The Koster Islands is a community with year-round residents. In summer, the islands are an archipelago paradise with several restaurants and bars and fine bathing spots, but many places are also open in winter. The Koster Islands are dreamy even in the cooler months, and it’s often easier to see the marine wildlife up close once the summer boat traffic has disappeared. However, bear in mind that there is a “limited service” from late autumn until Easter, which may make it worth packing a lunch if you’re visiting the islands.
The islands are connected by a cable ferry Kosterlänken, manned during the summer season.
Nordkoster, there is a supermarket/kiosk open in summer (closed for the season), a gift shop and restaurants as well as the islands’ only campsite.
South coasts, there is well-stocked grocery store (ICA-Nära). At the small harbours around the island there are bicycle rentals, cafés, restaurants and Koster Gardens with its organic farming. Of course, accommodation is available in a variety of forms, from idyllic archipelago cottages to rooms with sea views.
Below we have compiled practical information for your visit and here you can download the magazine Kosterbladet-2022
Open at Koster
Here you can quickly see the current range of services and restaurants – which ones are open right now!
What happens at Koster?
How to get here
The Koster ferrys depart from the plaza in Strömstad. Every day of the year!
You cannot pre-book tickets!
Tickets can be bought at the boat quay, where there are machines. You can also buy your ticket in the Västtrafik To Go app or with a card on board. If you need to recharge your Västtrafik travel card, you can do so at Pressbyrån, Torget.
Bicycles/kayaks can be taken on board for an additional fee, subject to availability and space.
In the summer, you should bear in mind that it is very difficult to find a parking space in the city centre. Within walking distance of Kosterbåten, however, there are parking areas where you can stay up to 24 hours, such as Torskholmen and Skeppsbroplatsen. However, during the high summer weeks, the long term parking outside the city is recommended, from where there is a free parking bus to the city centre.
Ica Nära Sydkoster with Cafe Torget is open all year round.
Note. The shop in Nordkoster is only open in summer (closed in summer 2020).
You can rent a bicycle for the day or week at the ferry’s docks on South Koster (late autumn only at Ekenäs dock). There are tandem and children’s bikes, children’s saddles and bicycle baskets.
As a day visitor you can, for example, rent a bike at Ekenäs and pedal around the island and then return it at Långegärde jetty.
PLEASE NOTE! Rental bikes may not be brought over to North Koster.
Download cycling map.
Accessible version (opens on a new page) Download text version of the Koster cycling map
Feel free to visit the Kosteröarna Nature Reserve, but please note that camping is not allowed other than in the designated campsite. On Nordkoster there is a nature campsite called Reservatet located near the Vettnet jetty. Numbers are limited, book early if you want a place!
Fires may not be lit except in designated areas. On the Koster Islands, there are barbecue areas at Kilesand beach on South Koster and Silletången at Basteviken, North Koster.
The islands have a limited amount of water. Use water sparingly.
Don’t shower or wash unnecessarily.
There is a shortage of public toilets. There are toilets at Naturum, Sydkoster(Ekenäs). Here you will also find a disabled toilet.
Thanks to The Koster Islands location in the sea, there are more hours of sunshine here than elsewhere. The sun is also reflected more. Toss gently.
At Koster there are cars, tractors, work vehicles and many mopeds. The traffic rules also apply on Koster.
When driving a moped, the driver must be at least 15 years old. Drive and cycle on the right side.
Ferry between South and North Koster
Transport across Kostersundet (Långegärde-Västra Bryggan) is by ferry Kosterlänken and costs 15 SEK /person.
Also the Koster boats are now subject to a fee across the strait, one way 15 SEK.
In summer it runs every day!
In the pre- and post-season it usually runs on weekends.
Not manned in winter, but you can travel over with the Koster boat, from Västra Bryggan to Långagärde.
For current times when the ferry is manned, please visit the >>
Almost all land on Koster is private land. Beaches, nature reserves, forests, heathland and meadows are all given up by landowners for recreation. Take care of nature and don’t litter.
It is a rare parasite that only affects foxes and dogs and has been found on the Koster Islands. Infected only by snails so do not let it eat snails or snail slime. Symptoms in the infected dog are often diffuse with coughing, increased respiratory rate and slight fatigue. Talk to your vet about possible preventative treatment for your dog if you feel the slightest bit unsure about whether or not to take your dog.
In case of accident: call 112
Capio Care Centre 0526-79 90 00
Bohuslinden 0526-187 87
Emergency services are available on the Koster Islands. In case of accident call 112