Orust, I was amazed. This place is so beautiful!

We entered Orust from the north and quite quickly after you've entered the island you will come to this view point. I didn't need much time, I knew it right away, this is my kind of place!

The west coast of Sweden

Map
Map

I doubt that many of you have ever heard of Orust before, let alone about Stocken. So let me start this page with telling you where it is.

The island of Orust is located south western part of Sweden, just above the city of Göteborg. It is located in the region of Västra Götelands Län.

The place I had as my 'home base' was the little village of Stocken. Stocken is located on the west side of the island. From here I visited several other places, mainly all of them located on the west side of the island.


Map

Stocken; you have stolen my heart....

Stocken
Stocken

Stocken; you have stolen my heart.....

Why? Well, hahaha, that might actually be hard to explain ;-) But maybe I can show you a little bit why on this page.

Stocken is only a small village, not much to do here, not much to see. But the place has a certain charm and the surrounding area is so beautiful and tranquil. I just loved it here.

The blue sea, the endless grey cliffs, the clear blue skies with a sun that shines brightly. The colourful little villages in the distance..... houses like little colourful dots, fighting to hang on to the steep cliffs. Painted in red, yellow and sometimes in shades of blue. Oh yes, and in white of course. And when you look closer you will discover hundreds of other shades, all mixing together in a beautiful colour palette. My eyes move back to the sea. I see the glistering of the sun in the calm waters, the white little dots of numerous sailing boats. Little islands in the sea, deserted, empty, nothing more than huge rocks. And here I am, sitting on the cliffs after an exhausting climb, gasping for air but amazed by another wonderful view....

Please tell me.... how can I not love this place?

View over Stocken

View over Stocken
View over Stocken

We arrived at Stocken campground in the late afternoon. After quickly getting everything set up it was time to walk to the waterfront and enjoy the view over the village of Stocken. The water was amazingly blue, the sun was shining brightly and there was only a slight breeze. Perfect weather at a perfect place :-)

View over Stocken
View over Stocken

Zooming in with my camera on the village of Stocken. Of course there are many little boats, as this area is the place to be if you love being on the water. You can see the picturesque red boathouses on the waters edge and behind it the houses of Stocken itself.

Let's take a look around in Stocken

Stocken cafe
Stocken cafe

Time to take a look around in Stocken. The best way to explore this village is by foot. Parking spots are hard to find, so park your car where you can and do the rest on foot. The best thing to do here is just 'get lost'. This way you find the most unexpected little places, beautiful views and picturesque streets. Hahaha, not that you can really 'get lost' in Stocken, it is too small for that ;-)

After your walk go back to the main street where you will find this perfect spot to have a drink and relax.

Little boat houses

Little boat houses in Stocken
Little boat houses in Stocken

In the picture you can see one of the many boat houses or sheds. They looks so picturesque on the waterside, several in a row, all painted in red. All of them have a little pier on the backside as the main reason to build them was as a storage place for the fishing boats. But these days are over, many of them now have been changed into little summerhouses. Only a few of them are in their original state.

But bring your wallet if you want one of these! They don't come cheap. I guess everyone would like to live on the waterside for little while, especially on one of these wonderful sunny summer days.

Across the water....

Red boathouse
Red boathouse

In the picture you can see one of the many boat houses or sheds. They looks so picturesque on the waterside, several in a row, all painted in red. All of them have a little pier on the backside as the main reason to build them was as a storage place for the fishing boats. But these days are over, many of them now have been changed into little summerhouses. Only a few of them are in their original state.

But bring your wallet if you want one of these! They don't come cheap. I guess everyone would like to live on the waterside for little while, especially on one of these wonderful sunny summer days.

View to Råön

View to Råön
View to Råön

Another view across the water; this is the island of Råön. This island is only accessible by boat, and as I haven't got one, hahaha, I haven't been here. The view from Stocken to the island is lovely though. The bare cliffs, and than all of a sudden this group of colourful houses. Mainly in red and yellow, making it look so cheerful.

Stocken
Stocken

A great thing to do is climb up the hill in Stocken. Finding your way might be a bit strange though. It is hard to see what are streets and what are gardens. All the houses are build quite close together as there isn't so much space on the hill. But it is fun to find your way up to the top, taking numerous little stairs and alleyways. And on top you are rewarded with this wonderful view.

A dive in the water

Swimming area at Stocken
Swimming area at Stocken

If you feel like it you can take a dip in the water here as well. Behind the boats is a little swimming area which looks like a great place to go for a swim. And at the rocks there are two high platforms where you can dive from.

 


Jellyfish
Jellyfish

Well.... maybe not for me ;-)

I prefer to sit on the rocks and enjoy the beautiful views and let the more courageous people go for a swim here. To my surprise there are actually lots of people that do go swimming here.

Mail, mail, mail

Mail house
Mail house

Well, this will probably not be the highlight of your visit to Stocken and surrounding area, but it was fun to see for me. I have something with mailboxes and I always take a picture of fun ones and different ones. And this is not one of the usual ones, so here we have it: one picture of a little mailbox house.

Buy some fish at 'Orust Fisk'

at 'Orust Fisk'
Go to the west coast and eat fish!

The west coast means fish! You can't travel here without trying some of it! And Stocken has a really nice fish store called 'Orust Fisk', with lots of choices of fabulous fresh fish. The store is located on the main street, and when you can't find it, just ask someone. I am sure they can point you to the right direction.


Fish skewers at 'Orust Fisk'
Fish skewers at 'Orust Fisk'

But what to buy? So much to choose from, and so little time to try it all! Of course you have to try some salmon, you can buy already marinated and that tastes really good! But of course you can buy plain also, or smoked, mmmm, everything tastes great!

