Sweden’s southwest is diversity personified. Heading the cast is Sweden’s ‘second city’ of Gothenburg and its kicking bars, cafes, museums and theme-park thrills. The islands of Gothenburg's southern archipelago are stunning and romantic, and surprisingly easy to reach.
South of Gothenburg, the coast around Halmstad is home to sandy Blue Flag beaches and Sweden’s top surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. The attractions of inland Västergötland are low-key and eclectic, from Trollhättan's post-industrial museums and mighty locks to Lidköping's fairy-tale Läckö Slott.
North of Gothenburg, the Bohuslän coastline shatters into myriad granite islands with craggy cliffs and adorable red-and-white fishing villages. Yachts weave their way among uninhabited islets and skerries, while the area's mysterious Bronze Age rock carvings testify to the rich spiritual life of the region's early inhabitants. Further north, Dalsland, with its network of canals, locks and narrow lakes amid thick, dark forest, beckons boating and kayaking enthusiasts.