Kayaking from Göteborg to Marstrand

  • Estimated time: 3-4 days
  • Start/Finish: Göteborg (Hinsholmen)
  • Distance: 85 – 90 km (53-56 miles)
  • Map: Terrängkartan 552
  • Nautic chart: Skärgårdskort 931
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Must see/do: The light house Pater Noster, the harbour and fortress at Marstrand.


This trip is recommended for you who is an experienced kayakr. The distance is quite long and you are also exposed to some rough water even in calm weather conditions. The reward is the environment you are paddling through and of course the light house “Pater Noster” at Hamneskär and the harbour of Marstrand.

You start at the kayak pier in Hinsholmen Harbour. As you start south of the inlet to Göteborg Harbour and almost at once are heading north you must prepare at once for the crossing of the inlet channel. Follow the small islands north of Saltholmen and head for “Knippelholmen”. Just before “Knippelholmen” is the inlet. You will have to be careful. Check twice for ferrys and tankers leaving and arriving the harbour. At “Knippelholmen” you can easily land on the sand beach and take a short break to try to find some remaining porcelain chips from the wreck of Götheborg. Götheborg sank outside Knippelholmen in 1745 when returning from a succesful trading journey to China.

porcelain from gotheborg

Porcelain chips from the ship Gotheborg

After have passed the inlet you may follow the island of “Hisingen” safe from the ferrys and tankers. After a few km you will arrive to the islands of Gothenburg northern archipelago. It is highly populated and some of the islands are really charming. Especially the strait between “Kalvsund” and “Björkö” are nice. Head north from here and keep “Rörö” on your left hand side. “Rörö” is a Nature reserve and you may stay there for a break but you are not allowed to stay over night. There are some really nice spots on the northeast side of Rörö.
From “Rörö” is the continuing exposed from wind and waves. The swell might be of significant level. Use the islands that you are passing as protection and take breaks. This is also an area of bird protection and you must keep distance from the islands by 200 meters. As you pass the hake at you will get to more protected areas and it is proberbly a good idea to find some nice spots to the night camp. If you are a small group with 2-3 small tents the islands of “Vannholmen” has excellent view but the landing is a bit tricky. “Ängholmen” has access both at the west and east side. It has a numerous execellent camping spots and are also very protected from SE, S, SW wind.

night at vannholmen

Night at Vannholmen

After having had an nice morning and in good conditions it is time to pass the channel between “Marstrand” and “Hamneskär”. It is a quite long (6 km) exposed passing. The water can be really choppy. You will see the light house Pater Noster at “Hamneskär”. Head for the east side and the harbour at Hamneskär. The harbour is small and you need to be at least two kayakrs supporting each other to make a safe landing (climbing). Enjoy the surroundings of Hamneskär and take a walk to the light house. You may enter the light house for a fee. If you are sick of spending time in the tent you can stay over night at the lodge. They also have a small café at Hamneskär.

pater noster

The light house Pater Noster at Hamneskär


Kayaking south of Pater Noster

sunset Vannholmen

Sunset with the light house close to the horizon

Head to Marstrand and make a stop in the harbour. Here is the old fortress Carlsten. The old houses and streets in Marstrand are really beautiful. Take a walk around the fortress or explore it with help from the professional guides. In Marstrand are several resturants, hotels and a youth hostel located. Marstrand is the Swedish sailing metropol. First week of July, Marstrand is transformed into a boiling kettle of the world’s best sailors, artists, vacationing families and the top notch of the business society. Match Cup Sweden has become Sweden’s largest international sailing event and one of the very hottest summer places. Marstrand is also one of the stopovers at the Volvo Ocean Race 2008/2009.


The harbour of Marstrand with the Carlsten fortress


Marstrandskajaker, the manufacturer of Caribou, is located in Marstrand

From Marstrand you may head east through the Albrektsund Channel and make a night camp at Ängholmen. Another protected and beautiful spot is Lilla Dyrön. From here you paddle the same route back to Göteborg.

angholmen landingsite

Landing spot at Ängholmen


Ängholmen by night with two Hilleberg Akto


Visa Göteborg – Marstrand /Pater Noster på en större karta

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