You can't travel to the west coast of Sweden and not try out some shrimps, oooh and crayfish! The Swedes love crayfish! Sill (pickled herring) for when you have a little party (see the local customs tip on my Sweden page).

And smoked mackerel tastes so good on a sandwich, and...... these fish skewers.... don't they look delicious?! But unfortunately I didn't get the chance to taste them. I wanted to buy some when getting back to Stocken after a daytrip, but unfortunately the store closes early that day (I think it was 2 o'clock). So I was out of luck. But I'll be back to Stocken for sure and these skewers are on the menu for next time :-)

Badviken

Badviken
Badviken

Time to return to the campground, which is located next to the village of Stocken. From here you can make a 5 minutes walk to a little bathing area called Badviken. It is a nice path with rocks on either side of the trail. You know by now that I am not so much into bathing in these Swedish waters, but wowww, look at the view!! Isn't it stunning?!!!

Rocky shores

Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores

This photo is taken just left of the bathing area. I just love these bare rocky shores of the west coast. There is hardly any vegetation on the rocks, it is mostly bare rocks with some plants scattered around. And the sea is full of little island, or maybe better said, huge rocks sticking up from the sea bottom.

Heather
Heather

The one plant that does seem to want to grow on these rocky surfaces is heather. Besides that you might spot some grasses and so now and then a little shrub or tree. But by far the most you'll see is the heather. And as it was the beginning of August they were blooming as well. Lucky me :-)

Stocken

Stocken
Climb on the rocks to enjoy the view

I think the best tip for Stocken, and for the whole area actually, is to just climb up those rocks!

I know that most of the time there are no clear trails that lead up the rocks, so maybe it doesn't look so inviting. But as the rocks are quite bare, climbing up them is not so hard to do. Make sure you are wearing some good shoes, so you won't slip off the rocks, and try to find your way to the top. From up there you have the most wonderful views over the sea and the surrounding landscape.

Enjoy the views

Stocken
Enjoy the wonderful views

Well, do I need to say more? This is the view I had after climbing those rocks. Fantastic isn't it! The grey rocks dotted with heather plants as far as the eye can see. The clear blue sea, and some white dots of sailing boats far in the distance. Sigh, wish I was here again...

 


Stocken
Enjoy the wonderful views

I hope my photo can tell you more than my words can. It is so hard to describe the feeling to be here. But I'll give it a try.

Imagine being here....

The sun is going down slowly, it is nice and warm outside. So calm weather, no wind at all, just the nice warmth of the evening sun. All you see is bare rocks and blue water in the distance. No people around, it's so nice and quiet. The only sound is the shrieking of the seagulls in the distance. Wonderful views. The sky is still blue, but there is already an orange-colour of the evening light reflecting on the rocks....

 

Stocken
Enjoy the wonderful views

Turn your head to the right. Now you are looking straight at the sea. The orange colours on the rocks have intensified. Small islands in the sea, calm waters... this place is so relaxing.

And watch the sun go down

Sunset at Stocken
Sunset at Stocken

One more turn of the head to the right. Aaah, there it is: the sunset! The orange colours are reflecting beautiful in the waters while the sun slowly goes down. But as beautiful as it is, maybe you better not stay up here too long. It might be hard to find your way back down the rocks in the dark ;-)

The sun has set

Sunset over Stocken
Sunset over Stocken

After a nice and quiet walk back from the rocks to the campground the sun has set. The sky over the village of Stocken is not orange anymore, the sky has now changed in different shades of pink.

The day is over, and so is this little tour around Stocken. I hope you enjoyed it! I'll certainly be back here, hopefully next year :-)

Tips and trips around Stocken

Gullholmen
Gullholmen

As a last little tip I would like to say something about the surrounding area of Stocken. It is not only Stocken that makes this a beautiful area, there is lots more to see and do. Visit the picturesque villages of Gullholmen, Hällevikstrand or Mollösund for example. Or go for a nice round tour on the bike; do some hiking or go on a sailing trip. There are several boats that do tours and if you are lucky you might even spot some seals sunbathing on the rocks.

The West Coast

The West Coast
The West Coast

Area: Provinces of Bohuslän and Halland

The landscapes of the Västkusten (the West Coast) have been formed by the Inland Ice. Inland Ice is the name for the glacier ice that has been covering northern Europe during 100.000 of years, and nowadays only is present in Greenland and Antarctica. The ice has scraped the surface and grinded the landscape into smooth bare rocks. The some times wild sea has helped to wash the rocks clean. Inner parts of the provinces have lots of forests of birch and aspen.

Interesting points to see in the area are:

  • Stocken: small fishing village on the northwest coast of Orust (Island north of Göteborg), with a good camping place. I've been here in 2004 for the first time, and I've fallen in love with it right away.
  • Mollösund and Hälleviksstrand: two small picturesque villages at Orust Island.
  • Käringön: Small island outside Stocken.
  • Gullholmen: Oldest fishing village in Sweden, 11th century. Very picturesque.
  • Flatön: small island north east of Stocken known from lyrics by Evert Taube (the in Sweden well known and loved song writer).
  • Smögen: Nice fishing village that ten doubles its inhabitants in summer.
  • The beautiful island of Marstrand with its historic Carlsten Fortress
  • Tanum: Rock carvings, on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
  • Varberg: Medieval town with a nice beach and tourist area Getterön.
  • Koster Islands: Swedish most westerly islands with unusual nature.
  •  

    Click on the map to go to the destination pages.