If West Sweden was a cocktail bar, then the town of Smögen would be its cosmopolitan.
Trendy and sophisticated, it appeals to a fashionable crowd that likes to have a good time. Classic and somewhat understated, it still sends a message of class and fun.
The problem is, I don’t like cosmopolitans.
That’s not to say I don’t like Smögen – just that the waterfront bars and restaurants along the boardwalk of “Sweden’s liveliest summer town” are not my style.
They seem popular with the tourists who have come here from across the region and, with the long sunny days, are pleasant for afternoon drinks that evolve into a seafood meal, no doubt.
I can see why most people have recommended this part of town as somewhere I might enjoy… but it’s not what I’m looking for.
Smögen is small – it’s technically an island but is so close to the mainland that it’s connected by an enormous spanning bridge and if you were distracted for the seconds it takes to cross, you might not realise there’s water underneath you.
Technically the population of Smögen is only about 1,500 people – but it’s a holiday town and the real number of people here is much larger in these warmer months.
I assume the size means it won’t take too long for me to wander around the town. As I discover, it takes longer than expected because of the hills, cliffs, winding roads and rocks I need to navigate. But this is much more my style.
Away from the busy central tourist hub, Smögen reveals itself to be a beautiful natural oasis. The water reflects the rock formations close to the shore while small inlets add texture.
Large parts of the island have no development and I walk alone with just silence as company – I could be so far away from the shops and restaurants of the boardwalk.
Even where there are buildings on the island, many parts seem peaceful.
The old fishing huts could easily be part of the nature themselves, they seem so organic. And up on the cliffs, it feels like you’re looking down on a world below that is accessible but not stifling.
It was this exploration that I loved about Smögen and I want to now share with you some more of the photos I took of the island.
I hope the visitors in the central part of town get a chance to see this as well. It’s not all champagne and prawns.
Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the West Sweden Tourist Board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.