Kungshamn is a locality with around 3.500 inhabitants along the western coast of Sweden. It belongs to Sotenäs municipality in the county of Västra Götaland, but culturewise it is still connected with the historical province of Bohuslän. Fishing is at the center of the local economy with companies such as Abba and Domstein Enghav established here.
A Short History of Kungshamn
The settlement that later became Kungshamn started to grow in the 16th century. This was the time of the first known period of increased herring fishing along the coast. The herring have a few times during the centuries come in very large numbers and this has resulted in great fishing possibilities for a number of years. It was, however, not until the middle of the 18th century that more permanent fishing communities were established. Three fishing villages would later make up what was to become Kungshamn, these were Gravarne, Bäckevik, Fisketången.
These fishingvillages did together with Smögen, Hasselösund and Sandbogen create Kungshamn Parish in 1772. There were over 200 fishermen only in Graverne in the middle of the 20th century. After its most recent peak, fishing continues to decline steadily. The villages of Gravarne, Bäckevik, Fisketången merged in 1960 and a few years later the new locality was given the name Kungshamn after a controversy in using the name Gravarne. Kungshamn today still has active fishing vessels and it is the home of the canned fish producer Abba.
Things to Do and See in Kungshamn
As many tourists find their way to nearby Smögen, Kungshamn can be the calmer and more relaxing option. There are several possibilities for hikes along the cliffs, or swimming in the sea. And for those who in the end want more dining options in the evening, Smögen is still within easy reach.
Strandpromenaden is the local waterfront walkway following the coast all the way from the factory of Abba to the center of Kungshamn. It offers a view of Kungshamn, Smögen, and the surrounding waters.
In the old merchant house Gerlegården you will find the local heritage museum. The building originates from the 18th century and was earlier used for salting herring and the production of train oil (fish oil). Exhibits include old objects from the area and the history of the fishing industry.
Fisketångens Badplats is the local beach and swimming spot. It includes both a sandy beach and cliffs from where it is possible to access the water. In addition, there are a kiosk and a playground.
Stenbogen is another swimming location in Kungshamn, more fitting for older kids and adults. It is located along the cliffs overlooking the islands of Smögen and Hållö.
During the summer there is regular boat traffic to the island of Hållö with Hållöexpressen. The island is a nature reserve and is popular for swimming or exploring the small lighthouse built in 1842 and the oldest in Bohuslän.
How to Get to Kungshamn
- Flights: there are domestic and international routes to and from Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT), which is 152 kilometers away.
- Car: Kungshamn is at the end of road 174, which connects with the E6 at Dingle.
- Bus: local and regional buses from Västtrafik connect Kungshamn with the surrounding region.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 503 kilometers (5h 49min) Gothenburg – 131 kilometers (1h 36min) Malmö – 399 kilometers (4h 36min) Linköping – 364 kilometers (4h 22min) Kiruna – 1600 kilometers (18h 35min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden